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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you. I am going right now to look up those talks. Your site is very well done and timely.

Mom in AZ