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.