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Push-ups and Donuts


There was a boy by the name of Steve who was
attending Seminary in Utah (In Utah, Seminary classes
are held as part of the curriculum). Brother
Christianson taught Seminary at this particular
school. He had an open-door policy and would take in
any student that had been thrown out of another class
as long as they would abide by his rules.
Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no
other teacher wanted him, so he went into Bro.
Christianson's Seminary class. Steve was told that he
couldn't be late, so he would come in just seconds
before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back
of the room. He would also be the first to leave after
the class was over.
One day, Bro. Christianson asked Steve to stay after
class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro.
Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think
you're pretty tough, don't you?" Steve's answer was,
"Yeah, I do." Then Bro. Christianson asked, "How many
push-ups can you do?" Steve said, "I do about 200
every night." "200? That's pretty good, Steve.
Do you think you could do 300?" Bro. Christianson
said.
Steve replied, "I don't know...I've never done 300 at
a time." "Do you think you could?" again asked Bro.
Christianson. "Well, I can try." said Steve. "Can you
do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of
ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to
tell me you can do it." Bro. Christianson said. Steve
said, "Well...I think I can...yeah, I can do it." Bro.
Christianson said, "Good! need you to do this on
Friday."
Friday came and Steve got to class early
and sat in the front of the room. When class started,
Bro. Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts.
Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts.
They were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers
and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited - it
was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were
going to get an extra early start on the weekend.
Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first
row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?" Cynthia
said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve
and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that
Cynthia can have a donut?" Steve said, "Sure," and
jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then
Steve again sat back in his desk. Bro. Christianson
put a donut on Cynthia's desk. Bro. Christianson then
went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe,
do you want a donut?" Joe said, "Yes." Bro.
Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups
so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups, Joe
got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle.
Steve did ten push-ups for every person before they
got their donut. And down the second aisle, till
Bro. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was captain of
the football team and center of the basketball team.
He was very popular and never lacking for female
companionship. When Bro. Christianson asked, "Scott do
you want a donut?" Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do
my own push-ups?" Bro. Christianson said, "No, Steve
has to do them." Then Scott said, "Well, I don't
want one then." Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve
and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott
can have a donut he doesn't want?" Steve started
to do ten push-ups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't
want one!" Bro. Christianson said, "Look, this is my
classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just
leave it on the desk if you don't want it", and he put
a donut on Scott's desk.
Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a
little. He just stayed on the floor between sets
because it took too much effort to be getting
up and down, and a little perspiration appeared
around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the
third row. By now, the students were beginning to get
a little angry. Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny,
do you want a donut?" Jenny said, "No". Then Bro.
Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten
push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't
want?" Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.
By now, the students were beginning to say "No"
and there were all these un-eaten donuts on the desks.
Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of
effort to get these push-ups done for each donut.
There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor
beneath his face, and his arms and brow were beginning
to get red because of the physical effort involved.
Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make
sure he did ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't
bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those
un-eaten donuts. Robert began to watch Steve closely.
Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row. During
his class, however, some students had wandered in and
sat along the heaters along the sides of the room.
When Bro. Christianson realized this, he did a quick
count and saw that there were now 34 students in the
room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to
make it. Bro. Christianson went on to the next person
and the next and the next. Near the end of that row,
Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a
lot more time to complete each set.
Steve asked Bro. Christianson, "Do I have to make my
nose touch on each one?" Bro. Christianson thought for
a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You can do
them any way that you want." And Bro. Christianson
went on. A few moments later, Jason came to the room
and was about to come in when all the students yelled,
"NO! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what
was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No,
let him come." Bro. Christianson said, "You realize
that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten
push-ups for him." Steve said, "Yes, let him come in."
Bro. Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get
Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a
donut?" "Yes ." "Steve, will you do ten push-ups so
that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups
very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered,
was handed a donut and sat down.
Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then
started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms
were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to
lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was
dropping off of his face and, by this time, there was
not a dry eye in the room. The very last two girls in
the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro.
Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and
asked, "Linda, do you want a donut?" Linda, too choked
up to talk, just shook her head. Bro. Christianson
asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that
Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting
from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for
Linda.
Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan.
"Susan, do you want a donut?" Susan, with tears
flowing down her face, asked, "Bro. Christianson,
can I help him?" Bro. Christianson, with tears of his
own, said, "No, he has to do it alone." "Steve, would
you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?"
As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with
the understanding that he had accomplished all that was
required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms
buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.
Bro. Christianson then said, "And so it was, that our
Savior, Jesus Christ, pleaded to the Father, "Into thy
hands I commend my spirit", and with the understanding
that He had done everything that was required of Him,
collapsed on the cross and died - even for those that
didn't want His gift."


"Neither doctrinal purity nor diligent labor will ever be a substitute for passionate devotion to God."

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