Known and Numbered
As we strive to follow the Savior’s example, we must first know and number His sheep. We have been assigned specific individuals and families to tend so we are certain that all of the Lord’s flock are accounted for and no one is forgotten.
What, practically, does it mean to account for all of the Lord’s flock?
Why is it important that no one is forgotten?
I hope those to whom you minister will see you as a friend and realize that, in you, they have a champion and a confidant—someone who is aware of their circumstances and supports them in their hopes and aspirations.
Is it possible to be a friend to someone that is assigned to you?
How can you gain that status of ‘friend’?
A second way to develop the heart of a shepherd is to watch over His sheep. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we can move, fix, repair, and rebuild just about anything. We are quick to meet a need with a helping hand or a plate of cookies. But is there more?
What more might there be?
Our sheep may be hurting, lost, or even willfully astray; as their shepherd, we can be among the first to see their need. We can listen and love without judgment and offer hope and help with the discerning guidance of the Holy Ghost.
‘In the New Testament we read often that Christ was “moved with compassion” Matthew 9:36 14:14 upon the people as He responded to their needs. He had compassion when He saw that they were hungry and He fed them, or when they were sick and He healed them, or when they were in need of spiritual enrichment and He taught them.
Compassion means to feel love and mercy toward another person. It means to have sympathy and desire to relieve the suffering of others. It means to show kindness and tenderness toward another.
The Savior has asked us to do the things which He has done, [See John 13:15] to bear one another’s burdens, to comfort those who need comfort, to mourn with those who mourn, [See Mosiah 18:8–9] to feed the hungry, visit the sick, [See Mosiah 4:26] to succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, [See Doctrine and Covenants 81:5]and to “teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.’ (Barbara Thompson, General Conference, October 2010)
Have you had any experiences similar to the story of John related by Sister Cordon?
Why is it that we sometimes fail to act in these situations?
The Bible often uses the Greek word di·aʹko·nos for “minister.” The Encyclopedia of Religion explains that this word represents “not status but the serving relationship of the minister to the one served: following the example of Christ . . . is at the heart of the Christian understanding of ministry.”
Gathered into the Fold of God
Third, we want our sheep to be gathered into the fold of God. To do so, we must consider where they are on the covenant path and be willing to walk with them on their journey of faith. Ours is a sacred privilege to come to know their hearts and point them to their Savior.
How might a ministering companionship point towards the Saviour?
What are the distractions that prevent us from focusing on the needs of others?
What can we do to shift our focus onto the needs of others?
When the day comes that we will kneel at the feet of our beloved Savior, having nourished His flock, I pray we can answer as did Peter: “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” These, Thy sheep, are loved, they are safe, and they are home.
How can we develop the same love for his sheep that the Saviour has?
“We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness. … We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.” (Thomas S Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 86.