I Will Seek Good Friends

Gospel Standard:

I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.

(Faith in God guidebooks, back cover)

Thought:

In my childhood, I was blessed with many good friends, friends who deeply influenced my life.

(Elder Gordon Taylor Watts, "Friend to Friend: Best Friends," Friend, Feb. 2002, 8)

Thought:

Song:

"Love One Another," Children's Songbook, p. 136.

Object Lesson:

Materials needed: chalk dust.

Procedure: After "chalking" your hands, show them to your family. Ask them what would happen if you shook hands with them or patted them on the back. Discus.

Explain that friendship is much like the chalk dust. As we associate with friends, their good or bad qualities can rub off on us. Discuss how having a good friend can really support a person. Discuss what makes a friend.

(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, More Power Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], p. 23.)

Story:

Being a Friend First

Ardeth G. Kapp

Years ago when I had just turned seventeen, I left my small hometown of Glenwood, Alberta, Canada, which has a population of approximately three hundred people. I went away for my senior year of high school because the courses I needed for graduation were not available to me at home. I knew only one person in my new school, and I was scared. I hadn't had any experience in making friends except with those I had grown up with. I didn't wear the latest fashions like the other girls, so I looked different. I wasn't part of the in- group or of any group, for that matter. I was away from home, homesick, and lonesome. Even if they had asked me, I didn't have the money to do the things the other kids did. I yearned for friends. There was so much talking going on, it seemed that everyone else had lots of friends. How do you get in? I wondered. No one was discourteous, but I felt ignored, as if they didn't know I was there.

Can you imagine how desperately I wanted friends, or at the least on friend? I remember feeling alone, a long way from home. Kneeling by my bed day after day, night and morning, I prayed for friends, I pleaded for friends. I wanted boyfriends, girlfriends, young and older friends, member and non-member friends. I felt I needed friends for my survival. I talked to my Father in Heaven and promised that in every way I would strive to do what was right no matter what, if I could just be helped to know how to make friends in my new situation. The thought came to my mind that maybe there were others who felt as I did; maybe I should try to forget about myself and be a friend first. I thought, I can smile, and I can say hi.

I believe that thought was a whispering of the Spirit in answer to my prayer. I began to focus on being a friend instead of having a friend. I listened to the Spirit. I did smile, and I said hi to everyone. I learned to be friendly. At first it was hard, but before long it became easier. At the end of my senior year, I was nominated by the student body as the representative girl for the high school where I attended only one year. Some may have considered it a popularity victory, but I'll always know it was in answer to the fervent prayer of a sixteen-year-old who learned how to make friends with everybody.

Jay A. Parry, editor, Everyday Answers, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 77.)

Activity:

Play "River Crossing"

Materials: Paper or fabric cut into 18x18-inch "rocks," 3 per team.

(Karla C. Erickson, Kids in the Kitchen, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980] p. 25.)