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December 9, 2020 - Understand My sheep

Whether our sheep are strong or weak, rejoicing or in anguish, we can make certain that no one walks alone. We can love them wherever they are spiritually and offer support and encouragement for the next step forward. As we pray and seek to understand their hearts, I testify that Heavenly Father will direct us and His Spirit will go with us. We have the opportunity to be the “angels round about” them as He goes before their face.

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, "Becoming a Shepherd", General Conference, October 2018

Whether we have a calling where we watch over others under our stewardships. Or whether we are parents of children under our watch and care. Or whether we are married without children, we still are responsible to walk alongside a spouse. And, ultimately, we are responsible to watch ourselves and our own progress.

We all have a stewardship. We all have someone to watch over. We all are acting in behalf of the Savior to be His shepherds. As Elder Uchtdorf put it, the Savior needs German shepherds too.

The point of Sister Cordon's talk was to really know those for whom we are watching over. Really know them. Really listen to them both verbally and body language. One of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Steven R. Covey, is the ability to listen. Seek to understand before seeking to be understood. Sometimes, many times, I catch myself formulating in my mind how I will respond before the other person even gets done talking. I'm not actively listening at that point. This especially happens as a dad. Sometimes, people just need a listening ear without our need to offer advice.

When we "put ourselves in another's shoes", we are better equipped to encourage them, to serve them, to walk with them down the path, sometimes hand in hand.

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