First off, as you teach Gordon B. Hinckley Chapter 13: Peace and Contentment through Temporal Self-Reliance remember it is not simply about managing your money or just about food storage. It is about conquering the natural man and being prepared.
Self-reliance not only gives us personal peace but it allows us to help others (have you seen the next chapter yet?). It's the first step to much more- more peace, more freedom, more spirituality. As you teach more practical matters, bring it back to the doctrine behind it all and make those connections.
Questions to Ponder
Some of these questions are from the manual, others are ones that I thought of- use them in your preparation, lesson, or to help you think of your own.
- How has work been a blessing in your life?
- What lessons have you learned through hard work?
- How can parents help their children learn to work?
- What are your responsibilities towards those who have temporal needs?
- How can you help others become self-reliant?
- How has your life been influenced by service you have given and received?
- How prepared do you feel?
- When have you seen the importance of preparing for times of need?
- What are some small, gradual things you can do to prepare?
- Why is it important to be disciplined in the way you spend money?
- How can debt affect you temporally and spiritually?
- How can parents teach their children to use money wisely?
- What are you pruning now so that you may eat the fruit you want later?
- What dreams have become your reality because of your willingness to work?
- What are some of the small good and decent things you are doing?
- What do you do so you that you enjoy the work instead of dread it?
- What is something you can teach someone else to become more self-reliant?
- What is your temporal emergency plan? What is your spiritual emergency plan?
Here are some articles to study as you continue to prepare for your lesson. They should NOT replace the manual but rather help answer questions and strengthen your own testimony so that it is easy to teach with confidence and answer questions that arise during your lesson.
Check out the Self-Reliance Services page for a great explanation and list of helps
"Providing in the Lord's Way" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Becoming Self-Reliant- Spiritually and Physically" by Elder M. Russell Ballard
"Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually" by Elder Robert D. Hales
"A Provident Plan- A Precious Promise" by President Thomas S. Monson
"Are We Not All Beggars" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"The Windows of Heaven" by Elder David A. Bednar
These are my ideas. My hope is that reading my thoughts will be a springboard to finding the right plans for your class.
- Use this wheelbarrow quote as it goes with every aspect of self-reliance requiring us to be willing to grab hold and work for it. Use them as a handout for your class or to pass to those that can't attend.
- Share some budgeting printables to those that would like to use them (or at least send out the links for others to choose from). Chasing Foxes has 8 free printables to check out while My Domaine explains how to go about setting up a budget for those just starting out. The important thing to remember with budgeting is there are many ways to go about it so if your current method isn't working, try something else- just have and use a budget.
- Go beyond encouraging a building of food storage- encourage people to practice it! Misty from Simple Family Preparedness gives 9 fun ways to practice during the summer so you not only have the right items but know how to use it all. Challenge some in your class to try it out and report about it in your lesson.
- Use Maria's object lesson to demonstrate the principle of self-reliance and the need to be and help others become self reliant (and enjoy some fresh bread).
- These fruit post-its would work well with my wheelbarrow and tree idea mentioned in the video as well.
- This chapter discusses the importance of gaining an education so talk about ways you can continue to educate yourselves now. Check out classes available in the community, YouTube, your library, LDS Business College, etc. (LDSBC has micro courses you can take online- several free, sometimes $1+. Check out the bottom of the page navigation under Micro Courses and search around). You could even pass around a list during class for people to write down one thing they would be willing to teach others and one thing they want to learn themselves then type it up and pass it out.
- Love Pray Teach has an object lesson, handouts, Power Point presentation, and more in her Teaching Packet if you are looking for more. Use promo code chicken05 you'll get an extra 5% off.
- I'm a big fan of the snowball method for getting out of debt. You will have to decide if this is appropriate for your class (or talk to your presidency about it first) but I love when we can share practical applications in lessons. Simply giving a demonstration of what a snowball plan can do for people is helpful. I used to do this for people all the time and it was amazing. People who thought they would never get out of debt could with a plan that was within their budget, actually be out of debt within 3 years. It was like this weight was lifted from them. Sometimes, it just takes someone showing them how it works because they been so overwhelmed by it all they have given up. Dave Ramsey demonstrates this principle really well.
- The Red Headed Hostess has a teaching packet based on what it means to be self-reliant that includes 10 learning activities. If you are stuck, try this resource.
- Marci Coombs has a great handout on self-reliance (free). It is meant for Young Women's but I think it applies just as much to adults- sometimes we get stuck thinking we have already accomplished all our education, etc. but we need to continue progressing just as much as they do.
- You can find this image on LDS.org. It'd be a great way to divide up your lesson in talking about how we can be self-reliant in these different areas. You can even divide into groups based on these categories.
- Check out the Personal Self-Reliance Kit checklist found at LDSnest.com (along with lots of other great free handouts). Pass it out at so people can really examine where they are and where they want to start making improvements.
- There is also this Growing in Self-Reliance handout from Courtney Aitken that would be great to go through as a class and make goals with.
- Give this seed packet handout from Inkablinka to those that can't come your class- it's a great simple summary.
- Share work tips! Begin your lesson with a little Pinterest style board. Give everyone a post-it or Pin paper to write or draw a work tip. Divide your board into different questions you want answered such as What makes work more enjoyable for them? What tips do they have to make a job go faster? Discuss some of the answers in class as you talk about the importance of work. When class is over, type up all the tips and share them in an email with any other useful links.