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An envelope was passed to Toni Sleight and her husband, Thomas, as they sat in a pew before sacrament meeting.

Inside was an invitation for the senior couple to take part in the personal finance course, one of four self-reliance programs developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to aid members with the spiritual and temporal necessities of life.

Initially, the 70-year-old Toni Sleight resisted the idea. Why them? What if she had to open up about the embarrassing details of their financial situation? She didn’t want people to know those details. There was also a significant time commitment—two hours a week for 12 weeks. It was too much.

Then Toni Sleight considered the alternative: more sleepless nights spent tossing and turning as she stressed over their situation. She had retired four years earlier, and they had downsized to a small home in Garland, Utah. But her 73-year-old husband’s health problems disrupted their plans and forced them to approach their bishop for help.

Their long-term prospects looked grim. Her husband couldn’t work. She didn’t have a driver’s license, and who was going to hire her at her age? It was clear they needed help.

Trusting in her bishop’s understanding of their situation, Toni Sleight steeled herself and accepted the invitation, a decision that has made all the difference for her and her husband.

“It was faith that prompted me to accept the opportunity, and the course helped me to have the faith that I could do it,” Toni Sleight said. “Self-reliance has changed me. My faith has been strengthened because I know I’m capable of much more than I was before. There’s a peace and sense of gratitude that comes with all of this.”

Sleight is just one of hundreds of thousands whose lives have been blessed and enriched through the Church’s self-reliance initiative.

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