Self-Reliance Missionaries bring members together in the virtual classroom

by Yvonne Runcie-McMahon

Virtual Classroom

Self-Reliance Missionaries, Elder and Sister Dudley, have been bringing members together each week from across the UK to take part in a 12 week Starting and Growing My Business Course. 

The course has been conducted via the virtual classroom using Zoom video conferencing. Each week class members participate in a different aspect of starting or growing their own business, key to the lesson is a foundation principle of the gospel that is reinforced with follow-up meetings mid-week with their assigned Action Partner.

Jaqui (Crewe Ward) comments:
“I think I would have struggled if I had to attend a session in person, but Zoom means we can be in the same room virtually. The sessions, I feel, work very well and encourage active participation.  I have been challenged and found myself contemplating all aspects raised and I can see how they apply to every aspect of my life both personal and business.

I have come away from every session feeling I've learned something new that I can apply to both business and personal life. It has helped me realise that starting a business requires much more than an idea, but also a good grounding in accounting, marketing, sales to help decide what business to pursue and how to make it successful. I look forward to each session and what I will learn each time.”

Class member Yvonne (Warrington Ward) commented:
“The course is unlike any other church course I have ever done. It is not just following a manual or set lesson but directed by the spirit and the interaction of the class members and facilitators. Each of us bring something unique to the class and feel inspired to make suggestions for one another. It is wonderful to suggest something of value to your class member that they have not considered for themselves. As we act in faith and do our part by actively committing to the values and principles of each lesson we are blessed greatly for our efforts.”

The scripture D&C 88:63 sums this up –
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”


Becky (Macclesfield Ward) commented on the course too:
“I work part-time. I have always been making items for family and friends and wondered if I could supplement my income by selling these items. I had only just started to set up an Etsy shop when the opportunity came up to do participate in the Starting and Growing your own Business course online. I did not know what to expect but have loved every minute of it. It has made me grow in so many directions.

The key things that have the greatest impact on me were:

1. Having a group of people who have a wide range of experiences to offer you advice and ideas that you hadn’t thought of. 

2. Working on and reporting on commitments made from the lesson. This goes hand in hand with regular contact with your action partner. Again, the opportunity to talk about where you are up to with your commitments and ideas of where to go next is invaluable.

3. The daily writing in my business notebook helped me reflect on what I was doing and kept me on track!!!!
4. Having the mixture of spiritual principles and business principles in each lesson has strengthened spiritually and educated me to know what it means to run your own business. It has helped me understand how spiritual principles go hand in hand with business.
5. Being out of my comfort zone!! Running your own business needs resilience, perseverance, commitment, reliability, hard work and being open to feedback.”

Alistair (Gillingham 1st Ward):
“I would highly recommend the course as I have seen vast improvements in my life. I was assigned to be part of this as a member of the Gillingham 1st ward Bishopric (just to see if it would be worthwhile for our ward members). Before the course one would assume that there would be an entrepreneur like Richard Branson, a tried a tested business man that would tell you step by step how to become a billionaire but there wasn't at all, just a senior missionary couple with limited knowledge of how business works in the UK. On first thought and the sceptic in me, I would get to thinking why I am doing this and what can I learn from this group?  But it turns out I learnt so much and I am so grateful for Brother and Sister Dudley's perseverance when it comes to serving the Lord and for the group member’s support. I feel refreshed and ready to take on my role as entrepreneur. This is a course I would highly recommend!”

Being temporally and spiritually self-reliant is central to God’s plan for each of us.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has taught, 'Like two sides of a coin, the temporal and spiritual are inseparable' (“Providing in the Lord's Way,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 53).

There are four types of self-reliance groups available to study as a 12 week course:

  • Personal Finance

  • Find a Better Job

  • Education for Better Work

  • Starting and Growing My Business

As we act with faith in Jesus Christ, we become more temporally and spiritually self-reliant. We experience greater peace and joy. In an ever changing world of work the Lord continues to inspire our Prophet and Leaders to equip all of His children with the skills to provide for themselves and their families.

For more information about these courses please speak with your Bishop or Stake Self-Reliance Specialist, or check the links below.