News Release

Celebrating Friendship on an International Scale

On July 30 people around the world will take joy in celebrating International Friendship Day.

As followers of Christ, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe everyone to be literal sons and daughters of God and therefore spirit brothers and sisters. Given this perspective, Mormons take great joy in friendship and fellowship with each other, with neighbours and with colleagues.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism’”(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 316).

“I think in all of us there is a profound longing for friendship, a deep yearning for the satisfaction and security that close and lasting relationships can give,” said Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Church (‘’Friendship, a  Gospel Principle’’, April 1999, general conference).

“Like so much of what is worthwhile in life, our needs for friendship are often best met in the home. If our children feel friendship within the family, with each other, and with parents, they will not be desperate for acceptance outside the family,” Elder Jensen added.

Friendship is also a vital and wonderful part of courtship and marriage, according to Elder Jensen. “A relationship between a man and a woman that begins with friendship and then ripens into romance and eventually marriage will usually become an enduring, eternal friendship,” he said.

Available to members and friends of the Church, opportunities to develop lasting friendships are fostered through many programs in the Church, including youth camps, single adult activities, home teaching, visiting teaching, compassionate service and humanitarian efforts.

July 30 is an opportunity as friends, family members and neighbours, both literal and figurative, to celebrate the bonds and love that we share and hope to share, further exemplifying the second great commandment to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).

Contributed by Samantha Smith-Bird

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