“Independence,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual (2003), 137–38

“Independence,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual, 137–38


Selected Teachings

President Spencer W. Kimball

“Couples do well to immediately find their own home, separate and apart from that of the in-laws on either side. The home may be very modest and unpretentious, but still it is an independent domicile. Your married life should become independent of her folks and his folks. You love them more than ever; you cherish their counsel; you appreciate their association; but you live your own lives, being governed by your decisions, by your own prayerful considerations after you have received the counsel from those who should give it” (“Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, Mar. 1977, 5).

President Marion G. Romney

“This scripture [D&C 29:34–35] tells us there is no such thing as a temporal commandment. It also tells us that man is to be ‘an agent unto himself.’ Man cannot be an agent unto himself if he is not self-reliant. Herein we see that independence and self-reliance are critical keys to our spiritual growth. Whenever we get into a situation which threatens our self-reliance, we will find our freedom threatened as well. If we increase our dependence, we will find an immediate decrease in our freedom to act” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 134; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 93).

Elder Ezra Taft Benson

“Another sterling virtue which builds manliness and independence is frugality or thrift. ‘Waste not, want not’ has long been the clarion call. In more recent years, however, this maxim has given way to so-called ‘deficit spending.’ Many have been teaching that we must spend our way into prosperity. How do you regard this philosophy? Have you stopped to analyze its effect upon the independence, self-reliance, and character of the individual? And what of its possible effect upon the very existence of this nation as a haven for freedom-loving men and women?” (… So Shall Ye Reap, 165).

Elder Marion G. Romney

“First, every individual should value his or her independence and labor with all his might to maintain it by being self-sustaining. This the Lord enjoined upon us when from the Garden of Eden He sent forth our first parents under the stern command, ‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground’ (Gen. 3:19)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1943, 27).

Elder Boyd K. Packer

“The principle of self-reliance or personal independence is fundamental to the happy life. In too many places, in too many ways, we are getting away from it.

“The substance of what I want to say is this: The same principle—self-reliance—has application to the spiritual and to the emotional. …

“We must not set up a network of counseling services without at the same time emphasizing the principle of emotional self-reliance and individual independence.

“If we lose our emotional and spiritual independence, our self-reliance, we can be weakened quite as much, perhaps even more, than when we become dependent materially.

“If we are not careful, we can lose the power of individual revelation. …

“Spiritual independence and self-reliance is a sustaining power in the Church. If we rob the members of that, how can they get revelation for themselves? How will they know there is a prophet of God? How can they get answers to prayers? How can they know for sure for themselves?” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, 136–37; or Ensign, May 1978, 91–92).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie

“Temporal and economic independence is essential if there is to be absolute freedom of worship. … Anyone whose support comes from another person or agency is to a greater or lesser degree subject to the will and control of the supporting power” (Mormon Doctrine, 378).

Elder James E. Faust

“The Lord said that it is important for the Church to ‘stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world’ (D&C 78:14). Members of the Church are also counseled to be independent. Independence means many things. It means being free of drugs that addict, habits that bind, and diseases that curse. It also means being free of personal debt and of the interest and carrying charges required by debt the world over” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 24–25; or Ensign, May 1986, 21).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“One of the last, subtle strongholds of selfishness is the natural feeling that we ‘own’ ourselves. Of course we are free to choose and are personally accountable. Yes, we have individuality. But those who have chosen to ‘come unto Christ’ soon realize that they do not ‘own’ themselves. Instead, they belong to Him. We are to become consecrated along with our gifts, our appointed days, and our very selves. Hence, there is a stark difference between stubbornly ‘owning’ oneself and submissively belonging to God. Clinging to the old self is not a mark of independence, but of indulgence!” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1990, 18; or Ensign, Nov. 1990, 16).