Teaching: The Story of the Five Sons
This is the teaching that the Lord gave to me to explain the paths that souls take to Him. Each soul, each soul created, will take one of these paths.
There was once a wondrous king who had a beautiful, magnificent kingdom, but he was lonely and he wanted someone to share this kingdom with. In due time the king had five sons and at the appropriate time, he gathered his sons and told them that he was going to send them on a journey. They were going out to see the holdings of the father, and at the end of the journey, which would take for some a very long time, they would again come to the father and he would be waiting for them.
He prepared his sons well; he gave them all they would need for the journey. He gave them a roadmap that was plainly marked so that they would know how to get back to him. He told them that there would be places along this path, if they would follow this particular road that was plainly marked, there would be rest-stops and places where they would find nourishment. Along the road they would meet others, and as they met these people, they would give to the sons jewels that they were to keep and bring back to the father. So as the sons prepared to go, the father blessed them, but one he held back and he told this particular son that his journey would not be long. When the time came, the father said he would come for this son and he must be ready to go, but he would be given, as the other sons, an equal share of the treasures that he would have received if he had been permitted to follow the whole journey. With this, the father sent them off.
The first son, the one the father had held back, proceeded a little way in the journey and had not gone far at all when the father said ‘Son, it is now time to come home with me’. The other sons were stunned; they thought ‘Well, that wasn’t fair’, but knowing their father was good, they continued on their journey and the other son, being obedient, surrendered his will to his father’s and he went home.
The second son who was on the journey followed the path, but he saw that there were side roads on this path. He remembered what his father had said, but he thought he would like to take one of the detours. He didn’t get far off the path when he became weary and kind of lost and confused. He didn’t know how to turn around and go back.
Now the father seen that the son was troubled and confused and had lost his way, so he sent others to go and get the son, but the son, in his confusion, did not understand that the people were trying to help him and when they reached for him, he didn’t have the strength or will to grab their hand so that he could return to the path. In time he gave up completely; he just sat down and went to sleep. It saddened the father’s heart greatly. He saw his son laying there and he went to him, gathered him in his arms, and with tears running down his face, and he said; ‘Oh, poor son. Only I know your struggles and I know your heart and only I can help.’ He gathered the son and he went away with him.
The other three sons didn’t know what had happened; if the other son had gotten to go home to the kingdom or what had happened to him, but they continued on their journey.
Now the third son had remembered well what the father had said and he did not leave the path. He walked along the path, and sometimes it was hot and the sun was bright, and he wondered what he was doing. Sometimes it was dark and cold and no moon to see by, but he waited and he suffered through these trials and he kept moving. And, as the father had said, there were places along the way where he met others who gave him nourishment; where he found rest. He met others along the road and he would stop at times to help them; maybe to comfort them, say a kind word, share his provisions. Each time he did this, the person would hand to him a treasure, but the son would look at the treasure and all he saw was a rock, but the father had said to bring whatever the people gave him back to the father, so he put the little rocks and pebbles that were collected into his sack that he had with him, and he continued along his journey, and his journey took a long time. By the time he came to the end of his journey, he was old and tired, and the pebbles and stones he had collected along the way weighed so much, but finally he came to the end of his journey and his father was waiting with open arms for him. His father said ‘Son, show to me the treasures that you have brought me’, but the son was embarrassed and confused. He said ‘Father, I didn’t find treasures. No one gave me treasures, but I’ll show you what I have’ and he opened the sack. To his amazement, the pebbles and rocks had turned into beautiful diamonds, to emeralds, to sapphires. As he looked at them, they burst into rays of beautiful light, and he saw his father as his father truly was; so wonderful and kind and merciful, with a heart that wanted to share everything. The father said ‘Son, you have done well. You have obeyed me and you have done all that I asked you, now come into the kingdom and rest.’ As the son turned to look, he saw that the kingdom of his father was more splendid than anything he had remembered and he found his rest.
Now the fourth son had proceeded along the road and he had seen the different paths that left the road and he remembered that his father had said to stay on the road, but he wandered off the road just to see what was there. When he wandered off the road he found that it wasn’t as beautiful as he thought, and he would trip over stones and rocks and hurt himself. One time he walked off the main road and he stumbled and he had a deep gash in his head, but he picked himself up and said ‘I will go back to the road where my father said to stay’, and he went back. Another time he stumbled off the road and he ended up with a broken arm, but again he said ‘I disobeyed; I’m going to go back to the road’. As he walked the road, he found, just as his brother who had made the complete trip, that there were hot days and cold nights and the road was difficult. Often he wondered what he was doing. He came to the places of rest and he received the food, but it was hard. Sometimes he would go a little further and see another little path off to the side and he would go off on that path and, again, he would injure himself. One time he broke his leg, but again he crawled onto the path and he made it to the place of safety and they helped him to recover, and he moved on down the road. And along the road, just as his brother, he met people and he stopped to offer help. Sometimes he comforted them, sometimes he shared food, and sometimes he met people and he didn’t stop to help. The ones he helped had also given him little pebbles and stones and he put them into his knapsack thinking ‘This is the craziest thing I have ever seen or thought about’, but he continued along the road and finally, he too, growing old, had reached the end of the path. He, too, saw the father coming with his arms open. The father said ‘Oh, my son, you have completed the journey, but look what you have done to yourself. You have a broken arm, you have a broken leg and a deep gash in your head. The kingdom is yours, but you cannot come into the kingdom the way you are. I must send you to a place to heal, but when you are totally healed I will come and get you.’ So that son went off to the place of healing.
Now the fifth son, he had gone down the road, and he hadn’t gotten far down the road when he said ‘This isn’t for me; there are many side roads and they look wonderful’, and so he headed off on the side roads. When he went off, he fell and he hurt himself, but instead of seeing boulders he had fallen over, he thought they were wonderful jewels. He was so blinded to the area around him he did not understand where he was. He remembered what the father had said, and there were people that tried to help him, but he would never take their help. He always would say to himself ‘The father was wrong; the father lied to me. This is the place that is wonderful’, and he picked up what he thought was jewels and put them into the knapsack he was carrying. He proceeded along his road and all the time he kept saying to himself ‘I’m doing it my way, I’m doing it my way’, and no matter how many times he was hurt, no matter how much help was sent to him, he would just keep saying over and over again ‘I am doing it my way’. At the end of his journey the father came to him and the father said to him ‘Son, you have finished your journey; show me what is in your sack.’ The son opened his sack and he was gloating because he was going to say to his father ‘You lied to me and I found the jewels’, but when he opened the sack what he found was stones and rocks. He became very angry, and instead of asking the father’s forgiveness, he ran away yelling and yelling ‘I did it my way; I did it my way and I’m not sorry. I did it my way.’ The father had tears running down his face and he called after the son. He said ‘Son, please do not say that because that is the anthem of hell – I did it my way.’ That son never came back to the father.
This is the story of the five sons and the loving father. It is the story of God, Our Father, and the path that souls take. I hope that this story touches you and helps you. As people ask you why things happen, why the world is the way it is, you can share this story. You can share with them that there are times the Father calls home the little ones who aren’t able to live long and full lives, but how the Father loves them and rewards them. You can explain to them who give up on the journey and that we can’t judge them; only the Father knows what happens. And it is the story of the son who is injured and Purgatory is the place he goes to be healed so he can get into the kingdom, and it is the story of the son who is rewarded, who perseveres, and it is the story of the son who runs from the Father.