Do You Want a Doughnut?

This morning, during scripture study, our reading lead to a discussion on the Savior’s Atonement and what it means to each one of us.  In an effort to try to put it in terms my children would understand, I remember hearing a story many years ago that demonstrated this perfectly.  As I had heard it again just a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to try to find it.  Modern-day search engines are just too easy!!!  I had it found within a minute, as there were many internet pages with this story out there.

As the beautiful Easter holiday approaches, may we all take a moment and truly reflect on what our Savior has done for each one of us!  I love Him with all of my Heart….. I know that there are many dumb things that I do that He atoned for…. which makes my love for Him even greater.  He is my Savior and my Redeemer…. and he LIVES!  And, someday I hope to be able to live my life in such a way that I will be able to stand before him with open arms and return to his presence!

 

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Do You Want a Doughnut?

“There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah.  In this Seminary, classes are held during school hours. 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 Brother Christianson’s Seminary class.

Steve was told that he could not be late, so he arrived 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, Brother 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 Brother Christianson asked, “How many push-ups can you do?”

Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.”

“200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Brother Christianson said. “Do you think you could do 300?”

Steve replied, “I don’t know… I’ve never done 300 at a time.”

“Do you think you could?” Again asked Brother 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,” Brother Christianson said. Steve said, “Well… I think I can… yeah, I can do it.”

Brother Christianson said, “Good! I 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, Brother 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 early start on the weekend.

Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want a doughnut?”

Cynthia said, “Yes.”

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a doughnut?”

Steve said, “Sure,” and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a doughnut on Cynthia’s desk.

Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, “Joe do you want a doughnut?”

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 doughnut.

And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups 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. Then Bro. Christianson asked, “Scott do you want a doughnut?”

Scott’s reply was, “Well, can I do my own pushups?”

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 pushups so Scott can have a doughnut he doesn’t want?”

Steve started to do ten pushups. 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 doughnut 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. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Bro. Christianson started down the third row. 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 pushups so Jenny can have a doughnut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten, Jenny got a doughnut.

By now, the students were beginning to say “No” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for each doughnut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, 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 pushups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. So 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 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 pushups. 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 pushups 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 doughnut?”

“Yes.”

“Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?” Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a doughnut 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 doughnut?

Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.”

Bro. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a doughnut she doesn’t want?”

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda. Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan.  “Susan, do you want a doughnut?”

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 pushups 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 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten.”.

When everyone in the classroom heard what the teacher meant by it and realized everything. Steve smiled on the ground where he laid in his own sweat and began to cry.”

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Family Home Evening — Forgiveness

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I am always on the lookout for neat Family Home Evening ideas;  That being said, I am a lover of object lessons.  I believe that we can preach and preach all we want to but some kids, or even adults for that matter, have to see something and have it relate to them.  Most of our Family Home Evenings are short, quick, and more discussion-like, than lesson-like.  It has to be in order to keep 7 kids remotely interested!

So, the other night, when I brought in a hatchet and a piece of wood, it certainly grabbed some attention.   One of the kids conducted, as usual.  Ali played a hymn on her violin, and we started with a prayer.  I will not lead you on here…. sometimes, family night seems like a disaster; however, I loved Elder Bednar’s conference talk in 2009 about being consistent with our family night and I am most certainly grateful that our family is not the only one who has kids break out into a fight during FHE …. “He’s looking at me….. He’s BREATHING my air!!!!”  They may not remember specific lessons but they will remember that we were consistent!

We’ve been struggling with a certain sibling showing kindness towards another certain sibling and holding grudges.  So, this FHE is dedicated to removing the “wedges” in our hearts and to try to teach the importance of forgiving.

First, show the hatchet in the wood as it is in the picture…. not all the way through, but wedged in the wood.

Relate the following story:

The Peril of Hidden Wedges –You can find the full talk by clicking here!

 In April 1966, at the Church’s annual general conference, Elder Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a memorable address. He quoted an account written by Samuel T. Whitman titled “Forgotten Wedges.”

Whitman wrote: “The ice storm [that winter] wasn’t generally destructive. True, a few wires came down, and there was a sudden jump in accidents along the highway. … Normally, the big walnut tree could easily have borne the weight that formed on its spreading limbs. It was the iron wedge in its heart that caused the damage.

“The story of the iron wedge began years ago when the white-haired farmer [who now inhabited the property on which the tree stood] was a lad on his father’s homestead. The sawmill had then only recently been moved from the valley, and the settlers were still finding tools and odd pieces of equipment scattered about. …

“On this particular day, [the lad found] a faller’s wedge—wide, flat, and heavy, a foot or more long, and splayed from mighty poundings. [A faller’s wedge, used to help fell a tree, is inserted in a cut made by a saw and then struck with a sledgehammer to widen the cut.] … Because he was already late for dinner, the lad laid the wedge … between the limbs of the young walnut tree his father had planted near the front gate. He would take the wedge to the shed right after dinner, or sometime when he was going that way.

“He truly meant to, but he never did. [The wedge] was there between the limbs, a little tight, when he attained his manhood. It was there, now firmly gripped, when he married and took over his father’s farm. It was half grown over on the day the threshing crew ate dinner under the tree. … Grown in and healed over, the wedge was still in the tree the winter the ice storm came.

“In the chill silence of that wintry night, … one of the three major limbs split away from the trunk and crashed to the ground. This so unbalanced the remainder of the top that it, too, split apart and went down. When the storm was over, not a twig of the once-proud tree remained.

“Early the next morning, the farmer went out to mourn his loss. …

“Then, his eyes caught sight of something in the splintered ruin. ‘The wedge,’ he muttered reproachfully. ‘The wedge I found in the south pasture.’ A glance told him why the tree had fallen. Growing, edge-up in the trunk, the wedge had prevented the limb fibers from knitting together as they should.”

Wedges in Our Lives

Be sure to emphasize the fact that if we refuse to forgive others, it is as though we are burying wedges in our hearts.  Without removing those wedges, or forgiving others, we will soon find out that we are suseptable to falling, just as the great tree did.

If you have examples from your life, or the life of others, share it with your children.  Let them know how important it is for EVERYONE–even adults– to forgive…

THEN…apply pressure to the hatchet and watch it split the wood. Let the spirit guide your discussion!

Merry CHRISTmas! Remember the Reason for the Season!

Today didn’t seem like a good day to do a posting on my blog.  First off, as a mother of a little five year old going to kindergarten, I must say how my heart just aches for those families who have lost so many of their little ones.  I can’t even begin to understand the feelings of loosing someone like that….to send your little one off to school and never get to hug them again.  I am so grateful for the great and wonderful plan of our Heavenly Father.  That, through our faith in him, our families can be together forever…. even after this life is ends.   Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them at this tragic time.  However, thinking of my own kids, this is my journal entry and I want to make reminders of the wonderful things I see in my kids and the things we get to do with them.  You never know when the last day with them will be.

So much has happened in the past little while.  So much, I can’t even begin to mention it all.  We have been working on a live nativity in our area.  This sweet little couple in our ward has this amazing old barn.  We have the primary aged children in the ward put on a nativity.  This year, my son got to be the “tech” guy!  He thought it was fun to be the one to control the lights.  We had a huge tin star from last year that needed a little something.  So, I had Ed drill holes in it and we mounted Christmas lights on it.  It looked so great!  We had young kids perform the music.  My Ali got to perform on her violin for the first time in front of a group.  She didn’t do too shabby!  Hopefully she’ll learn lots in her little orchestra class in school.

I felt unsure of going on with it with the events that happened today; however, what a better way to end this day then focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We were so worried that things would not work out tonight.  I think we ended up having about 130 people all together show up!  We were rained on, snowed on, and frozen; but there was such a sweet spirit of our savior, Jesus Christ that was with us tonight.  What a wonderful way to share our testimonies with others that Jesus Christ came to this world as a baby,  he grew in stature and wisdom, he served and loved others; that he suffered for each one of us and died for us.  He was resurrected and he does live, and because of that great sacrifice, we too, can live again.  These families that lost their little ones, can see them again, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  As we think of gifts this coming season, let us not EVER forget the greatest gift the world was given, and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I know I have other pictures on here and they are reminders to me of the things I have done recently.  Take a few moments today, to hug your little ones a little bit longer.  Speak a little bit softer, pray a little harder, love a whole lot more!