Camille Pissaro, Two Young Peasant Women

“I’m so thankful for friendship. It beautifies life so much.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Joseph Smith said, “Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism.” Jesus had quite a lot to say about friends, including telling them that he was going to lay down his life for them.

If it’s so important, why aren’t we Mormons better at it? Why isn’t friendship one of the young women values that are chanted every Sunday all over the world? As far as I can tell, our knowledge and our relationships are the only things we take into the eternities, so it is puzzling that we get very little training in relationships. Many studies verify that friends are essential for happiness throughout our lives, and are as beneficial to our physical health as regular exercise and quitting smoking.

Why so many “family” (which Jesus really didn’t say too much about…) talks in general conference, and very few talks about “friends?” Think of the old hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus.” Being a friend is actually being Christ-like in the best possible way.

Shouldn’t a grand fundamental principle get a merit badge and a personal progress goal? Or a temple recommend question?

Friendship fulfills the second great commandment to love one another.

Aren’t there many people, especially women, in our wards and neighborhoods that are hungry for friendship? Each of us has something amazing to offer others–our friendship.

I know, you are busy. I am busy. I have even been so busy at different times in my life that friends seemed like a luxury, or a guilty pleasure, only indulged in at the expense of something or someone else. Friends fell to the very bottom of my never-ending “to do” list. Thankfully, I learned to prioritize my friendships enough to see the amazing blessing that they are in my life. My friends, my monthly book group, and my annual sisters weekends have been so important to me.

Surely something that is a grand fundamental principle that makes us healthier in both mind and body AND is of eternal worth AND does good for others AND can be offered by anyone and everyone AND is a truly Christ-like behavior is deserving of some of our time and attention. I know those are scarce resources in our lives, but the return on that investment far outweighs the sacrifice.

Do you have enough friends? How do you make time for friendship in your crazy busy lives? Do Mormons have a reputation for friendliness where you live?

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3 Responses

  1. Lily says:

    This is a great post. I have often thought about the Savior’s admonition to “love your neighbor”, in other words, your friends. We don’t emphasize friendship enough. I think my friends are one of the greatest blessings I have.

    I heard an LDS woman speak one time, that “had it all”: hotshot career, family, marriage, etc. She admitted that something had to give and that something was friendships. She said “I have no friends.” I think that’s a great tragedy.

  2. Jason K. says:

    So many amens to this post. Friendship enriches my life beyond measure.

  3. Ellen Patton says:

    I especially love having friends of all ages and situations. If all my friends were just like me that would be boring.

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