While spending lots of time in bed trying to prevent a 5th miscarriage, I have been able to do lots of the things I love to do. one of those is listening again to conference sessions. This time as I listened, a previous question I remember asking myself during my scripture study was answered with more force than ever before.
My question was "In Jesus' parable, why doesn't it make a difference what time the laborer's begin working and they still all get paid the same amount?" In short, the answer is: His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there .(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, italics in original) I remember hearing this talk during the first time I listened to it, but it seemed like a completely new talk today.
Here are some of the highlights:
"I wish to speak of the Savior’s parable in which a householder “went out early in the morning to hire labourers.” After employing the first group at 6:00 in the morning, he returned at 9:00 a.m., at 12:00 noon, and at 3:00 in the afternoon, hiring more workers as the urgency of the harvest increased. The scripture says he came back a final time, “about the eleventh hour” (approximately 5:00 p.m.), and hired a concluding number. Then just an hour later, all the workers gathered to receive their day’s wage. Surprisingly, all received the same wage in spite of the different hours of labor. Immediately, those hired first were angry, saying, “These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.”1 When reading this parable, perhaps you, as well as those workers, have felt there was an injustice being done here. Let me speak briefly to that concern.. .
"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines. . .
"So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time. Please listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning gift of the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the fellowship of His labor. Don’t delay. It’s getting late." (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, italics added)