Today I’m going to study the talk by Dallin H. Oaks titled “Sacrifice”.
Sacrifice is a principle we learn about in the temple. Really, this life is about sacrifice: giving up what we want NOW for what we want MOST, learning to submit our will to God as opposed to following the will of man (which is an “enemy to God”).
I went to the meeting yesterday and one of the things that stood out to me was when one of the attendees talked about how fasting had really helped him focus on what’s most important in his life. If had helped him realize that controlling our bodies leads to controlling our minds.
I want to fast more often and more for specific purposes.
Elder Oaks talk starts out with this quote:
Our lives of service and sacrifice are the most appropriate expressions of our commitment to serve the Master and our fellowmen.
I guess service is a true form of sacrifice too – it’s giving our time to help others. The Savior was the perfect example of service. It seems like He was always “about his Father’s business”. He was always “home teaching” – visiting the sick and afflicted, sharing a message of hope, peace and good will toward all men.
Jesus Christ endured incomprehensible suffering to make Himself a sacrifice for the sins of all. That sacrifice offered the ultimate good—the pure Lamb without blemish—for the ultimate measure of evil—the sins of the entire world.
That sacrifice—the Atonement of Jesus Christ—is at the center of the plan of salvation.
The atonement is what the plan of salvation is all about. All other gospel principles revolve around it.
I’ve read quite a bit lately about the attacks the Church is getting because of the attention from the presidential election with Mitt Romney in the running. It’s interesting how other denominations tend to focus on the extreme views of the Church as opposed to our core doctrine – the Jesus lived, taught, suffered, was crucified, and that 3 days later He was resurrected – and that he lives today.
I believe Joseph Smith had a quote about that…
The Prophet Joseph Smith confirmed the Savior’s central role in our doctrine in one definitive sentence: “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”7
Elder Oaks goes on to say:
For most followers of Christ, our sacrifices involve what we can do on a day-to-day basis in our ordinary personal lives.
“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself. …
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24–25).
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. This is a truth revealed in the Lectures on Faith, which teach that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. … It [is] through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.”13
“Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven…”
I’m grateful for these teachings. I know that when I serve others, I find true joy and want to be a better person. When I’m being selfish and worried about my own happiness, it’s harder to achieve the things I want to achieve.
I had a pretty good day yesterday. I did waste a bit of time looking about pictures from the HS event; however, I was able to stop before wasting too much time. I was able to recognize that I wasn’t headed in the right direction.
I was also able to catch myself before browsing around on Facebook, which felt good.
I’m excited to have a productive day and focus on what’s most important.