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Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven

“Sacrifice Brings Forth the Blessings of Heaven”
As a young man growing up, I aspired to be an Olympic athlete. I trained and worked hard to reach my goal of competing in the Winter Olympics. This meant everything to me. However, the Lord had other things in mind and I felt prompted that I needed to prepare for and serve a mission. I was called to serve in the Switzerland Geneva Mission and I have never looked back. My small sacrifice to serve the Lord changed my life and provided so many blessings for which I will be forever grateful.
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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.

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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

Sacrifice for Temple Worship
One of the ways that we offer sacrifice is to make every effort to come to the temple to worship and make sacred covenants. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve has said,
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“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:

'In 1957, four months before the dedication of the New Zealand temple, Donald Cummings…was the president of the member district in Perth, Australia. He and his wife and family were determined to attend the dedication of the temple, although they were of very modest financial means. They began to pray, to work, and to save. They sold their only car and gathered together every penny they could, but a week before their scheduled departure, they were still 200 pounds short. Through two unexpected gifts of 100 pounds each, they met their goal just in time. Because Brother Cummings couldn’t get time off work for the trip, he decided to quit his job.
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'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

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.

Recently, I met Elder Sedrick Tshiambwe who is serving in the DRC Kinshasa Mission. Elder Tshiambwe comes from very humble circumstances but he wanted to serve a mission. He worked for four years to save money earned by hauling bananas to the local markets on his bicycle. The work was hard and the heat was sometimes oppressive, but after four years, he had saved enough money to be able to contribute and today he is a faithful missionary. His story has been captured on video and can be found on the Africa Southeast Area website .
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Personal Sacrifice

Personal 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 tumult and the shouting dies;

The captains and the kings depart.

The captains and the kings depart.

Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,

Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,

An humble and a contrite heart.

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.”