Church leader Elder Robert D. Hales outlines ways we can become self-reliant:
- Be ready for rainy-day emergencies
- Avoid excessive debt; be content with what we have
- Use the resources of the earth wisely; don´t be wasteful
- Prepare for the future by making spending and savings plans
- Keep a family or personal budget
- Teach children wise spending habits and help them save for the future
- Obtain an education or vocational training
- Find gainful employment
- Plant a Backyard Garden
- Harvest your own food
- Preserve your own food by canning and freezing
- It's less expensive and healthier
As we become self-reliant, we will be prepared to face challenges with confidence and peace of mind.
Parents have a sacred responsibility to look after the physical and spiritual welfare of their children. As children grow older, they become more responsible for their own welfare. Parents should teach them basic principles of welfare, helping them prepare to be self-reliant and provide for their own families in the future. Parents can also give children opportunities to help care for the poor and the needy.
All of the following counsel applies directly to adult members of the Church. Much of this counsel also applies to young men or young women, even if they still depend largely on their parents.
The responsibility for our social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and economic well-being rests first on ourselves, second on our family, and third on the Church. Under the inspiration of the Lord and through our own labors, we should supply ourselves and our family with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life.
We are better able to take care of ourselves and our family when we are self-reliant. We are prepared to endure times of adversity without becoming dependent on others.
We can become self-reliant by (1) taking advantage of educational opportunities; (2) practicing sound principles of nutrition and hygiene; (3) preparing for and obtaining suitable employment; (4) storing a supply of food and clothing to the extent the law allows; (5) managing our resources wisely, including paying tithes and offerings and avoiding debt; and (6) developing spiritual, emotional, and social strength.
In order to become self-reliant, we must be willing to work. The Lord has commanded us to work (see Genesis 3:19;D&C 42:42). Honorable work is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity.
If we are ever temporarily unable to meet our basic needs through our own efforts or the support of family members, the Church may be able to help us. In these situations, the Church often provides life-sustaining resources to help us and our family become self-reliant again.
Caring for the Poor and the Needy
The Lord has always commanded His people to care for the poor and the needy. He said,
"Ye must visit the poor and the needy and administer to their relief" (D&C 44:6). He also commanded, "Remember in all things the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted, for he that doeth not these things, the same is not my disciple" (D&C 52:40).
We can care for the poor and the needy in many ways. One important way is through fasting and contributing fast offerings, which the bishop or branch president uses to assist ward or branch members who suffer from poverty, illness, or other hardships. We can also give of our time and share our talents. We can serve the homeless, the disabled, widows, and others in our neighborhood and community.
In addition to giving local and individual care for those in need, the Church reaches out worldwide to people, no matter their faith, who suffer the effects of natural disasters, poverty, disease, and other crises. The Church provides life-sustaining resources to help families and individuals recover and work toward self-reliance. Donations to the Church's Perpetual Education Fund provide the means for disadvantaged Latter-day Saints to further their education. Church-service missionaries volunteer their time and resources to improve literacy, promote health, and provide training.