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Doctrine & Covenants – Lesson 38

“In Mine Own Way”

Taught By Jeff Stone
November 8, 2009

Reading Assignment:
Lesson Introduction

The purpose of this lesson is to help us understand the principles of spiritual and temporal welfare and commit themselves to greater self-reliance and service to the poor and needy.

The focus of this lesson, like most, is to teach us principles that will help us to become more Christ-Like. The principle in this case is caring for the needy. However, as the name of the lesson (In Mine Own Way) states, The Lord has a specific plan to make this happen. There are two “prerequisites,” if you will to being able to apply the principle of caring for the needy.

  1. We must gain Spiritual Self-Reliance (D&C 38:30)
  2. We must gain Temporal Self-Reliance

As pointed out by a class member, until you have accomplished these two steps, you pretty much are one of the needy. We must, therefore, focus on two major concepts:

  1. How do we gain Spiritual and Temporal Self-Reliance
  2. How do we “Care for the needy?”

Boyd K PackerLet’s start off with Spiritual Self-Reliance and an excellent analogy by Boyd K. Packer:

“We have been taught to store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, if possible, fuel—at home… Can we not see that the same principle applies to inspiration and revelation, the solving of problems, to counsel, and to guidance? We need to have a source of it stored in every home… “If we lose our emotional and spiritual independence, our self-reliance, we can be weakened quite as much, perhaps even more, than when we becomedependent materially” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, 136–37; or Ensign, May 1978, 91–92).

Through fasting, prayer and scripture study, we MUST gain our own testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel as well as our role and The Church’s role in implementing The Gospel. In order to gain Spiritual Self-Reliance, we must not rely on someone else’s testimony; we must have our own. This is something we have to do for ourselves.

Next let’s briefly overview Temporal Self-Reliance. Simply put, we must learn three things:

  1. The Value of Work (D&C 42:42, D&C 56:17)
  2. Resource Management / Food Storage
  3. Financial Management

Neal A. Maxwell Remember the original name of our great State – Deseret, which is a word from Ether 2:3 that means “A Honey Bee.” According to Neal A. Maxwell, “Work is always a spiritual necessity even if, for some, work is not an economic necessity.”

As for food storage, many great points were brought up by class members. The most important, I think, is the fact that we must rotate our food storage to keep the food from expiring and being wasted. Second, we must store food that we have eaten before and that we know we will like. Finally, we must understand that food storage is meant to be a supplemental supply to ease the pressure during “tight” times. It is NOT for disasters; likely, the food storage will be destroyed in a disaster.

Here are some simple rules for financial security:

  • Pay Tithes and Offerings
  • Avoid unnecessary debt
  • Safe for the future
  • Satisfy all promised obligations

Finally, now that we have a basic understanding of the prerequisites, let’s us understand the higher law of caring for the needy. This, of course, is the ultimate goal of this lesson. Review D&C 58:26–28 where The Lord reminds us that he is not to command us in all things, but rather we are to figure out for ourselves. So we mustsearch it our for ourselves ways to help the needy. Here is a list of scriptures that relate to this subject matter. We were unable to cover them all in class:

  • D&C 42:30–31 – When we give our substance to the poor, we are doing it unto the Lord
  • D&C 44:6 – We “must visit the poor and needy and administer to their relief”
  • D&C 52:40 – If we do not remember the poor, needy, sick, and afflicted, we are not the Savior’s disciples
  • D&C 56:16 – If we are rich and do not share with the poor, our riches will canker our souls
  • D&C 88:123 – We should love one another and give to each other as the gospel requires
  • D&C 104:18 – If we do not impart of our abundance to the poor, we will dwell among the wicked in torment

Hopefully we now see that we must help the needy to be more Christ-Like. However, we must do it in his own way which means that we must first become spiritually self-reliant, then temporally self-reliant.

Below are some questions from the manual that may be useful to ponder and study to improve your knowledge and understanding:

  • How can we become more self-reliant in spiritual things?
  • How can we become more self-reliant in temporal things?
  • What value does work have in our lives?
  • How have you learned the value of work?
  • How can we teach children the value of work?
  • How can we become more financially self-reliant?
  • How can we teach children to be financially self-reliant?
  • How are fast offerings used to care for the poor?
  • How much should we contribute to fast offerings?

In D&C 104:13–18 the Lord explains His way of providing for the temporal needs of His children.

  • What is the Lord’s “own way” of providing for the poor?
  • What is our responsibility when we receive of the Lord’s abundance?