Latter-day Saint Life

Why Sacrifice in Marriage Isn't Really Sacrifice: 4 Insights to Strengthen Your Marriage


The word sacrifice usually makes people think of hard or even excruciating work. But is there a way we can see this divine principle with a new perspective, one that will help us grow closer to God and to our spouse even as we find more joy in life?

Sacrifice is a heaven-anointed principle. Brigham Young challenged us to think differently about the sacrifices that God requires.

I have heard a great many tell about what they have suffered for Christ’s sake. I am happy to say I never had occasion to. I have enjoyed a great deal, but so far as suffering goes I have compared it a great many times . . . to a man wearing an old, worn‑out, tattered and dirty coat, and somebody comes along and gives him one that is new, whole and beautiful. This is the comparison I draw when I think of what I have suffered for the Gospel’s sake—I have thrown away an old coat and have put on a new one. No man or woman ever heard me tell about suffering. “Did you not leave a handsome property in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois?” Yes. “And have you not suffered through that?” No, I have been growing better and better all the time, and so have this people.[i]

In striking the marriage bargain, we are (unknowingly) giving up the egocentrisms of childhood in favor of the charity of Godhood. We make a covenantal step toward unselfishness. As we progress in marriage we gain ennobled character as well as eternal companionship.

Buying a heavenly home

Heaven draws us toward godliness. Our sacrifices are the paltry down payments on our Heavenly Homes. Making such payments requires faith in the Lord Jesus Christ since the rewards are beyond our view. Faith is precisely what God wants us to cultivate. “Wherefore, thou shalt doall that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore” (Moses 5:8, emphasis added).

We do ALL that we do in the name of the beloved Son. We do it in the spirit of redemptiveness. We do it in imitation of His sacrifice. We show our willingness to rescue our spouse by giving up our tiny preferences in favor of our spouse’s blessing. Such a sacrifice, when graciously made, is full of grace and truth!

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