News Release

"My Path" Self-Reliance Program Launched in Africa - Preparing for What Lies Ahead

Some big questions are being asked right now of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Two such questions include: "Are you ready for what lies ahead?” and “Are you aware of just how important self-reliance is?”

Across sub-Saharan Africa the importance of these questions was addressed in hundreds of Latter-day Saint congregations in November 2015.  One such event was held in Centurion, South Africa on Saturday 21 November 2015, where Elders Carl B. Cook and Tasara Makasi, members of the Quorum of Seventy (highest echelons of the leadership in Africa), spoke frankly, clearly, yet lovingly to local leaders of the Church.  They appealed to these leaders to apply certain key principles to their own lives and then share them as widely as possible in their various capacities.


Central to their message were principles of honesty and self-reliance.  They defined self-reliance as the ability, effort and commitment to provide for the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family. 

It became clear that this cannot be achieved without a spiritual grounding.  This works when there is a sincere desire to start from wherever you are and then to believe you can do it.  You then go to work and trust that God will do His part.

Simple yet profound teachings were shared. Many, it seems. were common sense, but in today’s pressured world are not always common practice.  These teachings included:

  1. Living within your means
  2. Sacrifice the things that are 'of the world' to do so
  3. Keep and use a family budget
  4. Save something for a rainy day
  5. If unemployed, take any job to get started
  6. Pay a full tithing and trust in God's promises
  7. Be meticulously honest, obedient and hard-working
  8. Use your time wisely

Joined at the conference was Thabo Lebethoa – the Church's Self-Reliance manager.  Together with other leaders, they announced the launch of the ‘My Path’ programme.  This allows members and their families the opportunity to complete an honest self-evaluation and then decide which of three tracks or paths they should choose.  This could be a path of finding a job, improving your job; starting a small business or getting an appropriate education.  Participants will be formed into supporting cell groups to achieve their self-reliant goals.  The Church has prepared amazing resources, opportunities and networks to support these tracks. For more information, please click on "Additional Resources."

This, it seems, is a most important message right now, not only for members of the Church but anyone who is really serious about finding peace and happiness in today’s world.  One member attending Saturday’s event, Sean Donnelly, said “It is not a matter of life and death, to me it is more important than that!’  He continued, “We have to carefully prepare for what lies ahead.  Being self-reliant is not the end of it is only the means to an end because a truly self-reliant person can then care for and serve others, and this is what it takes to become like our Father in Heaven or His Son, Jesus Christ.  I for one am committed to do my part.”

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