"Parables are short stories which point up and illustrate spiritual truths," Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote in Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:248. "Those [parables] spoken by Jesus deal with real events, or, if fictitious, are so consistent and probable that they may be viewed as the commonplace experiences of many people."
Elder McConkie explained that when opposition to the Savior's message became bitter and intense, He chose to present many of the truths of salvation in parables in order to hide His doctrine from those not prepared to receive it. "It was not His purpose to cast pearls before swine," Elder McConkie wrote."Parables seldom clarify a truth; rather, they obscure and hide the doctrine involved so that none but those already enlightened and informed, on the very point presented, are able to grasp the full meaning. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the parable of the wheat and the tares. When Jesus first gave this parable, even the disciples did not understand it. They asked for the interpretation, and He gave it, partially at least. And then with both the parable and the interpretation before the world, the Lord still had to give a special revelation in latter-days so that the full meaning of this marvelous parable might sink into the hearts of men. (D&C 86.)"
"The allegory of the tame and the wild olive tree, as given by Zenos, is in the same category." (Jacob 5.)