Latter-day Prophets Speak: Sacrifice: Key to the Abundant Life


Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918)

Sixth President of the Church

“If He should require me to give all I possess unto him, I wish to feel that it should be done cheerfully and willingly. … Now, how many of us have the confidence in the Lord that Abraham had? Supposing, He were to ask from you your first born, or any of your loved ones, or your wealth, could you endure it without murmuring? … Can we expect to attain a celestial exaltation if we have some corner—something put away—upon which our hearts or dearest affections are set? Ask yourselves, if you are worthy to receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God?” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith [1998], 420–21).

Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

Twelfth President of the Church

“We must lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord. We begin by offering a ‘broken heart and a contrite spirit.’ We follow this by giving our best effort in our assigned fields of labor and callings. We learn our duty and execute it fully. Finally we consecrate our time, talents, and means as called upon by our file leaders and as prompted by the whispering of the Spirit. In the Church … we can give expression to every ability, every righteous desire, every thoughtful impulse. … And in the end, we learn it was no sacrifice at all” (“Becoming the Pure in Heart,” Ensign, May 1978, 81).

Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994)

Thirteenth President of the Church

“Just as when one loses his life to God he really finds the abundant life; so also, when one sacrifices all to God, then God in return shares all that he has with him. Try as you may, you cannot put the Lord in your debt—for every time you try to do his will he simply pours out more blessings upon you. Sometimes the blessings may seem to you to be a little slow in coming; perhaps this tests your faith, but come they will and abundantly” (“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” in BYU Speeches of the Year 1974 [1975], 311).

Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–)

Fifteenth President of the Church

“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. I become increasingly convinced of that every day. ‘The Father gave his Son, and the Son gave his life,’ and we do not worship unless we give—give of our substance, give of our time, give of our strength, give of our talent, give of our faith, give of our testimonies” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 565).

[illustrations] Left to right: Illustrations by Del Parson, Scott Snow, and Mark Buehner