Sacrifice is the "destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else" 
"To sacrifice is to give up something valuable or precious, often with the intent of accomplishing a greater purpose or goal. Sacrifice has always been a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a reminder of the great atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all who have lived or will live on earth. Before the ministry of Christ, animal sacrifices were offered for this purpose. After the Atonement of Christ, followers of Jesus Christ—by His direction—began to offer instead a "broken heart and contrite spirit", a willingness to repent of sins and a desire to follow Jesus Christ and align one's life with His commandments." 
Human sacrifice was practiced by many pagan religions. The Aztec and Maya Indian tribes were particularly prolific in this regard, prior to the arrival of the Spanish and the subsequent conversion of the Colonial Latin America to Christianity.