During Abinadi’s message to the priests of King Noah, he quoted the following words from Isaiah:
All we, like sheep, have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way.
One of those priests, Alma, was converted to the gospel because of Abinadi’s words.
Years later, as Alma’s son (also named Alma) taught the people in the city of Zarahemla, he used the same metaphor to teach a fundamental principle:
O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!
We go astray when we fail to hear and follow the truths taught by our Savior.
Alma told the people that they would need to eliminate distractions in order to hear the Savior’s voice:
And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things.
And Alma made the following promise to those who would hear the Savior’s voice:
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;
President Russell M. Nelson has emphasized the importance of listening to the voice of the Savior:
As we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths.
We simply cannot rely upon information we bump into on social media. With billions of words online and in a marketing-saturated world constantly infiltrated by noisy, nefarious efforts of the adversary, where can we go to hear Him?
President Nelson listed four resources we can turn to in order to hear the Savior’s messages to us:
- The scriptures
- The temple (and family history)
- The whisperings of the Holy Ghost
- The words of prophets, seers, and revelators
And he promised us the following blessings if we will “intentionally hear, hearken, and heed” the Savior’s words:
- Power to overcome our challenges and our shortcomings
- Miracles in our relationships and in our daily lives
- Increased capacity to experience joy “even if turbulence increases in your life”
(“Hear Him,” General Conference, April 2020)
Today, I will hearken to the voice of the Good Shepherd. I will take time to separate myself from the distractions around me and to hear His voice. I will follow His teachings, with confidence that I will be blessed for doing so.