“Idea List: Making Church Friends,” New Era, May 2004, 43
Next time you’re at church or Mutual, look around. Are you with friends? You should be. If you don’t feel like you get along with the youth in your ward or branch, you’ve got some work to do. The Lord has commanded us to be united: “I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27).
What can you do to build friendships in your youth group? Here are some ideas that have helped the youth of the Ridgecrest Third Ward, Ridgecrest California Stake.
Smile when you see each other.
Don’t let hate or anger color your thoughts about anyone.
Learn to love everyone. You can pray for this love (see Moro. 7:48).
When problems arise, don’t overreact. Most problems aren’t worth losing a friendship over.
Talk about problems before they get too big. We can’t draw nearer to Christ when we are pushing others away (see 3 Ne. 12:24).
Spend time getting to know each other. Get-to-know-you activities can be the start of lasting friendships.
Have fun together. Sports, games, or outdoor activities can be good ways to enjoy each others’ company.
Support each other through hard times.
Stand up for each other.
Never gossip. Few things will divide you as quickly.
Do service together.
Do secret acts of kindness for one another.
Set goals together.
Find common interests.
And remember you all have a love for the gospel in common.