From the Guide to the Scriptures, we read that “in ancient days, sacrifice meant to make something or someone holy. It has now come to mean to give up or suffer the loss of worldly things for the Lord and His kingdom. Members of the Lord’s Church should be willing to sacrifice all things for the Lord. Joseph Smith taught that ‘a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.’ In the eternal perspective, the blessings obtained by sacrifice are greater than anything that is given up.
Each of us has a sacrifice to make. We all have challenges and obstacles in life that require us to make sacrifices. It was God the Father who said, “We will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” (Abraham 3:25)
Sacrifice for Temple Worship
“Each member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is blessed to live in a time when the Lord has inspired His prophets to provide significantly increased accessibility to the holy temples. With careful planning and some sacrifice, the majority of the members of the Church can receive the ordinances of the temple for themselves and for their ancestors and be blessed by the covenants made therein.” (Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Times of Need, April 2009 General Conference, Elder Richard G. Scott)
Temple worship can sometimes be a significant sacrifice for families and individuals. It was President Monson who shared this touching story of a family’s sacrifice to go the temple in a conference address in April 2002:
'They traveled by train across the vast Australian continent, arriving at Sydney, where they joined other members also traveling to New Zealand. Brother Cummings and his family were among the first Australians to be baptized for the dead in the New Zealand temple. They were among the first ones to be endowed in the New Zealand temple from far-off Perth, Australia. They prayed, they prepared, and then they went.
'When the Cummings family returned to Perth, Brother Cummings obtained a new and better job. He was still serving as district president nine years later when it was my privilege to call him as the first president of the Perth Australia Stake. I think it is significant that he is now the first president of the Perth Australia Temple.' (They Pray and They Go, General Conference April 2002, President Thomas S. Monson)
Sacrifice for Missionary Service
Our young missionaries are asked to make a “significant sacrifice” to pay for the cost of their missions. Each individual circumstance is different. Some pay the entire cost of their missions from savings and the sacrifice of family members. Others are able to pay less than the full cost, but all pay everything that they can – a true, significant sacrifice.
Perhaps the ultimate sacrifice is one that no one ever sees, that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. It was the great English poet Rudyard Kipling that wrote these lines:
The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart.
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
The Savior taught us in the Book of Mormon that our personal sacrifice will be to “offer… unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost.” (3 Ne 9:20) May we each develop the spirit of sacrifice as we sacrifice to serve missions, sacrifice to worship in the holy temple, and sacrifice to be humble followers of Jesus Christ. I promise that “in the eternal perspective, the blessings obtained by sacrifice are greater than anything that is given up.”