Saturday, May 11, 2019

Elder Gerrit W. Gong on caring for one another as shepherds

Elder Gerrit W. Gong (born December 23, 1953) was called as a Seventy in April 2010, then to the Presidency of the Seventy in October 2015. He was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in April 2018.
"Our Good Shepherd seeks and gathers us into His one fold. He asks, '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?' (Luke 15:4, emphasis added; see also Doctrine and Covenants 18:15.)
"Our Savior reaches out to the one and to the ninety-and-nine, often at the same time. As we minister, we acknowledge the ninety-and-nine who are steadfast and immovable, even while we yearn after the one who has strayed. Our Lord seeks and delivers us 'out of all places' (Ezekiel 34:12), 'from the four quarters of the earth' (1 Nephi 22:25). He gathers us by holy covenant and His atoning blood. (See Hebrews 13:20.) ...
"Today our Savior desires that what we do and who we are becoming will invite others to come, follow Him. Come find love, healing, connection, and covenant belonging in Him, including in God’s holy temple, where sacred ordinances of salvation can bless all family members, thus gathering Israel on both sides of the veil."
- Gerrit W. Gong, "Good Shepherd, Lamb of God," General Conference April 2019
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

One of the most important functions of every shepherd, working under the direction of The Good Shepherd, is to seek out and care for those who are wandering and lost. That's what He does for us.

It's important to note that ""Our Savior reaches out to the one and to the ninety-and-nine, often at the same time." The 99 are not neglected in His love and concern; they too are blessed by His care and protection. But the one who is lost must be found, and that may require extra seeking. Note that He reaches out to us; we must respond.

And then we, as true under-shepherds, must go and do likewise—caring and ministering for both the 99 and the 1 as we "invte others to some, follow Him."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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