The Parable of the Pearl and the Box

The Parable of the Pearl and the Box

Excerpts from the talk titled: The Cloven Tongues of Fire by Boyd K. Packer and from the book titled: Act in Doctrine by David A. Bednar


“A merchant man seeking precious jewels found at last the perfect pearl.  He had the finest craftsman carve a superb jewel box and line it with blue velvet.  He put his pearl of great price on display so others could share his treasure.  He watched as people came to see it.  Soon he turned away in sorrow.  It was the box they admired, not the pearl.”

As we are learning to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, looking ‘beyond the mark’ (Jacob 4:14) can cause us to focus incorrectly on the jewel box instead of the precious pearl of great price.  For example, the Conference Center in Salt Lake City is an impressive facility, but it is a jewel box.  The teachings of the living prophets and apostles, the Seventy , the Presiding Bishopric, and the general auxiliary leaders that originate from the Conference Center are the pearl of great price.

… The physical structure and grounds of a temple are majestic and beautifully maintained.  Indeed, the Church goes to great lengths to create a physical environment in and around a temple that appropriately invites the Spirit of the Lord.  However, we should remember that the ordinances and covenants we receive in the house of the Lord are the pearl of great price.  The attractive physical setting is the jewel box.

…. Meetings are important gatherings, but meetings in and of themselves are a jewel box.  The faith, unity, worship, and edification that derive from meetings as they are directed by the Holy Ghost are the pearl of great price.

… The programs and procesures of the Church are a jwel box; the love of God and our fellowmen, the spiritual strength, and the individual growth realized through serving in the programs and following correct procedures are the pearl of great price.