Ron Scott wrote:

> I'm lousy at parables. Please explain.

Here's my interpretation.  I hope that I am not too far off
the mark.

1) The filth represents sin, generally, through the individual
choices of the children involved.  The effects of the filth
represents the effects of sin.  

2) The children represent ourselves.

3) To be cleansed represents repentance by way of the Gospel.

4) The first father represents an unrighteous plan to bring
people to repentance, namely:  The use of force, coercion, and

5) The second father represents a righteous plan to bring
people to repentance.  Applicable scriptures: D&C 121:44-46,
and Moses 4:1-2.  Charity and long-suffering would appear to
be key.  

6) The second son genuinely repents because he realizes he 
needs to change, then takes action accordingly.  The first son
only takes action so as to APPEAR outwardly to repent.  
Inwardly, that person doesn't yet see the need to change.

7) Thus, the second son is on his way to salvation.  The first
son's spiritual status remains in question.

* * *

Still, having laws on the books doesn't mean that we seek to
compel people to do right, but rather, there is an overriding
interest to regulate certain things to allow society as a 
whole to operate in a free and righteous manner.  If there
were no laws, or if laws ratified or encouraged immoral 
acts, I submit that it becomes significantly more difficult 
for either father to teach his son about repentance.  

All the best,

The Rabinowitz Family --
Spring Hill, Tennessee

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