In a Very Fruitful Hill – 2 Nephi 15:1-4

1 And then will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved, touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill.
2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes it brought forth wild grapes.
(2 Nephi 15:1-4, Isaiah 5:1-4)

One consequence of ingratitude is that it limits our productivity. We not only fail to appreciate and enjoy the blessings we have received, but we also fail to make use of those blessings to achieve worthy goals.

In Isaiah’s short and incisive parable above, a landowner does everything he can to establish a successful vineyard. He chooses a fertile plot of ground, clears it of stones, builds a fence and a tower, plants the best vine available, and prepares to enjoy the delicious fruit. But alas, this vine does not live up to its promise: instead of producing grapes, it brings forth wild grapes. In exasperation, the landowner appeals to the reader: “What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it?”

This landowner wasn’t looking for the vine to say, “Thank you.” He wasn’t hoping the vine would be more content, more pleased with the advantages it had been given. He wanted it to live up to its privileges. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48).

This vine, on the other hand, may have been utterly oblivious to these privileges. Shouldn’t every vine have a fence, a tower, and fertile ground? Why not simply enjoy a life of leisure and produce whatever kind of fruit it wants? And it may have been entirely unaware of its potential to achieve better things, to produce exquisite fruit. Ingratitude is a form of ignorance. Like other forms of ignorance, it prevents us from accomplishing what we might have accomplished with more knowledge and awareness.

Today, I will be grateful for the advantages I enjoy. I will intentionally list my blessings, both to appreciate them more and to take advantage of the opportunities they provide me to accomplish great things.

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