Once there were two boys who lived next door to each other. Although they were the same age, they couldn’t seem to get along together. Then one day, everything started to change. Here are the testimonies they recently gave at the Applewood Ward, Arvada Colorado Stake where they are both deacons.
“Dear brothers and sisters, my talk today is on friendship, and the story I want to tell you is about how a boy and I became true friends. This boy’s name is Matt. I used to call him ‘Mean Matt,’ and he would get mad and start fights with me. We would get in fist fights or throw rocks at each other. I would beat him up for fun and in order to get even with him. Sometimes he would go home with a black eye or a bloody nose.
“I would always show off for this friend and try to make him very jealous. Sometimes he would get mad and try to get even, but I won most of our wars. But often, underneath it all, he made me jealous—once he got a new bike, and he did things with his family. Then one night he invited me over to a meeting called family home evening. That’s when I became interested in the Church. I was later baptized.
“This story is a true story about my next-door neighbor Matt Taylor. We both became very active in the Church. We enjoy Scouting, and now we do things together without any fights or trouble. I am thankful. I am thankful Matt brought me into the Church, and I hope that you can bring someone in the Church so they can have the feeling I have.” (Shawn Bell.)
“Dear brothers and sisters, my talk is on friendship with my next-door neighbor, Shawn Bell, whom most of you know.
“When Shawn first moved next door, there was always trouble between us. The first day I saw Shawn, he threw a toy truck at me and hit me in the face, which gave me two scars, one underneath my nose and one above my left eye.
“When I was in kindergarten, I went to the morning class and Shawn went to the afternoon class. Shawn would wait for me on his way to school as I would be coming home. He would beat me up and go on to school, and I would go home with a bloody nose or a fat lip.
“When I was nine, I was baptized into the Church. That’s when Shawn started going to church with me, and then last February he was baptized into the Church. Since Shawn and I have been going to Church together, we’ve acted like brothers and we’ve had fun in Scouts together. Scouting has helped Shawn and me do things together without much trouble.
“The meaning of this talk is the meaning of a fair friendship. I hope you, too, will bring one of your deadly enemies into the Church. I know the Church is true.” (Matt Taylor.)