The Gift of Friendship

By Lisa Soignier of Independence, Missouri, USA

Through divine grace and wisdom, this faith community has been given abundant gifts, resources, and opportunities to equip it to become such a people. Chief among these is the power of community in Christ expressed locally in distinctive fashions while upholding a unity of vision, foundational beliefs, and mission throughout the world.  Doctrine and Covenants 163:11a

Shortly after the camping season I was following a conversation on the Internet with some friends. We talked about how much our first camp counselors meant to us. We compared the counselors to our first-grade teachers.

My first counselor was Dell at Camp Powderfork in Bald Knob, Arkansas. She was a wonderful teacher and mentor. Through the years, she sent me birthday cards, graduation cards, and kept up with the birth of my children.

When I moved to Independence, Missouri, several years ago, we reconnected and resumed our friendship. During the last few years of her life at a nursing home, she still wanted to know about every detail in my life.

She was special!

During that same first youth camp, I met my best camp friend. We couldn’t wait to see each other as summer camps came around each year. Last summer we again spent some time at that same campground. Thirty years had passed since we last saw each other. It was as if time had stood still!

The most-remarkable part of this story is that my friend is not a member of Community of Christ. Through the love and acceptance she felt from the campers, she continues to want to be a part of the companionship of this denomination. One never knows what God has in mind for us through friendship.

Prayer for Peace:

Generous God, we thank you for our teachers, mentors, and counselors. We thank you for lifelong friends. We thank you for the opportunities and resources of our community that enable us to reach out in pursuit of peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Welcoming Unity in Diversity

Each day this week meditate on unity in diversity. Prayerfully read Doctrine and Covenants 163:8c, which calls “the entire church to become a sanctuary of Christ’s peace, where people from all nations, ethnicities, and life circumstances can be gathered into a spiritual home without dividing walls.”

Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle. Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep you and others from being one in Christ’s peace.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will look at my distinctive gifts and assess where I can best use them to share the peace of Christ.

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1 Comment

  1. God is so involved in our future – this is such a great testimony

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