Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when the rising generation learns to work hard and be self-reliant. The best place for children, youth, and young adults to learn to work is within the walls of their home and with their own family. When family members willingly help with the chores in the home, they learn to work and become self-sufficient.
Work is an honorable activity. When youth learn to set goals and work hard to reach them, they learn to be self-reliant. Work helps a person in many ways – economically, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Bishop H. David Burton, former Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke of work being a blessing. “Today, many have forgotten the value of work. Some falsely believe that the highest goal in life is to achieve a condition in which one no longer needs to work. President David O. McKay (1873-1970) was fond of saying, `Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success’ (Pathways to Happiness, (1957), 381).
“Work is not a matter of economic need alone; it is a spiritual necessity. Our Father in Heaven works to bring about our salvation and exaltation (see Moses 1:39). And, beginning with Adam, He has commanded us to work. Even in the Garden of Eden, Adam was instructed to `dress [till] it and keep it’ (Genesis 2:15). After the Fall, Adam was told, `In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread’ (Genesis 3:19). As with any other commandment, there is joy in its keeping. To work – honestly and productively – brings contentment and a sense of self-worth. Having done all we can to be self-reliant, to provide for our own needs and those of our family, we can turn to the Lord in confidence to ask for what we might yet lack” (“The Blessing of Work,” Ensign, Dec. 2009).
One major part of work and self-reliance is to develop the capacity to work and to contribute to the world in which we live. Work and self-reliance help to increase a sense of self-worth. Work is a blessing to individuals and families.
Another important part of working and becoming self-reliant is learning early how to handle money wisely and to live within one’s income. God – through his prophets and apostles – has commanded us to pay tithing on our income, to avoid debt, and to save for the future. We can do this by setting goals, developing self-discipline, being dependable, and working hard.
Working keeps us from being idle. A favorite saying of many parents is “idleness is the devil’s workshop.” Being idle and having no responsibility leads to inappropriate behavior and often legal and moral problems. When youth and young adults learn the benefits of hard work and follow those teachings, they strengthen their families, communities, and nation.