“Idea List: Be a Pal,” New Era, June 1998, 56
Did you know that when the Savior spoke about laying down his life for us, he referred to us as his friends? (See John 15:13–14.) He must have wanted us to understand the importance of friendship. Not all of us can be a sister, a brother, a cousin or an aunt, but all of us can be a friend. You may have heard the saying, “To have a friend, be one.” So what’s the best way to “be one”? Perhaps some of the following suggestions would be helpful. Try one or two for starters.
Be a good listener.
Learn things about your friends, such as where they were born, what their middle name is, and what they love to eat.
Offer to help your friends with things such as household chores, homework, or tending their brothers or sisters. These tasks are always more fun when done with a friend.
When your friends are ill, call them or write a get-well card so they know you’re thinking of them.
Take the initiative by offering to help plan the parties and outings from time to time.
Remember important events, such as competitions or performances. Plan to be a part of the event, by either attending or dropping off a note of encouragement.
Don’t gossip about other people with your friends. That way, they’ll know you won’t gossip about them when they’re not there.
Speak highly of your friends when talking to others.
Make sure your conversations aren’t always centered on you.
Be sympathetic to their problems.
When they offend you, confront them about it in a sincere, kind way. They’ll appreciate your honesty.
Don’t take offense too easily.
Have other interests and other friends. There can sometimes be too much of a good thing—and too much of a good friend.
Competition is common among friends. And while a little may be healthy, too much can end a friendship. Be careful that you don’t get caught up in outdoing each other.
Love your friends for who they are, not who they know or what they own.
Respect your friends’ privacy and trust. If they confide in you, keep it to yourself.
Give genuine compliments freely.
Pray that you’ll be a better friend.
Live your life in a way that will cause your friends to thank Heavenly Father for having a friend like you.