boxTools for the Journey

  • Work
  • Self-reliance
  • Financial Budget
  • Home Storage

This post has been taken from an article written in one of the church’s magazines, The Ensign, which was published in September 1986, by our prophet, President Thomas S Monson, whom at the time this was written was the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church.

At first, I wasn’t going to use, it is 30-years-old, yet, when i read it through, I realised that President Monson’s words are as relevant today as they were then and in some cases even more so and it is a good place to begin to explain how the Lord, helps us provide for ourselves and our loved ones. Originally called ‘The Church Welfare Plan’ is in now simple known as ‘Self-Reliance’ and on the side of the that is ‘Work and Employment.’ There as been some updates to the program, but more about those another post.

He begins with ‘President Heber J. Grant read a statement from the First Presidency that explained the principles upon which the Church’s welfare efforts were based. Included were these familiar words: “Our primary purpose was to set up, insofar as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 3.)

President Monson first quotes President Heber J Grant, who was speaking in church conference in 1936!?! In 1936 the church leaders were already aware of what was to come as far as the temporal needs of the people, both members of the church and non-members alike. The idea behind all welfare programs of the church is to do away with the ‘curse of idleness’ and ‘the evils of the dole’ and to encourage, ‘independence, industry, thrift and self-respect.’

Principle 1. Work.

Even Adam and Eve were counseled to work by to provide for themselves and their family. Unfortunately today, many have forgotten this simple gospel fact, that we should work to meet our families needs – ‘Today, many have forgotten the value of work. Some falsely believe that the highest goal in life is to achieve a condition in life where no one needs to work.’

Principle 2. Self-Reliance.

Regarding this principle, President Marion G. Romney has said: “Let us work for what we need. Let us be self-reliant and independent. Salvation can be obtained on no other principle. Salvation is an individual matter, and we must work out our own salvation in temporal as well as in spiritual things.” (In Welfare Services Meeting Report, 2 Oct. 1976, p. 13.)

President Spencer W. Kimball further taught concerning self-reliance:“The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual,physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof.

“No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able, will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else.” (Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 77.)

Principle 3. Budgeting or Living Within Our Means

Today the world seems to portray debt as a trophy and the higher the debt the higher an individuals standing in the world. However, let me warns all those who read this that although your debt appears to be manageable, because you have an income, you need to plan for the future – the unknowable future when without warning your income is removed, but unfortunately your debt may not be. Let me say, from my personal experience that when i lost my job due to ill health, i first lost my savings and then my home. I can now look back on it all and say ‘it was only bricks and mortar’ and i am still in debt to the mortgage loan company and heading for bankruptcy, with no other way forward unless i do. This was not in my plan for my life.

“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation;it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours.Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1938, p. 103.)

…it crushes you…

Principle 4. Home Storage.

The rules around Home Storage have been updated in recent years, but for now it is true to say that each household should have a storage of food, fresh clean water, clothing. It is up to each household to determine what needs to be stored and how much – more information on this to follow.

But…begin here and now – find an empty box. The cardboard box that stores receive deliveries of crisps/chips in is 40 x 32 x 30 cm – i looked it up on Google – it is a good size to begin with. Then the next time you go food shopping buy one extra packet, can, etc of your child’s favourite food – you know the one they are scream for hours about if you do not have it? – buy that one. Take it home and place it in the box. It will look lonely, but the next time you shop, do it again – more about this to come.

To Do List

  • Create a workable budget – more how to’s coming
  • Get a box and begin to fill it.
  • Get out of debt and stay out of it
  • Work???? – more to come.