Focus On: Integrity—Finding Friends


Have you ever felt you didn’t have a friend in the world?

As the only young woman in her branch, miles and miles from the nearest group of LDS youth, Justine Goodson of Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, could get pretty lonely sometimes. Although finding non-LDS people who respect LDS standards sometimes proved to be a difficult task, Justine knew she could always turn to one friend—her Father in Heaven.

Justine wasn’t sure what she should do. She wanted to have friends, but she didn’t want to compromise her standards.

“People started to influence my friends to do wrong things. As hard as it was for me to accept it and move on and find new friends, I knew that I had to do it,” says Justine.

Justine prayed to Heavenly Father for help. The answer to her prayer for friends came in a rather surprising way.

In an effort to fill her time and keep her mind off her loneliness, Justine threw herself wholeheartedly into her studies.

“I started to get really academic,” she says. “I would just go to the library and study.” Not only did Justine’s grades improve, but she started to meet other people who were interested in learning—and in making friends.

“We all got along really well,” says Justine of her newfound friends. “So we decided to enter an academic competition.”

After much hard work and many long study sessions, Justine and classmates Janelle Gordon, Ian Neilsen, and Michael Weekes sent off their project in the mail and forgot about it until their English teacher called them out of class a couple of months later to tell them they had won.

Not only did Justine get the satisfaction of doing well in her studies, she knows her prayer for friends who respected her standards was heard and answered.

Justine gives all the credit for her good fortune to her Father in Heaven. Although being the only LDS student in her school is a challenge, Justine knows that with a little help, she can do anything.

“I can just see my Heavenly Father’s hand in so many events. He’s always looking over us and guiding us toward what would be best for us.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh