"At Christmastime our thoughts often turn to the biblical account of the shepherds watching over their flocks. The shepherds’ scene is indeed symbolic: It brings to mind the care and loving concern with which our Heavenly Father watches over all of his children. And it helps to remind us that he sent his beloved Son—the Good Shepherd with an unparalleled, divine mission—to guide us back to him."
"Many of our scriptures present types and shadows of the coming of Jesus, his mortal ministry, and his mission as the Savior of all mankind. Certainly symbolism is apparent in the many references to the Shepherd and the flock. Indeed, the Savior himself used these symbols often in his teaching."
"To introduce his mission among men, Jesus identified himself as the Good Shepherd: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). A shepherd who owns the sheep not only loves them but will often risk his life for them."
"Through the analogy of the sheep and the shepherd, the Savior also explained that his followers would recognize his voice. They would know that he was the true shepherd who would find them and call them out of the world. “The sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out” (John 10:3)."
To read the full article, go to Homer S. Ellsworth, “Thoughts on the Good Shepherd,” Liahona, Dec 1996, 19