By Joanna Caldwell
Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve made friendship the focus of his conference comments, urging all members to bear one another”s burdens and be a true friend.
Elder Eyring quoted the pleadings of President Gordon B. Hinckley in saying, “…I hope, I pray, I plead with you, everyone of you, to embrace every new member of the Church. Make a friend of him or her. Hold onto them.”
While Elder Eyring noted that the new member must be responsible for his or her activity in the church, a friend is vital to their motivation and consistency.
He gave four keys that can help the Saints reach out to new members.
“There are important ways for you to share the new member”s burden,” said Elder Eyring. “We can love, listen, show, and testify.”
Elder Eyring asked members to love as the Savior loved, reaching out to all in need.
After learning to love, members should learn to listen, Elder Eyring said.
“It will not be enough to say, ”I understand, I understand how you feel,” unless we do,” he said.
Thirdly, obedience is important to being a good example for new members. We can then testify of truth and the Savior.
“It is most helpful when it is about the reality and mission of the Savior, about our Heavenly Father”s love, and the gifts and companionship of the Holy Ghost,” Elder Eyring said.
It is crucial that friendships be formed and worked on, he said.