Wednesday Words


“ You recall the legend of a king who became bored with his routine living. He announced to his subjects that the person who could provide him with a game that would give him constant pleasure would be rewarded greatly, even unto half of his kingdom. Of course everyone wanted a “piece of the action” Day after day, month in and month out, he reviewed all of the games that were invented. Finally a subject came to him and told him he had invented a game that would entertain the king as long as he lived. The subject demonstrated the game – he told the king that the game must be played on a board with 64 squares. He said the name of the game was chess. He taught the king all the moves and played several games with him. The king was so enraptured by the game that he told the subject to ask for anything. The man declined, suggesting that he had received enough pay if the king enjoyed the game. However, the king would not take no for an answer. Finally the subject said, “If you are determined to pay me something, give me one grain of wheat for the first square on the chessboard, two for the second, four grains for the third, eight for the fourth, and so on, doubling the number for each square until all 64 squares of the board are covered.”

The king was very disappointed that this was all the subject desired of him. Finally he agreed and sent a servant out to get a bushel of wheat and pay the man off. Well, by now you have the message – it wasn’t that simple. By the time the king tried to pay off the 64th square in wheat, he found that all of the crops of his country was not adequate to pay the debt. To do so would have required 18, 446, 744, 073, 709, 551, 615 grains!

The development of our personal talents and skills, the character and integrity that come from living the gospel, the strength we gain through obedience to the commandments – each multiplies itself many times over in a lifetime. The return on the investment in ourselves, our time, and our abilities is beyond anything we can possibly suppose. However, the beginning is as simple as putting a grain of wheat on one square and doubling it on the next square. It starts when we develop one skill, when we keep on additional commandment, when we have greater faith, greater integrity, when we follow the patterns of the King’s son.”

Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone, “The King’s Son”, New Era, Nov 1975, p.35



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