I have had some phasing when it comes to friends, and girlfriends in my life. Till the time I was around 5 or 6 I had just a few neighbor friends, more of the kids whose moms hung out with my mom. When I was around 7 or so I had some people move into my ward that were my first friends. Through elementary and Jr High School these people were my best friends, they mostly included kids from my ward, and scouts, and kids who skied, or were on my swim team. In high school I made a great group of friends, many who I still am friends with today. Most all of them were LDS. I also had my swim team friends, many of whom were not LDS. Of course there was the phase where I had my missionary friends, and that faded into the college group of guys. These days its pretty selective who I am friends with, its hard to have the large group of friends, because time is so scarce.
I have had hundreds of really close friends, and maybe 10-15 “best friends” some of them are still in my life today. I can go back and pin point what it was that these people did to affect my life enough for me to call them best friends. I started to make a list of these people, then decided to back down, it would take to much space to list everyone, and everything. But I can say that each one of these people have helped me grow spiritually. The friends who are Mormon, and the friends that were not Mormon. As I think about this topic, I have been feeling a little down on myself because I have started to become aware of how much the relationships in my life have shaped me, and made me who I am. I have realized how little I have actually put into my own life. I would be a fairly shallow person with very little to contribute if I had not had the immense contributions by my family and by those who I have had relationships with.
I have tried to make a list of what aspects of my spirituality have been affected by my friends. The list got pretty big, so I am including the 5 that I feel are most important to me.
1- My testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2- My love of the Book of Mormon.
3- The understanding of the importance of service, and of serving each other.
4- The principle of honesty and hard work
5- Who I am, and what I am capable of doing.
That last one is the thing I have struggled with most, and thanks to some wonderful relationships and some great friends, I believe in myself a lot more then I could have ever on my own.
I truly have been blessed, and am very appreciative of the the relationships I have had. I thank you all for just being you, and helping me to be me. Love you all, and wish you a great memorial day weekend.