Learn—Maximum Time: 45 Minutes

“Learn—Maximum Time: 45 Minutes,” Personal Finances for Self-Reliance (2017), 6–10


1. Become a Wise and Faithful Steward

Ponder:

Take a minute to quietly ponder the following question and write down your thoughts.

  • How confident am I about my financial future?

Read:

In the parable of the talents, Christ teaches us that we must take care of what we have been given. The Lord allows us to be caretakers—or stewards—over His gifts to us. To those who are faithful with His gifts, Christ promises, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Discuss:

What does it mean to you that all things belong to the Lord?

Read:

As part of our stewardship, we are encouraged to be wise with our finances. President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:

“I urge you … to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.

“This is a part of the temporal gospel in which we believe. May the Lord bless you to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your [families] and peace in your hearts” (“To the Boys and to the Men,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 54).

As you strive to use your money wisely, your faith in Christ can increase, paving the way for future blessings.

Discuss:

How does managing your finances make you a better steward?

We Can Manage Our Finances Wisely

Read:

The diagram on page 8—the Financial Stewardship Success Map—illustrates principles for wise and faithful financial management. You will study and apply these principles over the next 12 weeks. Throughout this course, you will work on increasing your faith in Jesus Christ, building unity with your spouse, and strengthening your commitment to self-reliance. Each lesson will focus on a specific part of the Financial Stewardship Success Map.

Discuss:

Take turns reading the items on the Financial Stewardship Success Map (page 8). How can each of these help you on your path to successful financial stewardship?

2. Counsel with the Lord about Your Finances

Read:

Challenges will undoubtedly arise as you apply these principles of successful financial stewardship. As you seek the help of fellow group members, and continually seek the Lord’s help, you will be strengthened to overcome those difficulties. Remember, the Lord always provides a way to fulfill His commandments (see 1 Nephi 3:7).

Amulek taught the poor among the Zoramites to “cry unto [the Lord] over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase” (Alma 34:24–25). As you counsel with the Lord about your temporal needs and challenges and work toward financial self-reliance, He will bless and strengthen you.

Counseling with the Lord about your finances means praying to Heavenly Father and asking for guidance about financial matters. One of your commitments this week will be to counsel with the Lord about your finances.

Financial Stewardship Success Map

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3. Track Your Income and Expenses

Read:

The first step to successful financial stewardship is understanding your current financial situation. When you gain a better understanding of where your money is being spent, you can better plan where you want it to go. You will begin by tracking your income and expenses for the first four weeks of this course.

Ponder:

Take a few minutes and quietly think about the following questions:

  • Do I know where I spend my money each month?

  • Do I feel in control of where my money goes?

Discuss:

What challenges might you have tracking your expenses?

Ponder:

Write some ways you will overcome these challenges.

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