In my preparations I just read LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland's sermon entitled "The Other Prodigal," given in a General Conference address to members - and anyone else interested - in 2002. In it, he says:
Why are the parables or stories Jesus taught long ago important today? Because they teach us to remember who we are - children of God - and to act as such. With pure and Christlike love - charity.
* His reference to Nephi is unfamiliar to those who have not read the Book of Mormon. Nephi was a prophet of God who migrated with his family to the Americas at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem around 600 B.C.