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How can I become spiritually self-reliant?

Spiritual self-reliance is essential to our eternal well-being. When we are spiritually self-reliant, our testimonies do not depend on the testimonies of others. We seek our own spiritual experiences through praying daily, studying the scriptures, and exercising faith in Jesus Christ. We turn to our Heavenly Father for His help to resolve our own difficult problems. We are also able to strengthen others in their times of spiritual need.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and other resources. What will help the youth understand the importance of spiritual self-reliance?

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

Mormon 9:27 (We should work out our own salvation)

Moroni 10:3–5 (We can know the truth for ourselves)

D&C 58:26–28 (We are agents unto ourselves to bring about righteousness)

D&C 130:18–19 (Diligence and obedience help us gain knowledge and intelligence)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Power of a Personal Testimony,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 37–39

Robert D. Hales, “Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 34–36

David A. Bednar, “Converted unto the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 106–9

Video: “They That Are Wise”; see also Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Visual Resource DVD

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between what they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Invite the youth to share something they have recently done to apply what they are learning in Sunday School to their personal study of the gospel.
  • Ask a member of the class to read the paragraph at the beginning of this lesson, and encourage the other class members to listen for answers to the question “What is spiritual self-reliance?” Give the class members a few minutes to write down their answers to the question, and allow class members to share their answers.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the youth learn how to become more spiritually self-reliant. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work for your class:

  • Ask the youth to read the first six paragraphs of Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk “Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service,” and invite them to write a few short sentences summarizing what they read. What do they think the phrase “spiritual desires” means? Invite them to ponder the spiritual desires they have. Ask them to select one of the three questions in the fifth paragraph of Elder Hales’s talk and write an answer. Encourage them to share their answers with the class.
  • Invite each youth to read one of scriptures suggested in this outline. After giving the youth time to read the verses, divide them into pairs and invite them to interview each other, asking questions like the following: What did the scripture you read say? What did you learn about spiritual self-reliance from these verses? What are you inspired to do because of what you read? Give the youth the opportunity to interview others in the class.
  • Ask the youth to read the section titled “How Do We Get a Testimony?” from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “The Power of a Personal Testimony.” Why is it important that we each have our own testimony? Invite the youth to share how they have gained their own testimonies of the truth of the gospel. Testify of the blessings that have come to you because you have your own testimony. As part of this discussion, you could share this statement from President Thomas S. Monson: “In order for us to be strong and to withstand all the forces pulling us in the wrong direction or all the voices encouraging us to take the wrong path, we must have our own testimony. Whether you are 12 or 112—or anywhere in between—you can know for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true” (“Dare to Stand Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 62). What are some other things the youth can do to become spiritually self-reliant?
  • Invite the youth to read Matthew 25:1–13, or show the video “They That Are Wise.” What do the youth learn about spiritual self-reliance from this parable? As part of this discussion, invite the youth to read the section titled “Testimony, Conversion, and the Parable of the Ten Virgins” from Elder David A. Bednar’s talk “Converted unto the Lord.” What can the youth do to increase the oil in their lamps?

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to become spiritually self-reliant? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Ask the youth what they feel inspired to do based on what they learned today. Encourage them to act on these feelings. Consider ways you can follow up.