Being the Lord's Friend

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This is an excerpt from A Year of Powerful Prayer, by Deseret Book Company.

As we feel the power of Christ’s love pulling us toward Him, we anticipate the joy of His promise: “Be faithful and diligent . . . , and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20).

The Lord reflected that affection in the way He addressed Joseph Smith. During Joseph’s early years, Christ called him “my servant Joseph” (for example, D&C 1:17; emphasis added). But after Joseph had traveled long paths marked by consecration and hardship, the Lord said, “From henceforth I shall call you friends” (D&C 84:77; emphasis added).

What is the difference between a servant and a friend? The Lord had earlier said, “The servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” ( John 15:15; emphasis added).

The Lord’s “friends” thus feel His increased confidence in them—enough confidence that He is now willing to tutor them in the most personal ways. But they also discover that His tutorial asks more of them, not less. It is both possible and likely that the closer we come to Christ, the more we will be aware of what we yet need to do. He said, “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. . . . if they humble themselves before me, . . . then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27; emphasis added).

So if we are becoming more aware of our weaknesses, that doesn’t mean we are drifting away from Him; it may well mean that we are drawing closer. Like a good coach, a good tutor will always help his students see and correct their mistakes. When we understand that, correction is motivating, not discouraging. For because of the Atonement, we can learn from our mistakes without being condemned by them.

(Bruce C. Hafen, A Year of Powerful Prayer: Getting Answers for your Life Every Day [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013], 40–41).

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