Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.
Mary did have a lamb, the Lamb of God. Who, in His perfect life, did have a “fleece” as white as snow. He lived a life free from sin, to suffer and to sacrifice Himself for our sins. He had to be the Firstborn of our Father and free of sin to act as a sacrifice, just as lambs had to be firstlings and free from blemish in the time of the law of Moses. His sacrifice gave us the Atonement, which gives us the power to repent(in hopes that we too can have a white fleece!) and return unto Him and unto our Father in Heaven. I want to take a little break from the actual mission updates and talk for a minute about my favorite metaphor in the scriptures– I love, love, LOVE, the metaphor of sheep in the scriptures. It’s a metaphor that I love to study and learn more about, and it is one I have loved for many years now. The parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15 is my top pick of course. As a missionary heading out into the field here soon I love to read and ponder this chapter. We are all in the fold of God with Christ as our dear Shepherd, but as good under-shepherds it is our duty to go out and find those lost sheep. As a missionary that is exactly what I will be doing! My favorite hymn is inspired by Luke 15: 3-7, Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd.
Green are the pastures inviting;
Sweet are the waters and still.
Lord, we will answer thee gladly,
“Yes, blessed Master, we will!
Make us thy true under-shepherds;
Give us a love that is deep.
Send us out into the desert,
Seeking thy wandering sheep.”
If I could, I would make this favorite verse of mine my mission scripture that would go on my plaque! It brings me to tears sometimes to think about lil ole me going out and bringing someone into the fold of God, but I could not be more eager and happy to do it. This Gospel is for everyone and I want to share it as much as I possibly can with the children of God that I am on this Earth with. I want to be a good and true and loving and happy under-shepherd for Christ, to go out and find the wandering children of Heavenly Father!
Asides from rescuing and helping and loving the lost sheep in Christ’s fold, I love what this hymnal says about the ninety and nine.
Dear to the heart of the Shepherd,
Dear are the “ninety and nine”;
I struggled for a while with the idea, that I was not as loved or appreciated because I had not wandered or strayed. That I was “just” a solid member of the Church, doing my best to live the commandments and hopefully being a good example to others. After much prayer and pondering and reading I learned for myself that blessed also are those that have not strayed! Blessed are those that have stayed true to the faith in both good and bad times! I am not lesser and not as loved by our Father simply because I have not wandered. I can know of my Savior’s Atonement and love for me, because even without some major crisis or big visible sin, I still need the Atonement in my life everyday! I need it when I get snarky
(my new favorite word), when I am critical or judgmental, or when I am feeling down and out and a little lonely. You don’t need a big serious thing to give you a testimony of the power of the Atonement or in Heavenly Father’s love for you, all you need is a willing and open heart.
How great shall be MY SOUL to save one little lost sheep for the Good Shepherd. It just makes me so happy that I can help in shepherding others to Christ and in keeping His flocks happy and together and growing. And that blessed are the ninety and nine, blessed are those that do not stray– everyone need not be lost! I love how the Bible really does connect w/ the Book of Mormon, in doctrine in emotion in feeling in truth. They are both such amazing works of truth and light. And when used and studied together, complimenting each other back and forth, we can come to an ultimate knowledge of our Savior and the plan our Father has for us. They are so beautiful, it makes me so happy. I am thankful for the privilege and blessing to be able to serve as an “under- shepherd” in Christ’s fold, as a missionary in the Bolivia Santa Cruz North Mission. This Gospel truly is for everyone, the ninety and nine and the lost sheep returning to or finding the fold of God, and I hope I can effectively share it.
en el nombre de Jesucristo,
PS. if you find any good scriptures about sheep PLEASE send them my way… I am on the hunt for a good mission scripture and I want it to involve sheep!