I got one thing right while on my LDS mission, those many years ago in the Mormon church. It was that “other sheep” meant those who were lost and not part of the fold of Christ. How God allows people through faith into His fold. I would recite this verse all the time. “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” (John 10:16) Even in Mormonism I believed that those who were lost and without Jesus were the lost sheep, or the gentiles. I did not subscribe to the people in America as these other sheep. Therefore, this statement in the Book of Mormon where a different Jesus proclaims that the Nephites are his lost sheep, not the Gentiles, I did not agree with. So even before my mission, I doubted these words in the Book of Mormon, which prepared me to be where I am today. These are the verses in question…
“And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice—that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me.” (3 Nephi 15:21-24) This is a false Jesus, of whom Joseph Smith made up in his own mind.
The question is, would Jesus ever contradict what His own apostles would later teach? Absolutely not. Paul, Jesus’s apostle, taught, “whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” (Ephesians 3:4-6) The Gentiles were not part of the same body of Israel, or his sheep, but are now fellowheirs, having been adopted in through faith in Jesus. “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25) This is wonderful news. God is so loving as to allow us into His fold. Amen.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, help every person who is lost and without a shepherd. We were once a far off, not being part of Your fold, but Israel only. And therefore, we stood looking in, wondering when we could be partakers also. I can imagine that many Gentiles believed in You, God, but didn’t know that they would be welcome because of all the restrictions against them. This must have been difficult for people to bear. Thankfully, You came for us, Jesus. We were always Your lost sheep, but now You have come to usher us in. Thank You for trusting in us, those who would put their faith in You, Lord. And oh how the tides have turned. Israel has rejected You, Jesus, while the Gentiles have accepted You as their Lord, God, and King. And now we go to them to witness Your truths. Help us, Jesus, be Your light in the darkness. There are many people searching for truth, but we need the Holy Spirit to do the talking. I love You, Jesus. I believe in You. Amen.