As a Jew, I've always admired so many Mormon values, especially the desire
to care for our fellow humans.But--also as a Jew--I'm always
perplexed by the metaphor so often used by Mormons and other Christians to
describe that help: "a shepherd and his sheep."A sheep
follows blindly, without considering anything but where his "shepherd"
(and a sheep dog) want him to go. Surely humans can't realize their
highest fulfillment with that nature.(Yes, I know the 23rd Psalm
encapsulates that metaphor--but its meaning is that God is always with us and
watches over us, not that we're to *live* like sheep.)I'd
much rather see Mormon leaders refer to themselves as Mentors rather than
Shepherds. Or maybe just Encouragers.Finally--again as a Jew--one
of the most magnificent Mormon teachings I've ever heard is "The glory
of God is intelligence." No sheep-like human could ever fulfill that.
@Admiring Gentile We follow the Master.. Jesus Christ who gave the example of
the care of Shepard over his flocks. Not so much that the flocks were sheep..
or the character of the sheep.. but the character of the Shepard. It was his
use of metaphors to the simplest level of his listeners that he spoke to. So
much is delivered in reference to fishing, farming, and herding of animals.. all
things that were very common to most Jews of his time. One who is a shepard
knows how he cares for all the members of his flock.. that he would even leave
the 99 to find the one that wandered off. That care of the Shepard was what was
being taught.. not the stupidity of the sheep that runs off and gets lost. :-)