Friend to Friend:

The Lost Cows

by Elder Joseph Anderson

Assistant to the Council of the Twelve

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    Elder Joseph Anderson

    As the youngest in a family of eleven, one of my responsibilities as a boy was to herd cows. I not only took care of my family’s cows, but I would gather all the cows in the neighborhood and take them to graze up in the hills or along the dirt roads nearby.

    Sometimes the cows would disappear from where they were supposed to graze. If I did not watch them carefully, they would follow a forbidden path and get into trouble. They might even stray into some farmer’s field. If they ate too much lucerne, they would bloat or become terribly sick and need immediate care.

    On one occasion while I was working in the garden, the cows disappeared. When I walked up the road to look for them, I discovered that the entire herd was gone. I came back and got Jimmy, my pony, and rode all over the valley trying to find the cows. But there was no sign of them!

    It seemed only a few minutes since they were grazing contentedly by the side of the road, and I could not understand how they could disappear in such a short time. I was really worried.

    In my distress I got off my pony and onto my knees to pray. I asked Heavenly Father to help me find the cows. Then as I was about to climb back onto Jimmy, I noticed some faint cow tracks in the sand. I decided to follow them.

    The tracks led me for several miles along a side road that crossed some high hills. As I approached the hills, I saw the cows hidden in a small enclosed area a short distance from the road. Not one of the cows was missing, and I happily drove them back home. Someone must have driven a large herd of cows along the road. Our cows joined with the others and then somehow became separated from the large herd.

    I knew the Lord had heard and answered my prayer because I went directly to the place where the cows were.

    From this and many similar experiences, I learned as a young boy that Heavenly Father loves me and that He hears and answers my prayers. This knowledge has been a guiding star to me, not only through childhood and young manhood, but throughout my life.

    That star has become brighter and brighter until it has become a beacon of light to guide me along the strait and narrow way. I know this path will bring peace and happiness in this life and lead us to our goal of eternal life.

    Illustrated by Jerry Thompson