News Story

Malaysians Catch the Vision of Self Reliance


Many people might think of welfare as a program to help those in temporarily difficult circumstances. But the intent of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welfare plan is much more vast; it also involves promoting self-reliance as a way of life. President Thomas S. Monson has taught that self-reliance—“the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the necessities of life for self and family” —is an essential element of our temporal and spiritual well-being.

Members of the Church living in Malaysia have attended My Path to Self-Reliance devotionals in Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Miri, Kuching and Sandakan. This devotional starts members on the path to self-reliance by helping them understand the importance of self-reliance, assess their current level of self-reliance, determine the skills and income needed to become temporally self-reliant, and select the self-reliance group that will help them reach that goal. The My Path to Self-Reliance workbook facilitates this process. My Path to Self-Reliance can also be used individually, with a priesthood leader, with a self-reliance specialist, or in a self-reliance center.

A self-reliance group meeting uses a council model and is different from most classes, lessons, and workshops. There are no teachers or trainers. Instead, local members counsel together, learn together, mentor each other, commit to act on what they are learning, and hold each other accountable for commitments. This group mentoring and counseling process, together with the workbooks and videos, creates a dynamic learning environment that strengthens each member in his or her progress toward a self-reliant life.

At group meetings, group members commit to act. They not only learn, but also do the things that make them self-reliant. They make commitments, help each other keep those commitments, and report their progress. Between meetings members act on commitments. This is where the real learning occurs. Members also provide mentoring and support with their action partner between meetings.

Local leaders determine which of the following groups are needed in their area. Group members can participate in one or all the groups offered near their residence..

1. Starting and Growing My Business groups help people start or improve their own business.

2. My Job Search groups help people find new or better work.

3. Education for Better Work groups help people identify an educational path to increase their income.

As part of each group, members also study 12 doctrinal topics on self-reliance from the manual My Foundation: Principles, Skills, Habits.

For those interested in learning more about self-reliance groups available in Malaysia, please contact the Self-Reliance Center located in Kuching at +6-019-845-3467.

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