“What kind of friend are we? Are we the type of friend who always makes sure that those around us know it will be easier for them to live gospel principles, such as the Word of Wisdom or the law of chastity, when they are with us? Do our friends know that they will never have to choose between what we want them to do and what the Lord would have them do?”

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Aaronic Priesthood: Return with Honor,” Ensign, May 1990, 39.

Ninth Ward Neighborhood Garden

“I liked getting my hands dirty and working alongside all the other girls,” said Brooke Matsen of the Farmington Ninth Ward. She was pitching in with the other young men and women of the ward as they helped clear, plow, cultivate, and plant a large neighborhood garden. The garden provides not only fresh produce but also opportunities for learning and service.

The youth cleared branches and pulled stumps from the area prior to plowing. Then they worked together in planting 160 tomato plants, cutting and planting seed potatoes, corn, beans, and peppers. Unfortunately, as the plants flourished, so did the weeds. Families and youth were assigned to keep rows weeded. In the end everyone helped with the harvest and learned how to bottle and preserve the food.

“It was fun to work with everyone,” said Kambria Johnson. “We got closer and there were good bonding experiences. It’s good to know the garden would benefit some in the ward.”

By the Numbers

587,870

Number of individual devices (computers, phones, etc.) streaming live video feeds of the October 2009 general conference.

Homework First

Valerie S., 18, Samoa

I had a 16-page research paper to finish. Even though my cousins also had the same assignment to finish, they still planned to go to the movies. I really wanted to go too, but I thought of the consequences of going to school the next day without my paper being finished. I chose to stay home and work on my paper. The next day I turned in my paper while my cousins were busy finishing their research by the deadline. They were stressed, but I felt good about choosing to do my homework first.

The Church in USA—Maine

Arriving by canoe, missionaries for the Church crossed the Piscataqua River to Maine in 1832. They searched door to door for people to teach and started a congregation in Saco, York County. More missionaries arrived, and one mass conversion brought 30 individuals into the Church. In 1835, Maine had nearly 320 members. Church activity slowed in Maine after most members joined the mass exodus west to escape persecution.

In 1904 missionary efforts resumed, with Sunday School meetings held in converts’ homes. The first Church building was dedicated in 1957 in Portland, Maine. Members in this area attend the Boston Massachusetts Temple.

Here are a few facts about the Church today in Maine:

Membership

10,350

Wards & Branches

30

Family History Centers

11

My Favorite Scripture

D&C 82:10 This verse is important to me because it shows that the Lord’s way is the right way to follow. It is also a great scripture to remember when I am faced with a decision because it reminds me that the Lord wants me to choose the right.

Dayna C., 16, Ontario, Canada

Tell us about your favorite scripture in one or two sentences. Send it to newera@ldschurch.org.

Photograph by Janet Thomas

Being a Better Friend

Want to be a better friend? Here are some ideas that will help you be a true friend.

  • Always help others be their best selves.

  • Don’t be afraid to share your standards, your beliefs, and your testimony.

  • Be respectful and kind to others.

  • Move out of your comfort zone by talking to people you may not yet know.

  • Look for those who may be quiet or shy and befriend them.

  • Never lower your standards to match others’ values.

  • Show genuine interest in others and their ideas.

Bonus: See what the scriptures show about friendship

How were Jared and his brother good friends to others? Look up Ether 1:36–37 to find out.

“A friend loveth

____________
.” Find the rest in Proverbs 17:17.

What did Joseph Smith’s friends do? Check Doctrine and Covenants 121:9 for the answer.

Garden photographs by Carolyn Toronto; lighthouse © Getty Images