Tag Archives: Self-Reliance

Finding Joy and Happiness in Self-Reliance


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’.


‘Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’ The Internet can help!

by Laraine L. Thompson

Play Doh and Other Delights

You know how it is. Your child or grandchild wants to use your rolling pin to make pies and cookies. No time to make a real dough of any sort and, welcoming the child’s desire for any creativity that doesn’t involve your I-Pad, your Smartphone, or, Heaven forbid, the television, you happily find the Play Doh, open it up and there it is. Inside sits a clunk of something that vaguely resembles a hockey puck or even a pet rock. A wonderful morning/afternoon of kiddie creativity, right in to the garbage, soon to be followed by wails of disappointment or complaints of, “I’m Bored………..”

Now what? Wipe the tears away? Tell them to go outside and find something to do? Oh wait! It’s raining—again. Somewhere, in the recesses of your creatively challenged mind, you hear Great Grandma repeating, ‘Eat it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’. Now, why is Great Grandma intruding upon your dilemma? Hold on a minute. Maybe she was on to something. We can’t eat up the play doh. It’s already too late to wear it out and your children’s wails will not allow you to do without. What’s left? Make do? Quick, to the internet—“How to Fix dried out Play Doh”. Just add water and knead? Really? That simple? Desperate, you try it and, wonder of wonders, it works. The drier the dough, the more water it requires, the longer the knead. But it does work. Who knew? You thought you might need some sort of chemical from the local hardware or craft store. Just add water. Now, never mind that your hands will turn the color of the play doh as you work. It is messy, wear an apron. But the kids will love it! And it may last the better part of a morning. Oh, and be sure you secure the lids tightly so that the newly constituted dough does not dry out anytime soon.

I lived this scenario this past week as I attempted to take care of my grandchildren. I was one desperate grandma and then I remembered the internet. I can find anything on the internet! Just ask a question and there’s the answer. It made me think of this assignment to write about frugality—eating up, wearing out, making do, or doing without. It takes some real creativity to live frugally and some days, creativity is the least of my skills. Thank goodness for the internet. What a great gift this magical search engine in the sky has become to me. I find myself on many occasions grateful for its magic and often express my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for its power. Whether it is a better way to repair or hem an old pair of jeans, or a way to use food storage for a delicious quick meal, or how to fix dried out Play Doh, the internet can help. Frugality is so much easier than it used to be. Give it a try. It really is fun!



Photo source: public domain

Animated gif by LDS Intelligent Living

Thoughts on Food Storage

By Karen P.

Our Relief Society Theme for 2007 is “When obedience ceases to be an irritant, and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power” (Pres. Ezra Taft Benson). I have been thinking how that relates to having our families prepare for emergencies. When we hear about being prepared does it irritate us? If so, perhaps it needs to become our quest and then we will have the enthusiasm to “do it!”

In 1976 the Teton Dam broke in southern Idaho, flooding the valley below that was inhabited predominately by members of the Church. These Saints were endowed with power” because preparedness had been their “quest”. My parents and younger brothers went to the Rexburg area to help in the cleaning-up process. My mother has very narrow hands that allow her to reach into a quart-canning jar to clean it. That was her assignment that day to clean out muddy bottles that once held canned fruit. As she knew the hours of labor spent in preserving the fruit, she cried most of the day. Despite the losses, testimonies were shared of the miracles witnessed by these Saints. Ricks College sits high on a hill and the floodwaters flowed around it. Those whose homes were flooded flocked to the student cafeteria where hot meals were provided. There were more people fed during those weeks than there was food brought into the cafeteria. They were blessed because they had been faithful, not in the manner they had expected, but in the Lord’s way.

As we continue our “quest” to have our families and homes prepared for those unknowns that will come our way, we can rely on the Lord’s promise that those who are prepared need not fear.

Karen P., POE Stake Relief Society President

2007 Noah’s Ark Newsletter/LDS Intelligent Living

Photo source: public domain

Are We Listening?

By Gayle D., POES RS President

I attended a regional welfare services meeting recently and was reminded of the urgency that our leaders continue to express regarding our emphasis on Provident Living.  The counsel we receive has changed in the past 60 years.  We were originally asked to gather a two-year supply, then just seven years ago we were asked to concentrate on a supply for just one year.  In 2006 we were asked to gather a 3 month supply with an added caution to get out of debt.  Today we are counseled to have our one week supply and a 72 hour kit.

Why all the apparent changes in counsel?  On the whole, we as a people have not listened.  Whether out of a lack of testimony (not understanding the need for obedience to the counsel of our prophets in the matter) OR out of the Laman and Lemuel Syndrome.  A church survey indicated to the Brethren that only 7% of the Saints in the US had listened to the 60+ years of counsel.

The counsel to gather a 2-year supply is still in place but the prophet counsels us:  “We can begin ever so modestly.  We can begin with a one week’s supply of food and gradually build to three months.  I fear that so many feel that a long-term  food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all…Begin in a small way and build gradually:…But you should begin.”

May we all work together to prepare ourselves and our families.  We have been promised that when we are prepared we need not fear.

Gayle D.

2008 Noah’s Ark Newsletter/LDS Intelligent Living

Photo source: public domain