Visiting Teaching Message (Jan '10)

Becoming Self-Reliant,” Ensign & Liahona, Jan 2010


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Teach these scriptures and quotations or, if needed, another principle that will bless the sisters you visit. Bear testimony of the doctrine. Invite those you visit to share what they have felt and learned.

What Is Self-Reliance?

“‘Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems.’ Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur. …

“How do we become self-reliant? We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.”1

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.

A Gospel Responsibility

“As we live providently and increase our gifts and talents, we become more self-reliant. Self-reliance is taking responsibility for our own spiritual and temporal welfare and for those whom Heavenly Father has entrusted to our care. Only when we are self-reliant can we truly emulate the Savior in serving and blessing others.

“It is important to understand that self-reliance is a means to an end. Our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, and that goal is enhanced by our unselfish service to others. Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance.” 2

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being. Regarding this principle, President Marion G. Romney [1897–1988] 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.’ …

“President Spencer W. Kimball [1895–1985] 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.’” 3

President Thomas S. Monson.

Helps for Visiting Teaching

As a visiting teacher, you can seek personal inspiration to know how to best respond to the needs of those you are assigned to watch over. Then focus your efforts on strengthening each sister’s faith and family.

Personal Preparation

For more information, see; All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances (item no. 04007); and All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage (item no. 04008).

Photo illustration by Matthew Reier

This article is found on and posted here simply as a quick and easy reference.


  1. Can you make something fun for Becoming Self-Reliant? I would love a good handout to help my VTs remember...Thanks!

  2. I wish I could grow cheeseburgers in my garden...
    This past year my husband lost his job. I really focused on growing our own food and using what we had. I have become very frustrated because so much of the food I grew, cooked and preserved went to waste. While so much of our savings has gone to restaurants and fast food joints.