Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Love Yer Neighbor

Six B's of Friendship

There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that talks about the agency of humans, specifically as it relates to the fall of Adam, it says the following...

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
2 Nephi 2:22

Women too. Obviously. And yes, we are here to learn to have joy. This scripture isn't talking about being "happy" all the time, not pleasure and not giddiness. When it talks about joy, to my understanding, it is referring to a state of being that a human has to choose. Joy is a state that a person has to foster in themselves and is partly dependent on other choices that they make; because while you can choose what you will, good or ill, you do not get to choose the consequences, and some consequences are harder to live with than others. Some consequences make choosing and experiencing joy harder to do. Harder, but it can be done. And that's a darn good thing, because sometimes we make choices that have consequences that spill onto others, and make it harder for others to have joy.

Why the theological yap-yap-yap? Because I believe that our human relationships are absolutely vital to our progression and our becoming more like our Father. I also believe that when a person is embroiled in a feud with the next door neighbor over where they park their camper, or saying unkind things about a sister, that they are stunting themselves. There is no joy in contention or fear. It's my oh-so-esteemed opinion that since we are all here in this mortal realm for such a short time trying to learn the pro-active art of "having joy" in the midst of heartbreak, hunger, tragedy and sorrow, it would behooves us to foster friendship and kind feelings wherever we can.

Yeah, I know, I kinda suck at it too. But remember, we are practicing progress, not perfection.

Baby, ya need some friends. A little back-up, ya know? But being social and friendly doesn't actually come naturally to everyone, and even for those blessed with the friendshippy gene... it can be easy to let this stuff slip as we become adults and the weight of responsibilities start sitting on our shoulders, and maybe we rely more heavily on our spouse and kids for human interaction and less and less with other women. And hey! I am Mormon, biiig on families right? Big on BIG families and all that, so the more family time the better!?

I think this is a big mistake.

I don't have any scripture or scientific studies to make my point here, but I do have an interesting personal experience to share. Years ago when I was serving a mission in New England, the then Prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, President Gordon B. Hinckley held a special meeting at a church house that stood on the Joseph Smith Memorial in Sharon Vermont. The meeting was for full time LDS missionaries only, and I prepared carefully for this meeting curious as to what it would be like to be in the presence of a living Prophet. As the day came and the meeting progressed, I was surprised, but then sort of not surprised, that I was feeling the warm feelings of the Holy Ghost in exactly the same way that I experience them during a good Relief Society lesson. I hadn't really thought about it before that moment, but there is a certain peaceful nourishment that comes to me especially clearly in the presence of other women and living Prophets. You can make of that what you will, but I have chosen to make friends with women.

Over the next few posts I will be outlining six points, and as a nod to the late President Hinckley and his Six B's, I have made them into B's as well. The whole exercise is to get you thinking about the friendships and relationships in your own life. Hopefully as you go down this short journey with me in to honeybee-land, you will look at those around you who could be friends and maybe are not yet. Also, I am looking forward to a little discussion along the way, and I will not die if you need to correct me.

Six B's
1. Be There
2. Be Open
3. Be Aware
4. Be Quiet
5. Be Civil
6. Be Still


Amber said...

I can't tell you how excited I am for this series. It sounds like what I've been needing to hear.

bahecky said...

Wow, Bon. What a great idea. I have discovered since college the amazing power of having wonderful women friends. Roommates, sisters, Relief Society sisters, work friends, and so many others. What a blessing.