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marge

LDS self improvement courses

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I've been looking through all the self improvement courses offered by the LDS church, like the self reliance course, the job hunting course.  I think its fabulous!

I was wondering if this is a structured thing offered by the church in classroom settings, and if the courses are expected to be completed by members or are totally optional, or perhaps a mixture of both?

Have you done or know people who have done these courses?  I'm especially interested in the job search and starting a business courses offered.  I think this is a great resource offered by your church, this sort of thing is not taught to our young people in schools, I think LDS youth have a great advantage with this information available to them.

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Hi @marge, nice to see you again!

The classes are completely optional, but come recommended as they are very useful.  They are also COMPLETELY available to everyone, so feel free to take!

As to the how to take them: this is up to the person taking it.  You can do the self-directed route, or they do have structured classroom setting style too.  Like this last spring my area had a big structured Self Reliance course for a couple months, with classes multiple times throughout the week to accommodate difference schedules.  

I've not personally taken the course, but the people I know that have loved it, both for the practical material itself and the tie in to Gospel themes of stewardship.  

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Hi @marge, if you need the classroom version, you might want to ask the missionaries to see if a class is forming in your area.  A lot of these classes are formed through interest so telling them you are interested in specific classes could cause a classroom class to be formed and a facilitator called to lead the class.  The classes are not structured like a regular classroom with a Teacher.  Rather, it is structured as a group study with a Facilitator.  Hope this helps.

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Thanks so much for the responses.  I was more interested in anyones experiences with young people and these courses.  I think its a great thing for young men and women to do these sorts of courses, life skills don't seem to be taught to them in the mainstream school system.

Do you think it helped the young persons chance of success? 

Do most of the youth do these courses?

Is it expected that the youth participate in courses like this?

Is it a cultural expectation of parents to want their children to participate in these courses? (sort like parents want their children to serve missions)

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11 hours ago, marge said:

Thanks so much for the responses.  I was more interested in anyones experiences with young people and these courses.  I think its a great thing for young men and women to do these sorts of courses, life skills don't seem to be taught to them in the mainstream school system.

Do you think it helped the young persons chance of success? 

Do most of the youth do these courses?

Is it expected that the youth participate in courses like this?

Is it a cultural expectation of parents to want their children to participate in these courses? (sort like parents want their children to serve missions)

These courses are for the adults.  The youth (under 18) have their own program although they can always go through the curriculum if they desire.  The principles that are at the foundation of all these courses are taught all throughout the church's doctrinal instruction from nursery age onward such that it's not really just specific courses but rather, a way of life.  For the faithful LDS, the courses, therefore, is just a set of specific application of these principles for specific goals.  

So, here's a specific example from the Self Reliance My Personal Finance course - the "Becoming a Wise and Faithful Steward", "Being Unified" and "Tithes and Offerings" are foundation principles.  We learn these line upon line, precept upon precept from nursery age onwards in Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, Conferences, Firesides, Family Home Evenings, etc.  So the My Personal Finance course, for the faithful LDS, is simply organizing these principles towards a specific goal of Creating and Sticking to a Budget in thorough detail which is a specific application of these foundation principles.

Make sense?

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11 hours ago, marge said:

Thanks so much for the responses.  I was more interested in anyones experiences with young people and these courses.  I think its a great thing for young men and women to do these sorts of courses, life skills don't seem to be taught to them in the mainstream school system.

Do you think it helped the young persons chance of success? 

Do most of the youth do these courses?

Is it expected that the youth participate in courses like this?

Is it a cultural expectation of parents to want their children to participate in these courses? (sort like parents want their children to serve missions)

@anatess2 already gave a great answer to this, but I'll add my voice to the choir.

Speaking big picture first: the principles of being good stewards of your things (including money) are Christian principles.  We have sermons about this from the pulpit (Anatass listed some good ones), stress it, and have lessons to help put principles into action.  

For an example, when I taught the girl's group activities during the week (the girls were 8-11), we had an activity that talked about basic budgeting.  Really basic: like the idea of savings versus spending, and paying tithing.  The activity was done with M&M, and the girls got to eat them when we were done.  I was impressed with how much some girls knew, but other ones didn't seem to have any background.  Unexpectedly, the girls pushed the conversation in a direction about how if we save/spend our money right, we can better help others, several girls giving examples of how their families reaching out to help other families recently impacted by a hurricane (a hurricane which had hit hundreds of miles away from us).  

There are similar lessons being taught at all levels, including high school ages.  My congregation's youth actually just had such an activity this last month.

 

 

Now talking about the specific lessons you referenced: these specific lessons are fairly new and hence there isn't really a "culture" set around them yet.  They are geared to adults.  My area is a college town and we have a LOT of young adults (age 18-25) and I have seen those that have taken these specific lessons benefited from them in spiritual and practical ways.

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12 hours ago, marge said:

 I was more interested in anyones experiences with young people and these courses.  I think its a great thing for young men and women to do these sorts of courses, life skills don't seem to be taught to them in the mainstream school system.

It's a part of the current midweek youth activities (provided the youth leaders find value in including them). You can find some of the activities of the current youth program here.

Even then, I would suggest that parents have the primary responsibility of teaching these skills and these activities should reinforce it.

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9 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Now talking about the specific lessons you referenced: these specific lessons are fairly new and hence there isn't really a "culture" set around them yet.  They are geared to adults.  My area is a college town and we have a LOT of young adults (age 18-25) and I have seen those that have taken these specific lessons benefited from them in spiritual and practical ways.

I went through the "Starting and Growing Your Business" course with another person in our ward.  He and his wife are in their mid-20's and just had a baby.

After we completed the course, he started his own Food Truck.  His Food Truck became so popular he ended up in the "Talk of the Town" section of the local TV news just last week. 

My husband and I already have our business.  We were in the class for the "Growing Your Business" portion.  The course helped us rethink a lot of the way we have been doing things.

Edited by anatess2

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10 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

I went through the "Starting and Growing Your Business" course with another person in our ward.  He and his wife are in their mid-20's and just had a baby.

After we completed the course, he started his own Food Truck.  His Food Truck became so popular he ended up in the "Talk of the Town" section of the local TV news just last week. 

My husband and I already have our business.  We were in the class for the "Growing Your Business" portion.  The course helped us rethink a lot of the way we have been doing things.

I have a friend who echo this same sentiment.  They're in the save-me-from-foreclosure business and later went on to actually teach a lot of this stuff to their clients. 

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On 9/12/2019 at 8:17 PM, marge said:

Thanks so much for the responses.  I was more interested in anyones experiences with young people and these courses.  I think its a great thing for young men and women to do these sorts of courses, life skills don't seem to be taught to them in the mainstream school system.

Do you think it helped the young persons chance of success? 

Do most of the youth do these courses?

Is it expected that the youth participate in courses like this?

Is it a cultural expectation of parents to want their children to participate in these courses? (sort like parents want their children to serve missions)

While the principles taught in these courses would definitely be helpful to anyone, including youth, the courses themselves are geared more towards those who are in a position to actually apply the principles being taught. As such the youth, though available to them, are not necessarily expected to participate. (Though in my last class there was a 16 year old). Where it would greatly benefit the youth though, especially the personal finance classes, are through family councils that participants are encouraged to hold. In these councils all family members are given a voice in important matters, such as finances, and are taught in a very real and practical way how to become more self reliant and especially how to involve the Lord in temporal matters. But I share your concern that today's youth are not being prepared sufficiently for what's ahead of them. One huge example of this is the student loan debt bubble.

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