In the parable of the sheep and goats, God separated His children based on whether they had given meat when he was an hungered, given drink when he was thirsty, taken Him in when he was a stranger, clothed him when He was naked, visited him when he was sick, and come to him when he was in prison.
The parable emphasizes the importance of serving others and overcoming selfishness.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25: 32-46 in the Bible)
There will be a future judgment for everyone
The Lord declares the inevitability of a future judgment in which the righteous and the wicked shall be separated. “…for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14: 10 in the Bible)
The righteous prepare for the coming of the Son of Man, and this parable focuses on one of the most significant aspects of these preparations: the feeding of the hungry, the clothing of the naked, and the comforting of the sick and imprisoned. The scriptures teach us that the Final Judgment Day will be great and wonderful for the righteous and dreadful, fearful and sorrowful for the wicked. The prophet Malachi said, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:” (Malachi 4: 5 in the Bible) “Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of judgment, that ye may not shrink with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty. (2 Nephi 9: 46 p. 77 in the Book of Mormon)
What a marvelous age to live!
We should thank the Lord for the privilege of living in a day of Divine Enlightenment! Our days though perilous are filled with promise to those who prepare for the coming of the Lord. How, specifically, shall we prepare? Place your trust in God. Seek his Spirit by living his commandments. Cultivate godliness, be charitable and compassionate in your service to family, friends, neighbors, those you work with and others in need. Our days can be loaded with opportunities to help and serve others. There are so many in need, look for them.
A glorious promise
“And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” (Doctrine & Covenants 18: 16)
Dallas Jones, local leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of the Article came from J. Lewis Taylor, June 1975 Ensign. Any questions on this parable call (231) 383-8359 or send an email email@example.com.