“Welfare Department Produces Tools for Wise Financial Management,” Ensign, Jan. 2007, 77
President Gordon B. Hinckley and other Church leaders have frequently offered counsel concerning self-reliance, debt, and wise finance management, and the Church’s Welfare Department has produced tools designed to help Church members follow that counsel.
“So many of our people are heavily in debt for things that are not entirely necessary,” President Hinckley said in October 2001. “I urge you as members of this Church to get free of debt where possible and to have a little laid aside against a rainy day” (Ensign, Nov. 2001, 72).
A five-lesson course titled “Peace in Your Hearts” on ProvidentLiving.org and a redesigned One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance pamphlet are now available to help members understand debt and manage their finances.
The online lessons last about 10 minutes each and provide instruction in the following areas: an overview on managing finances, paying tithes and offerings, living within your means, getting out of debt, and planning for the future. Find the lessons at www.providentliving.org.
“Church members are not immune from financial pressures,” says Dennis Lifferth, managing director of the Welfare Services Department. “From the earliest days of the Church, we have been counseled to be self-reliant and live within our means. These lessons provide encouragement and instruction to all who seek a stronger financial foundation.”
Statistics on debt in the United States show that 1.6 million households—1 in 73—filed for bankruptcy in 2003. The average household debt, not including mortgage debt, is $14,500, and a typical American family pays $1,200 each year in credit card interest. Sixty percent of credit cards are not paid off monthly.
The lessons, rooted in prophetic counsel, provide budgeting tools, a debt-elimination calendar, audio clips with counsel, testimonials from people who have applied financial principles, and references to additional resources.
In one lesson testimonial, a member told of her success after applying a financial management plan: “I was amazed as month after month temporal blessings became available from unexpected sources. I still have a ways to go, but following these gospel principles has made all the difference in my finances and in my life.”
In addition to the lessons, an electronic version of the redesigned One for the Money pamphlet will be available on ProvidentLiving.org.
The content of the pamphlet is from a talk by Elder Marvin J. Ashton given in April 1975. It was last published as a pamphlet in 1992. The new pamphlet is designed to make the message of Elder Ashton’s talk more accessible to the reader. The design amplifies 12 timeless principles outlined by Elder Ashton:
Pay an honest tithing.
Learn to manage money before it manages you.
Learn self-discipline and self-restraint in money matters.
Use a budget.
Teach family members early the importance of working and earning.
Teach children to make money decisions in keeping with their capacities to comprehend.
Teach each family member to contribute to the total family welfare.
Make education a continuing process.
Work toward home ownership.
Appropriately involve yourself in an insurance program.
Understand the influence of external forces on family finances and investments.
Appropriately involve yourself in a food storage and emergency preparedness program.
The Church plans to make the pamphlet available not only in English but also in nine additional languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
The redesigned pamphlet will be available free through distribution centers or online at www.ldscatalog.com.