Answers to Common Questions

Group Members

What is self-reliance?

“Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family. As members become self-reliant, they are also better able to serve and care for others” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 6.1.1).

Where did the self-reliance initiative come from?

The self-reliance initiative is a First Presidency initiative. The initiative has been in place since 2014. It began outside of North America and is now available worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of people have improved their self-reliance by participating.

What are self-reliance groups?

Self-reliance groups combine practical skills with spiritual principles to help people help themselves. Self-reliance groups are usually small, with fewer than 12 people, and are led by a facilitator, not an expert or a teacher. Each self-reliance group focuses on one of four topics: employment, education, small business, or personal finances (check out the materials).

How do I join a self-reliance group?

Group members may be invited to participate, or they can join a group on their own. Groups often form through a devotional, but they can also form without a devotional. Groups should always form under the direction of local leaders. Group members get together to decide when and where to meet. At least one facilitator is paired with each group. Check with your local leaders to see when the next groups are forming.

How long do groups meet?

Groups typically meet once a week for 12 weeks. Group meetings are between 90 minutes and 2 hours in length. Accelerated options are available for the Find a Better Job group.

Why do the groups meet for so many weeks?

It takes time and practice to make the changes and develop the habits associated with these courses. Group members also support one another, and they often develop close relationships over the length of the course.

Where do I get the books?

You will be given the manual for your course at the first meeting. You can also find electronic versions here, or on the Gospel Library mobile app.

Is there work outside of the group meetings?

Yes. Group members make commitments at each meeting and work on those commitments between meetings. Group members should plan on at least a few hours of work each week to meet their commitments. Each week, group members get to report on their progress and support one another.

What is an action partner? What does an action partner do?

Each week, group members pair up and commit to support and follow up with one another. The person you pair up with is your action partner. Action partners can call or message each other between group meetings. Action partners are typically the same gender and are not family members. Action partners can rotate weekly, but it isn’t required. Check out this video to learn more.

What if I have to miss a meeting?

First, let your facilitator know that you plan to miss a meeting. Next, review the material for that week and try to do the homework. Check in with an action partner or facilitator, even if you miss the meeting.

Can I participate in more than one self-reliance group?

Yes. We recommend that you complete one self-reliance group before starting another one.

I did not get my certificate. What should I do?

Contact your stake self-reliance specialist.