"[Some] people say, 'I would have willingly endured persecution and trials if I might have lived in the early years of the Church when there was such a flow of revelation published as scripture. Why is that not happening now?'... The opposition and trials are different now. If anything, they are more intense, more dangerous than in those early days, aimed not so much at the Church as at us as individuals." Boyd K. PackerWhat would any of us sacrifice for our faith? A tough question to answer. I find the early members of the Church to be inspiring because they made ultimate sacrifices for what they were promised. They endured unspeakable horrors from anti-Mormon mobs that threatened them no matter where they went. They persevered long after the "sensible" would have surrendered. Needless to say, I admire individuals like Mary Elizabeth and Caroline Rollins from the early church; it would be difficult NOT to, in my opinion.
As I look to the future, I've had to question which sacrifices I will and won't make for my religion. Perfect example? Military. I've thought about being a Marine for years now. A great way to ensure my job as a journalist; the pay would be great, my college would be paid for, and I would be serving my country in a way I would be proud and honored to serve. However, boot camp would keep me from church for 13 weeks, nevermind what my actual work schedule would be like. I would be forced to travel for as long as I'm under contact, which would postpone my ability to start a family, or even establish a household. Could I sacrifice that for my country?
If I went into the military, I would go in as an Officer. In order to do that, I need ROTC for the Navy-- which BYU doesn't have. But the University of Arizona does. I've thought long and hard about which college I should go to. Both are out west, and get me out of the state of Maryland; something I've always wanted. And BYU, I've been told by many, is an experience like no other. To see for myself what Utah is like, to get the religious emphasis that BYU would offer, to have that experience is something I've been looking forward to. But now, considering the plans I've been concocting, BYU may not be the best option for me. Can I make that sacrifice for my future career?
I realize that I'm not required to go to BYU in order to be a faithful Mormon. But to go would be the safe plan; the one that doesn't compromise any of my standards. But then there's the path that could lead me where to what I've always envisioned from my life.
Which do I sacrifice? My career? Or my religion?
Fortunately, only I can make that decision, and I don't have to make it alone.