Parable of the tree—nine kinds of fruit!

Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).

J32 [JONES, Dan.] Dammeg y pren a ddwg naw math o ffrwythau! (Parable of the tree which bears nine kinds of fruit!) Swansea: Printed and published by D. Jones, [1855?].

4 pp. 17.6 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 93.

All the contents of Parable of the tree were first printed in the May 1847 Prophet of the Jubilee (pp. 79–84). About half a page of material contained in the periodical was omitted in the pamphlet, presumably in order to fit everything onto four pages. There is no indication that the material had appeared in pamphlet form prior to the Swansea printing in 1855.

The tree mentioned in the title is Christ’s gospel, according to the key which occupies the last portion of page 4. This key identifies twenty-nine different items indicated in the text by twenty-three letters of the English alphabet (all but j, x, and z) and six other symbols.

The nine kinds of fruit are the nine gifts of the Holy Ghost as men­tioned in 1 Corinthians 12. The entire parable is an account of Christ’s gospel—how it was established originally, how it was corrupted and ceased to exist on the earth, and finally, how it was restored in the latter days by the angel mentioned in Revelation 14:6.

Parable of the Tree that Bears Nine Kinds of Fruit!

One day a certain wealthy vinedresser (a) visited his vineyard (b) in a distant country, and he planted some wondrous plant (c) that he had brought with him, which had become a tree that bore nine (d) kinds of excellent fruit. He chose, (e) and taught (f) his servants (g), how to tend and look after it. He had brought a few (h) of each one of the fruits with him, so that his servants, and some of the people of the vineyard, could taste them; and then he went back (i) to the distant land. His servants, after tasting the fruits, and understanding that they were excel­lent and healthful nourishment, as well as medicinal for every illness, endeavored day and night to tend the plant according to the instructions they had received. Their diligence was crowned with such remark­able success that numerous verdant branches sprouted forth, and it was enshrouded with beautiful sweet flowers; and in the first summer the tree was overladen with fruits like the one the vinedresser had brought at first. Soon its fame spread throughout the vineyard, and the people journeyed from every direction seeking the fruits. The servants took many of the plants to other parts, and everywhere they were planted, the same kinds of fruits were brought forth; and it bore fruit on the tops of the most rocky mountains as well as in the lushest valleys, in the frozen poles as well as in the torrid Zone.

There was a certain oppressor (k) who had come from a distant land a long time ago, who claimed a certain right to the vineyard, and many of the people believed him and served him; but not one of those kinds of fruit grew on their trees, which caused his servants to complain to the oppressor, because the excellence of the fruits of the others attracted nearly all the people of the vineyard to their markets, and the hope for their own profit was fading. Upon hearing this, the oppressor promised that he would journey to a distant land for a plant (l) just as good, if not better, than those they had; and when he returned and planted it, and the time came for it to bear fruit, some fruits were seen on it that were similar to the others; but to their disappointment, behold, they were deadly poison (m) to everyone that tasted them. The oppressor, and his servants, became more and more jealous of the others because of this, and because they were too proud to ask them for the plants, they attacked them, and killed them, thinking they could get the tree and its fruits, and that everyone would come to them to buy afterwards (n). But to their surprise, and the great loss of all the people of the vineyard, not one of the earlier fruits grew on the tree after this, because they had not been taught by the vinedresser or his servants how to tend it; and soon its branches withered, its freshness dried up, and its trunk rotted (o), and all the people hungered for the fruits for a long time (p).

In the meantime, the tree of the oppressor grew very large, and all the unclean birds of the land overburdened its branches, making it their nesting place and preying on everyone who came that way. At last, one of the eagles (q) of the oppressor, who was much better than the others, taking pity on the sufferers, got hold of some ancient book (r) written by the servants of the vinedresser, describing the old tree, and its tooth­some fruits, which created a desire in him to get a tree similar to it, but nowhere could he find a plant to get started. In the end, as he was gaz­ing down from his nest on the corpses of the multitudes who had died around the trunk of the tree, he saw some green suckers growing from the roots of the tree, and he thought he could, with the directions in the ancient book, nurture one of those to become a fruitful tree; but he knew that his life was in danger if the other birds understood his objec­tive, and through cunning, he succeeded in getting a sucker, and fled with it, and planted it in the furthermost part of the vineyard; and it grew to be a strong tree. Others, upon seeing his success with his tree, ventured to do the same and were as successful as he. In time, suckers grew from those suckers, which he planted in a like manner, until those trees were very numerous through the vineyard; and although they were quite similar to the old tree at first glance, yet not one of the nine kinds of fruit was growing on them anywhere, although each bird claimed that his tree was of the same species as the fruitful tree. Since there was a severe famine throughout all the land, when the people heard that there were so many fruitful trees in their midst, they gath­ered to them in multitudes, shouting for fruit, so they would not die of hunger. At this, the birds stretched their heads over their nests, and in a voice like the voice of men they persuaded the people, saying, “Oh, the primitive fruits are no longer necessary. It is true that nine kinds of fruit grew on it in the beginning, but their only purpose was to show that such a tree had existed [!], and the only comfort you can have now is to journey to our trees when you feel hungry, and look at them more steadfastly the more the hunger pangs tighten your stomach; and we shall read from this ancient book the story of the feasts that men enjoyed from the fruits of the primitive tree, for faith is everything that is required to keep you alive without nourishment; just believe the story without enjoying, and journey here to look and listen; after arriv­ing in the far country you shall have those nine kinds of fruits (s).” In this manner they deceived multitudes into journeying to them, and though weakening and starving, the children followed after their fathers to the death, until their bones could be seen whitening around these trees across the face of the earth. But the most sensible (t) of the people told them that the birds were deceiving them, and that the groans of the dead, together with the excruciating pains of hunger in their own bowels proved that they could not live without having the fruits of the tree themselves; and since the birds claimed that such fruits did not grow on the tree now, they could not believe that such a tree had ever existed, or borne the nine kinds of fruit described in their ancient book; for (said they) the inseparable connections with which the chief naturalist tied every effect to its own cause, together with examples of all the other trees of the vineyard, bearing the same fruits now as they bore at that time, prove your foolishness in claim­ing that you have that tree now, while yet denying its fruits. This caused pitched battles between these factions for a long period of time. Then, the vinedresser took pity on their wretched state; and since the end of the harvest was drawing nigh, he sent one of his servants (u) from the distant country with a plant like unto the first, so that those who wished could eat of its fruit, so that all would not die of hunger before it came. The servant planted it in a lovely and secret glade, he chose and taught those assigned to him (v), and he set them to tend the tree carefully, and he returned home. Through the faithfulness of the servants in doing everything as they were com­manded, this tree brought forth the same kind of fruits as the original. This joyful news went abroad, and all came to taste the fruits and feast on them without money and without a price. The oppressor became frightened when he heard this, for he knew that that tree could not be obtained from anyone except the vinedresser, and he also understood that his time was short (w) to rule over the vineyard. At this he remembered the trick that had succeeded in destroying the said tree before, and he stirred up his servants to persecute the others. He told them to persuade the people that the fruits did not grow on their trees. He also told them to persuade those who had tasted of them already, that they were the poisoned fruit that grew on his old tree, warning everyone not to make anything of them, because it was nearly impossible to get anyone to leave them once they had tasted of the fruits, &c., (y). And in this manner his lies succeeded until he killed the earliest servants* who had looked after the tree; but the tree had taken root so deep, that a number of plants from it had planted themselves across the vineyard, and were bearing the fruits so abun­dantly, that hosts of those who had denied the existence of the primi­tive tree, together with some of the wisest and most honest of the others, defended them, so they could not succeed; for these most cruel enemies, like the other tree, were those who received much gold, sil­ver, and respect from the other trees. They saw that their hope for profit would fade if the people got to taste the fruits. Seeing by this that this would be their own fate before long, all the other birds of prey became even more angry, and they all joined together in a mighty campaign to get revenge on the servants of the vinedresser and their followers; and although they had always been hostile before, they made peace with our old mother-family at last, in this last place of battle, and they succeeded in forcing all those who did not obey them to gather to their trees, and they refused the fruits, and they went away in a large group in many ships across the sea‡, and the birds returned to their nests, and great was the rejoicing throughout the land because of their victory. They sent gifts of joy to each other for having got rid of their enemies, and they boasted that they would have all the prey in their clutches before long§. Amidst their rejoicing, they were fright­ened by the roaring of thunder, lightning, and the sound of a terrible storm. The vineyard shook, the hills danced in fear, and the entire vineyard swayed like a drunken man. The sun was dressed in sack­cloth of hair as mourning apparel, and all the elements were mixed up, like boiling soup in a vat, and all the trees of the vineyard, together with the unclean birds and their beguiled ones, were heard from afar like the crackling of brambles under a pot, and they snarled at each other, shouting, “Oh, that we had listened to the voice of the servants of the vinedresser! Oh, that we had partaken of their fruits, so we could live eternally! But the summer has ended, our harvest of believ­ing your enchantment is over; you promised us peace, but O! now we are being punished in this flame!”|| At this, behold, the vinedresser and his innumerable retinue came in aerial chariots of fire, setting fire in the eastern corner, which spread quickly and annihilated everything before it on the right and on the left, like dry stubble, so that all that was understood of this horrible massacre was groaning and crying aloud.¶ And this scene was closed up by the loud sound of a trumpet from the midst of the chariots, declaring, “And the smoke of their punishment will rise up forever and ever.”** And it echoed like the sound of harps through the atmosphere, “Rejoice because of it in the heavens, and your holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you.”** And they all joined in the chorus, “Thou art righteous, O Lord, King of the saints; for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets.” He that reads, let him consider this parable! In order to understand the parable, read the following references:—

(a) Jesus Christ, see Isaiah 5, 1—7; Matt. 20, 1; 21, 28; Luke 13, 6—8. (b) The earth. (c) The gospel. (d) The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 12. (e) John 15, 16. (f) Matt. 28, 20. (g) The apostles, &c. (h) The miracles that Christ himself performed before establishing his kingdom. (i) His ascension into heaven. (k) The devil enemy, Matt. 13, 25. (l) The Church of Rome. (m) False miracles, Matt. 24, 24; Rev. 13, 13, 14. (n) Those who killed the successors of the apostles. (o) When divine authority was taken from the earth, and the church went into the wilderness, Rev. 12, 5, 6. (p) The famine for the gospel through the “dark ages,” Amos 8, 11, 12. (q) The first who opposed the church of Rome, and established his own church. (r) The New Testament. The suckers are all the daughters of the “old mother,” and their daughters, Rev. 13, 18. (s) All who deny the necessity of the nine kinds of gifts of the Holy Ghost throughout the world, and claim their commission from the book, and that the purpose of the gifts was to prove the truth of Christianity, 1 Tim. 4, 1, 2; 2 Tim. 3, 1—9; and 4, 3, 4; Judas 4, 10, 12, 19. (t) The atheists who opposed sectarianism, 2 Peter 2, 2, “because of those that blaspheme the way of truth.” (u) The angel that John saw bringing the everlasting gospel back to the earth, Rev. 14, 6. (v) Joseph Smith, &c. (w) Rev. 12, 12. (y) All who publish, who preach, or who deliver, any of the “thousand and one” unfounded tales, and the accusations about the Saints that flood the country. *Those godly martyrs in the Carthage Jail, and dozens of other innocent Saints on the continent. ‡ The Saints fleeing to Zion. § Rev. 11, 10; Psalm 11, 6; 68, 2; 110, 5, 6; Isaiah 9, 18—20; 13, 6—9; 24, 6, 17, 21, 22; Jer. 30, 23, 24; Zeph. 3, 8; 2 Thes. 1, 8—11; || Rev. 19. ¶ Rev. 18, 20, 24; ** Rev. 16, 5, 6, 7.