This isn’t a Book of Mormon related entry, but it’s something I wanted to share just the same. Our Gospel Doctrine lesson today was on the Law of Consecration. As I sat in the lesson listening to what was being said, I wondered what the difference is between consecration and sacrifice.
As I did, I began to wonder why in the temple endowment session there was a section on each. The two concepts seemed to be synonyms. So after pondering on it, this is my answer… it works for me.
In simple terms, sacrifice is an investment: you trade something of value in exchange for something of greater value. There’s always a personal payoff involved. I sacrifice my comfort by exercising with the expected payoff of becoming more physically fit.
On the other hand, consecration is a gift. There’s no personal payoff other than the feeling of gratitude or satisfaction of having contributed to something you believe in.
In the temple, we covenant to comply with the law of sacrifice in the sense that we are willing to live in exchange for blessings which come personally to us… hence it is the first of the main covenants. We’re saying in effect, “I’ll give up this, in exchange for that.”
When we covenant to comply with the law of consecration, we are saying, “I’ll give whatever is asked of me, not for a personal reward but because of my love for God.” There’s no personal gain expected, therefore it is a much “higher” or demanding law.
In that light, it’s easy for me to see why they are separate and why sacrifice comes first.