I want to quote part of an amazing article I recently read in Mormon Times: June 4, 2011. You can probably go to the paper itself for the whole article, but I'd like to quote the parts that impressed me the most. It's written by a woman who was sitting in church, seven months pregnant with five young children. She said the speaker was talking about pioneers and he told the story of the Sweetwater crossing when grown men and women sat down and cried on the banks of the half-frozen river because their strength was utterly spent. That day three young men carried dozens of people through the chunks of ice and onto the opposite bank.
She said at that moment the Spirit whispered to her in a deep impression: Your sacrifice is like unto theirs. There are spirits on the other side needing to cross to this life and any pregnant woman is carrying them, one or two (usually) at a time so they can continue along their own path to Zion.
Then she quoted Paul in Romans 12:1: I beseech you, therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God...
Present your body as a living sacrifice. Sacrifice--from the Latin meaning to make sacred. She says that a couple years later she had a miscarriage and even then she felt strongly, it wasn't a waste. She wasn't sure exactly what she meant by that except that somehow, that great loss COUNTED. It was known by God and would, in some inexplicable way, contribute to His work and glory as well as to her personal holiness.
She continues, "I realized this is true for women in a variety of circumstances: women who try and try, but are unable to conceive; women who subject themselves to the rigors of adoption; women who remain single and must forego not only maternity but also intimacy on a number of levels.
"I came to this conclusion. Every woman of faith consecrates her body as a living sacrifice. Whether our particular burden is fullness or emptiness, each of us is pushing against the world's current with our eyes on the kingdom of God."