What is a friend?
Webster’s dictionary has numerous definitions for a friend. A couple that I particularly like are:
“A friend is one attached to another by affection or esteem.
A friend is one that is not hostile.
A friend is a favored companion.”
I think the last definition is my favorite. What does it mean for one to be a favored companion? Does this mean that a person continually goes to a friend above another because he/she favors him/her? What do we share with our friends? What do they share with us? How do they make us feel? How do they help us in life?
I know from experience that my friends have lifted me up when I have been down and they have shared with me things that they may not share with others as I have shared with them the deepest yearnings of my heart, my shortcomings, and my dreams. Then, they in return help me to reach those dreams. They support me in my desires for life.
Discovering New Friends
Each of us has the ability to discover new friends and to constantly have friends at our side. These friends come from the scriptures. Elder Richard G. Scott recently gave a talk on how scriptures can become our true and cherished friends. He says:
“The scriptures…can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.”
He continues to say that:
“A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time.”
So what do these friends do for us? How do they make us feel?
Elder Scott explains this in his talk as he states:
“Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change.”
“Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one’s ability to overcome the challenges of life. They have potent power to heal emotional challenges when there is faith in the Savior. They can accelerate physical healing.”
Who wouldn’t want a friend like that? Everyone has the ability and the opportunity to forge these new friendships. I know that through my experience of depression that having the scriptures as my close friends helped me and lifted me up when I was at my lowest. One of these scriptures that comforted me in my time of need is found in the Book of Mormon in Ether 2:25:
“And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?”
This is the Lord talking to the brother of Jared, but I felt the power of His words directly to me as I was struggling. The Lord does prepare us for the waves and storms of life. He is ever there to help us and protect us. He asks us what we would have Him do to help us… He is just waiting for us to ask Him for His help. He is there. He has given us stalwart and enduring friends in the scriptures. Let us accept and receive His gift, help, comfort, and support.