News Release

Self Reliance Re-emphasized

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Uganda have been asked to focus more on self-reliance among themseves and their members.

In a special traning meeting held on the 15th of November 2015 at the Kololo Regional Center, Elder Stanley G. Ellis who serves as the First Counselor in the Church leadership of the Africa South East Area noted that if Latter-day Saints are not self-reliant, they turn out to be dependant, which is in itself a form of bondage.

Referring to the Church Handbook of Instructions, it was noted that in 1936, the Church set up a welfare program for its members with the aim of helping the people to help themselves. It defines self-reliance as the ability, commitment and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family. It says as members become more self-reliant, they are better able to serve and care for others.


Elder Ellis said, in the Area, they believe that any honest job is better than no job.  He said many times we say, “I don’t like that job - its not a very good job - I want a better job”, and so we don’t take any of them.

Sharing a personal experience, Elder Ellis said that when one of his sons returned from a church mission, he did not have any skills, so he got a job as security guard at a mall, but eventually became a doctor. He said, “It doesn’t matter where you start, it matters what you do with it... It doesn’t matter what kind of job you have at the beginning... it matters where you end up." He further counselled, "Once we get a job or an opportunity, we need to work hard, work smart, get better and better and continue to progress."

Referring to scriptures from the Book of Mormon (Malachi 3:11 and Isaiah 58), Elder Ellis shared, "As members exercise faith and pay their tithing and fast offering, the Lord will not only bless them but the whole country of Uganda."  He stressed that everyone can be a full-tithe payer because it is 10 percent of any increase they get. “If they harvest 10 bananas they can take one, sell it and pay their tithe."

At the same meeting, Elder Ellis challenged parents to take responsibility to raise their own children and teach them according to righteous principles as taught in the Church, rather than pass the responsibility of raising their children on to boarding schools.

He said at home children get the chance to spend time with their family members, share in family activities such as family home evening, get the chance to go to church with their family and even read the scriptures and participate in Church scripture study programs.

The Church recently introduced a program known as  “My Path” which helps members of the Church chart a course into self-reliance by either being better prepared to search for jobs, create their own jobs or get  training for skills that prepare them for a job.

The coordinator of this program in East Africa, Mr. Makau Philip, based in Nairobi, explained the process and the study manuals for program. He referred to these as the “formula” to be become self-reliant and said that NOW was the time to act. He said everything learnt needs to be applied. He encouraged leaders to form self-reliance study groups in their units to help them become self reliant, just as Jesus Christ was.

During the meeting, the Self-Reliance Committee Chairman, Kasozi Charles Sekirangi, was introduced, as well as Brother Ronald Nsimbi who is the local Self-Reliance specialist

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