And the friends of Jared and his brother were in number about twenty and two souls; and they also begat sons and daughters before they came to the promised land; and therefore they began to be many. (Ether 6:16)
This verse comes at the point where Jared and his brother and their friends and families have made it across the ocean to the promised land.
I read that bit about them having 22 friends, and it struck me just how extraordinary that was that this group of friends was so large and stuck so closely together through thick and thin. It makes me think of my group of friends I had in high school; there were 10 of us who got together at least twice a month, even though six of us lived 20-40 miles away.
We were good friends, but I don’t know if we would have been close enough to go all together on a long journey across land and sea and so forth. This group of friends Jared and his brother shared was very special because they were so close and loyal to each other.
It is also fascinating that it was such a large group. Twenty-two friends! Can you imagine having twenty-two close friends like that? It makes me wonder how they maintained their closeness over such difficulties they went through while they started families and had their attention pulled in different directions. Did they make decisions as a group, or were they so devoted to Jared and his brother that they would follow the wherever they went? Maybe they had a sociality that we have not attained yet. How much might our individualistic, distracted, technological society get in the way of us having friends like this?
Maybe this is something that takes work. Maybe it is something that can still be attained. Maybe we can set a brother-of-Jared friendship challenge for ourselves and strive to cultivate at least twenty-two close friends. Who knows what wonderful blessings it will bring into our lives?