When we get up from our knees after praying, what do we try to keep foremost in our minds? Yes, the Savior. Miracles did not cease thousands of years ago. We have modern prophets who testify to us that miracles continue to happen in our day. Some affect the world, and some affect our families. When we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, amazing things can happen in our lives. Our minds are opened up, we learn faster, we have more energy to work harder, and we stay focused on the things that are most important in our lives.
But most miraculously, when we keep the commandments and have faith in the Savior, He opens doors for us. That is His promise to us.
The first step in our self-reliance plan is to rely on the Savior. With our faith focused on Him, our minds and hands are ready to go to work.
Where do we start? And what about those pesky “what ifs?” What if life gets in the way? We all will encounter bills, debt, and illness. What if we start to doubt that there is a way through?
Let’s put all the “what ifs” and the new skills that we may need to learn to the side for a moment.
Take a deep breath. Think for a moment about the Savior’s plan for us to be happy—not only when we return to Him, but in this life as well. Maybe the cares of the world are weighing you down. Don’t be discouraged. The Apostle Neal A. Maxwell taught that “one’s life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free.” He taught us how to increase our faith: “Serving, studying, praying, and worshiping are four fundamentals in perfecting ‘that which is lacking in [our] faith’ (1 Thessalonians 3:10).”
Without these fundamentals, our faith weakens. We not only doubt ourselves, but we may also doubt the Lord. But as we give place for the seed in our heart (see Alma 32:28–30) our faith grows, and we become more confident in our relationship with the Savior. We know that He will not take away all of our trials, but He will ease our burdens. And through the Holy Ghost, He will comfort us (see Moroni 8:26), lead us (see D&C 20:45), and teach us (see D&C 28:1).
Self-reliance begins by you—individually—exercising faith in the Savior.
However, family councils and home teachers are also essential to the plan. There is great strength as we serve each other, as we bear each others’ burdens and pray and study the scriptures together. “And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you” (3 Nephi 18:20).