Free will is one of God’s greatest gifts, according to Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“This is crucial for our earthly progress and our eternal salvation,” said Bishop Causse in an article in Ensign magazine in July 2018. “By becoming temporally and spiritually autonomous, the children of God progress in their capacity to make healthy choices. independently and thus fulfill the measure of their creation.
Self-reliance is about planning and preparing in a way that allows everyone to exercise self-reliance in the face of a challenge, according to Tim Robbins of the church’s Department of Wellness and Self-Reliance Services.
“If we take personal finance as an example, we each have different financial circumstances and challenges that we may face, but there are certain principles that can help us create better financial stability,” Robbins said in an email.
Two of the ways the church promotes temporal autonomy are through its self-reliance courses and employment services.
The church offers self-reliance classes in personal finance, employment, and education, as well as classes in starting and growing a business. Classes are available to members and friends of the church in over 130 countries and 36 languages.
“Self-reliance courses were created to help individuals learn and practice the principles of faith, education, hard work, and trust in the Lord,” said Robbins. “During each course, participants are encouraged to study and apply practical skills and spiritual principles, as well as to teach them to their family members.”
The course groups are made up of “small, action-oriented boards” of about eight to 12 people who meet two hours a week for up to 12 weeks, according to Robbins.
“In the group, each participant has knowledge, experiences and gifts that can help others learn and grow,” he said.
Facilitators from the local community lead the groups through the course materials and invite all group members to participate, rather than giving lectures.
“They also create an environment of love and support,” Robbins said.
Classes continued virtually during the coronavirus pandemic, when groups were unable to meet in person.
“Self-reliance groups combine practical skills with spiritual principles to help people help themselves,” Robbins said.
Employment services offer tools, programs, and services in addition to the skills taught in church self-reliance classes.
The church has been helping people find jobs since its early years, according to Megan Burt, director of the church’s employment services division, and Joseph Doria, director of employment support.
“This relates directly to the Church’s divinely appointed responsibility to care for the poor and needy, and has taken many forms over the years,” Burt and Doria said in an email. “The earliest efforts date back to church-sponsored building and construction projects in Kirtland, Nauvoo and the Salt Lake Valley.”
The church’s public works department was formally established in the winter of 1850 “to provide employment through the construction of public buildings and the establishment of manufacturing companies,” according to Burt and Doria.
“At the time, Brigham Young said,“ The reason we don’t have poor able-bodied workers is because we plan to put each person to work at a profitable job and teach them how to support them. his needs, “” said Burt and Doria.
The church then established an employment office in 1896, the employment office for women in 1921, Deseret Industries in the 1930s, and the salt lake area employment office in 1948.
“At the end of 1978, there were twenty-four active employment centers,” said Burt and Doria.
The church now operates 74 employment centers across the United States and Canada as well as an employment website. The church has started offering various virtual services and programs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The success of these virtual offerings has proven to be one of the unique blessings of these difficult times,” said Burt and Doria. “Now, as physical employment centers reopen, the virtual services offered during the pandemic will continue and are available to members in the United States and Canada.”
Employment Services offers one-on-one help with job leads and resumes.
“Additionally, members can join active job search groups sponsored by the local church where they can meet other job seekers in their area (in person or through Zoom) on a daily basis to share leads. employment, network, practice job search skills, and receive spiritual and emotional support, ”said Burt and Doria.
A former participant overwhelmed by finding a new job thought the task was a one-person job until the active job search group showed “there is a better way.”
“It was heartwarming but also very humbling to see so many of my friends coming to my aid,” said the participant. “People are ready to help if they know you need it.”
Other services include daily Zoom Skills workshops, from interview preparation to networking, as well as a daily open forum for job search support and support questions.
“In addition to these options, our website, http://employment.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, has many great articles and resources to help job seekers, such as how to create a brief intro, a ‘Me in 30 seconds “or tips for dressing professionally for an interview,” said Burt and Doria.
The goal of Employment Services is “to help Church members around the world qualify for and obtain employment that leads to temporal empowerment,” according to Burt and Doria.
“We believe that self-reliance is a principle of salvation, enabling members not only to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of life for themselves and their families, but also enabling them to serve others and live more lives. similar to that of the Savior Jesus. Damn it, ”said Burt and Doria.