Sacrifice is a strange topic in our day. I can’t think of any commercial, opinion, or remedy in society today that mentions sacrifice as something good or something to do. Everything from commercials and movies to doctors and remedies seem to be, “What about you?” The remedy is whatever would make it as easy on ourselves as possible with the least amount of sacrifice. Even to life-style changes that have eternal consequences we say “Do what you feel is right for you?” That happens so often even when the answer is obviously wrong. That is what is behind every adultery case, I suppose. Sin is always rationalized to make us feel justified.
Why would you look for ways to sacrifice? Why would you look for something hard and even painful? Isn’t the point of life to keep from pain and anything difficult. The gospel gives us the answer to these questions. We are working for a much deeper happiness and a much longer existence than this life. As we make covenants and grow in obedience, we learn that “sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven.”
To offer everything to God requires great faith. Joseph Smith said
“For a man to lay down his all, his character and reputation, his
honor and applause, his good name among men, his houses, his
lands, his brothers and sisters, his wife and children, and even
his own life also-counting all things but filth and dross for the
excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ-requires more than
mere belief or supposition that he is doing the will of God; but
actual knowledge, realizing that, when these sufferings are ended he
will enter into eternal rest, and be a partaker of the glory of God.
A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has
power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation;
for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the
enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the
sacrifice of all earthly things.”
Sacrifice is often the secret to connection. When we sacrifice for someone we love them. We love God when we sacrifice for Him. When we sacrifice for a spouse we learn to love them. We don’t love them because of what they give us. Sacrifice changes things from “what’s in it for me” into “I love making him happy!” I have experienced both the taking and the sacrificing part of love. The happiest time in my marriage is all the time that I am serving and forgiving and my husband is doing the same. Because those times have been most of our marriage, when things aren’t perfect I just wait and sacrifice and things always come back to the wonderful again. Most all of our problems seem solvable as long as we are forgiving and repenting.