“A friend loveth at ALL times.” (Proverbs 17:17)
The Prophet Joseph Smith cherished friendship. He declared, “Friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of Mormonism.” (Teachings, p. 316.)
“If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of no value to me.” (Essential in Church History, p. 374)
C.S. Lewis, observed, “To the ancients, friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves: the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it.” (Four Loves, p 87)
The Little Prince complained, “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things already made at shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends anymore.” (Antoine du St. Exupery, The Little Prince, p 83-84)
Jesus Christ proclaimed, “No greater love hath a man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Friendship is one of the most supreme and sacred of all loves. “A friend loveth at all times.” (Pro. 17:17)
David and Jonathan, a sacred friendship
One of the great examples of friendship in the Bible is the story of David and Jonathan.
David confronted his friend Jonathan with the fact that King Saul, Jonathan father, was trying to kill David. Jonathan wouldn’t believe it. However, he agreed to investigate David’s allegations. David was right. David would need to go into hiding. Jonathan may never see him again. Jonathan also knew that David would eventually dethrone his father.
When they separated, Jonathan said, “May the Lord be with you. When the Lord cuts off every one of the enemies of David…Let not the name of Jonathan be cut off from the house of David.”
Jonathan and David both swore an oath in the name of the Lord and based on their sacred friendship, saying “The Lord shall between me and thee, and my seed and thy seed forever.” (1 Sam 20:1-24, 42)
Ruth and Naomi, a sacred friendship
Another classic example of friendship in the Bible is the story of Ruth and Naomi.
Ruth declared her friendship for Naomi in these words: “Entreat me not to leave thee or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go: and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; for thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
“A brother is born for adversity” (Pro. 17:17)
This is embodied in the slogan, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”
This is the motto for Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. Boys Town was founded in 1917 by Father Flanagan, a Catholic priest. Boys Town was a place where troubled and homeless boys could come for help. Thousands of young people have been blessed because of Boys Town. (This motto inspired a statute, movie, and a popular song.)
The importance and sacredness of friendship and brotherhood were well recognized in the ancient world. We need them today more than ever. We could make the world a better place by being friends and brothers and sisters.
“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Pro. 17:17)
Of course, the ultimate goal is to become a friend and brother/sister of Christ.
(Sources: Personal visit to Boys Town, Omaha. “Boys Town Nebraska,” “Boys Town (organization),” “Boys Town (film),” Wikipedia. Songfacts.com.)
One thought on “Friendships are Sacred – “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother””