Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lesson Recap: Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually

Elder Robert D. Hales Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Taught by Cheryl Wentzel

What does being a provident provider mean to you?

New uses for old things? "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"? Feeding the poor, looking after the widows, avoiding excess. Yes, all these and more.

President Hales gives up this definition:

All of us are responsible to provide for ourselves and our families in both temporal and spiritual ways.

To provide providently, we must practice the principles of provident living: joyfully living within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies.

When we live providently, we can provide for ourselves and our families and also follow the Savior’s example to serve and bless others.

Our world fraught with feelings of entitlement

When we go into debt to buy things we can't afford...we give away some of our precious, priceless agency and put ourselves in self-imposed servitude.

Money we could have used to care for ourselves and others must now be used to pay our debts. What remains is often only enough to meet our most basic physical needs.

Living at the subsistence level, we become depressed, our self-worth is affected, and our relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and the Lord are weakened. We do not have the time, energy, or interest to seek spiritual things.

Avoid and overcome patterns of debt, addiction to worldly things

  1. Learn that the three most loving words are “I love you,” and the four most caring words for those we love are “We can’t afford it.”
  2. Learn to say to one another, “We can’t afford it, even though we want it!”
  3. Or, “We can afford it, but we don’t need it—and we really don’t even want it!”
  4. Communicate with our husbands. As we counsel and work together in family councils, we can help each other become provident providers and teach our children to live providently as well.
  5. Pay a full tithe, and fast offerings.
  6. Ask ourselves, “Is the benefit temporary, or will it have eternal value and significance?”
Turn to the Lord
The appetite to possess worldly things can only be overcome by turning to the Lord. The hunger of addiction can only be replaced by our love for Him. He stands ready to help each one of us. “Fear not,” He said, “for you are mine, and I have overcome the world” (D&C 50:41).

As children of God, our deepest hunger and what we should be seeking is what the Lord alone can provide—His love, His sense of worth, His security, His confidence, His hope in the future, and assurance of His love, which brings us eternal joy.

Thanks Cheryl! Very timely in this uncertain economy.

Ellen King

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