“‘Provident living’ … implies the husbanding of our resources, the wise planning of financial matters, full provision for personal health, and adequate preparation for education and career development, giving appropriate attention to home production and storage as well as the development of emotional resiliency. …
“Let’s do these things because they are right, because they are satisfying, and because we are obedient to the counsels of the Lord. … It is true that difficult times will come—for the Lord has foretold them. … But if we live wisely and providently, we will be as safe as in the palm of His hand”
Self-Reliance Begins with Faith in Jesus Christ
We are here to work our way through life, earning our daily bread and giving our excess to help those in need. It is our obligation to progress ourselves by developing the skills we need to provide for our families.
When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we are not weighed down with personal doubt. When we believe in His Atonement, we believe He will quicken our minds through the Holy Ghost so that we can learn the things that are necessary for us to improve ourselves.
With faith in Jesus Christ as our anchor, our plan to become self-reliant becomes a little easier and a little clearer. We learn much more when the Holy Ghost is our constant companion. Read more
The purpose of becoming spiritually and temporally self-reliant is to become better able to serve the Lord and care for others (see John 15:8). The Savior invites us all to act, to stand independent, and to become as He is. He will help us. He has promised: “It is my purpose to provide for my saints, for all things are mine. But it must needs be done in mine own way” (D&C 104:15–16). His way includes learning and living the principles of self-reliance—“the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the necessities of life for self and family”. Providing in the Lord’s Way: Summary of a Leader’s Guide to Welfare ).
The prophets have taught us multiple times that although the Lord never forsakes us, usually he does not do for us what we can reasonably do for ourselves. When we do need help, very often the help comes through other persons which means that as we become self-reliant, the more able we are to build up God’s kingdom and to use the things the Lord blesses us with to help and serve others. Self-reliance is vital to our temporal and our spiritual well-being, and its fruits bring us full circle, for “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God”
Work is Good Therapy
Work is honorable. Developing the capacity to work will help you contribute to the world in which you live. It will bring you an increased sense of self-worth. It will bless you and your family, both now and in the future.
Learning to work begins in the home. Help your family by willingly participating in the work necessary to maintain a home. Learn early to handle your money wisely and live within your means. Follow the teachings of the prophets by paying your tithing, avoiding debt, and saving for the future.
Set high goals for yourself, and be willing to work hard to achieve them. Develop self-discipline, and be dependable. Do your best in your Church callings, schoolwork, employment, and other worthwhile pursuits. Young men should be willing to do what is needed to be prepared to serve a full-time mission. Heavenly Father has given you gifts and talents and knows what you are capable of achieving. Seek His help and guidance as you work to achieve your goals. Read more…Work and Self-Reliance
Never Give Up
Keep Going. Keep Pushing. Keep Trying.
“One of God’s greatest gifts,” President Monson said, “is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final.” Don’t let discouragement get the best of you when you fail at first (or second or third).
Keep going. Keep pushing. Keep trying.
Nobody’s perfect, but everybody can be better. Remember that “God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were. He cares that we keep on trying.”
Whoever you are and wherever you may be, you hold in your hands the happiness of more people than you can now imagine. Every day and every hour you can choose to make or keep a covenant with God. Wherever you are on the path to inherit the gift of eternal life, you have the opportunity to show many people the way to greater happiness. When you choose whether to make or keep a covenant with God, you choose whether you will leave an inheritance of hope to those who might follow your example.
President Henry B. Eyring "A Priceless Heritage of Hope"
Our quest for truth should be as broad as our life’s activities and as deep as our circumstances permit. A learned Latter-day Saint should seek to understand the important religious, physical, social, and political problems of the day. The more knowledge we have of heavenly laws and earthly things, the greater influence we can exert for good on those around us and the safer we will be from scurrilous and evil influences that may confuse and destroy us.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Learning and Latter-day Saints“
Planting a Garden
Planting a garden, even a small one, allows for a greater degree of self-reliance. With the right information and a little practice, individuals and entire families can enjoy the many benefits of planting and tending a garden. The following information is provided to help you prepare your garden.
“Every woman,” said President Thomas S. Monson, “has been endowed by God with distinctive characteristics, gifts, and talents in order that she may fulfill a specific mission in the eternal plan” (Ensign, May 1992).
Too quickly we forget that “out of small things proceedeth that which is great.” Be patient and remember the wisdom of “line upon line” and step by step.
“We lose our life by serving and lifting others, this is the way to experience the only true and lasting happiness. Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made. Can we see how critical self-reliance becomes when looked upon as the prerequisite to service, when we also know service is what godhood is all about? Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the weak.”
President Marion G. Romney “The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance”
A Gift from God
Earth, A Gift from God by Tom Reese
“The condition of the physical body can affect the spirit. That’s why the Lord gave us the Word of Wisdom. He also said that we should retire to our beds early and arise early (see D&C 88:124), that we should not run faster than we have strength (see D&C 10:4), and that we should use moderation in all good things. … Food can affect the mind, and deficiencies of certain elements in the body can promote mental depression. … Rest and physical exercise are essential, and a walk in the fresh air can refresh the spirit. Wholesome recreation is part of our religion and is a necessary change of pace; even its anticipation can lift the spirit.”
” President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994),
Prepares Us for the Future
‘Provident living’. . . implies the [conserving] of our resources, the wise planning of financial matters, full provision for personal health, and adequate preparation for education and career development, giving appropriate attention to home production and storage as well as the development of emotional resiliency. . . . If we live wisely and providently, we will be as safe as in the palm of His hand.
As Elder Robert D. Hales has said, “Provident living means, joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies. When we live providently, we can provide for ourselves and our families and also follow the Savior’s example to serve and bless others.”