After calling twelve apostles, Jesus sent them out with specific instructions: Don’t carry money or provisions. Rely instead on the goodness and generosity of the people you will meet along the way. He also explained why they should be willing to accept these gifts: “for the workman is worthy of his meat” (Matthew 10:10).
Shortly after, Jesus “appointed other seventy also” (Luke 10:1), and gave them the same instructions He had given to the twelve. According to Luke, He provided the same explanation with slightly different words: “for the labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7, italics added).
It’s possible to read this phrase as a reassurance to a group of newly-chosen representatives with doubts about their ability to do the job. “I called you,” He seems be saying. “Do the work, and I will make you equal to it.”
But it’s also possible to read this phrase as an exhortation: “I expect you to work hard. This sustaining generosity is appropriate for the diligence that I expect from you.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:
How the Lord loves the laborer! He said, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” and “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” He also gave a promise: “Thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you.” Those who are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and lose themselves in the pursuit of worthwhile goals are a blessing to their families, communities, nations, and to the Church.“Two Principles for Any Economy,” General Conference, October 2009
President Russell M. Nelson said, “The Lord loves effort.” (See Joy D. Jones, “An Especially Noble Calling,” General Conference, April 2020.)
In the allegory of the olive tree, the Lord of the vineyard puts out a call for servants to help him care for the trees. Zenos tells us that they “did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them” (Jacob 5:72). Eventually, the Lord says to them, “Blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard…ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard” (Jacob 5:75).
Today, I will contribute diligently to the work of the Lord. I will remember that He loves effort and that my hard work will bring me and others joy.
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