Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday thoughts

I went visiting teaching this week, and it was my turn to give the lesson.

I opened up the Ensign and saw the title of January's lesson: "Becoming Self-Reliant." Yawn. I thought it was going to be about food storage and savings, things I need to be better about doing.

I don't know why I would think the VT message wouldn't be good -- it always, always is. And this one gave me a whole new vision of self-reliance.

"How do 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." -- Julie B. Beck

Ohhhhh.

"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." -- Robert D. Hales

Double ohhhhh.

I just love the idea that self-reliance is a means to an end, a way for us to be free to provide selfless service, the way our Savior would do. And that any time we improve ourselves, in any way, we are doing more to reach that ultimate goal. It's so much more than food storage.

11 comments:

rebekah said...

Self-reliance is one of my favorite topics, not that I'm good at it, I just love the idea of being a powerful and steady source of good in the world.

Your thoughts remind me of one of my favorite quotes from Emerson's Self-Reliance --

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried."

Jill said...

I thought the same thing when I went to read the visiting teaching message, and then felt the same humbling and enlightenment afterward. It was a great message.

Funny note though, my visiting teaching partner ended up teaching the December message this month and had no idea she'd done it.

Melinda said...

This months message really was so great. I think we all were a little pleasantly surprised when we read the message.

jenn said...

And that self reliance is when we use what we have to solve our problems... very inspired, especially for this time of year.

Robyn said...

Ditto- I thought the same thing when I started reading but I loved the words of Sister Beck (as always) because she made it so clear. When our own needs are taken care of, we can serve others and become more like Christ.

I also like how they emphasize knowledge and education as part of being self reliant - it's not just food storage and grinding wheat!

Amie said...

This month's message was really good. Of course, I do enjoy hearing about self reliance, it feels like tangible progress.

Our visit ended up turning to are we preparing our kids to function as adults. That by us doing everything (because it is usually easier that way, especially with the younger kids in a family) we are literally crippling them. I had thought of self-reliance freeing me up for service before then... excellent thoughts.

Becky said...

I had the same exact epiphany while reading and presenting the January Visiting Teaching message. I don't have anything against food storage but I don't get excited about it. Improving myself so that I can serve others--that excites me!

Great post, Michelle.

Esther said...

I totally enjoy reading your blog today, it just made me think of so many things....thank you Michelle.

Crystalyn said...

just love these thoughts michelle. i also had several oooooohhhh moments. funny how the such simple and sometimes obvious things can bring about the greatest epiphanies.

shannon said...

I also just love the idea that self reliance is a means to an end--to provide selfless service the way our Savior would do...

So well put...

I really need to get on the stick and get back to doing Sunday thoughts posts...Now that we have afternoon church (yuk!) I'm just not very motivated to come home and blog...

Barb said...

Yeah, that was a good insight for me that the end goal is not self-reliance, just a mean to another end goal.

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