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August 18, 2022

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Gary W.January 31, 2019

In short we do not know the entire story. To me the lesson is not who was right or wrong in the end. To me one of the morals of the story is that the Brother (like each of us) eventually had to come to himself. Hopefully, he did sooner rather than later. Do we?.

Belinda StamfordJanuary 28, 2019

I have read this parable many times and never got from it what you have discussed in this article. I don't judge the elder son. We don't know his heart and mind. When the younger son returned and was welcomed whole-heartedly by their father and the elder son was angry about it, I feel he was most likely hurt and confused because of what his brother had done and now by what their father was doing. We don't know what was felt by the elder brother after the father's explanation of his actions. To assume jealousy is to put words in the Savior's mouth. Everything the father currently owned belonged to the elder son upon the father's death as the younger son had his share already. Therefore the merrymaking upon the return of the younger son was offered out of love for the son. You said they were again equal and that is not correct. Both were still sons of the father but the elder son was the faithful "owner" if you want to put it that way. The younger son would have his room and board but would not gain again what he had lost. It is good to "come home" but you can't get back the wasted time or erase the consequences of bad decisions even if you have fully repented. You can only go on from the current day forward.

robertJanuary 28, 2019

I find it interesting that in the past few years we seem to have changed our focus from the return of the Prodigal Son to how the other son acted. I have heard the question - was the son looking for the brother, as his father was. I think that this parable also discusses the power of being Born in the Covenant. The prodigal son was sealed to the father, he was not sealed to the brother. Additionally, Joseph Smith taught of the power of being Born in the Covenant. I will be the first to acknowledge that there were character flaws in the other son. However, we mustn't forget that the he was promised "All that his father had". In other words, despite these flaws, he is still getting his Exaltation and Eternal Live.

Richard Bruce ChristensenJanuary 28, 2019

Awesome article. Maybe you can answer a question I have regarding this parable. It is implied that the lost son wasted his inheritance and the other son had not. Several years ago, I read a quote from Pres. Joseph F Smith that used this quote to indicate a loss of blessings and privileges even with repentance. The implication was that this was more than the lost opportunity, but rather loss of eternal blessings. It could be this parable was never meant to address repentance of the lost son, but I have never been able to reconcile Pres. Joseph F Smiths stance with Isa 1:18 and others. What are your thoughts?

Burger BobJanuary 28, 2019

I love Brother Barkdull's articles. When he died, we lost a good, deep thinking man. This article is incredible. This article parallels my family situation in many ways. The negative attitude of the older son doesn't come out until the prodigal brother comes home, but where is he when the brother comes home, out in the field taking care of getting the work done while their father is worrying about his brother and then rejoicing in the brother's return. Sometimes, we don't realize that our faithful and dependable children deserve a fatted calf to make merry with their friends or that they deserve something more at some time. At the same time the child at home out of love and sense of duty, just plugs along helping take care of things, including mom and dad, holding things together when otherwise. mom dad may not make it, feeling this sense of duty. The child, son or daughter, that is helping his/her parents, may not fully realize the need to support their parents in their worrying because they are too busy taking care of things that they don't recognize the need to support their parents in another way, similar to the story of Mary and Martha when Christ visited them. I have felt that way at times and I am sure that some of my siblings have felt that way. In this parable, the father realizes and acknowledges the son's feelings and reminds him that the son has always been faithful and dependable and that all the father has is his. The father is happy to have the prodigal son return, will treat him as his son and not as a servant, but the son will not inherit what rightfully belongs to his elder brother. The father pleads with his elder son to see things as they truly are and to rejoice with him. This discourse is also a reminder to the elder son to remember the good things, especially his relationship with his father, and not destroy all he had done over the years by a moment of jealousy. I understand completely, and for me, I pray that when I meet my father on the other side of the veil, that we will rejoice in that moment and he will tell me that I did all I was asked to do when he invited me and my family to come home and help him and my mother, and that he has accepted our sacrifice. It hasn't been easy, but I have tried to do the best I could, but I am human and have my moments. In like fashion, when I meet the Savior, I hope He will give me a great big hug and say to me, "Welcome home, my dear and faithful servant."



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