Work and Self Reliance
ELDER RUSELLE BALLARD Said: My travels have taken me almost everywhere in the world—most of the continent of Africa, the islands of the sea, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the heart of the inner cities of America. Everywhere I go, the cries of the poor ring out—often with the plea, “Please help us. ” In Africa alone those cries do not come from a few; they come from tens of thousands, even millions. The Church has been especially concerned with teaching self-reliance since 1936. when Elder Melvin J. Ballard was named general chairman of the newly formed Welfare Committee.
Elder Harold B. Lee was the first managing director, followed by Elder Marion G. Romney. Since that beginning, the Church has learned a great deal about the principles of self-reliance. From the Church Handbook of Instructions, we learn: “The Savior has commanded the Church and its members to be self-reliant and independent. … The Lord’s way of self-reliance involves in a balanced way many facets of life, including education, health, employment, family finances, and spiritual strength. “To become self-reliant, a person must work. Work is physical, mental, or spiritual effort.
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It is a basic source of happiness, self-worth, and prosperity. Through work, people accomplish many good things in their lives. … This is the greatest wealth we possess—to know how to direct our labors rightly, spending every hour advantageously for the benefit of our wives and children and neighbors Since the beginning of time Adam was commanded to work. Genesis 3: 19 “In the asweat of thy face shalt thou eat” Because idleness has no place in heaven D&C 42: 42 Thou shalt not be aidle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bbread nor wear the garments of the claborer.
We should work hard and use our time wisely to serve our families and build up the kingdom of God. What have we? Our time. Spend it as you will. Time is given to you; and when this is spent to the best possible advantage for promoting truth upon the earth, it is placed to our account, and blessed are you; but when we spend our time in idleness and folly it will be placed against us Of the time that is allotted to man here on the earth there is none to lose or to run to waste.
After suitable rest and relaxation there is not a day, hour or minute that we should spend in idleness, but every minute of every day of our lives we should strive to improve our minds and to increase the faith of the holy Gospel, in charity, patience, and good works, that we may grow in the knowledge of the truth. Idleness and wastefulness are not according to the rules of heaven. Preserve all you can, that you may have abundance to bless your friends and your enemies “As people become self-reliant, they are better prepared to endure adversities” and are “better able to care for others in need. Huwag po tayong magexpect at hintayin na bigyan po tyo ng lechon, tinapay na may palaman, bagong kotse, magandang bahay etc… ng Lord… Remember… The Lord has done his share of the work; he has surrounded us with elements containing wheat, meat, flax, wool, silk, fruit, and everything with which to build up, beautify and glorify the Zion of the last days, and it is our business to work to mould these elements to our wants and necessities, according to the knowledge we now have and the wisdom we can obtain from the heavens through our faithfulness.
In this way will the Lord bring again Zion upon the earth. Time and the ability to labor are the capital stock of the whole world of mankind, and we are all indebted to God for the ability to use time to advantage and he will require of us a strict account of the disposition we make of this ability; Never let anything go to waste. Be prudent, save everything, and what you get more than you can take care of yourselves
Use just enough of your earnings to make your bodies and your families happy and comfortable, and save the residue. If you wish to get rich, so be it……. save what you get. A fool can earn money; but it takes a wise man to save and dispose of it to his own advantage. President Brigham Young Commanded us: We should build good homes and create beautiful communities.
Let the people build good houses, plant good vineyards and orchards, make good roads, build beautiful cities in which may be found magnificent edifices for the convenience of the public, handsome streets skirted with shade trees, fountains of water, crystal streams, and every tree, shrub and flower that will flourish in this climate, to make our mountain home a paradise and our hearts wells of gratitude to the God of Joseph, enjoying it all with thankful hearts, saying constantly, “not mine but thy will be done, O Father” Then let us be content, and go to with our mights to make ourselves healthy, wealthy, and beautiful, and preserve ourselves in the best possible manner, and live just as long as we can, and do all the good we can.
Every improvement that we make not only adds to our comfort but to our wealth. President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) taught: “Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak. ” We should be self-reliant in all aspect of life as families and as a people.
Instead of searching after what the Lord is going to do for us, let us inquire what we can do for ourselves. William George Jordan put it this way: “The world is busy with its own cares, sorrows and joys, and pays little heed to you. There is but one great pass-word to success,—self-reliance. ” From my experience, I believe that a few simple but very important principles can help prepare us to become more self-reliant. 1. Find Answers through the Spirit – Be Sensitive enough to the spirit 2. Appraise Our Lives and the Needs of Others – Are we living according to the eternal truths and doctrines of the restored Church of Jesus Christ? 3. Choose between Good and Evil – “We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. 4.
Think Straight – Part of thinking straight is using common sense in solving life’s problems 5. Seek the Lord’s Guidance – He will reveal all to you “I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. “Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory. “And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. “Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught. “For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man” (D&C 76:5–10) I know that this 5 principles will greatly help us to become more self-reliant. Remember there is no reason to be poor in this world everything has been reveal to us in order to be successful in this world and its up to us if we are really and willing to be one of those successful people in this world. I know that all I have said is true and I leave this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!