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The Savior Follows His Flock

Consider this different perspective on how the Good Shepherd guides you in life to help you make the best choices

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What qualities do you think make a good shepherd? You may think a shepherd should be patient, diligent, and caring towards his sheep. Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, certainly embodies these characteristics. The Savior knows His flock and is aware of each individual. When we feel alone, we can find peace knowing He is there for us.

Following the flock

Shepherds often lead their sheep from behind.

Shepherds have a difficult job. They must transport hundreds of sheep without losing sight of a single one. There is a right way and a wrong way to perform this task. The wrong way to herd sheep is to run ahead and yell for them to go where you want them to go. Instead of obeying, the sheep will scatter across the mountainside. A skillful shepherd takes a much different approach.

The Old Testament tells the story of a wise shepherd, the prophet Amos. As the Lord was giving him direction, Amos said, “And the Lord took me as I followed the flock.” 1 Later, in 2 Samuel, the Lord says to David, “I took thee from following the sheep to be ruler over my people.” 2 There is a common theme in these two scriptures about the way shepherds should herd their sheep — a wise shepherd follows the flock.Shepherds lead from behind the flock, helping the strongest and healthiest sheep run ahead so the other sheep can follow. 3
See Guy Saffold, “Leading From Behind: The Shepherd’s Way,Leading God’s Way,
The shepherd’s main job is to set boundaries for his/her flock, but also to allow them to make their own decisions.

A step into the dark

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Christ will always be there to lead us back to the flock.

The Good Shepherd certainly uses the pattern of following His sheep when it comes to our lives. He is behind us, guiding our path, but He will not control and lead our every step. He allows us to make our own choices.

At times we may wish for the Lord to tell us exactly what we are supposed to do. However, if He were to do this, there would be no opportunity for us to grow. Elder Richard G. Scott said, “The Lord will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision.” 4
Elder Richard G. Scott, Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer, Ensign and Liahona, Apr. 2007
If our decisions are contrary to the plan of God, then the Good Shepherd will extend His arm and lead us back to the path.

BYU-Pathway and the Good Shepherd

Jesus and the lost lamb
The Savior wants us to make our own choices.
J.D. Griffith, vice president of administration at BYU-Pathway Worldwide, has been working with the organization since it started as a pilot in 2009. He said, “We got a lot of things right in the early foundation [of BYU-Pathway], but we got some things wrong too. I’ve learned that, yes, the Lord is in charge, but He’s not going to give us every answer every time.” 5

Many BYU-Pathway students struggle to know what to study or what career path to follow. While the Lord could easily give each person a map of their life to follow day by day, He would never do that. Instead, the Lord allows us to choose! By exercising our agency, we grow to become like our Heavenly Father.

Remember, “The Lord is [your] shepherd, and [you] shall not want.” He trusts us to make hard decisions, and we can trust that He will never abandon His sheep.

What choices has the Good Shepherd guided you to in your life?