President Russell M. Nelson will have his 100th birthday on September 9, 2024, but he crossed the milestone of being the oldest prophet of this dispensation when he was 97 years, 7 months and 7 days old. That was when he had outlived President Gordon B. Hinckley, who was also 97 (but one day younger), and until that time had been the oldest prophet.

Now, at this time, 100 days before his 100th birthday, President Nelson has turned to a scripture where Jesus Christ uses the number 100 to teach a lesson about service and love.

In the parable of the lost sheep (Matthews 18, Luke 15), Jesus teaches what a devoted shepherd would do for his sheep, if one of them were lost. He would leave the 99, and go out searching for that lost sheep. President Nelson suggested that a way that people can help commemorate his 100th birthday would be to reach out to “the one” in need.

For a shepherd, if one sheep is missing, it may be that the animal has been “cast down”. In other words, they may have fallen down and because of their center of gravity cannot rise again on their own. A cast-down sheep, if not found and cared for, will surely die.

In a message posted to media channels 100 days before his September 9 birthday, President Nelson said:

“One spiritual offering that would brighten my life is for each of us to reach out to ‘the one’ in our lives who may be feeling lost or alone. Over the coming months I invite you to consider prayerfully: who do you know who may be discouraged? Who might you need to reconcile with or ask for forgiveness? Has one name been on your mind lately, though you haven’t quite known why? As you bring these questions to the Lord, He will inspire you to know how you can reach out and lift one who needs help.”

President Nelson said by following the Savior’s example, people can “spread the love of Jesus Christ throughout the world.”