was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending college
where Brother Christianson taught seminary.
had an open-door policy and would take in any student who had
been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by
had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other
teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson's
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.
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
Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do."
Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many pushups 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.
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."
Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on
came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of
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.
was pretty excited. It was Friday, the last class of
the day, and they were going to get an early start on the
Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and
asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?" Cynthia said, "Yes."
Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would
you do ten pushups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"
said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick
ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a
donut on Cynthia's desk.
Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked,
"Joe do you want a donut?"
said, "Yes." Bro. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do
ten pushups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups,
Joe got a donut.
so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for
every person before they got their donuts and down the second
aisle, until 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 pushups?"
Bro. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."
Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."
Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would
you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"
started to do ten pushups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I
didn't want one!"
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.
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.
could start to see a little perspiration coming out around
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."
Bro. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten
pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve
did ten, Jenny got a donut.
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 donut. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Jason didn't know what was going on.
Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."
Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you
will have to do ten pushups for him."
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?"
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 donut and sat down.
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.
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."
Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups
so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?"
from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for
Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan.
"Susan, do you want a donut?"
with tears flowing down her face, asked, Bro.
Christianson, "Can I help him?"
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.
so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the
Father, 'Into your hands I commend my spirit.'
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