There is a strange parable in D&C 88 about workers digging in a field and their boss giving them the joy of his countenance for an hour during their shift. Read on to weigh in what you think this means.
Here’s the parable:
51 Behold, I will liken these kingdoms unto a man having a field, and he sent forth his servants into the field to dig in the field. (What exactly are they digging for?)
52 And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance. (So, rather than a team huddle and off they go, he talks to them one at a time.)53 And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance. (What if the guy is skylarking? I don’t think he’s going to get “the joy of his master’s countenance” in that case.)54 And also unto the third, saying: I will visit you;55 And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth. (So, is this about the twelve apostles specifically and seeing the face of the Savior? Otherwise, why 12?)56 And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord. (Light and joy seem to be synonymous here.)57 And then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth. (So, he withdraws from the first. He can’t visit everyone all at once. Only one at a time.)58 And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season— (They received it, but it was time bound when it was “expedient”?)59 Beginning at the first, and so on unto the alast, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last; (This only showed from the first to the last, but then it goes on to add from the last to the first and the first to the last. Does he do this 3 times in reverse order in between?)60 Every man in his own aorder, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified. (So, they got a full hour with the lord in which they and the lord were both glorified.)61 Therefore, unto this parable I will liken all these akingdoms, and the binhabitants thereof—every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made. (Earthly kingdoms or 3 degrees of glory? Are these planets?)
Who are the servants? Everyone? The 12 apostles? Prophets through time? Those that are called or who seek the Lord’s face? Only those who have received the second comforter?
Why are the workers sent out one at a time, each in his season? Are the workers all working alone like the kids in “Holes”? Does this mean it refers to our time on earth?
What is the significance of the workers digging in a field, but with no other specified purpose? Is the digging symbolic of something (e.g. seeking for treasure, preparing the ground for planting), or is it meant to signify a meaningless and mundane yet difficult and dirty task?
What is the “joy of my countenance”? Seeing the face of God literally (the second comforter)? Receiving inspiration? Obtaining a testimony or other spritual experience? This is a phrase unique to this passage of scripture (“light of thy countenance” is also in Psalms; “full of joy with thy countenance” is found in Acts.)