Push-ups & Donuts

          There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending school in Utah.  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 to him.  After class, Brother 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," said Brother Christianson.  "Do you think you can 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'll try," said Steve.

          "Can you do 300 in sets of 10?  I need you to do 300 in sets of 10 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 them this 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 doughnuts.  Now these weren't the normal kind of doughnuts, 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, an they were going to get an early start on the week end by having doughnuts.

          Brother Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a doughnut?"

          Cynthia said, "yes."

          Brother 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 sat at his desk again.

          Brother Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's Desk.

          Brother Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe do you want a doughnut?"

          Joe said, "yes."

          Brother 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 everyone before they got their donut.  And down the second aisle, until Brother Christianson came to Scott.

          Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team.  When Brother Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a doughnut?"  Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own push-ups?"

          Brother Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

          Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

          Brother Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a doughnut he doesn't want?"  Steve did ten push-ups.

          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 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.  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 doughnut?"

          Jenny said, "No."

          Then Brother Christian asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Jenny can have a doughnut she doesn't want?"  Steve did ten push-ups, Jenny got a doughnut.

          By now, the students were beginning to say "no."  And there were all these uneaten doughnuts on the desks.  Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these push-ups 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.

          Brother Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten push-ups in a set because he could not bear to watch all of Steve's work for all those uneaten doughnuts.  So Robert began to watch Steve closely.

          Brother Christianson started down the fourth row.  During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the sides of the room.  When Brother 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.

          Brother Christianson went on to the next person and the next.  Near the end of the 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 touch on each one?"

          Brother Christianson thought for a moment, "Well they're your pushups.  You can do them anyway you want."  And Brother 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."

          Brother 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."

          Brother Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now.  Jason do you want a doughnut?"


          "Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a doughnut?"  Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort.  Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

          Brother Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters.  Steve's arms were shaking with each push-up 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 were very popular.  Brother Christianson went to Linda, the second to the last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

          Linda said very sadly, "No thank you."

          Brother 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 push-ups for Linda.

          Then Brother Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan.  "Susan, do you want a doughnut?"

          Susan with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Brother Christianson, can I help him?"

          Brother Christianson with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it all alone.  Steve would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a doughnut?"

          As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, 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.

          Brother Christianson turned to the room and said.  "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, pleaded 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."

-Author Unknown-

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