Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A week walking with Christ Day 7

Day 7

During the past 7 days have I developed a greater love for my Savior and myself by honestly answering the daily questions? Have I felt the love of my Heavenly Father and my Savior? Do I understand just a little better the great sacrifice that my Savior made for me? Can I now take my understanding of that great sacrifice and in turn love others just a little bit more?

Doctrine & Covenants 45:51-52
            And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?
            Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.

Adapted from “He Took my Whipping For Me,” published by the Christian Workers’ Tract League of Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

“In a southern community during the depression, a teacher was hired for the one-room, one-class school. There were students from seven to fourteen years of age in the class. They ranged from the second grade to the eighth grade level. That year the students had driven four teachers out of the class. The school board asked the new teacher to sign a contract to assure he would stay until the end of the year. The teacher replied, “Of course I will sign. I intend to stay.” And so, he signed the contract.

The first day in class he stood before the students. They measured him and he measured them. Finally he broke the silence and said, “I am your new teacher. I am going to stay until the end of the year. If we’re going to have a good learning experience in this class it will be necessary to have some rules. What do you think the rules of conduct should be for our class?”

It was very quiet and then one student said, “Well, you shouldn’t talk in class.” He wrote, “No talking” on the chalkboard. “What other rules?” he asked. Someone else suggested that the students should arrive on time. He wrote “punctuality” on the chalkboard as the second rule. Someone else suggested that there should be a rule against cheating. He wrote it down. After a few minutes they had thirteen or fourteen different rules of conduct for the class.

Then the teacher said, “Rules are of no value unless you live them. We ought to affix a punishment to each rule for whenever it is broken. How many lashes (with a small switch) for each of the rules?” Someone commented that punctuality wasn’t all that serious because it only affected the one who was late so it was decided that two lashes ought to be enough. The teacher wrote down two lashes next to “punctuality.”

“What about talking in class?” “Well,” one student said, “that one is more serious because it disrupts the whole class. How about seven lashes?” They all felt that was the worst thing they could do so they gave cheating a punishment of ten lashes. Each of the other rules was also given a “just” punishment.

The teacher then said, “We have listed the rules down this side of the board and we have determined a punishment for the violation of each rule in this column. Now rules are not worth much, even with a prescribed punishment, unless you have an enforcer to enforce the rules. I can administer the punishment but you must elect someone from this class to be the enforcer.” The students quickly looked around the room and saw the class “bully” who was almost fourteen, oversized, and pushed the younger kids around, and was probably the toughest kid in class. He was elected. Now they had rules, punishment, and an enforcer.

Everything went well for the first few days. Then one day, one of the seven-year-old boys leaned over and started talking with his neighbor. The bully jumped from his sear, went down the aisle, picked the young boy up by his shoulders, carried him down the aisle, and planted him right in front of the teacher.

The teacher asked the boy if he was present on the day they’d decided what the rules of conduct should be. With tears in his eyes, the boy nodded that he had been present. “And you agreed with the punishment if the rules were broken?” “Yes, sir,” he replied, the tears coming more quickly. “Then take off your coat and receive the seven lashes.” The tears came down even faster and the little boy said, “Please sir, don’t make me do that.” The teacher answered,  “Everyone in the class is waiting to see if I punish you for breaking the rule. If I do not punish you, then the rules will mean nothing. We will have chaos in this class. Take off your coat.”

The boy continued to cry and a second time he pleaded, “Please, don’t make me take off my coat.” The teacher, now becoming impatient, said, “This is going to hurt me as much as you. Take off your coat and bend over the desk.”

Then the boy said, “Sir, I don’t mind the punishment, but I only have one shirt and it’s home in the laundry. If I take off my coat everyone will see I do not have a shirt on and they will laugh at me. I don’t mind the punishment, but I couldn’t bear the embarrassment.”

Now there was a dilemma for the teacher. He knew something no one else knew. He wanted to extend mercy. He also knew that every student was watching to see if he would punish the boy. The moments passed on.

Then suddenly from the back of the room, the bully came forward, took the little boy by the hand, ushered him back to his seat, then came forward, took off his coat, and received seven lashes for the little boy.

Challenge: Pray for a missionary experience. Read Matthew 24:14; 28:19; and Doctrine and Covenants 88:81. Invite a friend who is not a member of the Church or one who is less active to go with you to a Church meeting or activity. Introduce your friend to others, and make sure he or she is involved. Share your testimony of the gospel, and invite him or her to come again.

Jesus Christ atoned for our sins, that through his mercy and his willingness to satisfy the demands of justice we are his, paid for with a price. May we always remember at this Easter Season the great sacrifice made in our behalf. May we try just a little harder to walk each day with our Savior and to become more like Him. We wish you the best Easter ever!

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