Strengthening Families through Temporal Self-Reliance
Developing self-reliance—the ability to care for ourselves and our families—is the responsibility of every sister. We become self-reliant as we learn to love work, as we seek inspiration to find the best ways to provide for ourselves, and as we work with family members to meet basic needs.
When we are self-reliant, we use our blessings and resources to prepare for and avoid problems. Self-reliance, however, is enhanced as we pray for the courage to meet with faith the challenges that will surely come. Self-reliance also enables us to keep our covenant to care for others.
In Relief Society, we are taught self-reliance principles and skills. Sisters can learn about budgeting, debt relief, employment qualifications, the scriptures and the gospel, teaching others to read and learn, technology, physical health, fitness, addiction prevention and recovery, social and emotional health, preventing illness, gardening, food production and storage, emergency preparedness, and many other things that will help us become self-reliant. (pst. it's me - read over that list! It doesn't just say "cook, build a food storage... etc....." technology, teaching others to READ and LEARN, addiction prevention and recovery ... SO cool... ehem.. sorry, you can continue :))
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president, explains that “providing for ourselves and others is evidence that we are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. … When [my mother-in-law] passed away suddenly last year, she left evidence of her self-reliant life. She had a current temple recommend and well-used scriptures and gospel study manuals. We lovingly divided up the pots, pans, and dishes with which she had prepared thousands of meals. She left us quilts she had made from old clothing. She believed in the old adage ‘Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.’ We saw the supply of food she had grown, preserved, and stored. Particularly touching were her little account books in which she faithfully recorded her expenditures over many years. Because she lived providently, she left some money she had saved for emergencies, and she left no debts! Most importantly, she had taught and inspired many others with the skills she had acquired during her faithful life.”
Isn't that just a great message? The line "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" really stuck with me.. it's been interesting trying to implement that this month but it really is fulfilling as inconvenient as it is!
I also love that the lesson isn't geared toward "getting out of debt" or 'to those in need" - It is to us all, it's about being mindful with our resources and "blessings."
My favorite though is the line that says: Self-reliance, however, is enhanced as we pray for the courage to meet with faith the challenges that will surely come. I love that!
Although so many of the things that I am posting about seem so inconvenient and maybe slightly crazy.... it's all a matter of where we would rather be frustrated and inconvenienced. I was talking to a friend and she said something that really stood out to me. I wish I could type verbatim what she said but it was on a different topic .. so, I'll just tell you my interpretation. YES, making everything from scratch and pinching pennies is hard, but life is hard. We can choose to have the difficulty of more dishes, more time and effort in doing things on your own .. or we can choose to have the difficulty of debt. I want to take the first road :). I can handle dirty dishes and only shopping once or twice a month, that's all in MY control.... debt however is is OUT of our control and it has no mercy... my dishes are much more friendly then debt collectors :) ...... Where would you rather have your worries?