Helping the Lambs

Second Counselor in the First Presidency

From an October 1997 general conference address.

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Helping the Lambs

The Savior taught Peter and His other Apostles to nourish others. You remember that in the Bible account He fed them before He taught them. He had been crucified and then resurrected. His servants had gone to Galilee. They had fished through the night, catching nothing. When they drew near to shore, in the dawn, they did not at first recognize Him. He called out to them, telling them where to cast their nets, and when they did the nets were filled. They rushed to greet Him on the shore.

They found a fire of coals with fish cooking and bread. The Master let them eat first. Then He taught them of spiritual feeding and gave a commandment to them which still stands for each of us.

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs” (John 21:15).

A child can do things to nourish the faith of others. Children could invite a recent convert to come with them to a meeting. Children could smile and greet a new member coming into a class.

By doing simple things we will be granted power to nourish tender faith. The place to start is with our own hearts. We can try to see those we are to nourish as our Heavenly Father sees them.

Every word we speak can strengthen or weaken faith. We need help from the Spirit to speak the words which will nourish and strengthen. There are two great keys to inviting the Spirit to guide what words we speak as we feed others. They are the daily study of the scriptures and the prayer of faith. The Holy Ghost will guide what we say if we study and ponder the scriptures every day. Heartfelt, constant pleading for the companionship of the Holy Ghost will surely bring blessings to us and to those we love and serve.

You and I can be part of a great work. We can by simple obedience help the Lord to take the lambs, His lambs, into His hands and take them in His arms home to their Father and our Father.

Things to Think About

  1. 1.

    As a member of the Church, we can all help nourish lambs. What do you think this means? Whom do the lambs represent?

  2. 2.

    What kinds of words can you say to your friends and family that might help strengthen their faith?

  3. 3.

    Can you think of someone Heavenly Father might want you to help? How will you find out what Heavenly Father would like you to do?

Illustrations by Jennifer Tolman