Everyone needs a friend. In today’s world many youth feel isolated and alone. A contributing factor is the ever-growing problem of being “plugged in” to a device, making it difficult to connect to and communicate with other individuals in the room. The lack of genuine communication makes it difficult to form real and lasting friendships. Never before has the need for friendship, kindness, and acceptance for others been greater. A group of young women were recently asked to write down questions they had pertaining to friends. Here were their responses:
How can I find friends who have the same standards I do?
Is it okay to be friends with someone who isn’t living the gospel standards?
How do I share my standards with a friend without offending him/her?
Why do girls like to gossip? What should I do if my friends begin gossiping?
How do I become the friend someone needs?
What should I do when I no longer want to be someone’s close friend?
Why are girls so concerned about being popular?
How do I overcome being jealous of my friends?
What is the best way to build a great friendship?
Is it okay to be friends with someone who is not a member of the Church?
What if your friend doesn’t like another person you’re friends with? How do I avoid choosing sides?
How can I help my friends get along better?
Why do girls form groups and make it difficult for others to feel included?
What should I do if I don’t fit in at school or in my ward?
How can I help my friends who aren’t getting along with their parents or siblings?
How can I help my friends who are struggling with their testimony?
How do I keep safe distance from a friend that might become a bad influence on me? How can I show him/her I still care?
Before class, we formed a large (discussion-friendly) circle with the chairs. Half of the class received questions typed on small strips of paper. The others received selected quotes from For the Strength of Youth, the scriptures and words of the prophets to share in addition to their own thoughts and impressions. We began class with a short video entitled, “Attributes of Christ,” recently published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Before viewing, I asked the young women to think about the Savior. What kind of a friend is he? What attributes does he posses that we might also in becoming a good friend?
Each young woman participated in the discussion. Personal experiences were shared and the most powerful moments came when they shared feelings of the Savior. Our ultimate friendship should be with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Savior has affectionately said, “I will call you friends, for you are my friends” (D&C 93:45). His greatest desire is to bring us back to our Father, and the way for us is clear. We must develop and live the qualities and attributes of Christ.
Quote cards: Compromise, D&C, Emerson, FTSOY, High Standards, Hinckley, Jairo, John, Kapp, Love of the Lord, Monson, Moroni, My Friends, Proverbs, Scott. I have also created a printable (.docx) Friend Pamphlet, including an invitation to act and personal progress activity for the young women.