Congratulations on your calling as a self-reliance specialist. Your life will change as you help others strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and overcome temporal challenges.
Being temporally and spiritually self-reliant is central to God’s plan for each of us. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught, "Like two sides of a coin, the temporal and spiritual are inseparable" (“Providing in the Lord's Way,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 53).
As we act with faith in Jesus Christ, we become more temporally and spiritually self-reliant. We experience greater peace and joy. We are also able to use our means to help others become more self-reliant.
To understand why self-reliance is important, and how we can lead self-reliant lives, we must first understand three key teachings:
- Self-reliance is an essential commandment in the plan of salvation.
- God can and will provide a way for His righteous children to become self-reliant.
- All things, including temporal concerns, are spiritual matters to God.
The self-reliance initiative is led by the priesthood and directed by local priesthood keys. As a self-reliance specialist, you are a member of the stake (or district) self-reliance committee. The self-reliance committee is chaired by a member of the stake presidency and meets regularly to review and plan for all self-reliance needs in the stake. The self-reliance committee also includes a member of the high council, a member of the stake Relief Society presidency, the chairman of the stake bishops’ welfare council, and any called stake self-reliance specialists.
Working closely with committee members, the self-reliance specialist oversees self-reliance operations and activities within the stake (or district). For example, you may be asked to train and assist bishops and ward councils. You could also be asked to work with the self-reliance committee to coordinate and plan self-reliance devotionals. These devotionals are one way to help invited participants learn about self-reliance and choose a group that’s best for their needs.
There are four types of self-reliance groups. Depending on the needs of your stake, you may implement any or all of them.
- Personal Finance
- Find a Better Job
- Education for Better Work
- Starting and Growing My Business
You will be involved in organizing these groups, training facilitators, and periodically observing meetings as needed.
Watch this video about the power of learning and working together as a group.
You have the great blessing of helping people improve their temporal skills and increase their spiritual strength. Love them. Encourage them. As you hear of participant successes, share them with the self-reliance committee and ward (or branch) councils.
YOU’RE INVITED! A Leader’s Guide to the Self-Reliance Initiative: This booklet is a resource for priesthood leaders and stake committees. It explains the doctrinal principles and resources that will help members become more spiritually and temporally self-reliant.
Ordering Manuals (Stake Clerks)
Manuals Available for Use
U.S. and Canada
*Note: Also order My Foundation for Self-Reliance when ordering this manual.
Short videos of group participant experiences are available here.
Church Employee and Volunteer Support
The Church employs people in each area to assist in the self-reliance effort. These include a Self-Reliance Services (SRS) manager and other staff. These employees, along with full-time senior missionaries, provide stake and district committees with training and resources. SRS managers can also help your committee develop local resources such as job opportunities and educational training programs.