Sunday, January 16, 2011


Sacrifice is not a word we hear often today, not even in political Speeches. But last week I was thinking about sacrifice it and in looking at the Relief Society calendar it said that today's lesson was specifically on that. While I have not read it the chapter, I wrote an outline of what I'd say if I were giving a lesson or a talk.

Being raised in the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are given many way to learn sacrifice. Here are just a few:
1. Three hours of church every Sunday!
2. Paying tithing-one tenth of our income.
3. Fast Offerings to help the poor and needy by going with out food for 24 hours (starting at age 8) once a month and giving the money we would of spent to the church to help.
4. Serving a 18 month for girls and 2 year missions for boys, all paid for by the families who send them where they don't read the newspaper, watch TV, date or even hug any member of the opposite sex. One give up the world and their time.
5. Excepting callings which take up time.
6. Seminary for teenagers. After 4 years in Primary of learning the scriptures and another 4 in Sunday School, we ask growing high schoolers to get up before school and once again learn the scriptures before they go into the world. The opportunity to take religion classes is also offered in college at institutes around the country, although this time at any time of the day. Have you ever asked your self why?
7. The Word of Wisdom. We are to have no vices,to give up things that most take as necessary for living.

If one does not learn to put spirit over body, the Lord's will over your own desires, in those short 18 years, something is wrong!

Of course in ancient times sacrifices were of animals that represented the sacrfice of the Lamb of God, the Savior. We do not now offer live animals but we still can learn much from their practices. From the Bible Dictionary:

Whenever there were true believers on the earth, with priesthood authority, sacrifices were offered in that manner and for that purpose. This continued until the death of Jesus Christ, which ended the shedding of blood as a gospel ordinance.

It is now replaced in the Church by the sacrament of the bread and the water, in remembrance of the offering of Jesus Christ. Sacrifices were thus instructive as well as worshipful. They were accompanied by prayer, devotion, and dedication, and represented an acknowledgment on the part of the individual of his duty toward God, and also a thankfulness to the Lord for his life and blessings upon the earth

Under the law offerings made to God must be the offerer’s own property, properly acquired (Deut. 23:18). Altar sacrifices were of three kinds: sin offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings.

sin and trespass offerings was atonement, expiation. Trespass or guilt offerings were a particular kind of sin offerings. Sins were regarded as breaches of the covenant between Jehovah and his people, requiring compensation. (please read more on this)

The burnt offering got its Hebrew name from the idea of the smoke of the sacrifice ascending to heaven. The characteristic rite was the burning of the whole animal on the altar (Lev. 1:9; Deut. 33:10).

Peace offerings, as the name indicates, presupposed that the sacrificer was at peace with God; they were offered for the further realization and enjoyment of that peace. The characteristic rite was the sacrificial meal. A feast symbolized fellowship and friendship among all its partakers and providers, and also a state of joy and gladness (Luke 14:15; Ps. 23:5; Matt. 22:1 ff.).

It is noteworthy that when the three offerings were offered together, the sin always preceded the burnt, and the burnt the peace offerings. Thus the order of the symbolizing sacrifices was the order of atonement, sanctification, and fellowship with the Lord.

Of course now animal sacrifice is replaced with the ordinance of the Sacrament and a "broken heart and a contrite spirit." The meaning of contrite is :
Filled with a sense
filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement; penitent: a contrite sinner. rueful, remorseful, repentant.
As Jason explained it today in class, it's taking that wild horse in all of us and making it tame, What is important to note is that sacrifice may seem hard or even impossible at first but as one does it, it becomes a blessing.

"A Saint loves the Savior and follows Him in holiness and devotion. Evidence of this kind of holiness and devotion is exemplified by consecration and sacrifice. Sacrifice is the crowning test of the gospel. It means consecrating time, talents, energy, and earthly possessions to further the work of God. In Doctrine and Covenants 97, verse 8, it concludes, 'All . . . who . . . are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me.' "

Quentin L. Cook, "Are You a Latter-day Saint?" New Era, Dec. 2009, 5

"The Savior's perfect submission to the Eternal Father is the very essence of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Christ's example teaches us that a broken heart is an eternal attribute of godliness. When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are. The sacrifice so entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms. Like malleable clay in the hands of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted can be molded and shaped in the hands of the Master.

"A broken heart and a contrite spirit are also preconditions to repentance."

Bruce D. Porter, "A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 32

"We can have eternal life if we want it, but only if there is nothing else we want more."

Bruce C. Hafen, "The Atonement: All for All," Ensign, May 2004, 98

Today people are not taught to work for anything, but that they are entitled. There is no sacrifice, but a feeling of having a right, a guarantee to blessings, rewards, that are not earned. I'm glad that I was taught to sacrifice- specifically for the Lord. I want my sins taken from me, burnt, and peace to come into my life.

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