“Other Sheep Which Are Not of This Land Neither of the Land of Jerusalem”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

means, in very truth; beyond question; certainly; truly; confidently. This phrase was used very often by the prophets of old. I have other sheep which are not of this land, neither of the Land of Jerusalem. Still other sheep, who have not yet heard His voice, but to whom He is about to go and manifest Himself.

Scattered abroad throughout the whole Earth, and also among all those of our brethren who ever have lived thereon, are sheep of Christ's Fold. Even the departed who dwell in the World of Spirits, and who in the flesh never heard of Him, Christ is their Shepherd Whose watchfulness is ever over them. Although His sheep, wherever they may be, are widely separated, He knows each one and them all.

In Ancient America the Nephites were numbered among His sheep. Many Jews in Old Jerusalem likewise were of His Fold, and in them He took great delight. But, however, He has other sheep, and of them Christ told the Nephites: "...they...have not as yet heard My voice; neither have I at any time manifested Myself unto them." (v. 2) Christ does not here even suggest they belong to the Twelve Tribes.

The Great Father of all, through His prescience, loving care, and guidance, so that in the end all His children might receive His blessings, commanded Our Lord, His Only Begotten Son, the Good Shepherd, to go unto them, that they might see Him, and "that they shall hear My voice, and shall be numbered among My sheep, that there may be one Fold and one Shepherd; therefore I go to show Myself unto them." (v. 3)

The question has been asked: "Who are these sheep of whom the Savior spoke?" In answer several suggestions have been made. Which one may be right, we do not know. All may be wrong. If the Good Shepherd thought it was important that the Nephites should know their whereabouts, He undoubtedly would have told them. Sufficient unto His purpose was His mere statement. However, that our opinion may not go by default in that it is not stated, we venture the following answer to the query.

These "other sheep" are good and just men who dwell in the Spirit World.

Surely, the Lord, the Good Shepherd, has sheep there as well as here. Death does not destroy the fact of being followers of Christ; that is of being His sheep. We are the same-living or dead. That little corridor that divides the living and the dead is so small that mentally and spiritually there is little difference between them. Less than a minute sometimes spells our physical change. Death does not rob one of being a follower of Jesus. A follower of Christ here, will no doubt be a follower of Him over there. Death is but an incident of life.

We give this as our opinion only. We have no documentary evidence to substantiate our conclusion, but after much consideration, we are willing to make the aforesaid reasoned judgment. We remember the words of Peter: "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison." (I Peter 3:18-19)

These sheep may not be the ones of whom the Savior spoke, but certainly He has sheep in the Great Beyond just as He has here.

Concerning the last two of the flocks mentioned by our Lord, He stated these important facts:

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7