The following story is about a seminary teacher and a powerful object lesson he taught his class one day. Seminary is a scripture study program for High School aged teenagers throughout the world run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Brother Christianson taught Seminary. He had a open-door policy and would take in any student that had been throw 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 to Brother Christianson’s class.
Steve was told that he could not be late, so he always arrived arrived on time but never more than just one second before the bell would ring. He would always sit in the very back of the room and was always the first to leave after class was over.
One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Brother Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, “you think you’re pretty tough, don’t you?’
Steve answer was “Yeah, I DO.”
Then Brother Christianson asked, “How many push-up 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 before.”
“Do you think you could?” Brother Christianson again asked.
“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, after all it was Friday, and this was the last class of the day. They were ready to get an early start on the weekend.
Brother Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want a donut?” Cynthia said, “Yes”
Brother Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, ”Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Cynthia can have a donut?”
Steve said “sure” and he jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Brother Christianson put a donut on Cynthia desk.
Brother Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked,”Joe do you want a donut?”
Joe said, “Yes!” Brother Christianson asked, ”Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?” Steve did ten pushups. 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. He went down the second aisle, until Brother Christianson got 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 Brother Christianson asked, “Scott, do you want a donut?”
Scott’s reply was, “well, can I do my own push-ups?”
Brother Christianson said, “ NO, Steve has to do then,”
Then Scott said, “Well, I don’t want one then.”
Brother Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?”
Steve stared to do ten pushups, Scott said” HEY! I SAID I DIDN’T WANT ONE!”
Brother Christianson said, “Look, This is my class room, my desks and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk.” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.
Now by his time, Steve had begun to slow a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took to much effort to get up and down. You could see a little perspiration coming out around his brow. Brother Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.
Brother Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, Do you want a donut?” Jenny said “NO.”
Then Brother Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten pushups. Jenny got a donut.
By now, the students were beginning to say “NO” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was beginning to put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweet on the floor beneath his face, his arm and brow were beginning to get red from the physical effort involved.
Brother Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch Steve work for all those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely. Brother Christianson started down the fourth row.
During his class some more students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the side of the room. When Brother Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to get worry if Steve would be able to make it.
Brother 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 Brother Christianson, “Do I have to make my nose tough on each one?”
Brother Christianson thought for a moment, “well, they’re your pushups. You can do then any way that you want.” And Brother Christianson went on.
A few minutes later, Jason came to the door and was about to come in the room when all the student 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 in.”
Brother Christianson said, “You realize if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him.”
Steve said, “Okay.”
And Brother Cristianson replied, “I’ll let you get Jason out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?” “Yes.”
Steve, will you do ten pushups so Jason can have a donut?” Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, Bewildered was handed a donut and sat down.
Brother Christianson finish the fourth row, then started on those seating on the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift him self. By this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.
The very last two girls were cheerleaders and very popular. Brother Christianson asked, “ Linda, do you want a donut?” Linda said very sadly, “no, thank you.”
Brother Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, Would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?” Grunting from the effort, Steve very slowly did ten pushups for Linda. Linda got her donut.
Brother Christianson turned to the last girl, “Susan, do you want a donut?” Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, “Brother Christianson, Can I help him?”
Brother Christianson said with tears flowing down his own face, “No, he must do it all alone. Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?”
As Steve very slowly finished his very last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, after having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.
Brother Christianson then turned to the room and said, “And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, after completing all that was required of him, Pleaded to the Father, ‘Into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ Collapsed and died on the cross. And so many in the world, like us, leave this special gift on the desk, uneaten.”
Posted by Jeff
By Elouise Bell
The problem with Nice isn’t that it’s sometimes wimpy; the problem is that Nice can be dangerous. More crimes have been committed behind the mask of niceness than behind, all the ski masks worn to all the convenience store stickups ever perpetrated.
I don’t actually intend to talk about literal crimes here, but as long as the subject came up, it’s worth mentioning that until the roof caved in, everybody said Utah corporate conman Grant Affleck was a really nice guy. (Nice cuts both ways in giving Utah its title as Fraud Capital of the nation: we produce con men so nice they can’t be doubted, and victims so nice they “can’t say no.”) Documents forger and bomb killer Mark Hoffman, they said, was nice. Likewise convicted child sex abuser Alan Hadfield—so nice that an entire community rose up to vilify the victims and slander the messenger rather than accept the verdict on their nice-guy neighbor. And, apparently, Ted Bundy was as nice as they come.
I first identified niceness as a culprit with the help of a colleague, Karen Lynn. I told Karen that some of today’s college students seem pleasant enough, but somehow unpleasantly resistant at the same time, in a way that was unclear but very real.
continue reading »
Posted by Jeff
When I went and saw Tron I had a naggin feeling about Castor and the inspiration behind his character. Recently the Tron page on Facebook asked the fans this question and I thought I would summarize the results.
By far the majority of people said he was patterned after David Bowie ie Labyrinth, which I tend to agree with. But here are some other ideas:
Ziggy Stardust – 2nd most popular response
Jester from DMC3
Jim Carry as Riddler
Mirovingian from The Matrix
Gene Wilder as Victor Frankenstien
Ruby Rodes in the 5th element
and some others…
Posted by Jeff
So it’s cold an snowy outside and I’ve been inside working all day. I’ve got all sorts of friends scattered across the world but no one here at the moment – just all by my lonesome. Sometimes you need to be alone when there’s tons of people around and other times you need tons of people when no one is around.
But there are some things that help you to feel the love of others. That’s what memories and sentimental reminders do. I come to my blogs and see all the things I’ve posted over the past couple years and it reminds me of the people and events that inspired those posts. And that most definitely makes me feel like home.
Well back to work got lots to do tonight!
Posted by Jeff
C.S. Lewis was one of the great thinkers of the last century. This is one of my favorite quotes because in his words here he really gets it.
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would strongly be tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.
Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whome we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously — no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner — no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.” – C.S. Lewis
Here is another by President Brigham Young as quoted in The Radiant Life by Truman G Madsen:
“If that dissatisfied wife would behold the transcendent beauty of person, the Godlike qualities of the resurrected husband she now despises, her love for him would be unbounded and unutterable. Instead of despising him, she would feel like worshipping him. He is so holy, so pure, so perfect, sofilled with God in his resurrected body. There will be no dissatisfaction of this kind in the resurrection of the just. The faithful elders will have then proved themselves worthy of their wives, and are prepared then to be crowned gods, to be filled with all the attributes of the gods that dwell in eternity. Could the dissatisfied ones see a vision of the future glorified state of their husbands, love for them would immediately spring up within you, and no circumstance could prevail upon you to forsake them.” – Brigham Young
I think it is pretty clear that as Paul said to the Romans, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” – Romans 8:16-17
We are more important than we know and our lives have much greater value than we now can comprehend. But as we are diligent in hearkening to the Spirit and heeding the words of Christ then these great mysteries will begin to be unfolded before our eyes.
Posted by Jeff
Well after a week full of work I’ll be working all day. The past couple weeks I’ve noticed that a lot of people I know always post negative comments on their facebook accounts. It’s quite possible that they are looking for sympathy. My attitude is that we should have healthy outlets for our negative feelings, but that we should foster our positive feelings in our community (at least more often than not).
Sure some days can be tough. Some years can be tough. The truth is that happiness is a state of heart and mind and not about status, condition of life, or achievement. So to any and all I would like to share a quote and a link for you to ponder and to help you find an added measure of happiness in life:
Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Five, 1842–43, p. 255).
In a State of Happiness (Mormon 7:7)
Posted by Jeff
Are You Growing or Dying
Have you ever felt stuck in life? I believe that being stuck is a result of not focusing on growth. Part of life is living. That sounds kind of silly, but it is very powerful. The flow of time cannot be stopped and so if we get stuck then life will pass us by, and too many of the people I see around me are continuing down a path of stagnation.
This is probably one of the worst fears in life because it paralyzes so many and leads to the exact result that is feared. Each day we can take just one step in the right direction. Life is not a race and we do not have to get anywhere quicker than others. We just need to be a little bit further ahead today than where we were yesterday.
Now if you are a little ahead of where you were yesterday, then logically where will you be able to get to during the endless duration of time? That is a very deep philosophical question that I will not answer here, but will just allow you to ponder it for yourself right now. Of course we ebb and flow with the vicissitudes of life, but if we take a step back and look at the big picture then things start to fall into place. So go live your life to the fullest and keep growing little by little every single day!
Suggestions on Getting Unstuck
- Read this – Continue in Patience
- Watch this – The Process of Change
- Set Goals – You determine your destiny so go make a really cool one!
- Do Something – You can do anything you want today so go do something meaningful
Posted by Jeff