The principle of sacrifice is an important one in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is the ultimate sacrifice of our Savior that offers us salvation and exaltation. By sacrificing, we bring forth the blessings of heaven. To learn more about why sacrifice is important and how we can learn to sacrifice as Jesus did, here are some things Latter-day Saint prophets and leaders have said about sacrifice.
President Gordon B. Hinckley illustrated just how essential sacrifice is to the gospel when he said, “Sacrifice is the very essence of religion; it is the keystone of happy home life, the basis of true friendship, the foundation of peaceful community living, of sound relations among people and nations…Without sacrifice there is no true worship of God.”
Sacrificing for others doesn’t mean we must go without. In fact, the opposite is true. President Ezra Taft Benson said, “If you would find yourself, learn to deny yourself for the blessing of others. Forget yourself and find someone who needs your service, and you will discover the secret to the happy, fulfilled life.”
President Dallin H. Oaks also reminds us that we don’t just enjoy a happy, fulfilled life now by sacrificing. We are in fact preparing for eternity. He said, “I believe that Latter-day Saints who give unselfish service and sacrifice in worshipful imitation of our Savior adhere to eternal values to a greater extent than any other group of people. Latter-day Saints look on their sacrifices of time and means as a part of their schooling and qualifying for eternity…Just as the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is at the center of the plan of salvation, we followers of Christ must make our own sacrifices to prepare for the destiny that plan provides for us.”
To help us learn to sacrifice and give our all to the Lord, President Spencer W. Kimball shared three things we can focus on. He said we must first “eliminate the individual tendency to selfishness that snares the soul, shrinks the heart, and darkens the mind.” Second, we must “cooperate completely and work in harmony one with the other.” Finally, he says we need to “lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord.”
Though such sacrifice can stretch our souls, Sister Carol B. Thomas shares some of the blessings we receive through sacrifice. She said, “Sacrifice is an amazing principle. As we willingly give our time and talents and all that we possess, it becomes one of our truest forms of worship. It can develop within us a profound love for each other and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through sacrifice our hearts can be changed; we live closer to the Spirit and have less of an appetite for things of the world.”
Learn more about sacrifice by reading some more addresses on sacrifice here. Do you have a favorite quote about sacrifice that has touched your life? Share it in the comments below.