Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance

Last February, I attended a training meeting specifically geared for LDS church leadership. We learned all about self-reliance and welfare principles. And in fact, our stake has encouraged us to teach these principles for our first-Sunday lessons, which we have been doing for almost a year.

There was so much great information given, but the materials were not generally available, so though I've wanted to, I've waited to post some of the great quotes. I discovered today, however, that the information is now available at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website. Here is the link: Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance. (PDF link)

And here are some of my favorite parts:


"The first building block may be described as provident living. This means joyfully living within our means and preparing for the ups and downs of life so that we can be ready for the rainy-day emergencies when they come into our lives. Provident living means not coveting the things of this world. It means using the resources of the earth wisely and not being wasteful, even in times of plenty. Provident living means avoiding excessive debt and being content with what we have."

"It is important to understand that self-reliance is a means to an end. Our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, and that goal is enhanced by our unselfish service to others. Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance. As President Marion G. Romney once said: “Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy 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 spiritually weak” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 135; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 93)."

"As Latter-day prophets have counseled, some of the most important welfare building blocks have to do with preparing for the future. Preparing for the future includes making a spending
and savings plan with our income. . . Preparing for the future also includes obtaining an education or vocational training and finding gainful employment. . . If you are seeking a new job, increase your faith in the Lord’s desire and power to bless you. Also seek counsel from those you trust, and don’t be afraid to network and ask for help in finding a new job. If necessary, change your lifestyle—and possibly your place of residence— to live within your means. Willingly seek additional training and learn new skills, regardless of your age. Maintain your health and stay close to your spouse and children. And, above all, be grateful. Express your gratitude in prayer for all that has been given to you."

"Every year Church members contribute to the digging of wells where there is no other source of drinking water. Consider the benefit of just one of these wells, dug in a remote village. While some might characterize it as a strictly temporal blessing, what are the spiritual blessings to a mother who had previously walked hours to get water and more hours to bring it back to her children? Before the well was dug, what time did she have to teach her children the gospel, to pray with them, and to nurture them in the love of the Lord? What time did she have to study the scriptures herself, ponder them, and receive strength to bear the challenges of her life? By putting their faith into action, Church members helped quench the temporal thirst of her family and also provided a way for them to drink freely of the water of life and never thirst again. By being faithful in living welfare principles, they were able to help dig “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14)."


“Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems.” Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur."

"How do we become self-reliant? We become self reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being."

As I cut and paste these quotes, I find myself tempted to post everything. The entire talks are worth reading!


repost on home-storage christmas gifts

Is there anyone on your Christmas list for whom you have a hard time finding a Christmas gift? Well, home storage gifts can solve all of your problems! It really is rare to find a person that is completely prepared. Here are a few ideas that might solve your gift-giving woes.

*Water Storage Containers ($3 to $80)
*Water barrel wrench and pump ($8 to $15)
*Food storage shelves ($40 to $300)
*Gamma lids ($4 to $8)
*Food storage buckets ($4 to $8)
*Three-month supply meal baskets (Put ingredients for a three-month supply meal into a basket. Add bows and gadgets for fun. This would be easy to do with pasta & sauce or pancakes & syrup. Add a cute card that tells how many servings are included as well as the expected shelf life. Here is an example: In a basket place a package of pancake mix, syrup, powdered milk or cocoa mix, and a jar of fruit.)
*LDS home storage kits ($24 to $44)
*Wheat grinder ($60 to $400)
*Bucket of wheat (around $20)
*Camp stove & propane tank ($50+)
*Canning supplies (bath canner, bottles & lids, or pressure cooker)
*Dehydrator ($40+)
*Fruit trees or bushes (weather dependent)
*Gardening supplies (varies)
*Grill/Dutch oven/Firepit/Woodburning stove etc.
*Generator ($500+)
*Home storage foods (#10 cans, bottles of juice, home bottled preserves, buckets, etc.)
*Water filter
*First aid kits($5+)
*Car safety kits.
*72-hour kits.
*Fire safety ladder.
*Money for financial reserves.

Want to have some fun? Give a lump of coal (i.e. a bag/bucket of charcoal)!

What are your ideas?


LDS Home Storage Centers

I loved this post on LDS Home Storage Centers by Self-Reliant Sisters this past week. They've included photos of the labels that are included with the products available at these Home Storage Centers. This is a great resource for both planning and inventory. You can see product weights and estimated storage lives in a glance. These labels also include preparation information for many of the products - which is great if you happen to lose a label.

Another fantastic information resource for inventory or planning is the Home Storage Center Order Form. These forms included updated prices, weights and estimated storage lives. They also have a form in Spanish.
Home Storage Centers are located all over the United States and Canada as well as in a few other locations around the world. You can find a Home Storage Center near you by clicking here. These products can also be order online here.


waxing cheese - not recommended

Last night I was made aware of this statement from USU Extension services:

"From time to time, dubious methods arise for preparing and storing various food items. Current information being circulated about the merits of dipping cheese in wax and placing it in storage for many years can be placed in this category. Consider the science.

• Waxing cheese is a method to minimize mold growth on the surface of cheese. It cannot prevent growth or survival of many illness-causing bacteria. In fact, it may promote anaerobic (absence of oxygen) bacteria growth, such as botulism. The practice of waxing cheese for storage is considered extremely unsafe.

• Before the days of refrigeration, cheese was dryer and fermented to a lower pH (higher acid). These types of cheeses were traditionally stored at room temperature with wax covers. The very low pH and fermentation byproducts could inhibit foodborne illness bacteria. An example is parmesan-style cheese. Acid, dryness and fermentation byproducts make this cheese storable at room temperature.

• Today, many cheeses are made strictly for storage under refrigeration. These cheeses may not have a low pH and other factors created in the manufacturing process to prevent illness-causing bacteria growth because the manufacturer knows the cheeses will be kept refrigerated. If someone waxes this cheese and places it in food storage, there is no science indicating any level of safety. In fact, there is evidence to the opposite ? placing cheese meant for refrigeration at room temperature is a significant risk and hazard for foodborne illness.

Contact your local USU Extension office for further information on safe home food preservation and for storage advice." (Brian Nummer, Utah State University Extension food safety specialist, September 9, 2009)

As a result of this information, I no longer recommend waxing cheese for storage.


earthquake safety: how to turn off your gas

Part of being prepared is being educated. It's a good idea to know how to turn off your gas in case of a gas-leak, which can happen at any time, but may be more likely in an earthquake. You should store a wrench next to the gas meter or in an easily accessible location so that you can turn the gas off if needed.

From FEMA:
"Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional."1

From The San Fransisco Chronicle:
"It's estimated that 90 percent of the damage caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was due to fires caused by ruptured gas lines - over 30 fires leveled 490 city blocks. In light of this, it would seem prudent to shut off the gas main in the event of a major earthquake, right? Not so fast says Pacific Gas and Electric Co. spokesman David Eisenhauer. "If you do not smell or hear gas do not shut off," says Eisenhauer. "If you shut it off and there's no damage it could take days to turn it back on." Once shut off, PG&E also does not recommend residents turn it back on themselves. This is because either someone from PG&E or another trained professional should inspect the house first for any damage to gas lines."2

If you determine that you need to shut off your gas, simply turn the valve one quarter-turn with a wrench (as shown in the diagram above). You can significantly reduce the likelihood of a gas leak in an earthquake by securing your water heater. Water heaters often rock loose during and earthquake and sever the gas connection.

2- How To Prepare For An Earthquake (Paul Kilduff, special to The San Franscisco Chronicle)

Diagram Source: http://www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/handbook/utility.htm