Tag Archives: friends

Making Friends

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I think that a huge part about making friends is being a friend to yourself.  Sometimes this is not a very easy thing to do?  But how can we love others if we do not first feel love ourselves?

The two great commandments are to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.  In these two commandments there are three parties that require loving:  yourself, God, and your neighbor…If you had to put these in order of importance to love, what would it be?

It would be 1.  Love God 2.  Love yourself and 3.  Love your neighbor

Part of making friends is being a friend to yourself.  Happiness comes one step at a time, and it does include love.

A New Year

How do your closest friends make you feel?

How do your closest friends make you feel?

Each new year we have the opportunity to make new goals for ourselves.  Perhaps this year we can work on the relationships we have with others.  How are you treating your spouse? friends? children? co-workers?  Do you see something in them that is not quite right?  Are you looking through clean windows as you look at them?

 

Video

Creating new friends

So many times in our lives we feel lonely and unappreciated. It is through our friends that we often feel the love that the Savior has for us.

Many times in my life I have felt alone and forgotten. Perhaps you can relate to those feelings. I know that friends help us to feel loved and that scriptures can be a source of peace and friendship. We feel the Savior’s love through the scriptures that we read.

One of my favorite scriptures is found in the Book of Mormon in Alma 18:35:

“35 And a portion of that aSpirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me bknowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.”

Christ’s spirit lives in us! He loves us and is a part of us every day. Do we live up to that privilege?

I know He loves us and that we can feel that love through our friends, even the scriptures.

A wise use of time

Much of what I want to share today comes from Ian Ardern’s talk, “A Time to Prepare:”

“Time is never for sale; time is a commodity that cannot, try as you may, be bought at any store for any price. Yet when time is wisely used, its value is immeasurable. On any given day we are all allocated, without cost, the same number of minutes and hours to use, and we soon learn, as the familiar hymn so carefully teaches, “Time flies on wings of lightning; we cannot call it back” (“Improve the Shining Moments,” Hymns, no. 226). What time we have we must use wisely. President Brigham Young said, “We are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage, and he will require of us a strict account of [its] disposition” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young [1997], 286).

With the demands made of us, we must learn to prioritize our choices to match our goals or risk being exposed to the winds of procrastination and being blown from one time-wasting activity to another. We are well taught about priorities by the Master Teacher when He declared in His Sermon on the Mount, “Wherefore, seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, footnote a; from Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 6:38).

Alma spoke of priorities when he taught that “this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God” (Alma 12:24). How to best use the rich heritage of time to prepare to meet God may require some guidance, but surely we would place the Lord and our families at the top of the list. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded us that “in family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e” (“Of Things That Matter Most,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 22). I testify that when help is prayerfully and sincerely sought, our Heavenly Father will help us to give emphasis to that which deserves our time above something else.

The poor use of time is a close cousin of idleness. As we follow the command to “cease to be idle” (D&C 88:124), we must be sure that being busy also equates to being productive. For example, it is wonderful to have the means of instant communication quite literally at our fingertips, but let us be sure that we do not become compulsive fingertip communicators. I sense that some are trapped in a new time-consuming addiction—one that enslaves us to be constantly checking and sending social messages and thus giving the false impression of being busy and productive.

There is much that is good with our easy access to communication and information. I have found it helpful to access research articles, conference talks, and ancestral records, and to receive e-mails, Facebook reminders, tweets, and texts. As good as these things are, we cannot allow them to push to one side those things of greatest importance. How sad it would be if the phone and computer, with all their sophistication, drowned out the simplicity of sincere prayer to a loving Father in Heaven. Let us be as quick to kneel as we are to text.

Electronic games and cyber acquaintances are no lasting substitute for real friends who can give an encouraging hug, who can pray for us and seek after our best interest. How grateful I have been to see quorum, class, and Relief Society members rally to the support of one another. On such occasions I have better understood what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints” (Ephesians 2:19).

I know our greatest happiness comes as we tune in to the Lord (see Alma 37:37) and to those things which bring a lasting reward, rather than mindlessly tuning in to countless hours of status updates, Internet farming, and catapulting angry birds at concrete walls. I urge each of us to take those things which rob us of precious time and determine to be their master, rather than allowing them through their addictive nature to be the master of us.

To have the peace the Savior speaks of (see John 14:27), we must devote our time to the things that matter most, and the things of God matter most. As we engage with God in sincere prayer, read and study each day from the scriptures, ponder on what we have read and felt, and then apply and live the lessons learned, we draw nearer to Him. God’s promise is that as we seek diligently from the best books, “[He] shall give unto [us] knowledge by his Holy Spirit” (D&C 121:26; see also D&C 109:14–15).

Satan will tempt us to misuse our time through disguised distractions. Although temptations will come, Elder Quentin L. Cook taught that “Saints who respond to the Savior’s message will not be led astray by distracting and destructive pursuits” (“Are You a Saint?” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2003, 96). Hiram Page, one of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, taught us a valuable lesson about distractions. He had a certain stone and through it recorded what he thought were revelations for the Church (see D&C 28). On Hiram’s being corrected, an account says the stone was taken and ground into powder so it would never again be a distraction.1 I invite us to identify the time-wasting distractions in our lives that may need to be figuratively ground into dust. We will need to be wise in our judgment to ensure that the scales of time are correctly balanced to include the Lord, family, work, and wholesome recreational activities. As many have already discovered, there is an increase of happiness in life as we use our time to seek after those things which are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” (Articles of Faith 1:13).

Time marches swiftly forward to the tick of the clock. Today would be a good day, while the clock of mortality ticks, to review what we are doing to prepare to meet God. I testify that there are great rewards for those who take time in mortality to prepare for immortality and eternal life. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”

 

Jamba Juice and Pippi Longstocking

What are the tender mercies of the Lord in your life today?

I was laying in bed…. I’m pretty sure I had just had a panic attack (you know, shaking and trembling so much that I couldn’t control it), I just wanted to go to sleep.  I didn’t feel like doing anything.  It was a Monday night, which means it was Family Home Evening night.

Here at school we have ‘Family Home Evening’ groups that we get together every Monday night to have a spiritual message, activity and treat.  My apartment was going over to the guys apartment this particular night.  I didn’t want to go.  I didn’t want to bug my friend downstairs because I knew that she had Family Home Evening as well.  I just wanted to be by myself, cry, and hopefully fall asleep.  I was all snug under my blankets in the cold November weather anyway.  I didn’t want to move.

I had told my roommates earlier in the day that I would go to FHE but I really did not want to go now.  So, I just secluded myself to my room and lay there on my bed with my thoughts racing, telling me that I should just end it now by getting up and swallowing huge amounts of pills or jumping out the window.  Or maybe I should go get a blade to cut?  But I had no motivation to get up, even to do those things…(which is probably a good thing).

Then one of my roommates gently knocked on the door and came in…’How are you doing?’  she asked.  She was such a sweetheart.  I told her that I really did not feel like going to FHE that night and that they should just all go and have a good time.  The roommate that I shared the room with came in as well and asked if I was coming.  I said that I wasn’t.

I told them again that they should just go and that I would be fine.  The one went back out to the living room, but the first one that came in said that she wasn’t going to let me just be here alone all night.  She said that she would be right back and left.

I was relieved that they were gone.  I blew out a breath of air and re-positioned myself to be more comfortable.  I laid my head on the pillow and closed my eyes and envisioned blood coming out of my arm and not stopping… Why could I not just be done with this life?  I tried to fall asleep, but that didn’t happen.

Before I knew it my roommate was back with two things of Jamba Juice and a book in her hand.  She gave me one of the cups of Jamba Juice and told me that I needed to drink and get some of those positive chemicals back in me.  And then she asked if I had read Pippi Longstocking.  I said that it had been a very long time.

So, as I drank the Jamba Juice she got for me, she read Pippi Longstocking out loud to me.  We smiled and laughed a little bit.  I was very appreciative for her loving kindness and gentleness towards me.  She was a person who really cared.  She reached out, and dropped things that she had planned to do in her life so that she could help me.

That is what the Savior did.  That is what true followers of Christ do.  They become selfless and learn to love as the Savior loves.  Our Heavenly Father gives us glimmers of hope, even when we can only seem to see the darkness ahead of us.

Discovering New Friends

How do your closest friends make you feel?

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.

Safety Sleepovers

Safety Sleepovers

Overview

So, for those of you who do not know much about my experience with depression, I will give you a quick little overview.  I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder close to a year ago now.  One of the ways that I chose to cope or maybe not to cope with my depression was by cutting and other self harm.

I spent many of my days during this time obsessing over ways to kill myself.  I would think about close to all the time some days.  I just simply did not want to exist anymore.  I didn’t trust myself and did not think that anyone else should trust me either.  My life was literally down in the dumps.

My Friends

I had a couple really close friends who were extremely helpful for me.  They literally saved me numerous times from myself.  I can never thank them enough for being there and for helping me.  I can also never thank my Savior enough and my Heavenly Father enough for putting them into my life when I needed them the most.

Safety Sleepovers

There were many nights where I was very close to killing myself or cutting more.  I longed for comfort and acceptance.  I was scared of myself sometimes.  It was at these moments, sometimes in the middle of the night or at two or three in the morning that I would either call or text my best friend who lived in the apartment just below mine.

She would ever answer and her roommate would be right there to help me as well.  My best friend would come upstairs and help me bring my stuff for the night down to their apartment.  We would then take the couch cushions off of the couch and bring them to their room.  I would sleep on the couch cushions lined up between their two beds.

They were there for me.  They helped to protected me against myself.  They would answer a call at the most inconvenient times.  They simply loved me.  They loved me as Christ loves.  They protected me as our Heavenly Father protects.  They were there to support me and to guide me even when I thought I knew what was best for me and when I rebelled against their help, care, and guidance.

These nights truly were safety sleepovers for me.  They kept me safe.  They took me in.  I am ever grateful for them.

People

There is good in people.  And there are people out there who need your help.  They do.  I love this quote by Jeffrey R. Holland (speaking of conference and hearing the words of the Lord):

“Each of these conferences marks a call to action not only in our own lives but also on behalf of others around us, those who are of our own family and faith and those who are not…As surely as the rescue of those in need was the general conference theme of October 1856, so too is it the theme of this conference and last conference and the one to come next spring.  It may not be blizzards and frozen-earth burials that we face this conference, but the needy are still out there–the poor and the weary, the discouraged and downhearted, those “(falling) away into (the) forbidden paths” we mentioned earlier, and multitudes who are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.”  They are all out there with feeble knees, hands that hang down, and bad weather setting in.  They can be rescued only by those who have more and know more and can help more.  And don’t worry about asking, “Where are they?”  They are everywhere, on our right hand and on our left, in our neighborhoods and in the workplace, in every community and county and nation of this world.  Take your team and wagon; load it with your love, your testimony, and a spiritual sack of flour; then drive in any direction.  The Lord will lead you to those in need if you will but embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been taught in this conference.  Open your heart and hand to those trapped in the twenty-first century’s equivalent of Martin’s Cove and Devil’s Gate.  In doing so we honor the Master’s repeated plea on behalf of lost sheep and lost coins and lost souls.”

Let us reach out to others and accept the love and the help that others want to share with us.