Friend or Foe
"One might wonder, after listening to this very strong statement, if man can abandon this carnal nature and this belief that earth is his final resource, providing food, shelter, comfort, pleasure, games, and even gods. Can he discover, by faith, that it is our Heavenly Father who constitutes the eternal resource when he knows how to cultivate this friendship?"
"He introduced his friend to the missionaries. He saw that his friend was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. He took his friend, even before baptism, to where he would study the scriptures and thus be nurtured by the good word of God. Even before baptism he helped his friend discover this promise: “Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” The words must have told him to buy scriptures, which he did.
We do not know which friends went with him to his sacrament meetings both before and after baptism, but some must have greeted him warmly, as they did on his first visit. There, he renewed his covenant to always remember the Savior, to keep His commandments, and to receive again the promise of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. We don’t know what part his friends had in his calls to serve and to speak. But we can be sure that they thanked him and told him when they felt the Spirit in his service and in his teaching."
"Like so much of what is worthwhile in life, our needs for friendship are often best met in the home. If our children feel friendship within the family, with each other, and with parents, they will not be desperate for acceptance outside the family. I think one of life’s most satisfying accomplishments for my wife and me is to have lived long enough to see our children become good friends. It’s definitely a miracle that those in our family who in younger years occasionally threatened one another with serious bodily harm now seek out and genuinely enjoy each other’s friendship. Similarly, I think no finer compliment can be paid to parents than to have children say that their parents are among their best friends.
Friendship is also a vital and wonderful part of courtship and marriage. A relationship between a man and a woman that begins with friendship and then ripens into romance and eventually marriage will usually become an enduring, eternal friendship. Nothing is more inspiring in today’s world of easily dissolved marriages than to observe a husband and wife quietly appreciating and enjoying each other’s friendship year in and year out as they experience together the blessings and trials of mortality."
Nurturing Love and Friendship in Marriage
“[Love in marriage] is deep, inclusive, comprehensive. It is not like that association of the world which is misnamed love, but which is mostly physical attraction. When marriage is based on this only, the parties soon tire of one another. … The love of which the Lord speaks is not only physical attraction, but spiritual attraction as well. It is faith and confidence in, and understanding of, one another. It is a total partnership. It is companionship with common ideals and standards. It is unselfishness toward and sacrifice for one another. It is cleanliness of thought and action and faith in God and his program. It is parenthood in mortality ever looking toward godhood and creationship, and parenthood of spirits. It is vast, all-inclusive, and limitless. This kind of love never tires or wanes. It lives on through sickness and sorrow, through prosperity and privation, through accomplishment and disappointment, through time and eternity” (Faith Precedes the Miracle , 130–31)."
Being Friends with Our Brothers and Sisters
"As Chuck talked, I thought back on our lives. … He’d always lived a Christlike life and been a good example of a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ. Then I thought back on my own life and how I’d fallen short of his example. He’d never put me down for my shortcomings, though. Sitting in that sacrament meeting, I made a promise to myself that I would someday make my brother proud of me.
It’s been a year and a half since that meeting, and I have not forgotten the promise I made. I have turned my life around and am now serving a mission for my Heavenly Father—the best decision I have ever made in my life. As I kneel every night in prayer, I thank the Lord for the great examples I have had in my life, like my brother, who have had the courage to live the teachings of the Church and act like the sons and daughters of God that they are” (“My Brother the Example,” New Era, Nov. 1981, 6–7)."
What Greater Goodness Can We Know
"I have been blessed throughout my life with Christlike friends—from friends of my youth to the many people who have blessed our family in all the wards we have lived in. Their faith and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, their service, their wise and gentle instruction have enriched our lives. Some of my friends are very different from me. We disagree about things, and we can even irritate each other. But friendship allows for differences—in fact, it embraces them. I love to visit stakes made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and ethnic origins."