Monday, February 16, 2009

THE SHEPHERD KNOWS HIS FLOCK....

Yesterday at Church, the seminary teacher was giving a talk. These are always a treat because seminary teachers are just about always the best people in the ward. I had a bishop once say that that's why they're called. More specifically he was told to "...look for the best people in the ward and call them to teach seminary". That's pretty clear. ADDENDUM: I'm going to embarrass someone...actually two people...Emmy and Jacob were seminary teachers when they lived in the OC....just sayin'....proud momma points.....

Anyway, she was talking about the various names of the Savior. And there are hundred. HUNDREDS of names that refer to Him. One of the ones I like the best is "The Good Shepherd". It's rather outdated now, but in Christ's time, that meaning had MEANING. This was brought home by a story she told. It was recounted by Elder John A. Lasater, a member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy, which will mean little to nothing to readers who aren't members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And frankly, I wouldn't have recognized his name either. He is one of the rare, full-time clerical members. We are a lay clergy, which means we have full time jobs and don't get paid for "running things". His full time job is running things. So, I researched it and these are his words, adapated from a General Conference talk and taken from the Ensign Magazine, Ensign, May 1988, pages 74–75.) I thought they were worth sharing...because this Good Shepard individual isn't just mine, He's yours too. It's short-Enjoy!

Some years ago, it was my privilege to visit Morocco. As part of that trip, the group I was with traveled at high speed in five of the king’s limousines across the beautiful Moroccan countryside to see some ruins in a distant desert. As we topped the brow of a hill, we noticed that the limousine in front of us had pulled off to the side of the road.

An old shepherd, attired in long, flowing robes similar to those worn in the Savior’s day, was standing near the limousine, talking with the driver. I noted a small flock of fifteen or twenty sheep nearby. The king’s vehicle had struck and injured one of them, and the driver was explaining to the shepherd the law of the land. Because the king’s vehicle had injured the old shepherd’s sheep, he was now entitled to one hundred times its value. However, under the same law, the injured sheep must be slain and the meat divided among the people. My interpreter hastily added, “but the old shepherd will not accept the money. They never do.”

Startled, I asked him why.

“It’s because of his love for each of his sheep,” he explained.

It was then that I noticed the old shepherd reach down, lift the injured lamb in his arms, and place it in the large pouch on the front of his robe. He kept stroking its head, repeating the same word over and over again. When I asked the meaning of the word, I was informed that “he was calling it by name. He is their shepherd, and good shepherds know each of their sheep by its name.”

There can be no greater example of a good shepherd than Jesus Christ. He knows each of us by name. He suffered for us because He wanted to provide a way for us to return to Him and to Heavenly Father. In return, we can be good shepherds by loving those around us, being good examples to them, and doing all that we can to help them return to Heavenly Father.

6 comments:

hi, i'm nancy! said...

in our church, there is a stained glass window showing Christ as The Good Shepherd. i love that window and wish it was in the front of the church instead of the back.

Eli Bowman said...

What a great story, mom. Nothing like shedding a quick tear at work after hearing an awesome story like that.

Last night was a Stake Priesthood meeting and it was so incredible that my lips were trembling for an hour and a half straight because I was so moved by The Comforter. I just love the fruits of the spirit.

The Katzbox said...

Nancy: I'm visualizing you sitting backwards in your chapel...and no one questioning it because you're looking up at that window....you are a deeply spiritual woman, my friend...

Eli: I realize the depth of gratitude that comes with recognizing the companionship of The Comforter (wow)...and how grateful I am that my children (and subsequently, my grandchildren) have access to such a miracle...this is what I pray for each and every morning-and that my children who don't recognize it, someday will. And every night I give thanks for it. And this is only one of the many reasons why we love Abby so much...especially now as we watch little Eli struggle at age 17 with his girlfriend and with an impending mission...and I think of how many different ways your life could have turned out...but there's Abby, right next to you...righteous, full of light, your helpmeet and eternal companion, and I realize how much I love her over and over and over and more than that, I realize how much I owe her...and I stand all amazed...

hi, i'm nancy! said...

eli, of all the sons-in-law i could've picked, i'm glad i picked you.

oh! that's right - abby picked you.

well, in that case, it goes to show how good i taught abby.

:)

hi, i'm nancy! said...

debbie, thank you for loving my abby. she is blessed out the wazoo indeed.

The Katzbox said...

Nancy, we're all blessed to have this little family with Eli and Abby at its core...what a miracle...and can you believe I have to go through this again with ANOTHER Eli and ANOTHER girlfriend and ANOTHER mission?...yeesh....if it turns out even HALF as well as Eli and Abby, which is our shining example to them, then I'll walk away smiling and wiping my hands in a my-jobs-done-here kind of way....fo sho!!!