Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lesson Recap: How Glorious Are Faithful, Just, and True Friends

Joseph Smith Lesson #40
By Marie Tiller, 09.13.09

“Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism.’ … It unites the human family with its happy influence.”

Characteristics of true friends

Think of someone who has had a lasting positive influence in your life. What characteristics did they have?

Kind, fun, wise, faithful, loyal, mutual sharing, open, optimistic, honesty with mercy, not judgmental, forgiving, altruistic. Someone who builds you up.

Joseph Smith said,
How good and glorious it has seemed unto me, to find pure and holy friends, who are faithful, just, and true, and whose hearts fail not; and whose knees are confirmed and do not falter, while they wait upon the Lord, in administering to my necessities, in the day when the wrath of mine enemies was poured out upon me.

What gets in the way of closer friendships? Time demands, being self-absorbed, feeling uncomfortable.

What can we do to overcome those obstacles? What habits can we develop to nurture relationships?
  • Daily deeds of kindness
  • Words of love and kindness
  • Spending time together
  • Being there in times of trial
  • Turning inward thoughts outward to others more often
  • Praying for the gift of charity

Joseph Smith:
We should cultivate sympathy for the afflicted among us. If there is a place on earth where men should cultivate the spirit and pour in the oil and wine in the bosoms of the afflicted, it is in this place; and this spirit is manifest here; and although [a person is] a stranger and afflicted when he arrives, he finds a brother and a friend ready to administer to his necessities.
What we can learn from the Savior about friendship

The Savior was our exemplar. He was accessible saying, "let them come to me." He had time to converse and listen. He lifted others, washed their feet, forgave, loved and healed. He remained loyal and empathetic.

Saints of God are true friends to one another

The Prophet wrote the following note to a Church member in August 1835:
We remember your family, with all the first families of the Church, who first embraced the truth. We remember your losses and sorrows. Our first ties are not broken; we participate with you in the evil as well as the good, in the sorrows as well as the joys. Our union, we trust, is stronger than death, and shall never be severed.

Our goal in mortality should be to establish this kind of friendship with each other and with the Savior, following his example.


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