This parable from the Book of Mormon has always been one of my favorite concepts in the scriptures . If obedience is the first law of heaven then patience has to be the second. When I think about the rod of iron going to the tree of life in Lehi's dream it apears to be a significant distance. Growing a tree of faith to the point of producing a good crop of preservable fruit takes a lot of years. I am still working but I can say that I am finally nourishing the seed consistently. I want to be better than I am. This scripture always gives me comfort: D&C 137:9 - For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. This concept is also in Alma 41:3 with a little more detail. It is not where we are but what direction we are going in nourishing the seed. We just have to pick ourselves up and keep trying.
Dieter A. Uctdorf from Sunday Morning: Too often we approach the gospel like a farmer who places a seed in the ground in the morning and expects corn on the cob by the afternoon. When Alma compared the word of God to a seed, he explained that the seed grows into a fruit-bearing tree gradually, as a result of our “faith, and [our] diligence, and patience, and long-suffering.” It's true that some blessings come right away—soon after we plant the seed in our hearts, it begins to swell and sprout and grow, and by this we know that the seed is good. From the very moment we set foot upon the pathway of discipleship, seen and unseen blessings from God begin to attend us.
But we cannot receive the fullness of those blessings if we “neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment.”
Knowing that the seed is good is not enough. We must “nourish it with great care, that it may get root.” Only then can we partake of the fruit that is “sweet above all that is sweet, and pure above all that is pure” and “feast upon this fruit even until [we] are filled, that [we] hunger not, neither shall [we] thirst.”