What three things would you take with you if you were beached on a deserted island? This was a common question posed by friends in my younger years. My answer usually sounded something like, “An endless supply of chocolate, a cute bathing suit, and my favorite book.” As an adult, though, my answers look quite different. Sure, it would be important to have the basic necessities of life like, shelter, food, and even the scriptures. But if I were asked the same question today, I’d say the number one thing I’d need with me on a deserted island is simply a good friend.
Sometimes, though, friends are hard to come by, and we find ourselves well, alone. You can feel alone even in a sea of other students at school. And girls can be especially hard on one another. But I’m here to tell you a secret: loneliness is a lie. The adversary wants you to forget your Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. They are always with you. In addition, the Lord promises even more heavenly help in D&C 84:88, [“. . . I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”
Only one person has ever been truly alone on this earth, and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father withdrew His spirit for a time, so Christ could shoulder the entire burden of the atonement on His own as he hung on the cross. That’s an important fact. I believe Jesus Christ has a special place carved out in His heart for those who feel the heart-breaking pain of being alone, because He experienced it in two different ways. Christ experienced all things through the atonement—the pain of any affliction, the sting of any sin, and that certainly applies to the isolating feelings of being alone. But Christ, Himself, experienced great loneliness during His mortal life. In D&C 45:8, we read, “I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not . . .”] Not only was He rejected by his own people, He spent forty days and forty nights fasting in the desert alone, and also had to endure all He went through in the Garden of Gethsemane while the apostles slept. Christ is keenly aware of your feelings of loneliness, and there is a way to feel His closeness and love for you. In fact, if you find yourself feeling alone, you are a special witness to a very integral part of the Savior’s ministry on the Earth, and can better understand what Christ suffered on behalf of each one of us.
So what can be done? You now have the knowledge that Christ truly understands the plight of loneliness, but how does this help? The answer is to utilize the atonement to heal your heart. Go to your Heavenly Father in prayer, and tell Him to bridge the gap between how you feel now, and how you want to feel. Because that’s what the atonement is; a bridge to your Father in Heaven. You pray for friendship, and then you do one last important thing. You open your mind and heart to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Because most of the time, friends can be found in the most unexpected of places. Like, in those we consider only acquaintances, in those we’ve judged are too different from us, or lastly, in our very own siblings. That’s right, siblings often end up becoming our very best friends. After all, who else understands how crazy your parents are?
So, if you feel like you’re alone on a deserted island with only chocolate and a bathing suit, remember your Savior, your Father in Heaven, His angels, and The Holy Ghost, can always be with you, and with them, you are truly never stranded.
How can you open your heart and mind to forming new friendships around you?