012R - Teaching, a Sacred Trust

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

Since it’s that time of year when school is starting, may I share an experience with you that happened to me more than thirty years ago?

One summer I was hired by a neighbor to tend a small band of sheep. My job was to take them to the mountain pastures each day, watch them, and then bring them safely home that night. I had been strictly warned when I took the job to not let the sheep stray too near the alfalfa fields, or they’d break through and bloat on the rich feed.

One day though I carelessly let the sheep get too near the fence and they broke through. The entire band quickly spread across the field and began gorging themselves. I panicked. I ran around screaming and waving my arms desperately trying to drive the sheep out, but it did no good at all. They melted around me like water and went on eating.

Finally the owner and his son came. As they hurried past me to save the sheep, one of them said something to me about the instructions I had ignored. It angered me and in a rage I turned and ran, not toward the sheep, but away from them. I ran all the way home. At that moment, I could [not] have cared less if every last one of those sheep had died. Fortunately though none of them did.

That experience has come back to me often. I’ve since learned that a teacher is a shepherd. Teaching is the Savior’s own profession and the art of shepherding the lambs of God to the pastures of truth – no matter whether that pasture is religion, science, mathematics, or whatever. Truth it truth no matter where it’s found! And teaching is a sacred trust.

Speaking as a father, may God bless those teachers this year who will touch the lives of the children. And someday, teachers, who’s to say how grateful those lambs will be for you, and for all those who guided them safely to pasture and brought them back home?

Glenn Rawson – August 1997
Music: “To Bring Them to Thee” (edited) – Old Testament Video Songs
Song: Teach Me to Walk in the Light – Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra