The term “Other Sheep” refers to groups of people whom Jesus Christ mentioned during His teachings, both in the Holy Land and during His post-resurrection appearance to the inhabitants of the Promised Land as recorded in the Book of Mormon. These “Other Sheep” are identified as distinct from the Nephites, Lamanites, and the Jews—the primary groups among whom Jesus ministered during His mortal life and shortly after His resurrection. During His visit to the Nephites, Jesus declared, “And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (3 Nephi 15:21). Here, He affirmed that the Nephites were indeed part of these “other sheep” which He had referenced in an earlier discourse as recorded in the Gospel of John (John 10:16).
In addition to the Nephites, Jesus also mentioned that He had a commandment from the Father to visit other groups of people, which He had not yet visited. These were also referred to as “Other Sheep” and were separate from the Nephite and Lamanite peoples and those in the land of Jerusalem. These were suggested to be the lost tribes of Israel, whom He would also gather in due time, emphasizing the inclusive nature of His ministry and the reaching out to all the house of Israel. The declaration by Jesus Christ of His “other sheep” is a significant affirmation of His universal mission and the expansive reach of His atonement, as it illustrates His personal ministry to all of God’s children, irrespective of their geographical location or temporal circumstances (3 Nephi 16:1-3). The concept of “one fold and one shepherd” emphasizes the unity Jesus sought among His followers and His role as the divine shepherd of all humankind.