Build up your spiritual preserves by following four emergency preparedness principles.
Self-reliance is sometimes defined as having adequate food storage, water, and other necessities in case of emergencies. It can also mean being financially independent and responsible. But self-reliance extends beyond temporal matters; being spiritually self-reliant involves nourishing our faith and relying on it in times of peace as well as in times of need.
President Gordon B. Hinckley teaches a powerful lesson about being self-reliant. Chapter 13 of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley quotes him as stating, “I believe in the gospel of work. There is no substitute under the heavens for productive labor. It is the process by which dreams become realities. It is the process by which idle visions become dynamic achievements.” President Hinckley focuses on four principles for becoming temporally and spiritually self-reliant:
- Work with integrity. “You do not grow unless you work. Faith, testimony of the truth, is just like the muscle of [your] arm. If you use it, it grows strong. If you put it in a sling, it grows weak.”
- Help others to become self-reliant. The Lord has asked us to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (Doctrine and Covenants 81:5). As we learn and grow during our mortal journey, we can lend a helping hand to those around us.
- Prepare for catastrophes. Trials can come in the form of physical whirlwinds and spiritual tempests. If we prepare and build our faith in the Savior, he can help us through these challenging times.
- Gain freedom through obedience. Just as we can be temporally free of financial debt by planning wisely and living within our means, we can be spiritually free of sin through repentance and obedience to God’s commandments.
The Lord has promised, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:30). As we build up our temporal food storage and savings, let us also take the time to build up our spiritual reserves by praying daily, reading the scriptures, serving those around us, being temple worthy and attending often, partaking of the sacrament weekly, and attending other church meetings. These little acts, done consistently and sincerely, will help us withstand whatever storms may rage our way.
Read more of President Gordon B. Hinckley’s counsel in “Chapter 13: Peace and Contentment through Temporal Self-Reliance” of Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley.
—Jess Verzello, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
To learn more about the importance of being temporally, spiritually, and emotionally self-reliant, read President Boyd K. Packer’s BYU devotional address titled “Self Reliance.”
Check out “Self-Reliance: Mental/Emotional Health & the LDS Resources We Have to Help” to learn about tools that individuals struggling with mental health can use to increase their self-reliance.
Read “Self-Reliance and Gospel Learning,” in which David B. Marsh shares how we can feed ourselves spiritually and strengthen our relationship with God.