Thursday, January 21, 2021

Why Sheep?

Few of us are comfortable being called sheep or sheeple which has become a frequent online disparagement. Yet sheep is the term used by God over and over again* to describe us, His children. So what are the characteristics of sheep? Here are parts of two online descriptions:
Flocking behavior
Sheep are best known for their strong flocking (herding) and following instinct. They will run from what frightens them and band together in large groups for protection. This is the only protection they have from predators. There is safety in numbers. It is harder for a predator to pick a sheep out of a group than to go after a few strays. ...
Follow the leader
When one sheep moves, the rest will follow, even if it does not seem to be a good idea. The flocking and following instinct of sheep is so strong that it caused the death of 400 sheep in 2006 in eastern Turkey. The sheep plunged to their death after one of the sheep tried to cross a 15-meter deep ravine, and the rest of the flock followed.
Even from birth, lambs learn to follow the older members of the flock. Ewes encourage their lambs to follow. The dominant members of the flock usually lead, followed by the submissive ones. If there is a ram in the flock, he usually leads. ...
Sheep are very social animals. In a grazing situation, they need to see other sheep. In fact, ensuring that sheep always have visual contact with other sheep will prevent excess stress when moving, handling, or housing them. According to animal behaviorists, a group of five sheep is usually necessary for sheep to display their normal flocking behavior. A sheep will become highly-agitated if it is separated from the rest of the flock.1

1. Timid, fearful, easily panicked
2. Dumb, stupid, gullible 
3. Stampede easily, vulnerable to mob psychology
4. Little or no means of self-defense; can only run
5. Easily killed by enemies
6. Jealous, competitive for dominance
7. Easily “cast” that is, flipped over on their back, sometimes from too much wool. Sheep are unable to right themselves and will die of starvation if not turned over by shepherd.
8. Need the most care of all livestock2
When we consider the above and the history of mankind, it is doubtful that God could have chosen a more apt comparison for the majority of His children. For the most part, we seem born to flock and to follow. And what this COVID scenario is designed to achieve is to break the flocking through fear, suspicion, isolation, and so forth, while the following of man-made rules and mandates is being flooded day after day through the MSM under the mask of loving (protecting) thy neighbor.

So what is the intended end game for all the sheep? The wolf's answer? What it has always been since Day One – domination and conversion of everything and everyone in to property; and for those who resist domination and conversion, the end game is destruction. This is the very path we are being “shepherded” down at dizzying speed.

This flocking and following is so inherent in our natures that it has been both used and abused. We seem universally predisposed to following something: royalty; stars of film / media / sports / politics / science;  of gurus / preachers / heroes / cults / etc. We get distracted. We forget that the destination for the sheep is beyond imagination.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.3
Sometimes we forget that the Way is impossible for us, flawed sheep as we are, to navigate without following the Good Shepherd. We have become convinced we can't trust God's matchless design. We have become so afraid of our fellow sheep that some elders have declined to attend those seeking priesthood blessing, thus increasing their sense of isolation, abandonment, unworthiness, and fear of asking others. We look to flawed men and women — to the powerful, the wealthy, the famous for answers, solutions, healing. This is truly a day of testing whether we follow the Great Shepherd or whether we look to the myriad shepherds in sheep's clothing that we were warned would trouble the world in the last days.

2. Are You a Sheep? 8 Characteristics That Sheep (Not Leaders) by Meggin McIntosh, PhD Exhibit March 12, 2012
See also:
The characteristics of a sheep by Edir Macedo | 5 April 2017
12 Characteristics of Sheep by DAVID MURRAY of Head Heart Hand (Jan 1, 2013)
3. New Testament | 1 Corinthians 2:9 

*  SHEEP references (all bold emphasis added):
Old Testament | Psalms 44:11, 22 ~ Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen. ... Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
Old Testament | Psalms 74:1 ~ O GOD, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
Old Testament | Psalms 78:52 ~ But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
Old Testament | Psalms 79:13 ~ So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
Old Testament | Psalms 95:7 ~ For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
Old Testament | Psalms 100:3 ~ Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Old Testament | Isaiah 53:6-7 ~ All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Old Testament | Jeremiah 23:1 ~ WOE be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Old Testament | Jeremiah 50:6, 17 ~ My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. ... Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.
Old Testament | Ezekiel 34:6–7, 11-12 ~ My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; ... For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
New Testament | Matthew 9:36 ~ But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
New Testament | Matthew 10:6, 16 ~ But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. ... Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
New Testament | Matthew 15:24 ~ But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
New Testament | Matthew 25:33 ~ And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Sheep are most comfortable with their flock, and they tend to run if approached or spooked. Goats are more independent, intelligent and tolerant of interaction in general. Sheep like to graze on grass, while goats prefer to graze on anything they can, including leaves, twigs and anything edible they can reach.]
New Testament | Matthew 26:31 ~ Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
New Testament | Mark 6:34 ~ And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.
New Testament | John 10:1–16, 27 ~ VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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. ... My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
New Testament | John 21:16-17 ~ He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
New Testament | Hebrews 13:20 ~ Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
New Testament | 1 Peter 2:25 ~ For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 22:25 ~ And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 14:6-7 ~ All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he opened not his mouth.
Book of Mormon | Mosiah 26:20-21 ~ Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep. And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church, and him will I also receive.
Book of Mormon | Alma 5:39, 59-60 ~ And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? Behold, I say unto you, that the devil is your shepherd, and ye are of his fold; ... For what shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? And behold, if a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? Yea, and at the last, if he can, he will destroy him. And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.
Book of Mormon | Alma 25:12 ~ And he said unto the priests of Noah that their seed should cause many to be put to death, in the like manner as he was, and that they should be scattered abroad and slain, even as a sheep having no shepherd is driven and slain by wild beasts; and now behold, these words were verified, for they were driven by the Lamanites, and they were hunted, and they were smitten.
Book of Mormon | Helaman 15:13 ~ And this is according to the prophecy, that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among his sheep.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 15:17, 21-24 ~ That 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 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. 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.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 16:1-3 ~ AND verily, verily, I say unto you that I have other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister. For they of whom I speak are they who have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold and one shepherd; therefore I go to show myself unto them.
Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 18:31 ~ But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered.
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 10:59-60 ~ I am he who said—Other sheep have I which are not of this fold—unto my disciples, and many there were that understood me not. And I will show unto this people that I had other sheep, and that they were a branch of the house of Jacob;
Doctrine and Covenants | Section 112:14 ~ Now, I say unto you, and what I say unto you, I say unto all the Twelve: Arise and gird up your loins, take up your cross, follow me, and feed my sheep.