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Talk "Self-reliance" given in Sacrament meeting 7/29/12

Talk "Self-reliance" given in Sacrament meeting 7/29/12

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Published by Dede Bessey
This is my intellectual property. If you would like to use something I have said, feel free, but please credit me as the author.
This is my intellectual property. If you would like to use something I have said, feel free, but please credit me as the author.

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Published by: Dede Bessey on Jul 31, 2012
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07/31/2012

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This past weekend, my family and I attended the ward campout. It got to be late, and my husband offered to take our 2 year old daughter to the tent and lay down with her to get her to sleep. A while later, my son and I went into the tentto go to bed and found her completely passed out, with her Daddy lying next toher rubbing her back. My hubby got up and told me that as he was lying with ourdaughter, he would start to doze and would rub her back both to relax her and towake himself up. He told me that one time he was starting to doze so he rubbedher back, and noticed it felt strange. He woke up more fully and realized thatshe had gotten out of bed and put the lantern in her place, covered it up withthe blanket, and was trying to escape out of the tent, while watching Daddy to see if he’d figure it out. Pretty smart.My little girl’s resourcefulness got me thinking. I was assigned an article fromthis month’s New Era entitled “Self Reliance: Preparing for your future” for basis ofthis talk.So what does it mean to be “self reliant?” The For the Strength of Youth pamphlet states that you are self-reliant when “you use the blessings and abilities God has given you to care for yourself and your family and to find solutions for your ownproblems.” I would say that my daughter used her abilities to find a solution toher problem, wouldn’t you?I think that for many of us, we hear the words “self-reliance” in a talk or lesson and tune out. If you are like me, you might think to yourself “we know already! Live within your means, plant a garden, have food storage. Enough with the self-reliance!” But I think article was inspired because it discusses self reliance asit applies to the youth. So teenagers, listen up! (And, I hope that there issomething to be learned for the rest of you as well.)Self-reliance is important for everyone. When you are self-reliant, you can depend on your own skills to support yourself and to help others in your family andcommunity. There are many ways that youth, as well as children, and even adultscan work toward becoming more fully self-reliant.First, it is important to understand why each of us needs to work. I don’t mean go to a job, what I mean is to DO work, whether you earn a paycheck doing it or not. Some people believe they should be given certain privileges such as money orfood even though they don’t work to receive it. This sense of entitlement is dangerous because it makes people less productive and causes them to not see the value of work. My grandma has a favorite scripture that she likes to quote at us D&C 42:42 “Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.” Basically what this scripture (and my grandmother) are telling us is that if you didn’t earn it, you can’t have it. Don’t get be wrong, both the church welfare program, and government assistance have their properuses. If you have worked hard, and put in the effort and find that you still fall short, then it is perfectly ok to ask for help. However, these should be a last resort, after you have done all that you can do. It’s like Presidnet Uchtdorfsays “When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist theman who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration.” You have to put your shoulder to the wheel and pusha long. It’s funny, as a child I honestly thought that the chorus of the song went “We all have work, come on you jerk...”Second, we need to realize that now is the time to work on becoming self-reliant. There are many aspects of self-reliance, we can’t expect to wake up one day andbe completely self-reliant. It’s a step by step process, and the steps change withyour circumstances, with your abilities, and with your knowledge. Our HeavenlyFather teaches us line upon line, precept upon precept. He does not expect us to ever fully learn all that there is to learn. He knows that there is only so much we can handle at one time, and once we have grasped a concept, learned a lesson, become self-reliant in one aspect, only then are we expected to take on more. You don’t come home from school the first day of Kindergarten and try to takean AP exam. The same applies to becoming self-reliant. When my hubby and I got
 
married, I did not know how to cook a single thing. I had never been responsible for preparing meals, and had never been taught to follow a recipe. Slowly, Ibegan learning how to cook. After I became comfortable following a recipe, I began to teach myself to make up my own. Now it is second nature. I can feed myfamily three times a day and feel confident in my abilities. I can invite others into my home and not worry that the meal will be found lacking. But, how much easier would it have been for me if I had started honing that skill as a teenager or even younger? My 5 year old son can make scrambled eggs and macaroni andcheese all by himself start to finish. Of course, I am there with him at thispoint, but for the rest of his life, he is self-reliant in that tiny aspect. Isthere more he can learn? Of course! Just like there is something each and every one of us can learn about becoming self-reliant, no matter what our current experience may be.Next, we need to realize that self-discipline goes hand in hand with self-reliance. Elder M.Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “You control to a large degree your own destiny. You control your own life. … When we apply the ingredient of self-discipline, there is not much that any one of us … couldnot accomplish. … If your other goals are righteous, … go for them. Make them happen”Self-reliance is not just being able to afford to support yourself. Self-reliance has to do with being your own person. It is using all of our abilities and talents. It is not expecting others to do for us what we can do for ourselves inany and every situation. A writer I admire has said “We are so accustomed to thecomforts of "I cannot", "I do not want to" and "it is too difficult" that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.” (-Pandora Poikilos)For the Strength of Youth mentions two specific blessings that come from learning to work: an ability to “contribute to the world in which you live” and an “increasedsense of self-worth.” Aren’t those wonderful blessings, to be a force for good andto feel good about yourself?Finally, we need to understand that self-reliance does not have to be a solitaryprocess. For the Strength of Youth says “Self-reliance does not mean that you must be able to do all things on your own. To be truly self-reliant, you must learnhow to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength”. Like I mentioned before, self-reliance doesn’t mean not asking for help. It means doing everything you can and then getting the assistance you need.So, back to the youth. You might be saying “yeah, yeah, Sister...., this all sounds good, but how does it apply to me?” So to you, I offer six ways you can TODAY to work on becoming more fully self-reliant.1. Create and follow a budget to save money for a mission and school. Even if you make $10 a week allowance, and have no other income, you can create a budget and learn to use it.2. Cook dinner once a week for your family. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but likeit or not, there will come a day that you will be hungry and have no one to cookfor you. I suppose you could live on pb&j’s, but wouldn’t it be nice to already know how to make a few things that you really like?3. Learn a new computer skill that would be helpful in the workplace. I can notstress this enough, learn to type properly! You teens and younger children havean advantage of being born in a technologically advanced world. Take advantageof that!4. Practice working hard by striving for good grades. Even if you plan to go straight to work and not attend college, make an effort to get good grades, not just passing ones. Even if no one ever looks at your transcripts again, you will feel good knowing that you have worked hard and accomplished something.5. Help your parents with food storage or emergency kits. You don’t get to complain about the food or clothing in your 72 hour kit if you didn’t help put it together! More than that though, if you can take the initiative and check your family’ssupplies and help to make them more complete, then if/when you need them, you will be that much more prepared.Cheerfully fulfill your responsibilities in the family. Doesn’t it make your day g

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