Am I Willing To Sacrifice All Things Part 1


Safety From the Storm

“Let us here observe, 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.” Lectures on Faith, Lecture Sixth.

Most Latter-day Saints are familiar with this quote from the Lectures on Faith and the principle of sacrifice, especially those who have been through the temple. When we consider receiving higher blessings from the Lord, the requirement to sacrifice all things may cause us to be fearful, not knowing what will be exacted of us as part of the proving process. People usually equate the phrase “the sacrifice of all things” with losing a child or loved one or having a significant health or financial crisis. It is possible that all of those challenging experiences can happen to us, but let’s look at the process of how the higher blessings are generally received before we let the unknown keep us from moving forward on the path back home. I used the word “generally,” because this process is very personal and uniquely tailored for every individual.

As we travel forward and upward on that rollercoaster path that Brother John described so well in his book “Following the Light of Christ Into His Presence,” we invariably come to a point in our progression where we are required to make covenants with the Lord to continue progressing. These covenants are very sacred and are entered into on an individual basis. One of the covenants we are asked to make is to be willing to sacrifice all things. This is not a casual commitment that is required of us, but rather asks each of us to carefully and thoroughly search our heart as we prepare to make such a serious promise to the Lord. The power to make this covenant will distill on our souls drop by divine drop as we diligently search the scriptures, fervently cry unto the Lord in mighty prayer and anxiously engage in blessing our fellow man. We must understand that this covenant may require our mortal life as well as everything we possess. But, His grace and mercy will fully change our image to His as we knowingly and willingly lay it all on the altar, even our own life if necessary. It is at this this point in our life we rejoice in all things that are from Jesus Christ because we completely submit our will to His.

Such an important commitment is not fully made in a moment with most of us but rather requires a period of time for preparation. To get to a point in our lives where we are ready and desirous to covenant to sacrifice all things, we must listen to the Spirit guiding us forward and upward and onward. The Spirit’s gentle influence will help us become keenly aware of those around us who need the Lord’s help through us. We will look anxiously at faces of those around us to see if they need spiritual assistance or a friendly word. We will stop and pick up trash on the way into the store. We will acknowledge that everything we see represents the majesty of the Lord. All of His creation, rivers, mountains, trees, animals, and the heavens, are sacred and magnificent. This is the beginning of the process to bring heaven to us on earth.

To be con’t

 

Second Coming

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Responses to Am I Willing To Sacrifice All Things Part 1

  1. Robin says:

    Dear Shayne:
    Yes, please do continue. My “natural person” is screaming “No, No, No” so
    therefore I suspect this is something I need to read and consider.
    Sincerely,
    Robin

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  2. Kenneth says:

    Do we really understanding the sacrifice Christ made and what it represents? We say that “Christ died for our sins,” yet we say “we are accountable for our sins?” This makes no sense! This paradox is not meant to confuse us. To make sense of it we must understand what the ancients taught about sacrifice!

    Before we get into what the ancients knew we must understand that the message of Christ is that He lived, died and lived again! The metaphor is about “birth,” “death” and “resurrection” as it relates to agency and accountability.

    Accountability says: “It is impossible for one to die for another’s sins.”

    So what does the metaphor mean, “He died for our sins?” To understand this we must go back to ancient Israel’s ceremonial metaphor of the sacrificed animal and the blood of that animal. Both the sacrificed animal and the blood “represent” the same thing! (Leviticus16).

    The ancients taught us that the only true “sacrifice” any of us can make is to place our “sins” upon the altar of fire so that they are consumed completely from our lives, so that we never partake of them again! Ever! That is true sacrifice! So the “sacrificed animal” and “blood” that is placed and poured upon the altar or scapegoat, literally represents all the “lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5: 16, 19-21) we are to give up completely…and replace them with the “fruits of the Spirit” completely (Galatians 5: 22-26)!

    When we say Christ “took upon himself the sins of the world” …this metaphor represents the sacrificed animal and blood of ancient Israel’s ceremonial observance and modern Israel’s ceremonial sacrament. The “sins of the world” are again the “lusts of the flesh” associated with mortality that Christ and we take upon ourselves when we are born into mortality. Mortality connects us all together, and Christ understood this intimately on another level. Christ’s teachings showed us “how” to escape the world of “sin” through “repentance and forgiveness,” by putting on the “new man,” or partaking of “the fruits of the Spirit!” Christ’s sacrifice literally shows us “how” to individually place our “sins” upon the altar of our heart and never return to them again, ever!… we do this by clothing and immersing our thoughts and acts in “the fruits of righteousness,” a synonym for “the fruits of the Spirit,” or “the Holy Spirit,” “the tree of life,” “the atonement,” “the Spirit of the Lord,” or the “new name” to mention a few.

    The only spiritual sacrifice any of us can literally make is to place the sins of mortality on the altar of fire and then clothe ourselves in the robe of righteousness, called “the fruit of the Spirit!” We are each accountable for our own sins (Christ sacrifice testifies of this) and not Adams transgressions… this personal accountability is what Christ taught in His Sermon on the Mount and parables. To understand Christ’s sacrifice properly we must understand the symbolism of ancient Israel’s sacrifices and its relationship to “sin” and “holiness!” We cannot “be holy” as God is holy unless we sacrifice our sins completely upon the altar of fire! We cannot be “born again” or receive a “new name” completely unless we put all the sins of mortality upon the sacrificial cross and become “one” in “the fruits of the Spirit” as the Father and Christ are “one.” This is the “Law of Sacrifice” unveiled to a degree; however, there is a deeper meaning to it that those who become Gods embrace intimately on another level, which I call atonement in 3D or the three dimensions of atonement!

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  3. kenh says:

    I love the post. I have been thinking along these lines for several recent days so the timing here is perfect. I have been asking myself lately,”Am I at a point in my progression that if the Lord were to ask me to walk out of my front door with my wife and grandson and leave everything, … wallet, cell phone, car, food, wearing just the clothes on our backs, if the Lord were to require us to do that, would I comply or complain?” All of our “belongings” are telestial. They will not survive when Christ comes again. I am still working on it, but this post has helped me get closer to be willing to do that, providing that He were to ask it of us. I do not think realistically that He will ask us to that now, but we also have to be totally honest with ourselves as to where we truly stand in relation to that request. Am I willing to give up all of my telestial life, including the intangible as well as the tangible things, for a terrestrial life on my way to a celestial life?

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    • sally says:

      Thank you Kenh,
      You hit the nail on the head. When asking yourself if you’re willing to give up the intangible as well as the tangible things. It has been a purifying process for me. I realized the only thing that is mine to freely give is my own will. Everyday I try to freely transfer my will over to Father. A few years back the Lord tested my very heart strings to teach me about me. It is very intimate and very humbling to stand if you will, naked before the Lord.
      Obedience and Sacrifice goes hand in hand. I realized I was holding back on the Lord with my “As long as” attitude. Putting conditions on the Lord. I highly recommend not doing this. One example was: Plural Marriage. Yes Lord, I am willing to obey that law and share my husband with others ,As Long As I get special treatment, since I would be the 1st wife. I have since repented of that attitude and fully understand and willing to live that celestial law with every fiber of my being. Getting rid of that “As long As” way of thinking I have been truly blessed and received the blessing I desired most after many years of mighty prayer. Now after reading John’s book Triumph to Zion, I realize there is another blessing I have yet to receive and I am striving for the day that I can meet my Savior face to face while still in mortality. I feel like I am finally wide awake. Your sister in the faith-Sally D

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  4. Shayne, I find your post very timely. I recently finished reading John’s book, “Following the Light of Christ into His Presence.” When I came to the section titled, “The Trial of Your Faith” I read it several times. I remember thinking at the time that John “got it right”. He did a beautiful job of explaining the process of “THE” trial of our faith. His explanation regarding the paradox makes perfect sense to me and has helped me to further understand my own recent trials. I have found that our personal sacrifice is between us and the Lord and is very sacred and personal. You are correct. The test will come and it will be one of the most difficult tests of our lives. But it will be worth it!

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  5. larue says:

    Thank you so much for continuing on with the Unblog. I just found it recently. I have been lifted as I have read John’s posts and especially the comments from the Unblog family.
    This is a beautiful post. I remember a family home evening lesson called “Sacrifice! What Sacrifice? There is no Sacrifice! ” I have found this to be true.
    The Lord always increases the blessings far more than anything I have ever sacrificed.
    Thank you!
    LaRue B

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  6. Dan says:

    Whenever I think of sacrifice I like to ask myself “what carnal activity am I willing to give up, or lay on the altar, so that I may become more Christ like.” Years ago my wife suggested that I get rid of some of the old rock and roll music that I enjoyed listening to. I tried to justify the music by saying that even God must enjoy a good guitar riff once in a while.

    One day, as I was driving down the road with some lively music playing, I was prompted to ask myself how I would feel about the music if Christ were to suddenly appear in the car with me. I realized that I would be embarrassed. From that point on I started editing my music library. It may seem like a small thing but as I hit the delete button on a song that I have enjoyed for years I felt a little of my carnal nature being pushed away. I felt spiritually empowered and it gave me confidence to tackle some of the bigger issues I needed to deal with.

    It was either Bro. John or Spencer who suggested that by submitting to our carnal thoughts or activities we push spiritual help away. I am now on a campaign to eliminate those little distractions from my life one song, one habit, one idle thought at a time.

    Christ has shown me how I can be redeemed from my worldly desires, all I have to do is give them to him, lay them on His altar and not look back. I thank God daily for the atonement and for the strength to let go of worldly things.

    Thank you for this forum and the spiritual lift it provides.

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  7. Linda says:

    I am grateful that you are addressing this subject. It is something I have wondered and worried about. Questions like, “Am I sacrificing what I should be sacrificing at this time?” and “How will I know if the course I am on is pleasing to the Lord?” have weighed on my mind. Thank you for your beautiful words…I look forward to the next installment.

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