“Work and Self-Reliance,” Ensign, July 2014, 75
As youth and children learn to work hard and be self-reliant, they are preparing to “contribute to the world in which [they] live” (For the Strength of Youth , 40).
On pages 30–31 of this month’s New Era, Randall L. Ridd, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency, shares what he learned doing construction work with his dad. He discusses the importance of working hard, having a good attitude, and building the Lord’s kingdom. Brother Ridd reminds us: “So who needs work? We all do! It’s the mother of self-reliance, achievement, and joy in this life. As you cheerfully engage in work, all those around you will reap a rich harvest because of the seeds you sow.”
For the Strength of Youth says, “Set high goals for yourself, and be willing to work hard to achieve them” (40). You may want to watch with your children the Mormon Messages for Youth video “A Work in Progress” (see the Marriage and Family videos at mormonchannel.org/come-follow-me). Then work together to set some goals and make plans to achieve them.
Work is a lot easier when we have a positive attitude. Read “Moving Pipe in Muddy Shoes” on pages 32–33 of the July New Era and discuss how your attitude affects your work.
“One form of idleness is spending excessive amounts of time in activities that keep you from productive work, such as using the Internet, playing video games, and watching television” (For the Strength of Youth, 40). Ask your children about the benefits and the dangers of the Internet, video games, and television. When do these tools turn into distractions? What blessings come from productive work? Consider helping your children experience these blessings by putting all technology aside for a time and working on a project together.
Missionary work is hard work, and learning to be self-reliant will help children prepare for that work. With your children, make a list of household chores that missionaries should know how to do (doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning, for example). Then do some of those chores together.
In his article, Brother Ridd reminds us that the most important work is God’s work. How can your family further the work of the Lord? Think of an activity you could do together that would help bring others closer to Christ.
Part of self-reliance is learning how to manage money. Teach your children the principles of budgeting and the importance of making tithing a part of their budget.