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Providing for Temporal Needs and Building Self-Reliance

Members of the Church covenant to “bear one another’s burdens, … mourn with those that mourn.., and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8–9). Caring for those who have temporal needs is part of the work of salvation and exaltation (see 1.2). This responsibility applies to all members of the Church as they minister to one another.

Church members are also counseled to strengthen their own self-reliance through diligent work and with the help of the Lord. Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family. As members become more self-reliant, they are also better able to serve others.


Build Self-Reliance

With help from the Lord, members build self-reliance in the following ways:

  • Develop spiritual, physical, and emotional strength.
  • Gain education and employment.
  • Improve temporal preparedness.

1 Spiritual Strength

The Savior taught that “all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal” (Doctrine and Covenants 29:34). Members develop spiritual strength as they do the following:

  • Exercise faith in Christ.
  • Study the scriptures and the words of the living prophets.
  • Obey the commandments.
  • Attend sacrament meeting and other Church meetings.
  • Provide service to others.
  • Participate in sacred ordinances and strive to keep the associated covenants.

As members do these things, they receive guidance from the Holy Spirit on how to solve their problems and minister effectively to others.

2 Physical and Emotional Health

Heavenly Father wants His children to develop physical and emotional strength. This includes doing the following:

  • Obey the Word of Wisdom (see Doctrine and Covenants 89; see also 38.7.14 in this handbook).
  • Strive to eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid substances and behaviors that are harmful or addictive.
  • Practice good hygiene and receive proper medical care.
  • Develop and strengthen healthy relationships with family and others.
  • Learn to manage stress.
  • Seek help for mental or emotional challenges as needed.
  • Exercise

3 Education and Employment

The Savior taught that “the glory of God is intelligence” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:36). He also taught, “Seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118; see also 130:18). Education or vocational training can lead to better employment so members can provide for personal and family needs.

Developing the capacity to work will help members contribute to their families, the Church, and the world. Members are counseled to work hard and be honest in all they do.

4 Temporal Preparedness

The scriptures teach the importance of being prepared (see Ezekiel 38:7; Doctrine and Covenants 38:30). Members are counseled to become prepared so they can care for themselves, their families, and others in times of need.

Key Elements of Temporal Preparedness

  • Finances
  • Pay tithes and offerings
  • Avoid debt
  • Live within a budget
  • Save for the future
  • Obtain an appropriate education
  • Home Storage
  • Food
  • Water
  • Other necessities

Members increase their financial preparedness by:

  • Paying tithes and offerings (see Malachi 3:8–12).
  • Eliminating and avoiding debt to the extent possible.
  • Preparing and living within a budget.
  • Saving for the future.
  • Obtaining an appropriate education to help them provide for themselves and their families (see 22.3.3).

Preparedness also includes developing a plan for how to take care of basic needs during an emergency. Members are encouraged to build both a short-term and longer-term supply of food, water, and other necessities.

For more information, see Personal Finances for Self-Reliance and “Temporal Preparedness Resources.”