We received a memo from the First Presidency in January saying that there was going to be some new welfare training material arriving soon. The memo instructed stake presidents to gather applicable leaders in the stake and to review the material. Well, the materials arrived, and on Sunday afternoon I headed to the stake centre for some training.
Leading up the meeting, I wondered what could possibly be different. Now I know… not much. The principles of self-reliance are consistent, and the training was actually a DVD with talks by Elder Robert D. Hales, Sister Julie B. Beck, Bishop H. David Burton, and President Thomas S. Monson. They didn’t really go into any detail of how to handle situations. They just emphasized those time-tested principles. Without going into it too much, here are a few thoughts that I had:
- Elder Hales said that it takes great faith to say “I can’t afford that”.
- A couple of speakers talked about downsizing your life to fit within your budget restraints. This includes moving if necessary.
- Sister Beck brought up the phrase “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” and how we would all be better off if we followed it.
- A couple of speakers talked about the importance of using a budget
- Bishop Burton mentioned that there is no requirement for wards or stakes to have their expenses and contributions remain in balance. Note: Perhaps it is just wording, but this seems to be different that it used to be (our stake president agrees that it is different). Before, if a ward or stake were to go “into the red” in their fast offering funds, then it needed approval. The implication was that this should not be. At the very least, it appears that the Brethren understand that in this economic time, more units will be using more fast offering funds than they collect.
- President Monson emphasized that no member of the church who has served in a welfare project ever forgets or regrets the experience of helping provide for those in need. This is very true!
Note: I left the house at 6:20 am Sunday morning to go to my administration meetings, attended Church, had meetings after Church, drove to the stake centre for the training, and ended up getting home at 6:30 pm. What a long day!