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What does it mean to be self-reliant?

When we are self-reliant, we use the blessings and abilities God has given us to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions to our own problems. As we become self-reliant, we are also better able to serve and care for others. The Lord wants us to become both spiritually and temporally self-reliant.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you study these scriptures and other resources, seek guidance from the Spirit to know how to teach the young men about the importance of becoming self-reliant.

Matthew 25:1–13 (The parable of the ten virgins)

Luke 2:52 (Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and man)

1 Timothy 5:8 (Men should provide for their own)

D&C 83:2, 4 (Women have claim on their husbands; children have claim on their parents)

Henry B. Eyring, “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 37–40

Robert D. Hales, “Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 7–10; see also the video “Becoming Provident Providers”

The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129

Becoming Self-Reliant,” True to the Faith (2004), 184–85

Self-Reliance,” Handbook 2: Administering the Church (2010), 6.1.1

Robert D. Hales, “Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 44–47

Video: “Life’s Drama”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting. 

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Invite the young men to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson.
  • Write “self-reliance” on the board, and ask the young men what they think it means to be self-reliant. Give them time to think and respond. As a quorum, read “Becoming Self-Reliant” on pages 184–85 of True to the Faith. What would they add to their definition of self-reliance, based on what they read? Ask the young men what they can do now to prepare to become self-reliant when they live on their own and when they become husbands and fathers.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help quorum members learn about self-reliance. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Divide the young men into groups and assign each group one of the following aspects of self-reliance: education, finances, relationships, and spiritual strength. Invite each group to review the sections of Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk “Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World” that address these topics. Invite the young men to share what they learned and something they will do to become more self-reliant in one of these areas.
  • Write on separate slips of paper the following topics related to self-reliance: Health, Education, Employment, Home Storage, Finances, and Spiritual Strength. Allow each young man to pick a topic that he is interested in, and invite him to read about the topic in a copy of section 6.1.1 of Handbook 2 (pages 34–35). Ask each young man to briefly teach the class what he learned about his topic, how it relates to self-reliance, and what he can do now to prepare to be self-reliant in these areas. How can the young men’s efforts in their youth bless their families when they become husbands and fathers?
  • Before the quorum meeting, invite one or more quorum members to prepare to teach how Captain Moroni prepared his army to meet the Lamanites in battle (see Alma 46–49). Ideas could include physical preparation (see Alma 43:18–21, 37–39; 48:8–9), and spiritual preparation (see Alma 46:11–21, 48:7, 11–13). What difference did this preparation make as the Nephites defended their lives, liberty, and families? What does this example teach the young men about self-reliance? What can the young men do now to be prepared for the challenges they may face?
  • Write the word “Dependent” on the left side of the board and the word “Self-reliant” on the right side. Ask the young men to define both words (if they need help, refer them to pages 184–85 of True to the Faith). Ask them to list ways they are dependent on others and ways they are self-reliant. Why does the Lord want us to become self-reliant? Show the video “Becoming Provident Providers” (or invite the young men to read about this story in Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk “Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually”). Ask the young men to identify what Elder Hales teaches us about how to become self-reliant, and list their answers on the board. Ask the young men what habits and patterns they need to be establishing now in order to provide for their future families. What behaviors do they need to avoid? As part of this discussion, you could show the video “Life’s Drama” or invite the young men to read the third paragraph of Elder Hales’s talk.
  • Divide the young men into pairs or small groups. Assign each group a scripture about self-reliance, such as those in this outline. Invite the young men to read their scripture passage and then create a Mormonad about self-reliance. You may want to show an example of a Mormonad from the New Era or Liahona. Give the young men the opportunity to share their Mormonads with the quorum.
  • Ask the young men what they and their families might do to prepare for a natural disaster (such as an earthquake or hurricane). As a class, read the first three paragraphs of President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady.” What are some “spiritual disasters” or trials that we might face? What can we do to prepare spiritually for these trials? Give each young man part of the remainder of President Eyring’s talk, and ask them to look for answers to these questions. Invite them to share what they find.

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand self-reliance well enough that they could explain it to someone? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Share with the quorum his testimony about the importance of becoming self-reliant and what he has been impressed to do as a result of this lesson.
  • Challenge the young men in the quorum to act on the impressions they have felt during quorum meeting to become more self-reliant.