“You Can Have a Better Life, and God Will Help You.”

In digging around the web for definitions on self-reliance, as it pertains to teaching our children, I stumbled across these 12 principles on the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints website, churchofjesuschrist.org.

12 Principles of Self-Reliance.

  1. Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ (D&C 104:15)
  2. Use Time Wisely (Alma 34:32)
  3. Be Obedient (D&C 130:20–21)
  4. Manage Money (D&C 104:78)
  5. Work: Take Responsibility (D&C 42:42;  2 Nephi 2:16, 26)
  6. Solve Problems (Ether 2:18–19, 23;  3:1, 4)
  7. Become One, Work Together (Moses 7:18;  D&C 104:15–17)
  8. Communicate: Petition and Listen (D&C 8:2)
  9. Persevere (Hebrews 12:1;  D&C 58:4)
  10. Show Integrity (Mosiah 4:28;  Job 27:5;  Articles of Faith 1:13)
  11. Seek Learning and Education (D&C 88:118–119)
  12. Stay On Task, Receive Ordinances (D&C 84:20;  D&C 136:4;  1 Nephi 18:2–3)

I love this carefully chosen list. The secret is in the above title they use on the web site, that we can have a better life and God will help us. These principles will teach our families self-reliance and show us how to include God in improving our lives. In our Come Follow Me study this week, David Butler asks three questions:

1: Can you remember a time of captivity in your life?

2: Can you remember a time when God was merciful, patient, or long-suffering with you?

3: Can you remember a time of deliverance?

Yes, yes and yes! God has helped my husband and I over and over as we paid for an expensive graduate degree (ten years of captivity), not being able to get pregnant at the beginning of our marriage and feeling strengthened through that experience, and a time of deliverance I posted about here. As we built our family and our life together, God made all the difference. We felt it, we believed that our life could be better as we clung to Him through turbulent times.

As I looked through these 12 principles, I thought how a family could focus on each one and its accompanying scripture each month. I typed the title and the scriptures for June on a word document that I have posted. Month 6 is “Solving problems” with the scriptures from the Brother of Jared story in the Book of Mormon, where he takes his problem to the Lord, and then ponders how to solve it. I have told my husband about it and we have already worked on solving some thorny problems this week that have to be dealt with but get put off because it takes focus, energy and a plan.

We can reinforce each principle many ways with stories and activities, and slowly have this list of principles give us  a map for every year in how to teach our children, young and old, how to prosper spiritually and temporally, looking for the ways each day that God is helping us.

I love the hope that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings, and this practical map on teaching our children self-reliance.

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