What Is Self-Reliance—Really?


Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have always believed strongly in taking care of their own needs and the needs of their families. Being temporally self-reliant is part of our culture.


But self-reliance is so much more. In today’s world, taking care of ourselves and our families may mean getting more education rather than putting in more hours at work. It may mean starting or growing a small business, being wiser with finances, or learning skills that make us more employable.

At the core of all this self-improvement is the belief that God wants us to succeed. He knows our potential and will bless us as we are obedient to His laws and the direction we receive through the Holy Ghost.


To become self-reliant, we must focus on developing spiritual strength. When we are in tune with God’s will for us, we are much more likely to find opportunities that work for us and to have the strength to endure challenges along the way.

So how do we learn and follow God’s will for us? By being obedient—not just to the commandments, but also to the principles of self-reliance. Following these inspired principles puts us in a situation to succeed. Let’s look at some of them:


As we apply these principles, we should pray for guidance and open our minds to direction from God. We will learn new skills and learn to be obedient to the spirit of revelation.

Our goal is to become spiritually and temporally self-reliant. And after that?


Who should embrace self-reliance? All of us. If we are unemployed, underemployed, desperate for work, desperate for a promotion, or even in a good place where we don’t need additional income, education, or skill sets, we should definitely be working toward greater self-reliance. As we take opportunities to mentor others in self-reliance, we often learn much ourselves. Even if our temporal skills do not need to be improved, our spirits can be continually enlarged as we help others reach their potential.

How to get involved:

Contact your local priesthood leader or your stake self-reliance specialist.