Vineyard Blessings: God’s Perfect Equity

Vineyard Blessings: God’s Perfect Equity January 17, 2024

Variety of grapes; variety of vineyard blessings

 Having spent all his days laboring for the Lord, Peter wondered about ultimate rewards the apostles would receive. As vineyards were often backgrounds in Christ’s lessons, he might have wondered what kinds of vineyard blessings might be given. The Savior responded with a striking inclusive assurance of vineyard blessings for all who serve there.

As we know, the owner of the vineyard went early to the marketplace to employ laborers for the day; each was to receive a penny—enough to feed his family for a day. The owner returned to the marketplace at the third, sixth, ninth and eleventh hours, to hire additional laborers. At the end of the day, each worker received a penny, regardless of the time he had begun work. Those who had worked all day felt this was unfair; some readers tend to agree with them. But the parable was not about worldly vineyards or labor.


 In God’s perfect equity, vineyard blessings are granted according to ways God knows, understands, and values each laborer—each beloved son or daughter. Earthly measures like hours and coins are not involved. A widow, huddled perhaps at the back of the temple donation area, put in two mites. To the Savior, she was at the front of vineyard: “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” The Lord cared not for the amount in the treasury, but for the heart of the donor.

Michelle Craig extended this: “Jesus Christ recognized the abundance of her all where others saw only her lack. The same is true with each of us. He doesn’t see our lack as failure but rather as an opportunity to exercise faith and to grow.”1

 Many faithful Church members wonder if they deserve vineyard recognition or vineyard blessings. They may seem to receive only two-mite opportunities. John C. Pingree answered this anxiety with an experience.

An anxious sister asked the Lord, “What is my personal ministry?” The Lord’s response was “Notice others.” Elder Pingree commented, “It was a spiritual gift!” With a goal of noticing people who seemed often forgotten, she found great joy, and God “worked through her to bless many.” Thus “while some spiritual gifts may not be prominent by the world’s standards, they are essential to God and His work.”2  In the Lord’s vineyard, she must be surrounded by people—anxious to help and be helped by her.

Paul told the Romans, “yield yourselves unto God . . . as instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:13). As we yield ourselves to Him, seeking His direction and accessing His strength, He can place us where He wants us in His vineyard.

Perfect Equity

Among the the laborers in the parable, no one went home unable to feed his family. The Lord makes sure that everyone in His service has what they need. The owner was probably acquainted with those who would be seeking work. He would have known who had the physical strength to work all day in the sun, as well as who needed a lighter physical load and could handle the stress of the longer wait. He would perhaps have known who needed to spend more time in the marketplace—perhaps for their own benefit or for helping someone there in some way. With God, decisions are not arbitrary.

This parable helps us understand that service in the kingdom of God includes both expected service and vineyard blessings. We learn to serve Him with love and to love others as He does, thus becoming more like Him. We need the vineyard as much as the vineyard needs us (see Matthew 19:27-30; 20:1-16).

For some, service in the Lord’s vineyard begins early. Some children startle their primary teachers by what they know and and how they think. (They may startle their parents as well.) Jacob and Joseph, Lehi’s sons born in the wilderness, seem to have begun in the vineyard very early.

Some youth are ready to participate fully at the perhaps the third hour (second recruitment): Nephi, Sam, Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah among them.  Many (then and now) enter full vineyard participation on their missions—their course settles in, and they go consistently onward.

Some may need more marketplace experience. Lamoni, Amon’s first convert, was well established as king when he entered the vineyard, possibly in the sixth hour. Lamoni’s father entered humbly and enthusiastically in the eleventh hour. His time of active labor might have been brief, but he had become worthy. None who become worthy are denied vineyard blessings.

Joy of Vineyard Blessings

 God lovingly gives the vineyard blessings to all who serve. If they have learned the lessons of the vineyard, those on the early shift in the parable may consider their sunburns a badge of honor. Working for (and with) the Lord is not drudgery in an unpleasant field; it is pleasant vineyard blessings and joy. It requires effort, patience, and personal development—all of which are blessings in eternal progression. Sometimes the work can be exhausting; we may feel “driven” to run faster than we have strength. Dieter F. Uchtdorf rescues us:

Your loving Father in Heaven knows your heart. He knows that you can’t do everything your heart wants you to do. But you can love and serve God. You can do your best to keep His commandments. You can love and serve His children. And your efforts are purifying your heart and preparing you for a glorious future.3









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