Thursday, March 26, 2009

Self-Reliance Never Grows Old

I love reading the "Gospel Classics" in the Ensign. Some are decades old. But I cannot think of one instance where what was written or spoken years ago was not apt today.

Back in 1984 (does not seem that long ago, but is is going on 25 years), President Marion G. Romney spoke during General Conference about "The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance." It was republished this month in the Ensign. Some highlights:
-- Many programs have been set up by well-meaning individuals to aid those who are in need. However, many of these programs are designed with the shortsighted objective of "helping people," as opposed to "helping people help themselves." Our efforts must always be directed toward making able-bodied people self-reliant.

-- people ... 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?

-- 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 political, temporal, and spiritual independence.

-- This great principle does not deny to the needy nor to the poor the assistance they should have. The wholly incapacitated, the aged, the sickly are cared for with all tenderness, but every able-bodied person is enjoined to do his utmost for himself to avoid dependence, if his own efforts can make such a course possible; to look upon adversity as temporary; to combine his faith in his own ability with honest toil.

-- We believe [that] seldom [do circumstances arise in which] men of rigorous faith, genuine courage, and unfaltering determination, with the love of independence burning in their hearts, and pride in their own accomplishments, cannot surmount the obstacles that lie in their paths.

-- The key to making self-reliance spiritual is in using the freedom to comply with God’s commandments. The scriptures are very clear in their command that it is the duty of those who have, to give to those who are in need.
Compassion is defined differently by different people. One group will give as they see fit, as their means allows. Others will give provided it is some one else's money or goods.

Those of the conservative persuasion give more to charity than those of the more liberal persuasion. A conservative prefers to give out of the goodness of his heart or as the need arises, the liberal prefers the compelling mandate.

We will always disagree on this but conservative believe that less government is better and man need not be compelled in all things, that he will do many things of his own freewill. The liberal prefers to legislate and force.

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