Always a little troubling… 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect [complete, whole], even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Here is the Problem Friendship Pride Envy Competition
C.S. Lewis “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good- looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, cleverer, or better- looking than others. If every one else became equally rich, or clever, or good- looking there would be nothing to be proud about. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.
Elder Holland Among the most memorable parables the Savior ever told is the story of a foolish younger brother who went to his father, asked for his portion of the estate, and left home to squander his inheritance, the scripture says, in “riotous living.” 1 …. 1 But being caught up in this younger son’s story, we can miss, if we are not careful, the account of an elder son, for the opening line of the Savior’s account reads, “A certain man had two sons”—and He might have added, “both of whom were lost and both of whom needed to come home.” … This son is not so much angry that the other has come home as he is angry that his parents are so happy about it. Feeling unappreciated and perhaps more than a little self-pity, this dutiful son … forgets for a moment that his faithfulness has been and always will be rewarded. No, he who has virtually everything, and who has in his hardworking, wonderful way earned it, lacks the one thing that might make him the complete man of the Lord he nearly is. He has yet to come to the compassion and mercy, the charitable breadth of vision to see that this is not a rival returning. It is his brother. … Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, “Give me thine honor.”
1 Samuel 18:1-4 1 And it came to pass, when [David] had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
Question As David and Jonathan’s friendship grew, Saul increasingly tried to kill David. What effect might that have had on the “knit” friendship of David and Jonathan? Can our relationships be ‘knit’ more tightly by adversity? What, then, decides whether they are ‘knit’ or destroyed by trials?
Elder J. Golden Kimball At the death of B.H. Roberts I am now what they call the Senior President of the First Council of the Seventy. It is not altogether merit. It is just the regular order of things in the Church, just as it is with the Twelve Apostles. I have had the tenacity to outlive my fellow laborers. I have given forty-one years of my life whole-heartedly for the Seventies. The First Council are all presidents equal in authority. As much as I honor and respect Brother Roberts I have never felt inferior to him in his presence; he has never made me feel that way. He had a greater intellect, greater intelligence, but I have had some gifts of my own, that in a way were equal to his. I have preached by his side many times, and after he got through preaching I reached those that he missed, so it has been that way during all this time. He often said when in the south, "Our love is akin to that of David and Jonathan."
Elder Neal Maxwell "When we are struggling to learn to love, we can have faith in God's developmental plans for others as well as for ourselves. Then we do not feel threatened by those who are our superiors or who are becoming such. The more unselfish we are, the more able we are to find joy in their successes, all the while rejoicing without comparing. In any case, our only valid spiritual competition is with our old selves, not with each other. True love and friendship enable us to keep that perspective. The things about other people that truly matter are their qualities such as love, mercy, justice, and patience, and their service to others."