Tips for Women Who Must Enter the Workforce

Latter-day prophets have counseled mothers to remain at home to care for and nurture their children. “We realize also,” said President Ezra Taft Benson, “that some of our choice sisters are widowed and divorced and that others find themselves in unusual circumstances where, out of necessity, they are required to work for a period of time” (To the Mothers in Zion [pamphlet, 1987], 5–6).

When I became a single mother, I quickly realized that I was unprepared to enter the workforce. Fortunately, I was able to find work where I could learn and update my skills. Later, as a member of our stake welfare resources committee, I saw others in similar situations struggle with the panic and doubt that I had faced. Had we all been better prepared, perhaps we would not have feared our predicaments (see D&C 38:30). We can prepare in the following ways:

Education. We develop our talents by taking advantage of appropriate opportunities to further our education. Like an insurance policy, such education may someday prove essential, though the skills and knowledge it represents may not be fully utilized while we raise our families.

In addition to full-time day classes, opportunities to increase our education and marketable skills include home-study courses, seminars, workshops, and evening classes. Daily activities like studying the scriptures and writing in our journals also add to our education by keeping our minds alert and receptive to inspiration, as well as by helping us hone our abilities to express ourselves.

Service. Church membership offers us many opportunities to bless others and to improve ourselves as we accept and magnify callings. The interpersonal skills we develop through teaching, meeting with, and serving one another provide experience that can prove beneficial in some future job.

Additional service opportunities are available through organizations like the United Way, Red Cross, schools and parent-teacher associations, libraries, and youth groups.

LDS Employment Services. Latter-day Saints who obtain authorization from their bishops can register with LDS Employment Services in nearly 100 cities in the United States and Canada. LDS Employment Services helps job seekers generate individual plans to develop their marketable skills, identifies job opportunities through contact with potential employers, and works with community agencies to identify local career planning, counseling, and educational opportunities. Be sure to work closely with your ward employment specialist, who has access to a wide range of helpful resources (see “The Job-Search Network,” Ensign, Feb. 1993, 24–28).

Résumé. Ask professional acquaintances for suggestions, and ask close friends and relatives for help in identifying strengths and talents to be included on the résumé. Develop a list of potential jobs that fit the qualifications, training, and interests outlined on your résumé.

We have the Lord’s promise that “all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly” (D&C 100:15). As we remain faithful, trust in the Lord, and take advantage of opportunities to serve others and to prepare ourselves, we will be blessed in our righteous endeavors to provide for our own welfare.Winnie Gardner, Cordova Ward, Sacramento California Cordova Stake

[illustration] Illustration by Joe Flores

From Your Meetinghouse to Your Home

Many families have discovered how useful the resources in their meetinghouse library can be in teaching gospel basics in the home. They check out materials from the library to enhance family scripture study and family home evening lessons. Following are some items to enhance gospel instruction.

Videocassettes. One videocassette available in the meetinghouse library is Book of Mormon Stories. It is a companion to the Book of Mormon Stories reader and teaches children about Book of Mormon prophets and events. For example, parents might show the segment on “Abinadi and King Noah” as part of family scripture study. They could then talk with their children about Abinadi’s great faith and courage and ask how we can show this kind of faith and courage today. Finally, they could read from the Book of Mormon and testify how the story of Abinadi can open our hearts to the Holy Spirit as Alma’s heart was opened by Abinadi’s teachings.

Pictures. Many families also use gospel-oriented pictures available in the meetinghouse library. For example, a lesson on the Book of Mormon could be enhanced by showing the pictures “Moroni Hides the Plates in the Hill Cumorah” and “Joseph Receives the Gold Plates,” then discussing Moroni’s role in bringing forth this sacred record. Both of these pictures are part of the Gospel Art Picture Kit.

In preparation for general conference, one family checked out pictures of the General Authorities. The family then learned about these leaders during several family home evenings.

Books. The meetinghouse library has a variety of books on topics such as the priesthood, temple and family history work, Church history, and teaching.

Church leaders have repeatedly emphasized that the home is the most important place to teach gospel principles. In a letter to members, the First Presidency said: “We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles. … The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place … in carrying forward this God-given responsibility” (11 Feb. 1999). The materials available in meetinghouse libraries can help families live the gospel more fully.Jeff Orr, Lakeridge 14th Ward, Orem Utah Lakeridge North Stake

[illustration] Illustration by Beth Whittaker