Finding myself in an olive tree

The latest issue of the Ensign hit my mailbox a few weeks back and one of the cover stories was “Finding yourself in Lehi’s Dream.”  I didn’t read the whole article, but the concept teased that we were all in there somewhere.  Of course, we all want to be the type who are firmly grasping the iron rod and on our way toward that tree of life.  We don’t want to be in that great and spacious shopping center.  Easy, peasy.  (Where am I? It’s hard to say… All I see is this fog!)

The concept stuck in my mind, even if I thought lightly of it at the time.  (I mean, come on, what is the answer supposed to be?)  I’d been stuck in my personal scripture study for a while, right up against Jacob 5.  The allegory of the olive tree.  It’s tough reading.  I was reluctant to tackle it.

Finally, I took some fresh courage and tackled the beast.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I found myself in an olive tree.

And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard, I take away many of these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will.

My vineyard is Ann Arbor, and many of the young and tender branches are being grafted elsewhere.  That time of year comes, regularly as it turns out.  But this time, I was really sad to see it come.  Some of my closest friends have taken themselves to nethermost parts of the vineyard.

And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard went his way, and hid the natural branches of the tame olive-tree in the nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one and some in another, according to his will and pleasure.

Yeah, I knew it would happen.  Yeah, it’s happened before.  And yeah, it still sucks.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I still have plenty of friends in the area.  Plenty of really good ones.

And I’m really happy for my friends who have left.  They are off in other parts of the vineyard, doing all of the wonderful things they do.

I will graft in unto them the branches of their mother tree, that I may preserve the roots also unto mine own self, that when they shall be sufficiently strong perhaps they may bring forth good fruit unto me, and I may yet have glory in the fruit of my vineyard

And there’s always some hope of a LOST-esque reunion, where (Spoiler Alert) we all get to hang out in a church after we realize we are dead.

Seriously though, Amy and Brian and Melanie.  I am very excited for you!  Enjoy your new parts of the vineyard.  I’ll miss you, but that’s part of living in an olive vineyard, right?