Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February Visiting Teaching Message: The Lost Sheep

Of all the names of the Savior, my personal favorite is the "Good Shepherd." I have already written about it; it was my message in December (I had no idea the theme would be repeated this month.) So this month, I wanted to focus on those of whom the Good Shepherd seeks...the Lost Sheep.

From this month's message we read, "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.' There are those that are lost. There are those that have wandered. We can be the Savior's hands and help rescue them.

President Thomas S. Monson recently admonished, "For Latter-day Saints, the need to rescue our brothers and sisters who have, for one reason or another, strayed from the path of Church activity is of eternal significance." ("Our Responsibility to Rescue", Ensign, Oct. 2013.)

How do we help to rescue those that are lost? The late Elder Joseph B. Worthlin said, "This work of reclaiming the lost sheep, as Jesus so vividly expressed it, must receive top priority...We must use kindness, patience, long-suffering, love, faith, and diligence. They must feel our genuine concern and untiring love." I love the last phrase in that mandate, untiring love. I think that captures the essence of what we must do. We must truly show and have untiring love for those that are lost. They need to be loved back into the fold, not forced or coerced.

Last of all, Jesus said, "my sheep know my voice." Do we speak the Savior's words, do we say what He would say? Do we reflect His love and the love of our Heavenly Father for his children so that when His sheep hear us, they hear Him?

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