30 July 2010

The Salt of the Earth

So the other day I made some potato soup. And because I made some soup, I decided to make some homemade French bread. As usually happens during cooking, I was distracted by who knows what--oh yeah, it was my kids--and I forgot to add an ingredient to the bread.  I had no idea it was omitted as the bread rose and baked perfectly. The smell was delicious and I couldn't wait to taste it. When it came time to eat dinner I snuck a bit of bread.

It had absolutely no taste.

T-Bone had the same idea and snuck a piece too. But he made a "hmmm" sound after eating it. I said, "It tastes like water, doesn't it?" He agreed and I was a little confused. French bread is not hard to make. I mentally went down the recipe: flour, check; yeast, check; water, check; honey, check; salt....

I forgot to add the salt. 

I had heard that not adding salt to bread could have pretty tasteless results and whoever said that was right. Boy was it bland. T-Bone commented that he now understood better the scripture where the Savior talks about the salt of the earth. In Matthew: 
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matt. 5: 13
And a little clearer in Doctrine and Covenants: 
When men are called unto mine everlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the salt of the earth and the savor of men; They are called to be the savor of men; therefore, if that salt of the earth lose its savor, behold, it is thenceforth good for nothing only to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men. D&C 101: 39-40
I've never really understood these scriptures. But I think I'm getting a little more glimpse into what they mean. Without salt, bread has absolutely no flavor. Who wants to eat bland, watery tasting bread? 

A funny thing happened after we found out the bread was tasteless. I took a slice and put some butter on it. It tasted a little better. But T-Bone added to it by sprinkling some salt on the buttered bread. It actually tasted like bread a little more but the blandness was just masked. The next day though, I made French toast out of it. I figured that the tastelessness would be masked enough by the egg and milk (with a little salt added), syrup and fruit that would be put on top of the toast. The funny thing was I could still taste the bland bread. It didn't matter what we added on top of the bread, unless the salt was inside, the bread it still had no flavor. 

I've been thinking about this in terms of myself. If I truly don't have the flavor of the gospel all through me, but just sprinkled on top then what good is the gospel to me? Or if we don't have the salt at all.  This is kind of like what life could be without the Gospel. When we have the Gospel in our lives and are living it righteously we are the salt--or the substance that bring out the flavor. This is the best thing in the world. It brings the most joy, the most satisfaction, and is the source of the strongest love. We have the best thing on earth and because of that we can be the yummiest bread ever eaten.


Emily said...

james, i've totally done that before by accident... it stinks! luckily Nick and the kids will still eat it.



Alison Wonderland said...

Interesting. I know that bread rises too much without the salt but because of the over rising I'm not sure that I've ever bothered to bake it and get to the tasteless part. Interesting.

Melissa said...

Ah... I love moments like this where you can apply and really, really learn a gospel lesson because of something simple that happened! Thanks for sharing your thoughts

Anonymous said...

Very nice analogy. I see a sacrament meeting talk in your future.

I would have been so sad to have gone to the trouble of making homemade bread and have it be tasteless. I'm pretty sure I would have eaten it anyway, though.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...


Maren said...

I love the insight! I hope you stepped on your bread once you realized it was salt-less. Interesting, how you can't fix that problem either, you can't sprinkle salt on it after it's baked... Very interesting indeed!