I have to admit, when I think of the words, self-reliance, in conjunction with the church, I actually think of things like food storage, and I feel immediately guilty, and bored. I hate to say that, but it is one of those commandments that I have a hard time living right now. I know that it is important, but I don’t necessarily have a passion for it.

The June visiting teaching message was titled, “Strengthening Families Through Temporal Self-Reliance“. When I was ready to go out visiting teaching, I glanced at the title, and thought….boooring. But, as I read through the article, I learned something very important from this paragraph:

“In Relief Society, we are taught self-reliance principles and skills. Sisters can learn about budgeting, debt relief, employment qualifications, the scriptures and the gospel, teaching others to read and learn, technology, physical health, fitness, addiction prevention and recovery, social and emotional health, preventing illness, gardening, food production and storage, emergency preparedness, and many other things that will help us become self-reliant.”

I realized in preparing my visiting teaching message that self-reliance was so much more than food storage. For example, teaching others to read and learn! One of the messages that I took away from this article was that when we are teaching others these skills, we are also being disciples of Christ, and practicing self-reliance. If all of these things listed above are considered part of self-reliance, then think for a moment how much we teach our children about self-reliance when we are mothers!

But, we must do more. We cannot simply say, “I’m teaching my 5 year old how to read and write, so I’m practicing self-reliance”. In my opinion to become true disciples of Christ, we have to always have a spirit of giving, and helping others learn these skills to be practicing self-reliance. But, we also need to help ourselves learn new things like gardening, or healthy eating, for example.

I was just happy to know that self-reliance encompasses so much more and that I am a little more self-reliant than I originally thought!

Other LDS Articles:

A Friend in Your Home

Pioneer Appreciation

What I Believe-Revelation

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About Meredith

Meredith is a native Texan who is currently living in Salt Lake City, UT. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2002 with a B.A. degree in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She has been married for almost 10 years and has three beautiful children who consume most of her time. However, she started blogging in 2007 and has fallen in love with the idea of becoming a writer. She started scrapbooking over 10 years ago, and has become obsessed with that as well. She also dreams of the day when someone will pay her to scrapbook for them! When she is not scrapbooking, or blogging, she loves to people watch, and analyze what makes people tick. Meredith is proud to be a Mormon, and even served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints where she fell in love with the Latin culture and learned to speak Spanish. Visit Meredith on her personal blog at