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“Friendship,” New Era, Sept. 2009, 41

What Joseph Smith Taught


The Prophet Joseph Smith taught what it means to be a true friend.

The Prophet Joseph Smith endured many trials, but he had friends who supported him and even suffered with him. In good times and bad, he showed deep gratitude for his friends, and he showed his friendship through his firm loyalty, kind words, and selfless acts. Here are some of Joseph Smith’s teachings on friendship.*

True Friends Are Faithful

“How good and glorious it has seemed unto me, to find pure and holy friends, who are faithful, just and true, and whose hearts fail not. …

“… I hope I shall see [my friends] again, that I may toil for them, and administer to their comfort also. They shall not want a friend while I live; my heart shall love those, and my hands shall toil for those, who love and toil for me, and shall ever be found faithful to my friends. Shall I be ungrateful? Verily no! God forbid.”

Friendship Unites Us

“I don’t care what a man’s character is; if he’s my friend—a true friend, I will be a friend to him, and preach the Gospel of salvation to him, and give him good counsel, helping him out of his difficulties.

“Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’; [it is designed] to revolutionize the world, and cause wars and contentions to cease and men to become friends and brothers.”

“That friendship which intelligent beings would accept as sincere must arise from love, and that love grow out of virtue.”

Saints Are True Friends

“We should cultivate sympathy for the afflicted among us. … Although [a person is] a stranger and afflicted when he arrives, he finds a brother and a friend ready to administer to his necessities.”

“I would esteem it one of the greatest blessings, if I am to be afflicted in this world, to have my lot cast where I can find brothers and friends all around me.”

  • From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 461–66.

Joseph and Hyrum by Theodore Gorka