We must teach and practice provident living in order to strengthen our families, communities, and nations. We can be better prepared for whatever happens in our future by becoming self-reliant. When we are prepared and self-reliant, we have more capability to help other family members as well as other people in our communities. By living providently we can become more responsible, generous, mature, and kind.
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints counsel the members to become self-reliant through living providently. ("Provident Living Prepares Us for the Future," Ensign, October 2012, 12). This counsel is based on some specific gospel principles revealed in the latter days.
1) Preparation: "Prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh" (Doctrine and Covenants 1:12).
2) Industry: "Thou shalt not be idle" (Doctrine and Covenants 42:42).
3) Education: "Learning, even by study and also by faith" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118).
encourages us to
become self-reliant in six different areas based on the three principles
1) Spiritual strength, 2) Physical health, 3) Education, 4) Employment, 5) Home storage, and 6) Finances.
1) We can gain spiritual strength and become self-reliant in this area. The most important part of becoming self-reliant spiritually is to learn to trust the Lord. We have His commandments and His promises for blessings for our obedience. We have the ability to communicate with our Heavenly Father every day through personal prayer and the opportunity to receive personal revelation to help us with our own personal problems. We can also gain spiritual strength by daily scripture study, weekly Sabbath Day worship, and regular temple attendance.
2) We can gain physical health and strength by obedience to the Lord's law of health - the Word of Wisdom. In addition, we can eat healthy food, get regular exercise and adequate sleep, and practice good sanitation and hygiene.
3) We can become better educated by becoming literate, enrolling in higher education, obtaining better job skills, and studying out of "the best books" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118). We can become lifelong learners and thus enrich our own lives and those around us.
4) We can work to provide for our own needs and the needs of our family. Even in a bad economy such as we are now experiencing, we can find work to do. We can barter our services and gain items without exchanging money. We can take lesser paying jobs while trying to find what we want. We can find our own niche and start our own business.
5) We can store enough drinking water and food to meet our needs in case of an emergency. We can gradually build up our supply of foods, including a supply of those we eat on a regular basis as well as a supply of longer-lasting foods, such as grains and beans. Storing food in preparation for disasters or personally difficult times is not hoarding food; it is simply practicing provident living. We will feel more secure in emergencies if we have a supply of food; we will also be more able to help our families and neighbors through the crisis.
6) We can control our finances. We can pay an honest tithing and generous offerings. We can avoid unnecessary debt. We can live within our income and gradually build a financial reserve.
There may come times when we are unable to meet our basic needs in spite of doing all we can to live providently. These difficult times should be temporary and of short duration. In any case, we should go to our families for help before we go to any other person or organization. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can turn to their Bishop for help them if their families are unable to give sufficient assistance. Their bishop will assist them and encourage them to work for what they get.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave the following counsel: "All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways.. to provide providently, we must practice the principles of provident living: joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies" ("Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually," Ensign, May 2009, 8).
We are all capable of practicing provident living. We can all become self-reliant and better prepared to face emergencies or crises. We will strengthen our homes, communities, and nations as we work to become self-reliant in all six areas.