Each young woman will understand and desire to live the laws of sacrifice and consecration.
Prepare an attractive card for each class member on which you have written the following statement from Mosiah 2:34: “Ye are eternally indebted to your heavenly Father, to render to him all that you have and are.”
Assign the young women to present any stories, scriptures, or quotations you wish.
Suggested Lesson Development
Present the following examples of how young people have sacrificed to help others, or use examples of sacrifices made by young people you know.
Janice volunteered to be a big sister to Connie, an eight-year-old girl whose father had died of cancer. Janice spent two hours each week with Connie.
The combined Young Women and Young Men of the ward spent an evening helping to clean and repair the barn of a nonmember rancher who had a broken arm.
Juanita telephoned Mary and told her they would have to go hiking another time. Her younger brother was ill and she had to stay home with him while her parents went to the temple.
In what ways have you been asked to give your time and talents to help other people?
Explain that this lesson deals with the laws of sacrifice and consecration that the Lord has revealed through his prophets. Explain that a young woman’s ability to understand and live these laws will greatly affect the happiness of her life here and in eternity.
Sacrifice and Consecration Are Celestial Laws
How would you define sacrifice? (Giving up something of value for something that is worth more.)
What do you think consecrate means? (To make sacred; to devote or dedicate.)
Explain that consecration and sacrifice are eternal laws and were given by the Lord before the earth was created.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie defined these laws:
“Sacrifice and consecration are inseparably intertwined. The law of consecration is that we consecrate our time, our talents, and our money and property to the cause of the Church; such are to be available to the extent they are needed to further the Lord’s interests on earth.
“The law of sacrifice is that we are willing to sacrifice all that we have for the truth’s sake—our character and reputation; our honor and applause; our good name among men; our houses, lands, and families: all things, even our very lives if need be” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, p. 74; or Ensign, May 1975, p. 50).
Explain that the laws of consecration and sacrifice were explained to Adam by an angel. After Adam and Eve were driven from Eden, the Lord commanded that they should sacrifice the firstlings of their flocks to him. Adam obeyed this commandment.
Have a young woman read Moses 5:6–8.
What is a similitude? (One thing that resembles or represents another thing.)
Of what was Adam’s sacrifice a similitude? (If necessary, have the class reread verse 7.)
According to the angel, what should Adam do in the name of the Son? (If necessary, reread verse 8.)
Explain that the angel did not tell Adam only to sacrifice animals on an altar in the name of the Son, or to pray in the name of the Son, or to go to church in the name of the Son. He told Adam, “Do all that thou doest in the name of the Son.”
How can we do all that we do in the name of the Son?
How can doing all things in the name of Jesus Christ help us live the law of consecration?
Jesus taught that after his resurrection, sacrifices should differ from those offered by Adam.
Read 3 Nephi 9:19–20.
What does it mean to offer unto the Lord a “broken heart and a contrite spirit”? (To be truly repentant and to humbly desire to obey Heavenly Father’s will.)
Have a young woman read Doctrine and Covenants 88:22.
Explain that the laws of sacrifice and consecration are celestial laws; if we desire to gain celestial glory, we must live these laws.
The laws of sacrifice and consecration require much of each of us. They require that we sometimes sacrifice our desires, energy, time, or material goods to build our Father’s kingdom on earth. At times it may seem difficult to live by these laws. As our understanding and faith increase, however, we begin to realize the wonderful blessings available to the obedient.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life” (Lectures on Faith, comp. N. B. Lundwall [Salt Lake City: N. B. Lundwall, n.d.], p. 58).
Sacrifice and Consecration Bring Joy into Our Lives
Tell and discuss the following story told by a president of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah:
“I am thinking of a young man at the Missionary Training Center a year and a half ago, preparing to serve in Japan. We had arranged with the BYU ticket office for all of the missionaries to attend the final home football game. They had tickets all arranged for us in the north end zone … and we announced to the missionaries that they would all be permitted to go to the ball game the next afternoon. This young man came in to see me and asked, ‘President Pinegar, do I have to go to the football game tomorrow?’
“I thought he was ill. I said, ‘Don’t you want to see this ball game?’
“He said, ‘Oh, if you only knew how badly I want to see this game! I played college football for two years. But when I came to the MTC I made a commitment to myself and to the Lord that I would learn all eight of the missionary discussions in Japanese. If I go to that ball game tomorrow, I will not achieve my goal.’
“Well, of course, permission was granted him to stay and study.
“I saw him some weeks later. In fact, it was about five days before he departed for the field. He came up to me in the cafeteria and said, ‘President Pinegar, remember me? I am the elder who did not go to the ball game because I wanted to study the discussions. Today I pass off the eighth discussion.’ He continued, ‘You ought to hear what happened to me the day I stayed here and did not go to the ball game. Up to that point in time I had been able to memorize twenty lines a day in Japanese; that day, the day that I sacrificed—and I felt it was a sacrifice—I memorized 120 lines. From that point on, I continued to move up and today I will pass off my eighth discussion’” (Max L. Pinegar, “Serious about the Things to Be Done” in Speeches of the Year, 1978 [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1979], pp. 55–56).
How did this young man’s sacrifice bring joy and blessings to his life?
Tell and discuss the following story about how members of the Church were blessed because of their sacrifice.
The early members of the Church were driven from Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1846 by angry mobs. But several hundred of the Saints were not able to leave with the others. They were too poor to buy what they needed to travel or they were too sick. But later in the year, mobs forced these people to leave as well. They had very few possessions, and they set up what camps they could in the cold, rainy weather, without adequate food, clothing, or shelter. Many were sick and completely without the necessities of life.
At this time of great desitution, the Lord sent a miracle to the suffering Saints. For several miles up and down the river where they were camped, immense numbers of quail fell into the camp. The birds seemed to be exhausted, and many fell right into the tents and even children could pick them up with their hands. Thousands of birds were caught, and the sick and poor people were fed on this delicious food.
Another miracle happened shortly afterward. Brigham Young heard about the condition of these Saints and immediately organized a relief company to carry tents and provisions to them and bring them to join the other members of the Church. Many people volunteered to help at great personal sacrifice, and the destitute Saints soon found refuge among their friends. (See B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:134–36.)
What sacrifices did these early Church members make? How did the Lord bless them?
Case studies and discussion
From the following accounts, choose those that seem appropriate for your class. After reading each one aloud, ask the class to discuss the following questions. (Have the questions written on the chalkboard before beginning the lesson.)
How might a young woman feel in this situation?
How might she sacrifice?
How might her sacrifice affect her and others?
Help the young women understand that trying to live the laws of consecration and sacrifice will help them respond unselfishly and constructively to frustration, confusion, and impatience, as well as to matters of time, talent, and money.
Mary is a convert to the Church. She is going to be married soon and wants to be married in the temple. Her parents are not members of the Church and urge her to be married where they can be present. They accuse her of being selfish in not considering their wishes.
Carol is a leader at school. After her school won the championship in a state competition, she was invited to a big celebration party. Carol’s friends urged her to join them just this once when the alcoholic drinks were passed around.
When they were both seventeen, Jean and Mike started dating. They became concerned about their feelings for each other because they both wanted Mike to serve a mission.
After she graduated from college, Elizabeth had a great opportunity to travel abroad, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Elizabeth’s bishop called her to go on a mission.
Amy loved to ski, but there had not been much snow this winter. One Sunday morning, John called and invited her to go to a nearby ski resort where there were twelve inches of new snow.
Mrs. Mahler was a lonely, elderly lady. She would talk, without stopping, for an hour if she could find a listener. She met Jane on the street and started talking about her nephew in Hamburg. Jane wanted to get home for supper.
Julie had an appointment with the bishop at 7:10 p.m. and arrived early at 7:00. The bishop was interviewing someone else. At 8:00 Julie was still waiting to see him.
Catherine loved music, dancing, little girls, and pink flowers. The bishop asked her to teach a Primary class made up almost entirely of boys.
Diane had spent seven hours in school and four at work in a grocery store. When she got home, she ate supper, helped with the dishes, studied for two hours, and then dressed for bed. She glanced at her scriptures lying on her desk. She wanted to study them, but she was also exhausted and wanted to fall into bed.
Explain that in his address to the Nephites, King Benjamin discussed the laws of sacrifice and consecration. He summarized these laws in one sentence: “Ye are eternally indebted to your heavenly Father, to render to him all that you have and are” (Mosiah 2:34).
Give each young woman a card on which the above quotation has been written. Suggest that she put it where she can see it to remind her daily to keep the laws of consecration and sacrifice.