In a survey which was made in selected wards and stakes of the Church, we learned a most significant fact. Those persons whose friends married in the temple usually married in the temple, while those persons whose friends did not marry in the temple usually did not marry in the temple. The influence of one’s friends appeared to be a more dominant factor than parental urging, classroom instruction, or proximity to a temple.
We tend to become like those whom we admire. Just as in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic account “The Great Stone Face,” we adopt the mannerisms, the attitudes, even the conduct of those whom we admire—and they are usually our friends. Associate with those who, like you, are planning not for temporary convenience, shallow goals, or narrow ambition but rather for those things that matter most—even eternal objectives.
Inscribed on an east wall of Stanford University Memorial Church is the truth: “All that is not eternal [is] too short, [and] all that is not infinite [is] too small.”1
Beyond your circle of earthly friends, I urge you to make a friend of your Heavenly Father. He stands ready to answer the prayer of your heart. Being the Father of your spirit and having created you in His own image, knowing the end from the beginning, His wisdom will not fail and His counsel is ever true. Make a friend of Him.
There is another important friend you should have, and that is the bishop of your ward. He has been called of God by prophecy and the laying on of hands by those who are in authority. He is entitled to heavenly help in providing you with counsel and guidance. Make a friend of him.
Choose your friends with caution.
Share Your Experiences
Share your experiences in applying this counsel and read the experiences of other youth by going to lds.org/go/friendNE3.
How Have You Done This?
My Heavenly Father has always been my best friend and provides me with comfort and guidance every day. My earthly friends have helped me gain a stronger testimony and a deeper desire to do more diligent work in the Church. And the bishop of my ward has given me an insightful view of the Church that has helped me grow as a member. By choosing uplifting friends, I’ve been able to better follow the strait and narrow path that will one day take me to see my Father in Heaven again.
Savannah A., Montana, USA