There was a Devotional Address given at BYU Hawaii by Amanda A.B. Wallace that I really enjoyed with this lesson. In it, she tells some interesting facts about sheep that, for me, shed a lot of light on why the Savior uses the analogy of sheep and shepherd when He talks about our relationship with Him. I loved this so much that I want to share some of what she said here. A link to the full talk will be below.
- There are over a billion sheep in the world today. Sheep are one of the oldest kinds of domesticated animals and provide wool, meat, milk, wool oil known as lanolin, and other products. We know that Abel, the son of Adam, was a keeper of sheep, as were many of the other Biblical prophets, including Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. Sheep were also an important primary sacrificial animal in religious ordinances in Biblical times.
- Sheep have some interesting characteristics. They have great peripheral vision with a range of between 191 to 306 degrees. This means that they can see all around themselves without turning their heads very far. This helps them watch for predators or others who would do them harm. However, sheep have really poor depth perception and have to stop and look at something closely to see the details.
- Sheep have a strong herding instinct and prefer being with groups of other sheep. They learn to follow the older members of the flock when they are lambs, and their instinct is so strong that they will even follow the lead sheep over a cliff. (http://www.sheep101.info/201/behavior.html)
- Sheep generally have a docile or submissive nature, but they become very distressed when separated from their flock. They are easily frightened and tend to panic and flee from actual or perceived danger; however, they will calm down when they can maintain visual contact with other sheep. Because of this, a good shepherd will keep his or her sheep together in a flock of five or more sheep to reduce sheep stress and to more easily move them. (http://www.sheep101.info/201/behavior.html)
- Domesticated sheep also rely on the shepherd to take them to places of safety and good food. In Biblical times, shepherds led their sheep to sheepfolds or shelters at night to keep their sheep safe. These sheepfolds were often enclosures surrounded by walls built of stone or naturally-formed caves with an opening that could be guarded by the shepherd.
- Domesticated sheep must be sheared of their heavy wool coats at least once a year. Shearers herd sheep together before shearing to keep them from becoming too agitated. Once a sheep is held by the shearer, however, it will often calm down and become very passive.
- Sheep can recognize sheep faces and human faces and can also recognize human voices. They learn to respond to the voice of their own shepherd and will follow the shepherd when called. Sheep can frequently be seen following their lead sheep or their shepherd in single file fashion when moving across an open area.
I loved this message, and I hope you'll love it too. You can find her full talk here: Safe in the Fold of the Good Shepherd
If you subscribe to my weekly newsletter, I share in my email this week the importance I found in this story as I studied this lesson. I have seen the works of God manifest through my own afflictions many times, and this story brings great perspective to me when I look back at some of the trials I have faced.
I loved this video with some of the great explanations about the Feast and how the timing of this miracle was perfect.
This coloring page comes from the New Testament Coloring Book available at churchofjesuschrist.org. You can go to The Church's website at this link to grab it or you can download it below:
Go and Sin No More Coloring Page.pdf
I can't help but watch and love these videos every week! I think they are so entertaining as they teach the principles of the lesson, so even if you don't have a family to show it to, I hope you'll enjoy it for yourself.