I would like to share this story to you that my dad shared with me. This goes along with our roles in fulfilling our heavenly fathers plan. Which is the lesson for the week. It was given in a talk in the 1994 General Conference.
I grew up in rural Salt Lake County when it was an economic necessity to care for a variety of barnyard animals. My favorite animals were sheep—prompted perhaps by the fact that sheep do not require being milked twice a day, seven days a week.
I wanted our own sons to have the blessing of being shepherds to such farm animals. Our older sons were each provided with a ewe to teach them the responsibility of caring for these sheep and the lambs that would hopefully follow.
Our second son, newly turned six years of age, called me excitedly at my office one cold March morning on the phone and said, “Daddy, guess what? Esther [Esther was his mother ewe]—Esther has just had two baby lambs. Please come home and help me take care of them.” I instructed Gordon to watch the lambs carefully and make sure they received the mother’s milk and they would be fine. I was interrupted by a second phone call later in the morning with the same little voice on the other end saying, “Daddy, these lambs aren’t doing very well. They haven’t been able to get milk from the mother, and they are very cold. Please come home.”
My response likely reflected some of the distress I felt by being distracted from my busy work schedule. I responded, “Gordon, the lambs will be all right. You just watch them, and when Daddy comes home we will make sure they get mother’s milk and everything will be fine.” Again, later in the afternoon I received a third, more urgent call. Now the voice on the other end was pleading. “Daddy, you’ve got to come home now. Those lambs are lying down, and one of them looks very cold.” Despite work pressures, I now felt some real concern and tried to reassure the six-year-old owner of the mother sheep by saying, “Gordon, bring the lambs into the house. Rub them with a gunnysack to make them warm. When Daddy comes home in a little while, we will milk the mother, feed the lambs, and they will be fine.”
Two hours later I drove into the driveway of our home and was met by a boy with tear-stained eyes, carrying a dead lamb in his arms. His grief was overwhelming. Now I tried to make amends by quickly milking the mother sheep and trying to force the milk from a bottle down the throat of the now weak, surviving lamb. At this point, Gordon walked out of the room and came back with a hopeful look in his eyes. He said, “Daddy, I’ve prayed that we will be able to save this lamb, and I feel it will be all right.”
The sad note to this story, brethren, is that within a few minutes the second lamb was dead. Then with a look that I will remember forever, this little six-year-old boy who had lost both of his lambs looked up into his father’s face and with tears running down his cheeks said, “Daddy, if you had come home when I first called you, we could have saved them both.”
Dear brethren of the priesthood, those who are entrusted as keepers of the Lord’s precious flock—we must be there with the lambs when we are needed. We must teach with love, principles of faith, and goodness and be righteous examples to the lambs of our Heavenly Father. Each quorum member must be prepared for his future role as a bearer of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood in a world plagued with sin and desperate for decisive moral leadership.
I leave my witness that this is God’s work. It is the most important work in all the world in which we can be engaged. That we will be instruments in His hands in saving the precious lambs for which He gave His life, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Ask quorum questions on story. Who could the (boy, sheep, and father) represent in this story? Boy: Holy Ghost prompting us to save the sheep. Sheep: Us trying to receive help from our shepherd & return to him. Father: could be us also.
What are some of the things that kept the father from tending the sheep? He had a busy work schedule What are the things that keep us from fulfilling our priesthood duties? Procrastination, laziness, too busy, fear, etc.
Heavenly Father has said that (Moses 1:39)“My work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”. As priesthood holders, we play a role in Heavenly Father’s plan as we keep ourselves worthy and perform our priesthood duties. These duties include performing priesthood ordinances, serving others, and inviting all to come unto Christ.
In the Duty to God section, “Priesthood Duties” it reads:
The Lord has said that every priesthood holder should “learn his duty” and “act … in all diligence”. This section will help you learn and fulfill your duties as a deacon. Your duties can be organized into three groups:
Deacons pass the sacrament.
Deacons assist the bishop in “administering … temporal things”. This may include gathering fast offerings, caring for the poor and needy, caring for the meetinghouse and grounds, serving as a messenger for the bishop in Church meetings, and fulfilling other assignments from the quorum president.
Deacons “watch over the church [and are] standing ministers unto the church”. They “warn, expound, exhort, and teach, and invite all to come unto Christ”. This includes setting a good example, fellowshipping quorum members and others, notifying members of Church meetings, speaking in meetings, sharing the gospel, and bearing testimony.
Watch “Fulfilling Duty to God” video on lds.org. Does anyone have any experiences inviting others to come unto Christ?
My challenge for you guys this week is to pray & listen to the Holy Ghost and act on his promptings. Also, to fulfill your role in Heavenly Father’s plan.
I would like to close this meeting with a quote by Elder Bruce McConkie. ”I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and he has chosen me to represent him. To stand in his place, to say and do what he himself would say and do if he personally were ministering to the very people to whom he has sent me. My voice is his voice, and my acts are his acts; my words are his words and my doctrine is his doctrine. My commission is to do what he wants done. To say what he wants said. To be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous latter-day work.” Bruce R. McConkie.
Dear Gage- Happy Birthday!
I am so grateful to take a moment to share my feelings, heart and love with you. What an honor and privilege it has been to raise you. you have been blessed to goodly parents, and siblings. People who love, admire and look to you for strength and courage. you have been blessed with many talents and righteous gifts. There are so many physical gifts but I want to recognize or mention spiritual gifts that far outweigh those of physical strength. You have such a huge HEART one that is driven, disciplined and obedient. Your work ethic reminds me so much of myself. Gage I pray for you that you will continue to believe and know that your heavenly father loves you has a plan for you and knows how to best prepare you to be a warrior for his gospel.
Already in such a young and tender age you have accomplished so much merely from hard work and perseverance. Don’t ever forget that even after all you can do you still place credit back to God the only who made it all possible to come to earth, have a body and give your experiences. Remember that God gives us challenges or struggles to see how we handle those situations. We have chosen to not get discouraged or give up but keep on trying and believing.. This is FAITH!
Your Dad and I talk about you so much. Your drive, and dedication, amazes your dad. Keep asking him to help you, this keeps him young and helps him feel loved and needed. He so enjoys your company and friendship.
As your Mom, I want you to know how much I love your dad. He is a good man, has a huge heart and is my best friend. I know I get on him sometimes but I don’t want your dad to
give upon himself. He knows how to self-correct and is a great father, a great example, a Disciple of Christ and you can go to him and trust him to always be there.
I wanted you to know that I have a testimony of God and the Savior. My testimony is so sacred to me and share it with you so that you may know what I believe in. If you ever get frustrated, lost scared, in trouble, know that Dad and I will be there for you and even more important your Heavenly Father will also. Gage continue to love to learn, see for knowledge. Knowledge is power and the only thing you take with you after life.
Continue to keep your body an mind active and healthy-enjoy developing your talents, hobbies, and gifts. Continue to ask questions, seek and find out everything about who you are and where you are going-The LORD has a personal plan for you.
Continue to be a good friend and example. People love you and you are so good at serving and helping others.
I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I love you so much-don’t grow up to fast, enjoy your childhood, it is going so fast. I look forward to your hugs each night. Thanks you for making effort..I know you are so tired.
Love you so much.
Happy Birthday Gage.
Let me tell you a little about Gage. Gage is a great kid with many talents. He can read, play the piano, baseball, football, basketball. He not does these things he can do them very well for his age. He is fun to watch and to coach because he always listens to what you’re trying to teach him and usually he will do it just like you taught him. He loves to learn new things he saw his older sister and brother reading so he wanted to read. He saw his older brothers playing baseball. So he learned how to hit the baseball. He can not only hit the baseball right handed but he saw me teaching me older son how to hit the ball left handed also. So guess what Gage did, he would practice hitting left handed every day until he know how. The next game he had he stepped up to the plate left handed and hit a line drive over second. There have been a couple of times Gage’s curiosity has got him into trouble. One time my wife left the electric hair clippers out after cutting hair. Curious Gage thought that it looked easy and that he needed a hair cut. He cut a reverse Mohawk hair cut into his head. He shaved his head one long stripe from the front to the back. I will give Gage this he was right in the middle and straight as an arrow with the clippers.
Another time Gage has been watching me drive my 1964 VW Beetle. It looked easy to him shift and steer. Well that is what Gage tried to do one day. He got into the drivers seat shifted out of gear. The driving part Gage probably did OK with it was finding a parking space and being able to park. I came outside to find my car on the neighbor’s lawn. Luckily he didn’t park into their house. Gage is a great kid and we love to have him in our family.
We love you Curious Gage. Keep up the good work and we will try to keep up with you.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAGE
“When we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience.. This is Gage
Talents/Skills: Schooling, sports, piano, computers, handwriting
Gifts: Teamplayer, positive attitude, good friend, self-discipline, easily entreated, loves to learn, not afraid to try, meticulous, doesn’t compare himself to others, well-balanced, believes in himself and others.
Attributes: virtuous, faithful, teachable, humble, trustworthy, forgiving, tolerant, patient, his personality blends too all.
Gage rarely complains or gets discouraged. He is so faithful at the task and a blessing is he is “prepared”. He prepares by seeking, study, due diligence and perseverance. He lives the principle of “repentance” he expects a lot for himself but little of others.
He is a great friend/missionary his knowledge/skills/talents are a strength/power to him to teach/serve.
Gage has developed a good foundation of principles/attributes of life.. as demonstrated by a comment his teacher made to me. He said his classmates are constantly seeking for Gage’s attention with help. He is so overly prepared, patient and a great teacher I sometimes want to turn class over to him.
The Parable of the ten virgins reminds me of Gage. His “lamp will be filled with oil” and he will be prepared for the bridegroom!
Love you Gage.
July 19, 2014