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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

Brothers and Best Friends
     Last night I dreamed an angry man grabbed me.  He was yelling at me trying to bait me into hitting him.  In the dream I knew he wanted a "justifiable" reason to beat me.  I said, "I'm not going to hit you, but if you harm me in any way you'll have to answer to my brother."  A look of concern crossed the man's face and he let me go.

     I woke up with two lines of thoughts running through my head.  The first started with the angry man, the second started with my brother.

     I know somewhat of the man that in my dream.  He died a few years ago.   The little I knew of him was that he was not the kindest husband or father.  Lately I have had indirect dealings with the affects of abuse (alcohol, domestic and predator).  Out of respect to friends I won't go into detail.  My heart aches for them and I wish I could help make it all go away. 

     My brothers are big 6'3", 6'6+" and 6'4" respectively.  Our front door, growing up was a 2-3" step up from the porch.  On occasion when a date would come for me, my 6'6+" brother would stand in the front doorway, with his arms crossed peering down at the date until I came to the door, even then sometimes.  One evening a date commented, "Your brother sure is big." "Yep" I responded.  "Would he ever hurt anyone?" asked the date.  "If they hurt me." I replied.  Interestingly, there wasn't a second date.
     My brothers were my best friends.  Each holds a special place in my life.  I would ask my parents and middle brother for a ride when I needed to go somewhere and the only car available was our tempermental VW.  My oldest brother would not drive me but he did teach me to drive the Bug.  On breaks from college he would treat me to gymnastic meets and movies, I would treat him to pizza.  My middle brother and I spent long hours walking and talking.  He has an artist's eye and would show me things around town I would have never noticed on my own.  My baby brother and I would play games, making up our own rules as we went.  The games could last hours with us laughing most of the time.
(in order by age - I'm 5'8" but feel "petite" around my brothers)

     In German class 16-year old was assigned to give a 5-minute oral presentation about his best friend.  He talked about 12-year old.  20-year old missionary recently wrote about the people he has met and the missionary companions he has had.  He said that he loved his new found friends but 16-year old and 12-year old are still his best friends.

     I can't talk about brothers and best friends without this final account.  I had been team teaching an early morning seminary class with my husband.  The class had 5 students, 3 Freshmen, 2 Juniors.  I looked forward to the days I taught, it felt like family.  My husband was asked to do a different job in church.  One of the team teachers of the other class was also given a new church job.  The remaining teacher and I joined classes.  I now have 22 students.  My 5, plus 17 Juniors/Seniors.  It has been a hard transition for me.  I was telling a friend about my struggle.  She asked if I were praying for the class on an individual, name by name basis.  I was not.  I had been praying for them as a whole but not as individuals.
     The other day I was talking to a woman who has been having a lot of struggles.  I read to her from Alma 7 in the Book of Mormon:

 10) And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
  11) And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12) And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
 13) Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
     I explained to the woman that through His Atoning sacrifice Christ can succor ALL wounds.  She said, "Christ suffered for everyone, not just me."  I replied, "Christ suffered for you - not just everyone."  Her face lit up, she said, "I never thought of it that way before."
     Christ knows and loves my 22 students on an individual, name by name basis.  He knows and loves my friends who are hurting from the affects of abuse.  He knows and loves me.
     Christ is our big brother, He can be our best friend.

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