Sure, friends are nice. But we already have our families, coworkers, neighbors . . . the mailman.
Are friends that important?
Yes! Let this sink in:
It was my endeavor to so organize the Church that the brethren might eventually be [brought into] the celestial kingdom by bonds and covenants of mutual friendship and mutual love.
(Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol 1, p. 269)
What is a Friend?
Jesus did not just want us as His sons and daughters: He also wanted us as "friends" (see John 15:15).
There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
I remember hearing a person at church lament that they had lost one of their best friends. How? The ward boundaries had been divided and the two members found themselves in different wards: just a block away, but worlds apart.
Imagine what we could accomplish with true friendship:
The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.
And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and his bow, and to his girdle.
(1 Sam. 18:1, 3-4).
Two of the hallmarks of a Zion society will be community and consecration.
One of the issues we face today is the disappearance of community (which is being replaced with social networks).
Instead of neighbors seeking each other's welfare, we keep tabs through Facebook.
There is a reason friendship is essential to Zion: without cooperative effort, who will hew granite for the temple or dig the irrigation ditches to water our crops?