Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saving the Lost

When we live in Truth, we realize that sometimes there is nothing we can do to help others who have strayed except pray and wait. In Luke 15 the Savior gave three parables in a row. Each one teaches us a lot, but when seen together they teach us even more.

The first of these parables is the story of the lost sheep. In this story a man who has 100 sheep loses one of them and goes to find it. The sheep has wandered away from the flock and doesn’t know how to get back. Thus the shepherd needs to go after it.

The second parable tells us of a woman who loses a coin. When she realizes the coin is lost she sweeps and does all she can to find the coin. Since the lost object is a coin and has no volition, we can assume that it is the woman’s fault the coin was lost and thus she needs to do all she can to find it.

The third parable is the story of the prodigal son. In this story the son is not lost, he intentionally chooses to leave. The interesting thing is that in this parable no one goes after the son.

The message here is that when someone happens to wander from the Church perhaps because they haven’t been taught or they slip into inactivity because they have no friends to keep them in the Chruch we need to do all we can to search them out and bring them back. Or when we have inadvertently hurt someone’s feelings or pushed them away we need to do everything in our power to apologize and bring them back. But when someone has willfully choosen to disobey and leave, often all we can do is pray and wait for the person to come to the realization that there is only one way to happiness and peace and that is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Notice that the father in this story didn’t sink himself in despair or beat himself up because he was a bad parent. That would have moved him into Illusion and made it difficult to stay close to the Spirit. Instead he lived in Truth, clung to hope and faith, and eventually his son returned.

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