We extend our love and greetings to you, the readers of the Friend, in this first issue.
The name chosen for your new magazine, the Friend, has important meaning. A friend, according to the proverb, is one who “loveth at all times.” (Prov. 17:17.) The prophet Job learned the meaning of friend when, in his many afflictions, his three friends “made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.” (Job 2:11.)
A true friend will also tell us when we err and how we ought to improve; for, as the proverb says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Prov. 27:6.) So, your new magazine has as its purpose to bring you comfort and peace and to give you counsel and instruction in a spirit of love.
As this new magazine becomes your friend, we hope that you will realize that President Joseph Fielding Smith and all the General Authorities are your friends and love you.
We also hope that you will read this lovely magazine and learn more about Jesus Christ and his Church and that you will become friends with him.
To be the Savior’s friend requires that we love and obey him. According to his disciple John, he said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:14.)
That Jesus wishes to be friends with us is shown by the modern revelations. In addressing the Saints a short while after the Church was organized, he said, “And again I say unto you, my friends, for from hence forth I shall call you friends … that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them.” (D&C 84:77.) In several other revelations that followed, he addressed the Saints as his friends. (See D&C 94, D&C 98, D&C 100, and D&C 104.)
The most striking biblical example of a friend was Father Abraham, who often is referred to as “the friend of God.” That he deserved that title is shown by his great willingness to do all that was asked of him, even to sacrificing his only and beloved son, Isaac, if that became necessary.
Our prayer is that the new friend you have in this magazine will help you to follow the great example of Father Abraham and to become a true friend to Jesus by keeping his commandments. He also wants us to love one another and be good friends and neighbors by being kind and helpful to all.
Joseph Fielding Smith
Harold B. Lee
N. Eldon Tanner