Service/Self Reliance Cycle

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AmyJ
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Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by AmyJ » 02 Nov 2017, 12:51

"Can we see how critical self-reliance becomes when looked upon as the prerequisite to service, when we also know service is what godhood is all about? Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak." - Marion G. Romney

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2009/03/the- ... e?lang=eng

The whole article was interesting to read, but I I really found this paragraph thought-provoking. One of the themes in my life these days is how do I become more self-reliant by serving others?

I am working on balancing my time so that I am able to take care of myself properly. This means in part, letting my husband serve our family by taking care of our children so I can recharge. I am also more mindful of the time I have so that I make the best choices with the available time. I am learning that if I don't take care of myself, I won't have the resources to help others available when I need them.

I try to keep an eye out for opportunities to bless others - whether it is with goods that we can't use, compassion/understanding, a sense of humor and optimism or giving them the gift of time. I could do better in this area. I will do better in this area - I owe it to God, to myself, and my fellow human beings.

I liked how he said that, " Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved." - however, I think this can also include those who are overworked to the point where they are burned out - physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. One of the reasons why I think this site has been so helpful for me is that the people here are not "spiritually starved" and have made it a priority to think about and create a group to talk about these issues we face in being unorthodox. The support and understanding on this site paddle together like a set of oars.

I think that the cycle works that as we gain tools to expand our self-reliance, we also gain opportunities to serve others. The trick is to balance those tools to benefit both us (taking care of our own needs/righteous wants) and others we come into contact with. Do you think this is a valid cycle? What other thoughts do you have about either the article, or the quote I pulled from it?

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nibbler
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Re: Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by nibbler » 02 Nov 2017, 13:52

Would you say that god is self reliant?
It is the end of the world. Surely you could be allowed a few carnal thoughts.
― Connie Willis

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LookingHard
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Re: Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by LookingHard » 02 Nov 2017, 14:05

nibbler wrote:
02 Nov 2017, 13:52
Would you say that god is self reliant?
I think not given how many times I hear at church, “the lord needs you to ...”

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Nov 2017, 14:10

"Behold, this is my work and my glory: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of [humanity]."


It is hard to call God self-reliant, if God needs others to fulfill God's work AND glory. That simple framing is one of my favorite aspects of Mormonism.

Also, just to say it directly, Mormonism describes Lucifer as being and promoting an existence that is purely self-reliant - with the attending demands for praise and individualistic glory.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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nibbler
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Re: Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by nibbler » 02 Nov 2017, 14:23

LookingHard wrote:
02 Nov 2017, 14:05
nibbler wrote:
02 Nov 2017, 13:52
Would you say that god is self reliant?
I think not given how many times I hear at church, “the lord needs you to ...”
You sprung the trap I was laying. :smile:

No god is an island.
It is the end of the world. Surely you could be allowed a few carnal thoughts.
― Connie Willis

Roy
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Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by Roy » 02 Nov 2017, 14:47

nibbler wrote:
02 Nov 2017, 13:52
Would you say that god is self reliant?
I dislike how some seem to frame self-reliance as if independence were the ideal. I get that being dependent is not the objective but neither is living off the grid in a bunker somewhere. Interdependence seems to me to be the higher form of living - both giving and receiving with those around me. Perhaps God is interdependent.
AmyJ wrote:
02 Nov 2017, 12:51
"Can we see how critical self-reliance becomes when looked upon as the prerequisite to service, when we also know service is what godhood is all about? Without self-reliance one cannot exercise these innate desires to serve. How can we give if there is nothing there? Food for the hungry cannot come from empty shelves. Money to assist the needy cannot come from an empty purse. Support and understanding cannot come from the emotionally starved. Teaching cannot come from the unlearned. And most important of all, spiritual guidance cannot come from the spiritually weak." - Marion G. Romney
This seems to me to be a perfect justification for setting boundaries. I can turn down a calling to teach in primary because I am emotionally starved and need the weekly sisterhood and upliftment I get from RS every week. I can decline to home teach for a period because my family is quality time starved. Balance and moderation is the key I believe. Not to hoard all the best in your time, money, and energy for yourself - nor to "wear yourself out in service". A balanced and sustainable growth model would be the ideal.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Willhewonder
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Re: Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by Willhewonder » 04 Nov 2017, 05:20

"people who need people are the luckiest people...."

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SilentDawning
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Re: Service/Self Reliance Cycle

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Nov 2017, 06:47

I believe God is self-reliant in that he is able to sustain himself physically and spiritually, and he has great knowledge and power to share. But you can't apply the self-reliance and service cycle on his role as a LEADER in his quest to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Leaders need others to do the work of their organizations, and therefore, are never self-reliant in that regard. They are wholly dependent on the goodwill of others in service contexts to do the work of their organization. In this respect, they must be "self-reliant" in their knowledge about how to get results through other people. But they are dependent on followers who commit their time and energy to their cause. Otherwise, they are not leaders.

And this is something I think your church does well for many people, and poorly for others. Sadly, I think our church has taken the low road when it comes to recruiting, motivating and retaining volunteers. But their approach works in getting the results they seek. But I feel that it violates the D&C which talks about not exerting compulsion on the souls of men. Our TR process sort of violates that principle. And they tend to treat members like unpaid employees rather then individuals who are to be appreciated for giving a freewill offering of their time, talents and resources.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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