By fulfilling his role as shepherd, Christ shows us how to support our struggling friends and family.
What does it mean to be a shepherd? Is a shepherd just someone who herds sheep or goes looking for the ones that wander away? Sister Jayne B. Malan shares how she came to understand the traits and actions of a good shepherd in her talk “The Summer of the Lambs.”
One summer, a storm killed many ewes on her family’s ranch and left many lambs without mothers. Sister Malan’s father promised that if she and her brother helped raise the lambs, they would get a share in the profits. The children believed they were going to be rich!
However, they quickly learned that feeding lambs is no small task. Lambs can’t eat grass, nor will they eat mash out of troughs. The children tried to bottle–feed mash to all 350 lambs, one by one. However, some lambs wouldn’t eat, and coyotes caught others. Heartbroken over the loss of these lambs, Sister Malan asked her father, “Dad, isn’t there someone who can help us feed our lambs?”
He hugged her and let her cry, and then he reminded her that Jesus Christ had made the same plea to “feed my sheep” (John 21:15–17). Like the lambs, we too need to be nurtured, loved, and fed with gospel truths in order for our testimonies to thrive. By gathering together, fostering relationships, and teaching one another, we can help feed the Savior’s sheep. The Savior is the perfect shepherd, and by helping in the work of salvation, we allow him to feed us too.
Read or watch Sister Jayne B. Malan’s full talk “The Summer of the Lambs.”
Source: LDS General Conference
—Shelby Gardner, Mormon Insights
feature image by bonnie kittle
Find More Insights
Check out Shelisa Baldwin’s Mormon Insights article “Love: The Key to Helping Lost Sheep” to learn more about how to help struggling loved ones.