by the Right Rev. A. C. Dixon

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Years ago, there was a school in Rev. Dixon's city which no teacher could handle.  The boys were so rough that all the teachers resigned.  A young, gray-eyed teacher applied for the job and the old director looked him up and down and said, "Young fellow, do you know what you are asking for? --An awful beating.  Every teacher we've had for years has had to quit."  The young teacher replied, "I'll risk it."

On his first day Tom, a very large student, whispered, "I won't need any help.  I can lick him myself."

The teacher said, "Good morning, boys," and introduced himself.  They yelled at the top of their voices. Above the din their teacher said, "I want a good school here, but I need your help.  We need a few rules.  You tell me and I'll write them on the board."

Their interest piqued, the class suddenly became silent.  One boy yelled, "No stealin!"  Another yelled, "Be on time!"  Finally ten rules appeared.

"Now," said the teacher, "a law is no good unless there is a penalty attached.   What shall we do with the one who breaks them?" "Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on," said one.  "That is pretty severe boys.  Are you ready to stand by it?"  Another yell, and the teacher said, "School come to order!"

In a day or so, "Big Tom" found his lunch was stolen.  After inquiring the thief was located--a hungry fellow about ten years old.  The next morning the teacher announced, "We have found a thief and he must be punished according to your rule--ten stripes across the back!  Jim, come up here!"

The little fellow, trembling, came up slowly with a big coat fastened up to the neck and pleaded, "Teacher, you can lick me as hard as you like, but please don't make me take my coat off!"

"Take that coat off, you helped make the rules."

"Oh teacher, don't make me!" He began to unbutton the coat and what did the teacher see?  He had no shirt on, and strings for suspenders tied over his bony little shoulders.

"How can I whip this child?" thought the teacher, "...but I must do something in order to keep the rules."  It was deathly quiet,  "Where is your shirt Jim?" he asked.  He replied, "My father is dead and we have no money.  I only have one shirt and my mother is washing it today.  I wore my brother's coat to keep warm."

The teacher, rod in hand, hesitated.  Just then, "Big Tom" jumped to his feet and said, "Teacher, if you don't mind, I will take Jim's licking for him."  "Very well. There is a law that says one person can substitute for another.  Are you all agreed?"  Off came Tom's coat, and after five hard 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 entire school sobbing and turned to look.  Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around the neck.  "Tom, I was awful hungry.  I'll love you till I die for taking my licking for me!  Yes, I'll love you forever."

Rev. Dixon told his congregation, "Friend, you have broken many rules and deserve eternal punishment.  But Jesus Christ took your scourging for you, died in your stead, and ho offers to clothe you in His garments of salvation.  Will you not fall at His feet and tell Him you will love and follow Him forever?  The wage of sin is death, but the gifts of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord."

(Taken from "Especially For Mormons")

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