Five of Them Were Wise, by Walter Rane



And then a door opens and that person starts to progress, learning line upon line, precept upon precept, through example and through the scriptures like the beautiful parables of Jesus Christ. Let us read them often…
-Elder Jacob de Jager, Oct. 1978

Our Lord Himself gave some of his deepest teaching in the fabulous stories known to us as parables…
-Charlotte Mason 4:161


Miss Mason’s Method

(Skip to the list of parables)

Miss Mason recommended teaching children the parables the Lord told by reading them to the child repeatedly, then when he thinks he can do it well, having him repeat it back to you until they can recite the entire parable. She also suggested showing children depictions of parables by the early Masters, done in much the same way that picture study is done, by showing the child the picture, then taking it away and asking him to describe it. We have compiled a list of parables the Lord gave in the New Testament, as well as a number of parables given in the Doctrine and Covenants. In addition, we have linked to early Masters’ depictions of the New Testament parables where we could find them.

“The whole parable should be read to them in a way to bring out its beauty and tenderness; and then, day by day, the teacher should recite a short passage, perhaps two or three verses, saying it over some three or four times until the children think they know it. Then, but not before, let them recite the passage. Next day the children will recite what they have already learned, and so on, until they are able to say the whole parable…

“The study of such pictures as are here reproduced should be a valuable part of a child’s education; it is no slight thing to realise how the Nativity and the visit of the Wise Men filled the imagination of the early Masters, and with what exceeding reverence and delight they dwelt upon every detail of the sacred story. This sort of impression is not to be had from any up-to-date treatment, or up-to-date illustrations; and the child who gets it in early days, will have a substratum of reverent feeling upon which should rest his faith. But it is well to let the pictures tell their own tale. The children should study a subject quietly for a few minutes; and then, the picture being removed, say what they have seen in it. It will be found that they miss no little reverent or suggestive detail which the artist has thought well to include.”
-Charlotte Mason

Parables List

Barren Fig Tree: Luke 13:6-10     DEPICTIONS
Faithful Servant: Luke 12:35-48     DEPICTIONS
Father with Twelve  Sons: D&C 38:26-27
Fig Tree: Mark 13:28-31
Friend at Midnight: Luke 11:5-8     DEPICTIONS
Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-27     DEPICTIONS
Hidden Treasure: Matthew 13:44     DEPICTIONS
Laborers in the Vineyard: Matthew 20:1-16     DEPICTIONS
Lamp Under a Bushel: Matthew 5:14-16     DEPICTIONS
Leaven: Luke 13:20-21     DEPICTIONS
Lost Coin: Luke 15:8-10     DEPICTIONS
Lost Sheep: Matthew 18:12-14     DEPICTIONS
Man Sending Servants to the Field: D&C 88:51-61
Marriage of the King’s Son: Matthew 22:1-14     DEPICTIONS
Mustard Seed: Mark 4:30-32     DEPICTIONS
Net Cast into the Sea: Matthew 13:47-50     DEPICTIONS
Nobleman and the Choice Land: D&C 101:43-62
Pearl of Great Price: Matthew 13:45-46     DEPICTIONS
Pharisee and the Publican: Luke 18:9-14     DEPICTIONS
Prodigal Son: Luke 15:11-32     DEPICTIONS
Rich Fool: Luke 12:13-21     DEPICTIONS
Rich Man and Lazarus: Luke 16:19-31     DEPICTIONS
Seed Growing Secretly: Mark 4:26-29     DEPICTIONS
Sower: Luke 8:5-15     DEPICTIONS
Talents: Matthew 25:14-30     DEPICTIONS
Ten Virgins: Matthew 25:1-13     DEPICTIONS
Two Debtors: Luke 7:41-43     DEPICTIONS
Unjust Judge: Luke 18:1-8     DEPICTIONS
Unmerciful Servant: Matthew 18:23-35     DEPICTIONS
Wheat and Tares: Matthew 13:24-30
Wicked Husbandmen: Matthew 21:33-46      DEPICTIONS
Wise and Foolish Men: Matthew 7:24-27     


Parables and Other Teaching Stories (Robert L. Millet and James C. Christensen)

Other Resources

Discussion of the Matthew 13 parables from the Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 292–305
Discussion of the Fig Tree and the Ten Virgins from Doctrine and Covenants 45
Discussion of the Nobleman and the Choice Land from Doctrine and Covenants 103
Discussion of the Wheat and the Tares from Doctrine and Covenants 86
Parables of Jesus: The Priceless Parables, Ensign (Jan 2003)
Delectable Education Podcast: Bible, THE Living Book — discusses use of parables and depictions of parables

Blog Posts

Teaching Christ’s Parables: Real Life Examples

  Miss Mason recommends teaching children parables. We collected several of her quotes about how and why to teach parables, as well as a list of parables to choose from, but it’s so often helpful to see what it looks like in a real family, with real children! Our first {very cute} example shows how […]