Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Elder Bruce R. McConkie on the celestial laws of sacrifice and consecration

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (July 29, 1915–April 19, 1985) served as a Seventy from 1946-1972 when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve.  He served in that assignment until his death from cancer at age 69.
"It is written: 'He who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.' (D&C 88:22.) The law of sacrifice is a celestial law; so also is the law of consecration. Thus to gain that celestial reward which we so devoutly desire, we must be able to live these two 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.
"Joseph Smith said, 'A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary [to lead] unto life and salvation.' (Lectures on Faith, p. 58.)
"We are not always called upon to live the whole law of consecration and give all of our time, talents, and means to the building up of the Lord’s earthly kingdom. Few of us are called upon to sacrifice much of what we possess, and at the moment there is only an occasional martyr in the cause of revealed religion.
"But what the scriptural account means is that to gain celestial salvation we must be able to live these laws to the full if we are called upon to do so. Implicit in this is the reality that we must in fact live them to the extent we are called upon so to do.
"How, for instance, can we establish our ability to live the full law of consecration if we do not in fact pay an honest tithing? Or how can we prove our willingness to sacrifice all things, if need be, if we do not make the small sacrifices of time and toil, or of money and means, that we are now asked to make?"
- Bruce R. McConkie, "Obedience, Consecration, and Sacrifice," General Conference, April 1975
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder McConkie describes what he calls "celestial laws" as including the principles of sacrifice and consecration. His implication is that we do not fully live those laws in our current state; but that we must be willing to do so, and demonstrate our ability to live those laws by the ways in which we demonstrate obedience to partial aspects of the law.

And so, our current financial contributions to the Lord's Kingdom demonstrate an ability and willingness to eventually live a celestial law of consecration. Our current contributions of time and efforts in participating in building the kingdom are evidence of our willingness to sacrifice whatever the Lord requires.

The great key to our obedience is the heart. When we are willing and eager to do all we can in our current state, it is evidence that we have the proper attitude that will enable us to eventually comply with a full celestial law.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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