FHE: Self Reliance

by | Jul. 11, 2011


Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare”, by H. David Burton, Ensign, May 2011, 81.

Each generation is required to learn anew the foundational principles of self-reliance: avoid debt, implement principles of thrift, prepare for times of distress, listen to and follow the words of the living oracles, develop the discipline to distinguish between needs and wants and then live accordingly. (H. David Burton, “The Sanctifying Work of Welfare”, Ensign, May 2011, 81.)

“When We’re Helping,” Children’s Songbook, p. 198.

For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves. (Doctrine and Covenants 104:17)

Object Lesson:
Display a 72-hour kit, or other food storage item. Explain that when a natural disaster occurs, people often begin to think about preparations they wish they had made. Have your family suggest things they think are important to have prior to a natural disaster. Invite a family member to read Exodus 11:1–3.

• What was Israel asked to do?
• Why were they successful in their requests of their Egyptian neighbors?

Ask your family to silently read Exodus 11:5–10, looking for the plague about to come upon the Egyptians. Ask your family why they think Pharaoh would not let the children of Israel go, even after all the previous plagues sent upon Egypt (see footnote 10a).

Read D&C 43:23–27 aloud. Testify that the Lord continues to speak to us by the voice of disasters and plagues, and that it is important for us to heed His warnings. Make a plan to be prepared both physically and spiritually and to follow the warnings of our modern prophet.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 37.)

Joseph Smith grew to manhood among God’s noblemen, men of faith, self reliance, initiative and determination. They worked twelve hours a day with hand tools to build their homes and supply food and clothing for their families. Travel for pleasure was unknown. The first railroad had not yet competed with the horse-drawn vehicle. Roads were poor and usually maintained by a tax or a toll. A journey of one hundred miles was an unusual event. Wheat that sold at seventy-five cents a bushel in Western New York, sold for two dollars and fifty cents a bushel at Albany on the Hudson River, because of the cost of transportation on the Erie Canal. Books were few. In addition to the Bible, one might find in the home the almanac, and a few books of travel. Children went to school for about three months a year, until they could “read, write and cipher.”

People lived near to nature and believed in the love and mercies of God. They were kind, helpful and considerate to all. To them, Jesus was the Christ, and the Bible was the word of God to all men. It contained His commandments. These they accepted and sought to obey.

(Francis W. Kirkham, New Witness for Christ in America, vol. 1, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1942].)

1. Divide the family into two or three teams.
2. Give each team a scavenger list (below) and instruct the teams to search in the house for the items on the list and collect them in a bag. There is a ten-minute limit. If they fail to return within the ten minutes, they must subtract one item for every minute they’re late.
3. On the word go, each team begins to collect as many things on the list as they can, and returns to the room where family night is being held.
4. At the end of the ten minutes, each team receives one point for every item they found that was on their list. Remember to subtract one point for each late minute. After all the items have been counted, discuss the many blessing you have and the concept of “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

Scavenger List 1
Pencil with an eraser
Blank piece of lined paper
Half-teaspoon measuring spoon
Piece of tinfoil
Sock with a hole in it
Car keys
Yellow toothbrush
Scotch tape
Piece of Christmas wrapping paper
Fifty-cent piece
Bottle of shampoo

Scavenger List 2
White pillowcase
Can of soup
Sewing needle
D battery
Piece of unlined paper
Straight pin
White shirt
Red pencil
Ten-foot length of string
Vacuum cleaner bag
Fingernail file

Scavenger List 3
Black sock
Belt buckle
Fingernail clipper
Tape measure
Shoe polish
Paper clip
Cassette tape
Bar of soap
Car keys
Five-dollar bill
Tube of lipstick
Safety pin

(Max H. Molgard and Allan K. Burgess, The Best of Fun for Family Night, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 56.)

Coconut Macaroons

Makes 20–24 cookies

2 cups coconut
2 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 1⁄2 tablespoons corn syrup
3⁄4 cup hot water
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

Mix coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add corn syrup to water and dissolve. Add eggs and vanilla. With a mixer on low speed, add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until evenly blended. Allow mixture to rest and absorb moisture for 30 minutes. Scoop onto cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 18–20 minutes.

For added flair, dip half of the cookie in melted chocolate chips and place on wax paper to set up.

(Recipes from the Roof, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011], p. 120.)

*For a printable PDF, click here.
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