“Because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.”

“Nearer” by Celeste Clark

A seminary teacher came to his class of 35 students with a box full of donuts. 

He asked a student named Steve to stand up. He explained the deal he’d made with Steve the day before. If Steve did 10 pushups per student, each student could have a donut.

The teacher went to the first student. And the next. And the next. Steve did 10 pushups for each of them, and they all got a donut. Then the teacher reached a student who asked to do his own pushups. The teacher declined: only Steve could do them. 

Another boy said he didn’t want the donut. The teacher asked, “Steve, will you do 10 pushups for the donut this young man does not want?” Steve did the 10 pushups, and a donut was placed on the edge of the desk, where it was left untouched.

Some students wanted the donuts. Others didn’t. But Steve did pushups for everyone regardless.

By the end, Steve was really struggling. The class was silent as they watched his arms shake with effort and sweat drip off his face. When his last pushup was done, his arms buckled and he finally fell to the floor.

No metaphor is perfect. 
And no metaphor about the Atonement can capture the full-scope of the Savior’s sacrifice and the blessings that came from it, 
Particularly not one comparing the Atonement to something as trivial as donuts and pushups. 

But this story stayed in my mind since I heard it as a teen. 

Maybe because I really like donuts.
And teen me was appalled by those people who left those donuts uneaten.
The donuts were paid for! And those people wasted them.

But as I was reading D&C 29:17 this week—
When Christ declares, “My blood shall not cleanse them if they hear me not”—
I was reminded of how often I “hear Him not,” 
How embarrassingly often I let the Savior’s sacrifice sit on the edge of my desk, unused.

The wonderful gift of the Atonement,
The ability to be changed, comforted, empowered, and healed—
And I forget to use it
Or I chose not to.

“Because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so.” 

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

Let Him walk with you.
He already paid the price.
Use it.

Written by Sarah Keenan

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