Another parable spake he unto  them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto the leaven, which a woman  took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.

This morning Naoma got up early and announced that she was going to make some bread. As we worked together in the kitchen making the bread, (I did help a little) I lived again in memory the scene of long ago when I witnessed my mother mixing and baking bread. It came to my mind that because I had seen this process many tines I could readily understand the Saviors parable of the Leaven.

When I was a very small boy my mother handed me a two quart jar and asked me to go down to Aunt Sophie Bluth's and ask her for a start of yeast. I went down to where Aunt Sophie lived wondering all the way what a start of yeast was. Aunt Sophie was a large elderly woman with grey hair and I noticed that she didn't have any teeth which made me wonder how she ate her food. She took my jar and went into her little kitchen. She got her large yeast bottle and poured a cup of the white liquid yeast into my jar. She said, "Tell your Mama to feed it before she mixes so she will have enough". I puzzled over these instructions all of the way home but I repeated them exactly when I gave mother the Jar of yeast. Mother went to the sugar bin and got a big cup of sugar and mixed it in some warm water and added a cup of flour. Then she poured it into the yeast jar saying, "that  will be plenty for the bread and some left over for a start for the next batch". I was fascinated as I watched the yeast begin to work. It began to bubble slowly and soon the jar was nearly full of beautiful white foamy yeast. Mother saw my interest and gave me a spoonful to taste. I still remember that sweet, sour, yeasty taste of that foamy yeast.

I watched mother mix her bread and add most of the yeast leaving only about a cup full for a start for the next batch of bread. I remember mother's yeast sitting in the cupboard for years after that and it never seemed to be empty and she always made all of the bread we ate. Mother mixed the big batch of bread on her big bread board kneading it until she was satisfied with it's consistency. Then she molded out eight big loaves and put them in her bread pans and left them on the back of the stove where it was warm. Soon the bread was rising. I watched and could almost see it raise until it was overflowing out of the top of the big bread pans. When it was ready she put the bread into the big, hot oven of the wood burning stove and added some wood to the stove and said that it would be done in an hour

I remember the wonderful smell that filled the kitchen. When mother took it out it was golden brown three times the size of the loaves that mother had put into the bread pans. Mother cut a big slice and buttered it with butter that we had churned that morning. There is nothing quite as good as hot bread with plenty of fresh butter on it. I had watched the miracle of the transformation of the heavy doe into the light delicious bread. I wondered how those little yeast plants could make the bread rise so evenly into the delicious light bread.. Obviously they have to work feeding on the ingredients of the bread and produce tiny bubbles of Carbon dioxide all through the doe making it puff up and become light.

One interpretation of the parable that Jesus gave is that we the members of the church are the leaven and when we are placed in a lump of doe we must work and keep the commandments of the Lord so as to spread our influence. A small branch of the church that was organized in Nvo. Casas Grandes began to work spreading it's influence and gaining members. In the short time of about 30 years it has grown from a small branch of about 15 or 20 members to now 5 big active wards of the  church. 

Just as the yeast in the bread can only work until the bread is placed in the oven we must use our time in working while the day lasts for the night will come when we can no longer labor. This work consists of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and filling the measure of our creation. This is the way to joy and happiness in our lives. Our  work together with the work of all of the other members of the church can leaven the whole place where we live making it better leavening the whole.

Another interpretation goes along with the parable of the Mustard seed.

Another parable put He forth unto them, saying the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: which is indeed the least of all seeds; but when it is grown  it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree so that the birds of the air  come and lodge in the branches thereof.

When the tiny seed of Testimony is planted in our hearts we can nourish it to become big and strong as a tree where others may come and receive strength and encouragement and find help for them to grow and progress.

Both parables indicate that from small beginnings in the work of the Lord we can grow and build the kingdom of heaven which is the Lord's Church here on the earth.

We must work diligently during our day of work preparing the way for the work to continue when our day is done. Here to make the point I have over simplified our purpose in life  Just as the Savior simplified his parables to make a point.

One of the commandments of the Lord is for us to multiply and replenish the earth that we might have joy and rejoicing in our posterity. If we do this in the context of eternal marriage in obedience to all of the commandments of the Lord then we can fulfill the measure of our creation and find joy and happiness as well as work out our exaltation. We cannot take just one commandment and say I will obey that one without considering all of the others to keep and obey all we have been commanded and counseled to do.

We are the children of our Heavenly Father and we must work in that sphere and with that knowledge in order to fill the measure of our creation. Which is to become like Him and return to live with him.

When I was a small boy I had a great love for animals of all kinds and was constantly bringing different kinds of pets home. On one of my birthdays I received a big beautiful book, entitled "My Animal Friends", from President Heber J. Grant. I was born on his birthday and he sent me that book. That book became some leaven in my mind to make me want to learn all I could about the wonderful creations of our Father in Heaven. I started to learn about birds from a big book entitled Birds of America. I learned to recognize most of the birds around our area. I also started learning about animals and their habits. I caught little ground squirrels and domesticated them. I even carried them to school in my pocket. Sister Bertha Pratt was our Teacher and she could not hear very well so she didn't hear the shrill little trilly whistle of the little squirrel in my pocket. 

When the rains would come about the last part of the month of June. The first rains were usually good hard rains that would form deep ponds of water in some of the streets of Dublan. When these rains came we knew that the frogs would be out that night. When the water soaked down to where they had buried themselves the year before they would come out and hop to a near by pond of muddy rain water. There each frog would begin to croak as loud as he could to attract the other frogs especially females. Soon there would be a loud chorus of hundreds of frogs all croaking in loud competition.  My brothers and I would go out into the night to catch frogs. As we approached the ponds we could see in the starlight the many white bubbles of the frog's throats. Each Croak would make a big white bubble in the frog's throat that we  could see in the night. We would grab at the bubble but sometimes  the frog  would duck under the muddy water and swim swiftly to the bottom of the pond. We would wade in and feel around in the mud and many times find the frog. I remember stuffing my pockets full of frogs and carrying them home and putting them in mother's big wash tub half full of water. After that I would take a bucket with two three inches of water in to put the frogs in. The water was to keep them from jumping out. We would put a floating board in the tub so that the frogs could get on it to rest and not have to swim all of the time. The next morning we would spend time playing with the frogs and observing their behavior.  I remember that Eldon Beck came to see our frogs. He was from the BYU looking for specimens for their Laboratory. He took a lot of frogs both male and female and put them to sleep in his bottles of preservative. When we were up to school at the Y we went into the big display of all of the animals and insects and we saw our frogs in a display case.

The frogs in the ponds would croak and mate most of the night but during the day they would be sleeping under the water. After four or five days the ponds would have bunches of frog eggs on every blade of grass growing in the ponds and on every available place. These eggs were a bunch of white soft jelly eggs with a black spot in  the middle of each egg.

The frogs would all leave the pond and go and bury themselves in the soft ground in some protected area such as under a fence near an adobe wall. I have watched them many times as they slowly move their back legs and squirm back and forth until they gradually go down under the ground. They have a little black spur on each foot to help them dig into the ground.

Soon the eggs would hatch and the ponds would be full of little black pollywogs. As the days past they would grow fast and before long those little black pollywogs would begin to sprout legs. Then their tails would fall off and there would be hundreds of little frogs hopping away from the pond to bury themselves in the soft earth.

After  two or three days we would turn our frogs loose and watch them hop away and find a suitable place to bury themselves in the ground. Here in Dublan the ponds and mud puddles are gone and are replaced with paved streets. I miss the  singing of the frogs after a hard rain. I don't know where they have all gone but I learned a lot watching them complete the life cycle. The liquid yeast of old has now been replaced with packages or cans of dry yeast. And  probably home made bread has gone out of style in most homes so many children do not get to watch the process of the leaven working in the doe. I often wondered where Aunt Sophie Bluth got  her start of yeast. I imagine that in the time of Jesus that he saw the yeast or the leaven being preserved from mix to mix and I am sure he saw how it made the bread rise before it was baked. He used the everyday things to illustrate his teachings giving us the wonderful parables that help us to understand his Gospel.  

May we be as the leaven working to leaven the whole around us. And may we be as the mustard seed. Even though we may feel that we cannot make a difference is this big world, we  can do our part and be part of the process of making the kingdom heaven grow into a big tree where all can come and lodge in it's branches and Wards.