News Release

Church’s Self-Reliance Program Helps Cebu Saints Lead Better Lives 

Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.


One of the traits that have defined the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its establishment is the principle of self-reliance in both spiritual and temporal aspects of the lives of the members.

This guiding principle is inspired by Joseph Smith, Jr., the first president of the Church when he said, “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” This inspired statement still applies today, and Latter-day Saints incorporate this in strengthening their own families.

One of the programs that the Church provides is Self-Reliance wherein members are taught different principles to help them stand on their own as well as provide for their families through free classes provided by the stakes or wards (congregations).

Self-Reliance Challenge

For the members of Cebu City Philippines Stake (diocese), they found the program as an opportunity to become more self-reliant. When the stake leaders encouraged wards (congregations) to conduct self-reliance, many of them accepted the challenge.

By the end of the 12-week program, 79 members of the stake graduated from their Personal Finance and Grow My Business classes, enlightened and ready to take charge of their lives for the better.

During the graduation ceremony, Ronnel Gaco, one of the graduates shared the things he has learned from his classes.

"Two things I've learned from this personal finance class: first is how to make savings the right way. The second is how to invest in the future." Now he and his wife practice self-reliance by being careful with their finances.

Arnold Pantaleon, another graduate, shared that he was able to finish his class despite his struggle with the time commitment. He shared that he learned financial management and realized that along the process that he was spending too much for items that were needless.

Through the Personal Finance class, he learned not only about budgeting but also obeying the Law of Tithing as the foundation for both temporal and spiritual. He is now confident that the Lord will provide His promised blessings, which is being able to provide for his family's needs so long as they are faithful.

In his message, Samuel Almeria, a student, said, "The program of the Church continues to help me develop the learning experience that I have, especially the Start and Growing my Business class. It's a great privilege that the Church has given us the opportunity to learn. You have to learn, otherwise, you'll get hurt." He now has more clarity on managing his business.

Remembering the words of the late Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, Almeria shared the counsel that is applicable to all: "Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work!"

Furthermore, Mirasol Santiago, a mother of eight, shared that she has learned to be more disciplined in spending money. Spend for the basic needs first and start saving.She and her husband were now able to set a goal to invest and save for their future that they practice consistently.

Self-Reliance as a Principle of Salvation

The core of self-reliance is the belief that God wants all His children to succeed. By being able to provide for their temporal and spiritual needs, members increase their capacity to help others.

The Self-Reliance program of the Church includes teachings on family finances, food storage, debt elimination, and education. In this regard, members build their lives through the principles of hard work from the knowledge they gained. They understand that the Lord will help them thrive so that they can serve God’s children in return.

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