Friendship

Fellowship

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“When my wife, Kathy, and I were in Africa a few weeks ago, we visited Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Because the chapel was not large enough for the 2,000 members, we met out of doors under large plastic coverings supported by bamboo poles. As the meeting began, we could see dozens of children watching us, clinging to the bars on the outside of the wrought-iron fence that surrounded the property. Kathy quietly whispered, ‘Neil, do you think that you might want to invite the children to come in?’ I approached District President Kalonji at the podium and asked him if he would welcome the children outside the fence to come join us inside.

“To my surprise, with President Kalonji’s invitation, the children not only came but came running—more than 50, perhaps 100—some with tattered clothes and bare feet but all with beautiful smiles and excited faces.

“I was deeply moved by this experience and saw it as symbolic of our need to reach out to the youth who feel alone, left behind, or outside the fence. Let us think about them, welcome them, embrace them, and do everything we can to strengthen their love for the Savior.”

Neil L. Andersen, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me,” April 2016 General Conference

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“To be sisters implies that there is an unbreakable bond between us. Sisters take care of each other, watch out for each other, comfort each other, and are there for each other through thick and thin. The Lord has said, ‘I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine’ (Doctrine and Covenants 38:27).

“The adversary would have us be critical or judgmental of one another. He wants us to concentrate on our differences and compare ourselves to one another. You may love to exercise vigorously for an hour each day because it makes you feel so good, while I consider it to be a major athletic event if I walk up one flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator.

“We can still be friends, can’t we?

“We as women can be particularly hard on ourselves. When we compare ourselves to one another, we will always feel inadequate or resentful of others. Sister Patricia T. Holland once said, ‘The point is, we simply cannot call ourselves Christian and continue to judge one another—or ourselves—so harshly.’ She goes on to say that there is nothing that is worth us losing our compassion and sisterhood over. We just need to relax and rejoice in our divine differences. We need to realize that we all desire to serve in the kingdom, using our unique talents and gifts in our own ways. Then we can enjoy our sister and our associations and begin to serve.”

Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President
Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other,” April 2014 General Conference

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“I love the example we have in the first chapter of Luke which describes the sweet relationship between Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her cousin Elisabeth. Mary was a young woman when she was informed of her remarkable mission to be the mother of the Son of God. Initially it must have seemed to be a heavy responsibility to bear alone. It was the Lord Himself who provided Mary with someone to share her load. Through the message of the angel Gabriel, Mary was given the name of a trusted and sympathetic woman to whom she could turn for support—her cousin Elisabeth.
 
“This young maiden and her cousin, who was ‘well stricken in years,’ shared a common bond in their miraculous pregnancies, and I can only imagine how very important the three months they spent together were to both of them as they were able to talk together, empathize with each other, and support one another in their unique callings. What a wonderful model they are of feminine nurturing between generations.”
 
Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President
Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other,” April 2014 General Conference

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“[Be] a good neighbor and a good friend. Set an example of righteousness and kindness. Let your smile radiate love, peace, and happiness.”

Silvia H. Allred, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Go Ye Therefore,” October 2008 General Conference

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“President Hinckley’s beloved wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley, put it so well when she said: “We are all in this together. We need each other. Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young. And, hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old. It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith every day. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth.””
 
James E. Faust, Second Counselor, First Presidency

Instruments in the Hands of God,” April 2005 General Conference

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“I have been blessed throughout my life with Christlike friends—from friends of my youth to the many people who have blessed our family in all the wards we have lived in. Their faith and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, their service, their wise and gentle instruction have enriched our lives. Some of my friends are very different from me. We disagree about things, and we can even irritate each other. But friendship allows for differences—in fact, it embraces them.”

Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
What Greater Goodness Can We Know: Christlike Friends,” April 2005 General Conference

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“It should be obvious to each of us that our ultimate friendship should be with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
What Greater Goodness Can We Know: Christlike Friends,” April 2005 General Conference

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“By strengthening each other spiritually, building faith and fellowship, we wear the shoes of pioneers.”

Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society General President
Pioneer Shoes through the Ages,” October 1997 General Conference

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“For all of [the women in the Church], there are no simple answers except, as for all sisters, to do the best they can every day—to look up; to learn; to evaluate resources within themselves, their families, their communities; to pray with faith; to search the scriptures; to find ways to be of service; to keep their own lives clean and pure, their relationships true; to forgive those who have caused the hurt.

“Even as this is so, however, may every sister feel the warmth of friendship from her sisters in the Church and priesthood support from home teachers and bishops who care. May she be included, welcomed, given opportunities to serve.”

Joy F. Evans, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Overcoming Challenges along Life’s Way,” October 1987 General Conference

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