Sunday, July 25, 2004

My neice reported her mission today. She told a great story about a class where the teacher threw a party. Before the party he asked an athlete how many pushups he could do. He thought he could do 200, but the teacher asked him to do 300.

At the party, in order to get a doughnut, Jeff had to do ten pushups for the person. The first few went well until another athlete insisted he could do his own pushups. He refused the doughnut unless he could do his own pushups. The teacher had Jeff do ten for him anyway, even if he wouldn't take the doughnut.

Soon four more people arrived making a total of 34 people and the teacher began to worry that Jeff couldn't do enough pushups for everyone. Some of the students took compassion on Jeff and refused to take a doughnut, but that didn't work because the teacher had him do them anyway.

When he was down to the last few people, everyone could see how tired he was and tears flowed freely, Jeff was sweating and his arms shook. Then the door opened and John started to come in. "No! Stay out!" People cried, because they knew that would mean ten more pushups for Jeff to do. But Jeff insisted that John could come in, so puzzled, he entered, and the teacher asked him if he wanted a doughnut. "Sure," he answered and the teacher had Jeff do the obligatory ten pushups. Finally there were only two girls left. When the first was asked if she wanted her doughnut she said no, but Jeff had to do the pushups anyway. The last girl, with tears running down her face, told the teacher she didn't want Jeff to do her pushups. Couldn't she do them for herself? The teacher explained that he and Jeff had an agreement and Jeff had to do her pushups, if she took the doughnut or not.

By now Jeff had done 340 pushups and he had to struggle to do each and every one of the last ten pushups, but finally, he finished and the teacher explained what was going on.

Jeff, you see, had the only perfect score in class. All the others had lost points for one thing or the other. Since on Jeff's wrestling team, the team did pushups when someone messed up, the teacher was requiring pushups for the students to have their doughnuts at the party. But because Jeff was the only one with a perfect score, he was the only one that could atone for the imperfect scores of the others. He pointed at all the uneaten doughnuts and told them that Jeff had atoned for even those who refused his atonement.

By now of course everyone understood what the teacher had been trying to teach them, and it was a lesson on the Atonement of the Savior they would never, ever forget.

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