True friendship strives for unity of purpose, will, desire, heart, and mind. There must be complete trust and transparency, with no hidden agendas. True friendship transcends love as the world understands it.
Lynn A. Mickelson, "Lessons from the Old Testament: True Friendship and Self-Respect", Ensign, June 2006
Today is a very melancholic day for me. Today is the birthday of my best friend, Ben, who would've been 47. We first met when I was 7. He passed from this life on February 23, 2015 from a pulmonary embolism.
Today I am focusing on true friendship.
Throughout my life, I've had only a handful of true friends. I am married to one of them. Heavenly Father puts certain people in your path to help you. Whether that's your family or others along the way. Sure, I have colleagues, and acquaintances, and members in the ward, and neighbors.... all who are friends. But I've only had a handful of true friends.
A true friend isn't just someone who helps you move, or goes with you to see a movie, or plays racquetball with you, or comes over to watch the game, etc. They are those things too but they are so much more. For me, a true friend is also someone who is there through thick and thin (whatever that means), someone that supports your endeavors and goals and helps you reach them, someone who lifts you when you are down, someone who laughs with you, cries with you, mourns with you, hurts with you. Someone who is selfless. A true friend isn't fake, or doesn't have their own agenda. Most importantly, a true friend helps you realize and reach your eternal potential and brings you closer to the One Man who destroys any barrier in your way of doing so.
To my true friends, you know who you are, I love you and thank you for standing by me and supporting me (spiritually and sometimes physically). I am eternally grateful for your examples and for being a part of my mortal journey and for contributing to help me be successful in that journey. I cannot do this alone.
To my friend on the other side, I love you and I can't wait to see you again and find out what you've been up to these several years.