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Lost Sheep, Lost Coins, and Lost Meanings

TitleLost Sheep, Lost Coins, and Lost Meanings
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsRytting, Jenny Rebecca
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsParable of the Good Samaritan; Parable of the Lost Coin; Parable of the Lost Sheep; Parables

In a previous issue of BYU Studies, John W. Welch explores the early Christian allegorical interpretation of the good Samaritan and argues that this parable “become[s] even richer when understood in terms of restored Latter-day Saint doctrines of God’s plan of salvation.” In a version of that article adapted for the Ensign, he further explains how understanding the parable in this way “adds eternal perspectives to its moral imperatives.” The same is true of the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, which, like the parable of the good Samaritan, were traditionally connected with Christ’s incarnation. In fact, I argue that this is their primary meaning and that subsequent moral lessons are valuable but subordinate.