Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide for the spiritual and temporal well-being of ourselves and of our families.
As we learn and apply the principles of self-reliance in our homes and communities, we have opportunities to care for the poor and needy and to help others become self-reliant so they can endure times of adversity. We have the privilege and duty to use our agency to become self-reliant spiritually and temporally.
Supplement: Read the following excerpt from Elder L. Tom Perry's talk "Becoming Self-Reliant," from the October 1991 general conference.The Lord does help when we go to Him in times of need, especially when we are committed to His work and respond to His will. But the Lord only helps those who are willing to help themselves. He expects His children to be self-reliant to the degree they can be.
Brigham Young instructed the Saints, “Instead of searching after what the Lord is going to do for us, let us inquire what we can do for ourselves.” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1978, p. 293.)
You may also want to watch this Mormon Message video on provident living and learning to live providently.