Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Furry Day at Church

I do believe it was warmer outside than inside the church today, but these two classy ladies, Sister Harris and Sister Taylor, came prepared. I, however, did not, and was happy to sit very close to Sister Taylor in Relief society. At least one side of me was warm.:) So, how long has it been since you've seen a woman wearing a fun hat, stole or coat?

It was High Council Sunday today, and Brother Ferguson shared this story that was related by President Hinckley many years ago:  (This is a very condensed version, but the whole story is on, December 2000 Ensign.)              

“Years ago there was a little one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Virginia where the boys were so rough that no teacher had been able to handle them.

“A young, inexperienced teacher applied, and the old director scanned him and asked: ‘Young fellow, do you know that you are asking for an awful beating? Every teacher that we have had here for years has had to take one.’
“‘I will risk it,’ he replied.
“The first day of school came, and the teacher appeared for duty. One big fellow named Tom whispered: ‘I won’t need any help with this one. I can lick him myself.’
“The teacher said, ‘Good morning, boys, we have come to conduct school...Suppose we have a few rules. You tell me, and I will write them on the blackboard.’  Finally, ten rules appeared on the blackboard.
“‘Now,’ said the teacher, ‘a law is not good unless there is a penalty attached. What shall we do with one who breaks the rules?’
“‘Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on,’ came the response from the class.
“In a day or so, ‘Big Tom’ found that his lunch had been stolen. The thief was located—a little hungry fellow, about ten years old. ‘We have found the thief and he must be punished according to your rule—ten stripes across the back. Jim, come up here!’ the teacher said.
“‘Take your coat off,’ the teacher said. ‘You helped make the rules!’
“‘Oh, teacher, don’t make me!’ He began to unbutton, and what did the teacher see? The boy had no shirt on, and revealed a bony little crippled body.
“‘How come you aren’t wearing a shirt, Jim?’
“He replied, ‘My father died and my mother is very poor. I have only one shirt and she is washing it today, and I wore my brother’s big coat to keep me warm.’
“The teacher, with rod in hand, hesitated. Just then ‘Big Tom’ jumped to his feet and said, ‘Teacher, if you don’t object, I will take Jim’s licking for him.’
“‘Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed?’
“Off came Tom’s coat, and after five strokes the rod broke! The teacher bowed his head in his hands and thought, ‘How can I finish this awful task?’ Then he heard the class sobbing, and what did he see? Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck. ‘Tom, I’m sorry that I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I will love you till I die for taking my licking for me! Yes, I will love you forever!’”
To lift a phrase from this simple story, Jesus, my Redeemer, has taken “my licking for me” and yours for you.
Jesus has, indeed, taken the lickings for all of us. It is through His grace, made possible by His Atoning Sacrifice, that we will live eternally. It is also through Him that we can attain exaltation. “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do" (2 Nephi 25:23)--"All" meaning that we must exercise faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repent of our sins, thus receiving strength beyond our own to do His will.

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