God understood the need for His children to be reminded of the promises He has made to them if they would obey His laws, Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve said in his address at the April 1996 general conference.
"In making such covenants, the Lord offered blessings in exchange for obedience to particular commandments," Elder Perry said. "A plan was laid out for us from the very beginning. The central figure in His plan of salvation is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His atoning sacrifice for all mankind is the centerpiece of the history of our Father in Heaven's children here on earth."Each of us who accepts the divine plan must accept the role of our Savior and covenant to keep His laws that our Father has developed for us. As we accept Christ in spirit and in deed, we may win our salvation.
The law of sacrifice was instituted to remind them of the great event that would occur: " `And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and [they] should offer the firstlings of their flocks.
" `And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
" `And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father . . .' (Moses 5:5-7.)
"From that time onward until the Savior came to earth, whenever the priesthood was present, man offered sacrifices to remind him of the time when the Son of Man would come to earth to make the supreme sacrifice," Elder Perry said.