The central piece of the Education in Zion gallery is a simple yet beautiful clay statue of Christ as the Shepherd, bearing a lamb in His arms. I just returned last week from a Young Single Adult conference in Denmark where I had the opportunity of hearing from Tomas Kofod, the man who played Jesus Christ in the LDS films The Testaments and Finding Faith in Christ.
He told of his experience filming a scene in Finding Faith in Christ where he was supposed to carry a lamb across his shoulders. He said that he had felt a little wary at this prospect after witnessing this wild and rambunctious little lamb. At first it kicked and fought being held. But the moment that he laid it across his shoulders, it relaxed and became completely at peace.
He read this scripture from Luke 15:4-6 in conjunction with his story:
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
Brother Kofod then pointed out that this scripture does not say that the sheep begged to be found, that the shepherd chastised the sheep, or that the shepherd just told the sheep to walk home when he found it, but rather that the shepherd went out to seek the lost sheep and that he picked it up and carried it home on his shoulders, rejoicing.
So it is with those who are lost in life. Sometimes they fight being found, but when they are found, the Shepherd, Christ, rejoices and carries them home.
Just as this Shepherd goes forth to find those in need, BYU students are encouraged to “enter to learn, go forth to serve.” Thus, to me, it seems very fitting that the central piece of the Education in Zion gallery is a statue of our example in this, Christ the Shepherd.
Jalena Reschke, Gallery Educator