A Parable of the Lost Sheep You’ve Probably Never Heard but Need to

In the King James version of the bible we read Luke 15:3-7 as follows:

3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 

4 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?

5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

You have probably read this before and perhaps likened it unto yourself in the fact that nobody is perfect and that there is a need for repentance from sin.

While it is true that through Jesus Christ and His atonement we can become clean of sin or in the case of the lost sheep, rescued from sin, there is another aspect of the atonement of Jesus Christ that should be examined and explained more thoroughly.

In many ways the twist on the parable I’ll present is more applicable to those already striving to become more like Christ but are burdened by mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual loads through no choice to sin or stray from the path the Savior has shown us have become heavily burdened.

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LDS Media Library

3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

 4 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?

One of the names Christ used to describe himself is The Good Shepard.

Watch THE GOOD SHEPARD Clip

As mentioned, in the times of Jesus, the sheep knew their shepherd’s voice and the shepherd knew each of his sheep individually. If one sheep was to go missing the shepherd would know exactly which one. To help put this into our frame of understanding, even if you had fifty children you would still know who was who and exactly which one was missing. Just as we would tirelessly search for a child, Jesus Christ, the Good Shepard tirelessly searches for us.

Understanding even a microscopic amount of Christ’s love, helps us better understand why Christ knows us personally and will never give up on us.

Now, to the lost sheep. How did this sheep become lost? If we were speaking in the context of sin, we could say that the sheep decided to leave the fold of it’s own free will and choice.

But what if we are talking about those of us who are burdened by mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual loads? You might be one of those people.

When feeling lost, you might ask yourself, how did I get to the point where we felt so very lost, abandoned, hopeless, and scared? Did I unknowingly make some terrible mistake along the way? Was I not good enough to stay a part of the flock? Was being lost some sort of punishment?

To all of these questions the answer is no.

While at times you may be finding yourself asking yourself questions like these, remember that you won’t be in the proverbial desert forever, you are precious to the Lord, you are not being punished, and the Lord is here to help you here and now.

“But how did I get here?” you might ask.

Perhaps you just got tired.

Taken from Jenny’s Story, she introduces this concept best:

Several years ago, I was just really feeling tired, and life was just really hard and a lot of responsibilities. And I just felt so tired, so tired, and I felt like I just wanted to lay down. I felt like I just wanted to be done with everything. And I kind of felt myself making that decision, that I wanted to be done.

And I was so tired, so tired. And in that moment I remembered the story of the lost sheep. And every time that I’d ever read that story, I just viewed the lost sheep as one who had rebelled. And in this incident, I saw the lost sheep as, maybe it was just tired. It just lay down and got lost.

After listening to that last phrase for the first time I felt as if I had finally realized that I was just a lost little sheep who got so tired she just laid down and got lost. I wasn’t some unworthy soul, just a weary one.

 Jenny continues:

And while I was thinking about that, I felt the words “Get up, little lamb.” And then somehow I had strength to just keep going, keep fighting. I was still fighting by myself. But I felt the Savior there walking with me, just encouraging me. “You can do it. You can keep going.” And that’s how I know He’s always been with me, even though I was taking the harder route and trying to do it on my own.

I can say that for the vast majority of my life I have tried to do it on my own. But despite my stubbornness, the Savior was and is always beside me ready for when I turn to Him and say, “will you help me? Will you save me? I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

Even now I can imagine His tender response, “I will help you, I forgive you, I have already paid the price to save you. If you let me I will make you mine. I love you little one. I’m here to help you home.”

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LDS Media Library

5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Just as the Savior forgives, he wishes to help us in our afflictions. If we let Him, He will lay us upon His shoulders and will rejoice that you have let Him help you.

In Jenny’s closing testimony she states:

The Savior is my best friend. I know that He can heal me. I know that He will heal me and He will save me. And had I not gone to Him, I wouldn’t be able to be healed. I love Him. need Him. And I want to be closer to Him. And I know happiness is through Him and salvation is through Him.

If you’re struggling or you think that all is lost, I know how you feel. I’ve been there. I’ve fought the battle that you’re fighting now. And I know that it is such a hard battle.

It is so difficult. It is all-consuming. And I promise you that if you invite the Savior in, if you can trust in Him, if you can have courage, then He can heal you.

I echo Jenny’s testimony. Through the journey of life we must continually access and rely upon the Savior’s atonement and His grace. Accepting Jesus Christ’s help isn’t a once in a lifetime occurrence, it can and should be a daily matter through the difficult rocky times in life as well as the easy smooth times.

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LDS Media Library

6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

In the end, that is to say the end of our earthly lives, and when we are perfected and crowned with glory thorough Jesus Christ, I imagine a great gathering with our Savior when He looks upon us and rejoices over every single person. And we shall all rejoice with Him.

And oh, how glorious shall it be!

 

All my love,

Jess

 

Parable of the Lost Sheep

 

Sources:

LDS Media Library

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2016-06-0002-jennys-story?category=mental-health&lang=eng#p3s:738460&p3e:910830

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-10-063-jesus-declares-the-parable-of-the-lost-sheep?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/luke/15?lang=eng#

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