Why Would Anyone Sacrifice?

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A favorite hymn in our church includes the line, “Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven.”[1] It seems a strange thing to think that sacrifice brings blessings.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sacrifice as:

: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone

: an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as offering to please a god

: a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice[2]

How will any of these kinds of sacrifice bring blessings of Heaven? Few religions demand a living sacrifice to be offered to please a god in today’s world. More frequently members of society will be found giving up something. Why would anyone give up something precious?

From the beginning of our world, sacrifice has been a part of life, even when it has not included the death of a person or animal. Eve, and then Adam, ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, and were rejected from the Garden of Eden. They gave up a paradise for thorns, thistles, and problems. Because they did, they also gained the blessing of children and family,

Women today continue to sacrifice independence, sleep, relaxation, and often health to give birth to and raise children. Life is never the same after a child becomes part of the family, even before birth. Sacrifice of life and health for children brings blessings unknown by those who have none.

Men sacrifice time to participate in more enjoyable activities when they leave home and family for employment. Fathers often miss the sweet times in a child’s life as they grow. Taking on responsibility of wife and family often removes the opportunity to play or relax as they did when single.

If you look, you can find stories of people of all ages who have determined to help a person or an organization. They give time to help, work to raise money, and write letters and make phone calls to change laws. People sacrifice their time, their money, their good name, their influence, and their things to help a person or a cause.

No animals are sacrificed or burned to please God, but hearts, minds, and attitudes are freely given.

What do you sacrifice? Why would you do that?

[1] LDS Hymns, 27

[2] Mirriam-Webster Dictionary; on-line edition

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