Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I read a quote today from Rob Smith's book, Teaching For Doctrines The Commandments of Men:

"One lost heathen who is kind means more to heaven than ninety-nine close-fisted Pharisees."

What a great quote.  I think it accurately portrays the heaven and the God I have come to know.

This quote got me thinking about the 99.  The scriptures teach us in Matthew 18 and Luke 15 that Christ leaves the 99 who went not astray to find the one, and that there was more joy in heaven for that one than for the 99.  The version in Luke has Jesus using sarcasm so great that it's almost caustic, talking about the 99 "just" persons who need no repentance.  It seems likely to me that both the Matthew account and the Luke account are talking about the same event.  Whatever he said, Christ thought more highly of the one sheep that was found than he did of the 99 that did not.

So my question for you is, are you one of the sheep who is astray?  Or are you one who is safe in the sheepfold, not having gone astray and therefore needing no repentance?  Do you go out and find the sheep who are lost and astray and coax them back to the sheepfold, or do you recognize that YOU are the sheep, and seek for the shepherd, and let Him do His work to gather his sheep?

1 comment:

  1. There is also this quote from Joseph Smith:

    The Parables of Jesus and the Interpretation of the Scriptures, TPJS pp. 276-277

    In reference to the prodigal son, I said it was a subject I had never dwelt upon; that it was understood by many to be one of the intricate subjects of the scriptures; and even the Elders of this Church have preached largely upon it, without having any rule of interpretation. What is the rule of interpretation? Just no interpretation at all. Understand it precisely as it reads. I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire, what was the question which drew out the answer, or caused Jesus to utter the parable? It is not national; it does not refer to Abraham, Israel or the Gentiles, in a national capacity, as some suppose. To ascertain its meaning, we must dig up the root and ascertain what it was that drew the saying out of Jesus.

    While Jesus was teaching the people, all the publicans and sinners drew near to hear Him; “and the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” This is the keyword which unlocks the parable of the prodigal son. It was given to answer the murmurings and questions of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who were querying, finding fault, and saying, “How is it that this man as great as He pretends to be, eats with publicans and sinners?” Jesus was not put to it so, but He could have found something to illustrate His subject, if He had designed if for nation or nations; but He did not. It was for men in an individual capacity; and all straining on this point is a bubble. “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.”

    And he spake this parable unto them–“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? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons which need no repentance.” The hundred sheep represent one hundred Sadducees and Pharisees are in the sheepfold, I have no mission for you; I am sent to look up sheep that are lost; and when I have found them, I will back them up and make joy in heaven.” This represents hunting after a few individuals, or one poor publican, which the Pharisees and Sadducees despised.

    He also gave them the parable of the woman and her ten pieces of silver, and how she lost one, and searching diligently, found it again, which gave more joy among the friends and neighbors than the nine which were not lost; like I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons that are so righteous; they will be damned anyhow; you cannot save them. (Jan. 29, 1843.) DHC 5:260-262.