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My Path to Self-Reliance
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“My Path to Self-Reliance,” My Path to Self-Reliance (2014), 3–11

“My Path to Self-Reliance,” My Path to Self-Reliance, 3–11

What are the blessings of self-reliance?
15 minutes

Watch:

Watch the video “I Will Provide for My Saints,” available at srs.lds.org/videos. (No video? Just continue reading.)

Practice:

Read the letter from the First Presidency on page 2 and underline the promised blessings.

Discuss:

Discuss the following with two or three other people: What does the First Presidency say you must do to qualify for each of the promises you underlined?

Ponder:

Take three minutes to quietly ponder the following:

Why does Heavenly Father want me to become self-reliant? As I become more self-reliant, how am I becoming like Him?

Read:

Read Doctrine and Covenants 29:34 (on the right).

Discuss:

What do you learn from this scripture about going to school, getting a job, or starting a business? Why is it so important to understand this truth?

The Savior will help me become self-reliant
10 minutes

Ponder:

What challenges are keeping me from providing for myself and my family? Write your thoughts here:

Read:

Read Matthew 28:18 (on the right).

The Savior has the power to help us become self-reliant. As we exercise faith in Him, He can do miracles. He can make more out of our efforts than we can do ourselves. Doing the exercises in this booklet is our first step toward greater self-reliance.

Self-reliance assessment
20 minutes

Practice:

This activity helps you measure your temporal and spiritual self-reliance. Be honest in your responses. If you do not know your expenses for step 1, just make your best estimate. Ask for help if needed. You may move to a more private location to complete this exercise if you would like to.

Self-reliance is the “ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church [2010], 6.1.1).

STEP 1

HOW MUCH DO I SPEND?

Write how much you spend monthly on each item below.

EXAMPLE: Food

300

Tithes, offerings

Savings

Food

Housing

Water

Medical expenses

Transportation

Educational expenses

Debt payments

Clothing

Electricity/fuel

Other:

Other:

Total monthly expenses

Current monthly income

You may not know all of your current expenses. Discuss your expenses with your spouse or family. Start tracking them if you are not already. You will use this information later in two group meetings.

STEP 2

HOW SELF-RELIANT AM I TODAY?

Mark where you and your family are now.

EXAMPLE: We have enough food to eat.

Never

Sometimes

X

Often

Always

We pay our tithing and fast offerings.

We spend less than we earn; we save money.

We have enough food to eat.

We are protected and safe in our home.

We have enough clean water to drink and use.

We can get medical care when we need it.

We have transportation when we need it.

Our children attend school.

We are free of consumer debt.

We have clean, modest clothes.

We have enough light and fuel.

We believe the Lord will provide for our needs.

We feel and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

We study the scriptures daily.

We pray daily.

We take the sacrament weekly.

We are worthy of a temple recommend.

We sacrifice to serve others.

STEP 3

HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO BE SELF-RELIANT?

We become self-reliant when we can answer “always” to the statements in step 2. Estimate what you would need to spend each month to answer “always.”

EXAMPLE: Food

700

Tithes, offerings

Savings

Food

Housing

Water

Medical expenses

Transportation

Educational expenses

Debt payments

Clothing

Electricity/fuel

Other:

Other:

Total self-reliance expenses

My self-reliant income goal

Ponder what it would be like if you could answer “always” to all of these statements. As you track your current expenses, try to learn more about what it will cost to answer “always.”

A local mentor may contact you later to help you with the assessment exercise or with your path to self-reliance.

How can I increase my spiritual self-reliance?
10 minutes

Ponder:

Read Doctrine and Covenants 88:63 and Mosiah 18:10 (on the right).

What one or two things can you change in your life to draw closer to the Lord and have the Holy Ghost with you?

Practice:

In the box below, write a specific goal for what you would like to change.

What are my strengths?
15 minutes

Ponder:

Write your self-reliant income goal (from page 5) in the box to the right. Do you have the necessary work skills to earn that income?

Read:

Read Doctrine and Covenants 46:11–12 (on the right).

We all have different talents. For example, some people are good at sales, and some are good at making things. Some people are good at working with others, while other people prefer to work alone.

Practice:

Think about your own talents. What are you good at? What experiences and strengths do you have? The table on page 7 has some examples. Circle all of the experiences and strengths that apply to you, and write more in the blank spaces.

Experiences (Circle some and write more)

Strengths (Circle some and write more)

Church callings

Construction

Honest

Physically strong

Worthy of temple recommend

Mission

Computers

Faith in Jesus Christ

Intelligent

Hardworking

Parenting/leading youth

Farming/gardening

English speaker

Patient

Mechanical skills

Child care

Food preparation

Good listener

Dependable

Construction skills

Sales

Clothing/crafts

Kind to others

Creative

Cleaning skills

Maintenance/repair

Health care

Good character

Fast learner

Sales skills

Transportation

Teaching

Team builder

Good teacher

Problem solver

Education/certificate

Household management

Good writer

Communicator

Detail-oriented

Serving others

Owning a business

Organizer

Math skills

Initiative

Read:

The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. It is important that we learn what strengths He has given us. We do this partly by asking Him in prayer. We can also study our patriarchal blessings and ask friends and family what strengths they recognize in us.

Practice:

Get with one or two other people. Share an experience of when you have accomplished something meaningful. Ask them to tell you what strengths they think you used to accomplish that task. Did they see a strength that you did not think about?

After the others tell you about your strengths, write what you feel are your top strengths.

What work could give me the income I need?
10 minutes

Practice:

Write your self-reliant income goal (from page 5) and your spiritual goal (from page 6) again in the boxes to the right.

Read:

As we discuss jobs and self-employment options, keep in mind your self-reliant income goal. Some jobs pay more than others; think about which options would help you earn your self-reliant income.

Discuss:

Discuss with the group the best-paying work, the work most in demand, and the work with the best future where you live. Consider how these opportunities will impact your family and Church service. Some examples are listed in the box below. (These may not all be good options in your area.)

Practice:

List two or three jobs or businesses from the options you discussed that could provide your self-reliant income. Consider options that match your strengths and experiences or those that could match later, after you receive training.

Read:

One of the best ways to learn about the jobs you’re interested in is to talk to people who do that work.

Discuss:

Do you or anyone in the group know someone that does the work you are interested in? Write their names below and arrange to meet them.

Practice:

Circle the questions you would like to ask these people:

  • How did you decide to go into this type of work?

  • What are the best parts and worst parts of your job?

  • What kind of training, education, or work experience is required to get started in this work?

  • What range of income could be expected for someone starting in this job?

  • Could I follow you for a day to learn about your work?

  • Do you know anyone else I could talk to about this work?

This week, talk to at least three people to learn more about the work you are interested in. Write three things you learned:

Discuss:

You may not be qualified yet to get your chosen job or to start the business you want. As a group, discuss the schools and training in your area that would help you qualify to do the work that will provide your self-reliant income goal.

Practice:

List some training or education opportunities that you think are good options and that you would like to learn more about.

What is a self-reliance group?
5 minutes

Read:

Once you decide on the type of work that will help you become self-reliant, the next step is to join a self-reliance group. A self-reliance group focuses on one of three topics: starting and growing a business, finding a good job, or getting needed education.

Self-reliance groups are different from most Church classes, lessons, and workshops. There are no teachers or trainers; instead, group members learn together, encourage one another to act and keep commitments, and counsel together to solve problems. Groups meet 12 times for about two hours each meeting; it’s important to attend regularly and be on time. Acting on commitments can take one to two hours per day.

In each group, participants also learn spiritual self-reliance skills using the booklet My Foundation: Principles, Skills, Habits. They practice habits that will help them become stronger spiritually and temporally.

What groups are available?
5 minutes

Starting and Growing My Business

For those who have a business or want to start one. Group members practice record keeping, marketing, and cash management. They also test ways to increase their income through small business experiments.

My Job Search

For those who have the skills to get a good job. Group members get a job by identifying opportunities, networking, presenting themselves professionally, and preparing for interview questions. Participating in this group results in getting a job.

Education for Better Work

For those who need education or training to get a good job or start a business. Group members identify work that will help them become self-reliant. They find a school or program that leads to that work (such as Pathway—see page 11). Participating in this group results in a school plan and a PEF loan (if needed).

Note: These workbooks are not available in all languages. Other self-reliance resources may be available in your area.

Which self-reliance group should I join?
10 minutes

Ponder:

Take three minutes by yourself to ponder and pray for guidance about which group can help you on your path to self-reliance.

Practice:

Everyone will now split up into the groups they have chosen. If you are completing My Path during a devotional, stand and move to the group you have chosen. (There may be multiple groups of each kind. Your self-reliance specialist will guide you.)

Discuss:

Discuss the day, time, and location of your group meetings. Write this information in the box to the right. If you are completing My Path alone, contact your self-reliance resource center for group meeting times.

Pathway

Pathway is a low-cost educational opportunity offered in partnership with BYU–Idaho. Available in most areas, the program combines online courses with local gatherings. Pathway students earn college credit while improving their English proficiency, spirituality, and marketable skills—including money management, math, and more. The program takes one year to complete (a basic level of English is required to start). To learn more, contact your stake self-reliance specialist or visit pathway.lds.org.