In our lives, we make friends with many different kinds of people. Some we stay in touch with for a couple of years, some we forget about after a while, some pass away, and some stay with us forever. The ones that leave something behind, something good, make life worth living. Friends like this change our lives for the better through something that they do or say. How much more meaningful would life be if each of us could say that we have had at least one friend that has touched us in this way?
Thankfully, I am able to say that I have touched someone’s life and they have touched mine by being friends. Her name is Desiree, and we have been best friends for a few years now. Several months ago, my friend, Aimee, and I invited her to come to church with us. She came to Sunday church a couple of times but usually came with us to Wednesday night activities. A few months later and a couple of weeks before graduation, she told us that she felt something every time she went to church with us and didn’t know what it meant. All she knew was that she wanted to learn more about the gospel. We were so excited for her and explained to her about the Spirit that she was feeling. She began to take the discussions as I prepared to leave for Brigham Young University. After a couple of months away from my two best friends and constantly hearing about their most recent meeting with the missionaries, they called me to tell me that Desiree would be getting baptized the next week! I was ecstatic for her and quickly made arrangements so that I could be there for it.
When I arrived and surprised all of them, I found that she had not told her parents yet. They were completely against the church and would never approve. As she wrote an email to them explaining the desires of her heart, Aimee and I stood by her side, not being able to believe this great opportunity had actually come about. The next day, she called her mother to make sure that she had gotten the email. Unfortunately, her Mom’s reaction was nothing short of what we had expected and worse. She told Desiree to leave our house immediately and threatened if she did not gather her belongings and return home at once. She told her she never wanted her to see either of us again and could not believe that she had ever trusted us. Saying goodbye, not knowing when I would see her again, and watching her drive away was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do to a friend.
That night, Desiree text messaged me and told me that she still had a strong testimony and was sorry that she could not get baptized at that time. I gave her every bit of encouragement I could find. I told her to not give up and to have faith that for some reason this was what needed to happen. She had told me earlier that all of her friends had deserted her the minute she told them what she would be doing. Aimee and I were the only friends that she had left, and now she would not be allowed to see us. Even though she is still bitter and angry about how everything worked out, she says she will not lose hope for the future. Every time she starts feeling depressed and angry with the Lord, she says she thinks of her real friends and the encouragement that we gave and is able to push through it. Her strength has reminded me of how blessed I am. Through each other, we have grown stronger, and our lives have clearly been changed for the better because of our friendship.
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