#18 – Become a Star Thrower

Elder David B. Haight shared this story in October 1983 Conference.  As you read through this, look for the characteristics of a STAR THROWER.

starfishLoren Eiseley walked along a stormy beach late one afternoon “with the wind roaring at his back and the seagulls screaming” overhead. Tourists who came to the beach would collect shellfish and sea life tossed up each night, boil them in large kettles, and take the shells home as souvenirs. Eiseley walked far down the beach around a point away from the collectors and saw “a gigantic rainbow of incredible perfection.” Toward its foot he “discerned a human figure … gazing … at something in the sand.”

“In a pool of sand … a starfish had thrust its arms up stiffly and was holding its body away from the stifling mud. … [“Is it still alive?” Eiseley asked.]

“‘Yes,’” [said the man standing in the rainbow] and with a quick … gentle movement he picked up the star and spun it … far out into the sea.

“It may live,” he said, “if the offshore pull is strong enough. …”

At first Eiseley felt only the futility of the man’s efforts, “throwing one starfish at a time back into the sea when it nightly tosses out hundreds.” He walked away, looking sadly “at the shell collectors … [and] the steaming kettles in which … voiceless things were being boiled alive.”

The next morning Eiseley again went to the beach. Again the star thrower was there. “Silently [Eiseley] … picked up a still-living star, spinning it far out into the waves. … ‘I understand,’ [he] said. ‘Call [me a star] thrower [also].’”

Of throwing the starfish back he wrote, “It was like a sowing—the sowing of life on an infinitely gigantic scale. …” He saw the star thrower stoop and throw once more. Eiseley joined with him. They “flung and flung again while all about [them] roared the insatiable waters.”

They, “alone and small in that immensity, hurled back the living stars.” They set their shoulders and “cast, … slowly, deliberately, and well. The task was not to be assumed lightly.” (Loren Eiseley, The Star Thrower [New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1978], pp. 171–73, 184.) Each moment counted if they were to rescue the starfish that they sought to save.

So what are the characteristics of a star thrower?  What do they do?  Why do they do it?  What are they motivated by? etc…


In Luke 15, we find three parables from the Savior regarding people who are both lost and found.  There are lots of angles that people have looked at these stories.  Today we are going to focus on the Finder in each one.

What do we learn about the Finder in each of these stories?

LOST SHEEP:  Luke 15:4-7

LOST COIN:  Luke 15:8-10

What is the lesson that we can learn from the Finder?


The phrase “lifted up” is found all over in the scriptures.  Surprisingly, though, not all the meaning are the same. On the chart below, compare the left and the right columns.  Find the difference between the scriptures on the left and the right.



You’ll notice that the scriptures on the left indicate being LIFTED UP IN PRIDE, while the scriptures on the right are referring to being LIFTED UP IN CHRIST.  Two complete opposites.

For the final story in Luke 15, we read of the Prodigal Son.  The story of two brothers.  And ironically, both brothers will experience the two types of being LIFTED UP.

Luke 15:11-16 • Where do you see evidence of being lifted up in pride?

Luke 15:17-24 • How does the younger brother transition from being lifted up in pride to being lifted up in Christ?  What are some keywords or phrases that are found in these verses?

Luke 15:25-30 • How does the older brother transition from being lifted up in Christ to being lifted up in pride?

As you watch this Mormon message, look for evidence of being LIFTED UP IN PRIDE and how someone can change to being LIFTED UP IN CHRIST.

Elder Holland: “Brothers and sisters, I testify that no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn’t measure our talents or our looks; He doesn’t measure our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other. I know that if we will be faithful, there is a perfectly tailored robe of righteousness ready and waiting for everyone, “robes … made … white in the blood of the Lamb.”


“We need star throwers—throwers with vision and who have a sense of discipleship with the Savior, who feel the need to save where there is still life and hope and value, and not to let that life die on a friendless beach, but to hurl it back to where it belongs.”  Elder David B. Haight

Last week, I participated in sealings in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.  One of my YW was getting ready to leave on a mission and she was going through the temple for the first time.  Just as we were finishing up, the sealer said to her, “God has someone there you need to find.  If you don’t find them, He will send someone else.”  Quite the poignant phrase in regards to the thoughts today about being a star thrower.  God will always send someone else, but why not just use us?

I am grateful for the star throwers in my life who were in the right place at the right time to put me back in the ocean when I needed help.  I hope that I can always be the star thrower God needs me to be, in helping other starfish find their way back to the sea of Living Water.

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