President James E. Faust addressed priesthood holders "in their capacity as the Lord's shepherds," adding, "The bearers of the priesthood have this great responsibility, whether it is as a father, grandfather, home teacher, elders quorum president, a bishop, stake president or other Church calling."
Speaking at the priesthood session Saturday evening, President Faust, sustained in the solemn assembly earlier in the day as second counselor in the First Presidency, expressed an earnest desire for the faith and prayers of his listeners.He recalled an incident from his boyhood, when he was given a lamb to care for. One night during a storm, he heard the lamb bleating, but desiring to remain safe, warm and dry, did not get up to help it. The next morning, he went out to find the lamb dead. A dog had also heard its bleating and killed it.
"My young heart was broken," he recalled. "I had not been a good shepherd or steward of that which my father had entrusted to me. My father said, `Son couldn't I trust you to take care of just one lamb?' My father's remark hurt me more than losing my woolly friend. I resolved that day, as a little boy, that I would try never again to neglect my stewardship as a shepherd if I were ever placed in that position again."
Years later, he remembered the incident, and that motivated him to do his duty even when it was inconvenient, he said.
The revelations, he said, contain two great responsibilities of the Lord's shepherds from which there is no release. They are husband and father, and home teacher.
"The priesthood quorum presidents and their counselors are also shepherds of the sheepfold and bear the responsibility to lovingly care for members of their quorums," he added. "The bishops of the Church are some of the watchmen on the tower."
Other "constitutional duties of the Lord's shepherds" outlined in the scriptures that President Faust mentioned are those of stake president, Presiding Bishopric, the Seventy, Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency.
He said that in the Church there must be order, that in addition to scriptures and modern revelation, guidelines and procedures are necessary. He asked that the priesthood brethren look beyond irritations or inconvenience in Church administration.
"We ask you to focus and concentrate on the simple, sublime, spiritually nourishing and saving principles of the gospel. We ask you to stand steady. We ask you to be faithful in your stewardships as the shepherding priesthood authority of the Church. Let us be true to our callings and the holy priesthood we bear. Let us be united in supporting and sustaining those in authority over us."
President Faust said that after more than 60 years, he can still remember the lamb from his boyhood and the loving rebuke from his father.
Then, his voice breaking, he said, "If we are not good shepherds, I wonder how we will feel in the eternities."