Thursday, May 28, 2009

Self Reliance

A little while ago I attended a training meeting on welfare for my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Church takes care of their own poor and needy through its own welfare and humanitarian aid program. The Church provides temporary assistance with food and other supplies while helping individuals find jobs or relief from natural disasters. The emphasis is on the word temporary. While we each may find ourselves going through rough times in life and may at one point or another need outside help, the goal of the Church is to help individuals become self-reliant and not dependent upon the Church's resources for survival. According to the new booklet on welfare, self-reliance "is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the necessities of life for self and family."

The act of gathering food storage is a self-reliant element. We are preparing for the unknown by stocking up on food and other basic necessities of life so that we can take care of ourselves and our families even during economic upheavals, job loss, or natural disaster. Is that all self-reliance is? Gathering food storage? No! There are many elements of self-reliance, these include: education, health, employment, home storage (THAT US!), finances, and spiritual strength.

*chart from "Providing in the Lord's Way" welfare booklet from LDS church

During this training meeting I attended, it was brought up that there were two basic skills that are crucial in the journey of self-reliance. One was budgeting and the other basic cooking skills.

This has never been, or never will be a finance blog. But if you need help working your way through your finances, I recommend Dave Ramsey's advice: his books or podcasts (which you can listen to for free through itunes). Or this free online Personal Finance course offered through Brigham Young University.

On the other hand, we do basic cooking every week--so why not more? Beginning after our blog anniversary week (next week--lots of prizes!) we will be starting a basic cooking skill series which will run every other Thursday. This series will use perishables as well as non perishables and highlight, well, basic cooking skills. You know, like making quesadillas and stuff.

The more you cook at home and avoid restaurants and prepackaged foods, the more confidence you will have in your own abilities (aka self-reliance), and as a side benefit: you will have more money to spend on food storage. Plus, they've proved that sitting around the table for dinner each night as a family decreases the risk of teenagers using drugs or having eating disorders.

If you have suggestions for what you would like to see in the basic cooking series please email us at safelygatheredin @gmail.com (remove spaces). If you know of someone who could benefit from this series, please point them in this direction.

"Human beings are responsible for their own spiritual and temporal well-being. Blessed with the gift of agency, they have the privilege of setting their own course, solving their own problems, and striving to become self-reliant. People do this under the inspiration of the Lord and with the labor of their own hands."

*From "Providing in the Lord's Way." I took the liberty of changing "Church members" to "human beings" and "members" to "people." I hope nobody minds. If you do mind, just note that I don't have any money--just food storage--so suing me would be futile.


Stefanie said...

Thank you for highlighting the other areas of self-reliance. I look forward to learning more cooking skills. I would appreciate breads made with different varieties of flour. And also help cooking outdoors or without electricity.

Grant said...

I recently found an article online called "Outdoor Cooking Tips" that has some good information about cooking outdoors or without electricity. Hope that helps.

Megan said...

I would love to learn more about how to cook meats beyond ground beef & BS chicken breasts. I'm looking forward to cooking basics, too. Thanks!