Thursday, July 23, 2015


Imagine if someone believed they had to kill their children to be obedient to God.  We'd think they were insane zealots who lacked the ability to reason.  But we view Abraham very differently.  Of course, human sacrifice was more common in his day, but he knew it was wrong, having been nearly sacrificed himself when he was younger.

Thomas S. Monson told a story in a talk a few years ago of a young man named Benjamin Landart who was extremely accomplished on the violin.  Just as he had auditioned into a prestigious orchestra, he was asked to serve a mission.  The only way he could afford to do so was to sell his violin.  He took a day and played the violin all day long, and then sold it.  I love music, and the story was painful to me.  How could he just give up something he loved so much?  It seemed unreasonable to me that he would make such a sacrifice.  But fifty year later, he claimed that the choice to sacrifice something he loved so much to serve the Lord was one of the best things he ever did.

Should he be persecuted for making such a choice?  Surely many people in society today would want to take him to task for making such a sacrifice.  But his sacrifice ended up anchoring his life in service and blessing him.

In this community I often hear (or rather read) criticisms of the sacrifices of others.  Why would any gay-oriented man choose celibacy and stay in the church rather than seek out a relationship with another man?  Why would a man and woman choose to get married despite one partner having a gay orientation?  How could anyone sacrifice so much?

Personally, I don't find it much of a sacrifice, especially when I am so blessed with my family, my wife and children.  But so often others don't understand.  They see my situation as somehow making an unreasonable sacrifice.  But true love always comes from sacrifice.  We love those for whom we sacrifice.  Parents sacrifice for their children and that cements their love.  If marriage doesn't include sacrificing for your partner, it won't last through the challenging times.

One of the reasons I am anonymous is that our current culture ridicules the sacred and sanctifying sacrifices that are made that bring me closer to my God and closer to my family.

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