Joseph Smith was a money digger, like others in rural upstate New York (and unsuccessful like pretty much all of them were). Obviously, there wasn’t a lot on TV back then. Was his money-digging activity a parable to teach him (and all of us) how to find the real treasures of the gospel?
Jesus frequently used parables that were familiar to all to teach gospel principles. For example, the original twelve apostles were actual fishermen, and Christ used this fact as an analogy:
Matthew 13: 47-48. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Treasure seeking is also a common parable in the Bible. Consider the following references about the kingdom of heaven:
Matthew 13: 44: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Another version of the “kingdom of heaven” parable is related to planting:
Matthew 13: 31-32 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
And another is related to baking, although I’m not aware that any of the 12 were bakers:
Matthew 13: 33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.