Visiting Teaching Message (Feb ’14)
VISITING TEACHING MESSAGE – The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Good Shepherd, Ensign/Liahona, February 2014
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Prayerfully study this material and seek to know what to share. How will understanding the life and mission of the Savior increase your faith in Him and bless those you watch over through visiting teaching? For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.
This is part of a series of Visiting Teaching Messages featuring aspects of the mission of the Savior.
Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, taught:
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? …
“I say unto you, that … joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:4, 7).
As we come to understand that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, our desire increases to follow His example and serve those in need. Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. … And I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14–15). Because of Christ’s Atonement, none of us will ever be so lost that we cannot find our way home (see Luke 15).
From the Scriptures
Psalm 23; 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Isaiah 40:11; He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
Mosiah 26:21 And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him will I also receive.
From Our History
Elizabeth Ann Whitney, who attended the first Relief Society meeting, said of her conversion in 1830: “As soon as I heard the Gospel as the Elders preached it, I knew it to be the voice of the Good Shepherd.”2 Elizabeth followed the voice of the Good Shepherd and was baptized and confirmed.
We too can hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and share His teachings with others. President Monson said, “We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children.”3
Just as a shepherd seeks out a lost sheep, parents may seek after a child who has wandered. President James E. Faust (1920–2007), Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “To those brokenhearted parents who have been righteous, diligent, and prayerful in the teaching of their disobedient children, we say to you, the Good Shepherd is watching over them. God knows and understands your deep sorrow. There is hope.”4
What Can I Do?
- How does knowing that the Savior is the Good Shepherd bring peace into our lives?
- How can I support parents whose children have wandered from living the gospel?
- Thomas S. Monson, “Heavenly Homes, Forever Families,” Ensign,June 2006, 102; Liahona, June 2006, 70.
- Elizabeth Ann Whitney, in Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society (2011), 128.
- Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 86.
- James E. Faust, “Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2003, 68.