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The Doctrine of Friendship with Melinda Brown

Tue Oct 25 05:00:42 EDT 2022
Episode 7

Friendship is an essential and eternal part of our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness! We can develop these divine relationships in our lives right now, as we are, where we are. Friendships can help us experience heaven on earth today. In this episode, we discuss how we can start building these relationships by following Jesus Christ’s example, and loving our friends with genuine kindness and compassion the way He would. If you are ready for more soul-filling connection in your life (and who isn't!?)--this episode is for you!

Wherever you are, be there.
Melinda Brown

About Melinda Brown

Melinda Brown is the author of Eve and Adam: Discovering the Beautiful Balance. She discusses faith and friendship with women of all ages and shares her insights on her Instagram account @BraveLikeEve. Mindy is a mother and grandmother, and she gives her friendship to her loved ones by spending time with her grandkids eating lots of delicious treats, including anything with frosting.

Top Takeaways from this episode!

Friendship is not only a part of this life but is an eternal and divine principle of heaven! We can build heaven on earth starting now.

We can follow our Savior’s example of friendship by being loyal to people we love.

Making friendships as an adult isn’t always easy, and sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone, but it will get easier!

We were given time on this earth for human connection, and we need to make sure to carve out time for it.

Life is a group project, and we all bring our own unique “bricks” to build a beautiful Zion community.

Something to think about:
We think of good friends as those who can be loyal and dependable, and our relationship with the Savior is the same. How can we show others our Savior’s love by emulating his example?

Small and simply weekly challenge:
“Wherever you are, be there.” As you go throughout your week, try your best to be present to yourself and those around you. Don’t worry about what you need to do next, but just be present and open to relationships around you.


Kathryn Davis 00:00 Friendship is a part of the eternal plan of our Heavenly Father. Looking at others through heavenly eyes is an essential part of cultivating relationships. Hi, and welcome to Magnify an LDS Living podcast where we talk about using our influence as followers of Jesus Christ to make a difference in the world. I'm your host, Kathryn Davis, a mom, a seminary teacher, and a Traeger enthusiast who loves God. Do you remember being a kid in school and having your teacher announced that we were going to work on a group project? Whether you felt anxious or excitement, you knew that a group project meant putting yourself out there and having to learn to work with others. Perhaps our teachers were onto something because as we've gotten older, most of us have probably noticed that life is all about working with others, and that friendships are created when we sit together and cherish each other. Here today to talk about how we need others and how they need us to get through this group project we call life is Melinda Brown. Mindy is the author of Eve and Adam discovering the beautiful balance. She loves discussing faith and life with women of all ages and shares her thoughts on the Instagram account @BraveLikeEve. She describes her perfect day as played with their grandbabies exploring along the beach, digging into a new book, and eating lots of scrumptious treats. Definitely with frosting. Mindy, we're so glad you're here today. Melinda Brown 01:23 Thank you. I'm so happy to be here. Kathryn Davis 01:26 What is the last book you read? If you love to dig into new books? Melinda Brown 01:31 Oh, I usually have some surrounding me actually. And the one very closest to me right now is called Christianity's Surprise. And I'm just starting a master's program. And so that was the first book I read from my master's program. And I need to write a paper on it. So maybe I'll get a good idea for that paper while we do this, because I've been procrastinating a little bit. But it's a great book. It's a really interesting book. I loved it. Kathryn Davis 01:59 Okay, I love that. Today, I want to talk about the idea that life is a group project, which is something you've talked about before. And I think this metaphor really resonates with me, and probably many listeners, not only because I'm a teacher, but because sometimes many of us think we can get through life's challenges by ourselves. I know when I was in high school, and when I was in school, I always wanted to be the one in charge of the group projects, because I wanted to ensure that I could get that A. However, I don't think our Heavenly Parents want us to endure anything alone. They have given us unique skills and talents that we can contribute to make a better world around us. Melinda Brown 02:41 I think you're absolutely right. Kathryn Davis 02:44 I love that thought that life is a group project. Unknown Speaker 02:47 Yeah, well, for me, that is how it felt. And I think I'm kind of like you I grew up as a student, you know, in my early elementary school and high school, dreading group projects and feeling like, "ah, but then I can't control everything!" Right? Then I lose control. There's uncertainty when you have to rely on other humans. And I think that's actually the plan. I think we're supposed to have uncertainty. And I think we're supposed to rely on other humans. So a group project is actually just right, even though it's uncomfortable. Kathryn Davis 03:19 And I think part of this group project, if we're talking about life as a group project, and thinking that we can handle things on our own, the Lord wants us to have friendships in life, to teach us the nature of heaven. And in fact, I love the thought that friendship is eternal and divine and is a tool to get us back to live with him again. Can you tell us a little more about why it is important to have friends as part of our eternal experience? Melinda Brown 03:47 Yeah, that is, that's a great way to put it. You know, I think we have this doctrine of friendship that we don't always talk about quite like that. But if we think back to some of our, I would say Founding Fathers, like the early restoration leaders, right. Joseph Smith was really well known as such a great friend, like he loved friendship. And he was the one who actually called friendship one of the grand fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And what's interesting that we don't often quote Hyrum, and we don't think about what Hyrum said about things. But he commented once in a talk he was giving that he said, "Men's souls conform to the society in which they live." And I think those ideas really intertwine in a fascinating way. So if we're thinking about.. I'm kind of going to get out there a little bit on a big idea for a second. I'll try to bring it in to help it make sense. But if we think about friendship as having an eternal component, so often, I think we look at eternity as that thing that comes next. And it's ahead of us. But for me, it really helps to recognize that eternity is this long spectrum. And we're in the middle of it, like we're in eternity right now. It's not just what comes next. It's the whole thing. And so if we see friendship as one of the components of what heaven is built on, and really, I think what that means is that God's ways, are those ways that would create wonderful relationships and joyful relationships. I think that's what Hyrum was tapping into with that comment that our society or community that we create, forms and shapes us. And so like, rather than looking ahead to heaven, and the eternity of what comes next, let's look at what we have right here and say, if this is a piece of eternity, and our society that we're building is forming us, and we could see it as here and now not just the next step, but here and now. Well, then living God's ways actually is what creates a joyful, happy, eternal society. And let's do it now. Because the sooner we start practicing, the better we get at it, right. So like, let's get it incorporated here. I love the just the idea that heaven begins here, and we get to build it. And it's crucial that we do it together. I mean, I think if you think of... sometimes it's really tempting. Like, occasionally, I have a motto, and it's not a very hopeful motto, but I sometimes just say, you know, fewer people is easier. And that's just true. It really is, right? Fewer people is easier. But that doesn't mean it's better. And if we wanted to be super self-isolated, and skip out on the group project, and do everything all by ourselves, just in the privacy of our own little home, it's like we have one brick. And in all those little private pods, there would be one brick, and you can't build with one brick. I mean, that's like giving a child one Lego and saying, have fun with that. That's going to bring you hours of creative play. No, you have to have multiple bricks to be able to play and figure things out. And it's like, we all need to bring our bricks together in order to build this Zion community. That is what the whole idea of a Zion community is heaven now. Right? And not a destination. It's not later, it's not down the road. No, no, you got to figure it out here and now. And I think that's what Joseph and Hyrum were really experimenting with, and frankly, excelling with, they were doing this amazing job about it. There had been great comments shared by people who interacted with them at the time saying, man, there's just something magical about that Mormon community. You know, that's how they talked about it then. Saying, you get in there. And it's like, we just set people on fire, because it's happy and hopeful. And everybody thinking about this united goal of moving forward and progressing toward and it would raise everybody to this higher plane. And I think that's what recognizing that heaven can begin here and now can do for us, it can sort of lift our sights upward. Instead of just looking down at the dirt, we can look a little more heavenward and realize, like, guys, let's do it now. This is really doable, we can do better. And to do it, you have to practice. So it's got to be group projects. Kathryn Davis 08:45 Well, that's a question for you. And I love how you stated that it's the doctrine of friendship, right? Because we don't refer to it very often as the doctrine of friendship. Melinda Brown 08:56 You know, we don't then if you really think about it, that's like the big picture. It's all about relationships. Yeah. Kathryn Davis 09:04 And I think you said something like, we have to practice at it. And so, have building friendships always been something that's been natural for you, or you've had to work at it? Melinda Brown 09:16 No, I laugh. I like chuckle at that. No, not at all. I am absolutely an introvert. I mean, I can be social, but I recharged by retreating. And I rarely feel lonely. Like I truly enjoy being alone. And so I have to step out of my comfort zone to really interact and engage and do all those things. So no, it doesn't come easily for me, I would say, but there's so much value in it. You have to have everybody's other pieces. So I think you just figure out well, I'm going to have to figure out how to be better at this and practice. Kathryn Davis 09:53 And seeing the value of it in order to practice. Yeah, for sure. I was actually I was talking to a young mom last week who is transitioning to be a stay at home mom. And that is her big fear is she's like, I don't have built in friendships. And I don't know how to find those friendships. Melinda Brown 10:13 Yes. Yeah. You know, I think, actually, I have this dear friend, I've been good friends with her for 30 years. And the very first time we met, she was such a great example to me. She's a natural extrovert. And on our first Sunday, our husbands were going to be in medical school together. And so we were in this ward together, and the Relief Society President challenged everybody to take a cookie to someone new. And I'm not even sure I completely took that message in, because I probably thought, are you kidding? No, I can't do that. That's scary. I don't know these people. I'm new here. Right? Well, so as everybody else, pretty much. And here comes the sweet friend with a cookie the next day just knocking at my door. And she's like, I just saw you. And I thought I want to be her friend. And it was amazing. I mean, how can you not love that? Who's going to turn that down? Yeah, if you lead with, "I looked at you and thought I want to be your friend." Well, terrific, right? Come on in. Who doesn't need more friends, right? So I think that's always been a really great example to me of just remembering just put yourself out there. You don't need to know what you're going to say you don't need to know what you're going to do. It doesn't need to look perfect. You know, there are so many different ways. In fact, here's a funny thing that I've learned in the last year. One of my COVID projects, as we call them now was getting chickens. And so I had these three chickens. And I discovered that there is no better way to make a new friend than to pull out fresh chicken eggs from a lovely little handbag and be like, "Oh, I thought you might like some fresh eggs." And so whenever I have an extra egg or two, and it's funny, you don't need to take a dozen, right? One or two fresh eggs is such a treat. I mean, who gets fresh eggs, right? Unless you're crazy chicken lady. Kathryn Davis 12:07 Unless you've got chickens. Melinda Brown 12:08 That's exactly right. And I've done this probably half a dozen times when I've gone to a meeting to meet someone. And I'd be so intimidated, like, I'm about to do a podcast or about to have an interview with somebody and I'm thinking oh my word, I can't believe I'm doing this. This is so scary. And then I think, "Oh, I'm going to take fresh eggs and put a couple of eggs in my purse." And it just is the sweetest way, you know, to connect. So it doesn't need to be something brilliant. You don't need to make a fancy cake. I hate to cook and there's no way I'm gonna make anybody anything, but I know where all the good bakeries are. And you know, there are just different ways you can do it. So to something authentic. Kathryn Davis 12:46 And just practicing it. That's right. Something that you are interested in. Something that you have to share to reach out. I think that's so important. Melinda Brown 12:58 Yeah. And like so many things, the more you do it, it's just to get so much easier. Like you just step out of your comfort zone every day. And it'll be easy before you know it. Kathryn Davis 13:09 I love that. Every day do something to step out of your comfort zone. Yeah, I love that. So what do you think? How do these friendships teach us about the unique gifts that our heavenly parents have given us? You kind of talked about Joseph and Hyrum. How do these friendships teach us about ourselves and our unique gifts? Melinda Brown 13:29 Well, I think sometimes it's interesting. But in my experience, the first place we start learning is by recognizing where we're deficient, which, you know, that can be a downer sometimes to realize that. But it's actually also really helpful just to recognize, like, oh, I don't have that gift. And I could use that in my life. So I better go find an external source of that gift, right? And I think when we start to see people as having pieces that we're missing, then it also helps us turn it. And for women, this can be especially hard to recognize that, oh, I actually also have a piece that maybe they don't have. And I think you have to see it both ways. And maybe different people lead with different ways. You know, maybe some people feel like I have all these gifts, I should go share them. I think, you know, a lot of us feel like, Oh, I really don't have many gifts. But I'd love to surround myself with people who have those gifts. And when you start to build a support group around you, that you recognize, like, oh, on this day, when I'm feeling a lack here, I know just the person to call who can just give me a little boost right there because that's her gift. And the more you experience that it just helps us recognize too that I might have something to share as well that they're missing. And you know, it's that idea of those bricks again, none of us have have all the pieces. We only have a few. Kathryn Davis 15:03 And I love what you said about recognizing other strengths, and building those together. Because sometimes I think it's not easy to build and strengthen friendships. It's not easy. And we might feel like we aren't going to make a difference in someone else's life, or we don't have a brick to contribute. And so we revert back into ourselves and I think we tell ourselves that we aren't needed. So what can we do when we feel under qualified to share our light and love and those moments? Melinda Brown 15:38 Yeah, those can be discouraging moments. I've had those I know everybody has, and it is hard to push yourself out there when you're not sure what you have to share. I think one is relying on past experience and trusting that you do, maybe you don't see it right now. But but it's there, and you'll find it. But it also sometimes just takes an investment of time, and effort. And it's just not easy. You know, especially as adults. When you're a kid, and you're in these settings where you're at recess everyday together, and you have just occasions throwing you together to have those friendship building experiences, they come so naturally. But as adults, they take a little bit more thoughtful effort. And we're all busy, we've got a lot of things going on. But I think it's so crucial to actually schedule in time. I mean, if you're planning out the next few days, boy put a block in for a friendship hour, and then reach out to somebody, you know, say, Hey, can we meet for a walk? Or I'd love to take you to lunch. Or I'd love to sit on your porch with drinks. I'll bring sodas or something, you know? There's so many ways just to say, "let's just take a moment to connect." And connection is just huge. Maybe it feels like, "Oh, but I don't have time for that." Well, I think actually, that's what we have time for, like, that's the whole reason for time is to figure out how to make connections. And the amazing beauty of it is you think, "Oh, I don't know if I can take time away from my busy work schedule and my to do list." And yet, if you go get that human connection, you'll come back and you'll be more efficient in your to do list. You'll have a less need to procrastinate because you'll have a little bit of happy energy that you'll think, "oh, yeah, I can tackle that thing. Let's do it. Get that knocked off the list." And so it's actually a really efficient use of our time to build in periods of connection. And I'd even say every day, I think every day calls for some human connection. But it takes effort. It takes effort. Kathryn Davis 17:51 Yeah. And I know we, a lot of times, doubt our ability, or what we can bring to the table. And we might think, well, I can't love like the Savior loves and I don't have that perfect love. So how can we believe that we can show up in authentic ways? Melinda Brown 18:09 Yeah. Well, I love that you said it that way. Because I think we often get hung up on that. This idea of perfection... Darn English, we just we've misunderstand that word I think. I don't think we think of it the way that the ancient biblical writers meant us to. And so we read about that perfect love of the Savior's. And I don't think we're being asked for that same thing. I kind of like to think of it as sort of on a spectrum. And I think of it personally as the love spectrum, where one end is that perfect love that we see Christ exhibiting so beautifully. And that's certainly our goal. But on the other end of the spectrum, the phrase that jumps out at me and we read it several times in the scriptures is love unfeigned. And that's such a funny term because we don't go around talking about, "oh, are you feigned? Are you unfeigned?" Like what does that even mean? But what that really means is unfeigned means genuine and authentic. And if down on the mortal end of the love spectrum is the goal of being genuine and authentic, everybody can do that. Like I mean that is in fact the definition of that. It means being you. Being you puts you on the love spectrum, because that's genuine. You are you and nobody else is you. So literally you are the only one who can bring your brick because nobody else has one just like yours. Kathryn Davis 19:48 And love that. That you are perfect at being you. Melinda Brown 19:54 Sister Eubanks said it so beautifully. A lot of people hear her and I'm sure right at this moment they're thinking of her saying, "You are the gift." Right? And that was the perfect concise way of saying it. And that's what genuine, authentic human love looks like. Here and now that's what we're really good at is being ourselves. Kathryn Davis 20:15 And I love the idea of bringing heaven to earth right now. Bringing heaven now. And one way we can do that is through friendships. And another tool that we've been given to learn about the nature of Heaven is covenants and covenants teach us about our relationship with the Savior, and they teach us about our relationship with others. I love this quote by Sister Burton. She said, "as we keep our covenants, we also receive courage and strength to help us bear one another's burdens. Oh, sisters, we all have burdens to bear and burdens to share. An invitation to bear one another's burdens is an invitation to keep our covenants." That is such a beautiful statement. Yeah. So how do you think that making and keeping covenants teach us to actually strengthen our bonds with one another? Melinda Brown 21:08 Well, I think there are a couple of levels you can see this from. First of all, we actually covenant to take care of each other, right? I mean, that's the baptismal covenant of comforting each other, mourning with each other, all of those sorts of things. But I think on a different level, we can see, maybe the best way maybe to try to express this idea is we often talk about what it looks like to be a good friend. So on the mortal side of the equation, the here and now right now part, we say, "Oh, she's such a good friend, or he's such a good friend." And that means they're dependable. They are kind, they're gentle, they're understanding, they, you know, recognize when you're having a bad day and cut you some slack, and just look for the best in you, and cheer you up all of those things. And hopefully, if you're really assessing that situation, you eventually come to kind of the idea that their loyal. A good friend is loyal. Right? And that idea of loyalty pretty much sums all that up. They are loyal to you because they know you and they love you. And so they're going to be there for you, they're going to stick with you. If they hear somebody saying something untrue or unkind about you, they're going to be there to defend you, and defend your honor or whatever, all of those things, right? And then, kind of on the other side of the equation, I think we tend to look at our relationship with the Lord. And we say, we should love the Lord. And we should obey the Lord. And we should, you know, do these things, keep our covenants. And we look at that, and we see it as totally different than being a good friend. But in fact, if we were to look at that relationship, and say, the fundamental basis of that is loyalty. What he is asking us for is loyalty. He is asking us to trust Him, to stick with him, and believe that he's got a great plan, and he can do what he says he's gonna do. He's asking us to love what he loves, and do it his way. And he's trying to show us when we do that, everything can go well. He can work everything for our good. I mean, right, that's just that magical, divine touch of the Lord's is that everything can work out. It's like he has this infinite number of contingencies that whatever little missteps or stumbles we take, oh, no problem. He's got it, he's got another thing for us, we can fix that, right? And we don't often think of that as loyalty. But if we can see that as loyalty and realize they're the same thing, but one is an immortal framework, where we're practicing on each other. None of us are perfect, but we're all bringing the genuine us to the equation. And it's what is helping us. And it's like this beautiful upward spiral, right? It's like this reinforcing feedback loop, positive feedback loop. Because if we're treating our relationship with Him as really focusing on loyalty, like I can't be perfect, but I can be loyal to the Lord. I can keep trying, I can love him, I can love his ways, all of that, that helps us keep our covenants with him better. And as we do that, that gives us the strength and wisdom and assistance, that divine assistance to then do it better with each other. And at the same time, as we do it with each other, we start to recognize... like say maybe you've got the young adults who--I have one of these. A lot of us do--who's not super interested right now in a relationship with the Lord. But she's finding her own path. She's doing things her own way. And I adore her, I love her. And she loves me. And we've managed to forge our relationships through some rocky paths. And I can see how I hope we're getting closer and closer to the day, when she starts to realize, wait a minute, if my mom loves me this much, like, what might that mean in an eternal realm was heavenly parents, and a Savior? And I think the day will come that it's our mortal relationships and love for each other that helps her make that leap over to recognizing the divine side of it as well. So I think it's just important to see that we're each kind of going on... we're just making this cycle. And maybe we're each on different halves of it. But it's the magic of doing both halves together and seeing it as an issue of loyalty and love that can actually really make it all work beautifully. I think that's the plan. Kathryn Davis 26:24 That is so profound to me. And I guess I haven't thought of it that way that friendship is loyalty. Our loyalty to the Lord and his loyalty to us. And I love that thought. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord calls us his friends 22 times. And what that means is that loyalty that he has to us as well. Melinda Brown 26:51 Well, that idea of perfect love, when I was describing the love spectrum, the ancient word that really sums that up most perfectly, and I think we're always trying to replicate this idea in English, but it's this Hebrew idea of chesed. And it's such a huge concept that we just don't even have words for, literally. It's this everlasting loving kindness. We read it like that, or steadfast love. In the Psalms, it's steadfast love that comes up again and again and again. And what really that word is trying to capture is the power of covenantal love. And we're practicing and learning how to covenantally love well, but the Lord does it perfectly. He is a master at it. And so he never fails us. So to recognize that his ability to be loyal to us is infinite and perfect. That's huge. That's what it really is all about. That's what we're trying to mimic is increasing the degree and constancy of our loyalty. And he does it perfectly. So that's what we're after I think. That's how it makes sense to me at least. Kathryn Davis 28:14 Yeah. And you said, as we begin to feel that love and that loyalty from our Heavenly Parents and from the Savior that we can then be able to see others through that vision as well be able to see them as divine beings. How can we learn to see others through this heavenly vision? Melinda Brown 28:36 Yeah, well, for me, I think there are a couple of key ideas. One is, I think, when we really look deeply into each other's eyes, and I mean that super literally, like when we look closely in each other's eyes, I think we can catch a little glimpse of that light of Christ in each other. And I love to think of that that's like our highest common denominator, you know, and if you realize that every single person you come in contact with you have this common ground with, and it's not like lowest common denominator type of common ground. It's highest common denominator. It's this divine identity. I think, right there, you start with a desire to know them, because they're worth knowing. Right? And I think as we try to get to know each other, because you know, there's always progress to be made, and we have to start somewhere, the need for context is huge. It's so sad that we would look at each other for let's say, you watch somebody for three minutes, how they're interacting in a store with the person they're shopping with or something and you think that you somehow have just gained enough insight into that person's life that you can kind of identify, oh, I know what kind of person that is. Right? That's so silly. Of course we can't do that. We've got to know so much more about that person's bigger picture and their bigger story and their background, and just all the things. And the way we do it is by sharing each other's story, right? It's by opening up and just sharing our stories with each other. And sometimes it's best done by asking them all the questions and saying, "Tell me about this. How did you learn this?" or whatever, right? And pulling out their story. And sometimes people are hesitant to share that way. And I think it can work the other way just as well. When we open up a little window into our lives and let them see what hard thing maybe preceded what they might have seen happening if they just watched a little snapshot of us, right? And if we can be really vulnerable, and share with them this hard thing you've been going through for a few weeks or something. All of a sudden, everything shifts because it's suddenly real. And you recognize, oh, I had a hard thing, too, right? And you've got this idea to share. And I think it's in sharing our stories that we're able to fine tune our vision on each other much better. But it starts by recognizing the light of Christ in everyone in my opinion. Kathryn Davis 31:22 Have you ever had an experience where your vision has changed of someone when you recognized the light of Christ in them, or you've heard their story? Melinda Brown 31:34 Oh, yeah, I think so many. I work on campus at BYU in a freshman stake. And so we get all these new students every fall, right? We're about to have a whole new wave of students. And it's always so interesting, those first couple of interactions, you're almost trying to fight the urge to, not exactly pigeonhole, but it's, you know, you're trying to learn everybody's names, you're trying to get to know everybody so quickly, it's easy to be like, Oh, she's this and she's this. And she's this and put them in their categories. And if you can just hang on and not do that yet. I have found that if I can wait until, you know, the first couple of activities where I have a chance to actually sit down and visit one-on-one with these students a little bit and start to hear their background. It's so fun to scoot around where you had placed them, right? And realize, "Oh, you're actually more like this. And you're more like this." And it's just this constantly moving game of figuring out all the different facets of each other because it just takes time to see those facets. And there was one student over the summer and summer term that it just happened at the beginning of a church service. I had been watching him for a minute and kind of gotten an idea in my head, and it wasn't anything serious, but I just thought, oh, okay, I sort of know who that is. And then we got into the Sunday School hour. And he made a few comments that sort of reaffirmed my thought, but then also one that made me think hmm, I wonder if maybe I'm not quite, I maybe I didn't quite know enough to think I understood who this person is. And then he stayed the next hour for class I was teaching. And I could watch in his eyes as I'm leading this discussion, the wheels turning. And he proceeded to make some of the most insightful comments that fed into our discussion and led that to be the most fabulous hour together. And I thought, you know, isn't that amazing? We just had to find that topic that kind of, like it lit a little spark in his mind and got him thinking. And it completely opened him up in a way that he just hadn't been interested in sharing. And I hadn't been willing to look deep enough. And it was amazing. And by the end of that, so you know that morning at church together, I thought, oh my word I like have a new favorite person today. This young man is outstanding. He's amazing. And maybe I wouldn't have necessarily thought that from the first spot. So it was just a matter of time and talking and sharing. So it was great. That was a fun experience this summer. Kathryn Davis 34:27 I think that is one of the most valuable lessons we can learn is to withhold judgment. So I love what you've said Mindy. Taking the time, learning their stories, asking for that vision to come. And we like to end every episode of the podcast with one small idea or action from the conversation that we can implement. Something that we can implement throughout the week. So before we end today, what is your small and simple suggestion for how we can cultivate eternal friendships and love more like the Savior? Melinda Brown 35:04 Well, I would say one idea I try to remind myself frequently is, wherever you are, be there. And I just think if you know, if you're in a line in a grocery store, be in that line and look around you and be with those people. There's no point worrying about what do you need to go do next, because you're not there doing it just be in the grocery store, right? And those little tiny opportunities for human connection can make such a nice difference. You know, I think when we kind of imagine what the Savior's life was like, when he lived at the meridian of time there in Galilee, I just don't ever picture him rushing. Right? Like, I think of him as being so present. And he could look in the eye of other people, he could look deeply into their eyes. He wasn't worrying about what was next or whatever. He could just be where he was at the moment. And for me, that's something I strive for constantly. Because I struggle with that. That's hard for me. I'm always thinking about my list, and what else I'm not getting done or need to be getting done or whatever. And for me, just that mantra of "wherever I am, just be here, right now. Be here." And that really makes a difference I find. Kathryn Davis 36:24 I love that. I think that's something we can all work on. Mindy, thank you so much for being here with us today. Melinda Brown 36:30 It's been such a pleasure what an uplifting conversation we've had. Thank you. Kathryn Davis 36:36 You can find Mindy's book Eve and Adam discovering the beautiful balance at Desert Book. And you can connect with her and a whole community of other women on her instagram @BraveLikeEve. And don't forget to join us over on Instagram @MagnifyCommunity. And of course, subscribe and listen to the Magnify podcast wherever you get your shows. Thanks for being here and let's meet up again next week. Transcribed by

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