From Marion G. Romney, October 1982
"Self-reliance is not the end, but a means to an end. It is very possible for a person to be completely independent and lack every other desirable attribute."
"'In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don't know how to fish.For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. . . .
"'The sea gulls . . . are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a handout.
"'A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s "shrimp fleet." But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come?
"'Let’s not be gullible gulls. We … must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence.' (“Fable of the Gullible Gull,” Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1950, p. 32.)
"Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens. We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even if we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice of self-respect and in political, temporal, and spiritual independence."
"Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made. . . . Can we see how critical self-reliance becomes when looked upon as the prerequisite to service? How can we give if there is nothing there?"
This connection between godhood, service, and self-reliance was a new one for me. I find it quite intriguing and deserving of more contemplation and pondering.
"We are all self-reliant in some areas and dependent in others. Therefore, each of us should strive to help others in areas where we have strengths. At the same time, pride should not prevent us from graciously accepting the helping hand of another when we have a real need. To do so denies another person the opportunity to participate in a sanctifying experience."
From Robert D. Hales, April 1986
"The welfare program requires that we develop self-reliance and live providently. Provident living requires us to develop proper attitudes - a willingness to forego luxuries, to avoid excess, and to fully use what we have - learning to live within our means."
"Joseph Fielding Smith taught us that 'it is contrary to the law of God for the heavens to be opened and messengers to come to do anything for man that man can do for himself.'"
From L. Tom Perry, April 1981
"I like the story of the old man in nineteenth-century New Hampshire who treasured his independence and self-reliance above all else in his life. He accounted it true Christianity that he cared for his own and helped others, and fiercely resisted the notion that he ought to accept help from any other mortal. When his aged wife died, he buried her himself, then dug his own grave and laid in it his open, homemade coffin. 'When my time is coming,' he said, 'I'll climb in the box and fold my arms over my chest. Won't be no bother to no one. They can just nail down the lid and push in the dirt.'"
This story reminded Wayne of his own dad. He may not have actually dug his own grave, but he's already paid for someone else to do so when that time comes. We're grateful our parents taught us these principles of self-reliance, and we hope our children know how important they are.
My cousin posted this on Facebook today. I thought it went quite well with this subject, and now you have a picture in this post!