“How to Be a Good Friend,” Liahona, June 2016, 64–65
I began investigating the Church as a teenager, but I stopped attending the Sunday meetings because I felt excluded by many of the youth. Some time later, one of those youth invited me to a Church activity. I accepted and liked the activities because they were things I enjoy doing: acting, playing basketball, and running.
As I continued to attend activities, I got to know the youth and realized that many of them went to my school. With time I was able to develop friendships with young men and young women who had the same standards that I live by. I am grateful that someone invited me to a Church activity, and I am grateful that I accepted.
Have you ever felt like I did: left out or like you didn’t fit in? Or have you known someone who didn’t feel accepted and didn’t have many friends? Whether at school, at church, or in some other place, most people have felt that way at some time in their lives.
It hurts to be left out, but being upset or holding a grudge won’t help you feel better. Instead, try doing these things:
Participate in Church activities. These are good opportunities to surround yourself with people who respect your standards.
Learn and develop skills. Joining student associations, sports teams, or clubs is a good way to get to know people who share interests similar to yours.
Don’t always wait for other people to ask you to be their friend. Introduce yourself to others.
Be the best person you can be and maintain your standards. You will find friends who appreciate you for your character and the light you radiate.
Spend time with your family. You may realize that some of your best friends are found in your own home.
Sometimes it may seem difficult to leave our comfort zone and be friendly to other people, but as we remember that we are all children of God, we will see the importance of helping others. Here are some ideas:
Speak to new people at school and at church. Introduce them to your friends.
Invite someone who needs a friend to a school or Church activity.
Confront—with kindness and patience—people who intentionally make others feel unwelcome.
Sit next to someone who is alone or invite him or her to sit with you and your friends.
Pray to Heavenly Father when you don’t know how to help someone. He knows perfectly what that person needs to be happy and can help you to offer that help.