"And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off;
and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof,
and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer."
Doctrine and Covenants 101: 54
Overlooking the Grand Canyon sits this modern day watchtower. I was able to climb to the top where I was able to see for miles and miles.. even across the state line of Arizona into Utah. When storms are approaching, the watchmen in the tower can see long before the destruction hits, so he can warn and protect those in the storms path. Also, the watchtower was set up to guard against enemies who would come in secretly to destroy and to steal.
In ancient times, the watchtower was a tall structure built of field stone in the midst of steep, terraced vineyards. Often the vineyard is far from the village, and needs to be protected both from natural enemies and from thieves. Sometimes the watchtower served as temporary living quarters for the owners during summer because when the grapes became ripe in July...special full time watchfulness was required before the grape harvest to guard the fruit from animals and thieves.
Other references to watchmen on the tower are found in Isaiah and in the Doctrine and Covenants. Isaiah prophesies that in the last days that there will be watchman that are blind, and compares them to shepherds that cannot understand since they look to their own way. (Isaiah 56: 10-11). The modern parable given to Joseph Smith in D&C 101 talks about the nobleman and the watchman on the tower that also has fallen asleep. If there every was a time of need of watchman on the tower.. the Samuel the Lamanite types...it is now. We have prophets among us today who are not asleep, who cry repentance, who raise the warning voice, and who point us to Christ... . It seems that the portent storms that prophets have warned us about for years are now upon us. It is amazing to me to see the destruction that is taking place around the world... physical destruction from tornados, floods, earthquakes, volcanos, and tsanumis; as well as emotional destruction from divorce, abuse, pornography and debt.