by Sister Denise Cottrell – Stake Relief Society President
As I thought and thought and read and prayed about what to write regarding Self Reliance, I came to the conclusion that this is a topic that is very broad and encompasses much. Many articles can be written and still not cover it all adequately.
The basic understanding might be different than what you thought it was. Do you think Self Reliance is simply putting extra food in a cabinet each time you shop? Perhaps you thought it means to have a job that sustains you and your family or a combination of the two; food storage and making a living? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, said “The Lord’s way of self-reliance involves, in a balanced way, many facets of life, including education, health, employment, family finances, and spiritual strength. One of the blessings of work is developing self-reliance. When you are self-reliant, you use the blessings and abilities God has given you to care for yourself and your family and to find solutions for your own problems. Self-reliance does not mean that you must be able to do all things on your own. To be truly self-reliant, you must learn how to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength” (For the Strength of Youth, Work and Self Reliance). The gospel of work is part of ‘the fulness of the gospel’. Though joyful, missionary work is work. Though joyful, temple work is work. Ministering our ward, community or family members, involves work.
Sometimes the reward is realized with thankfulness but often it is just done by the Spirit and with love, never knowing if what you have done has made a difference. But the Lord knows. You know. That should be enough. It is part of teaching our children and others to walk in the ways of truth and soberness and to love and serve one another.
Let us all go forward developing and sharing our talents, becoming truly self-reliant in a way that draws us closer to God. As we strive to do this we will find joy and happiness and understand what it truly means to become ‘self-reliant’.