John 15:12 – "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."
Doctrine & Covenants 121:9 – "Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."
Dan explained that the second scripture was God talking to Joseph Smith when he was imprisoned in Liberty Jail. He was in a cold, dark jail, with only a few friends with him, for several months. God told Joseph his friends still supported him, even though they couldn't be with him. Then we talked about what friends do. The kids came up with answers like sharing toys and playing together. We then talked about how friends help each other make good choices. An example Dan gave is if your friends are telling bad or dirty jokes, you can be a good friend by saying, "I don't like to hear those jokes. They aren't nice." I told the kids you have to be brave to speak up like that, but you are being a good friend when you set a good example.
Dan then concluded with this scripture:
John 15:14 – "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
He explained that God will consider us His friends when we obey the commandments. Yep, that's the ultimate friend I want!
After our lesson was done, we played The Friend Ship Game and made smores in the microwave. They were really yummy, but I still prefer campfire-toasted marshmallows the best.
The Friend Ship Game is a cute and simple game I found in a file folder game book years ago. The basic premise of the game is each person gets a "Friend Ship" with a big pocket in it. There are also Friend Ship cards and game cards. Each player, on their turn, picks a game card from the stack and either earns or loses Friend Ship cards based on what the game card says. The game cards have lots of cute examples of being a friend or not – eg. "You baked a goodie for a friend who was sick. Collect 1 Friend Ship card." The Friend Ship cards you collect are kept in your Friend Ship pocket. Whoever has the most Friend Ship cards at the end wins.
We hadn't played this game in forever (my youngest ones hadn't even seen the game before!) so it was lots of fun to play together and it helped emphasize the lesson of the evening.