Never Give Up

“Never Give Up,” Friend, Aug. 2012, 30

Friend to Friend

Never Give Up

From an interview with Elder Tad R. Callister of the Seventy; by Erica Wolfe

Elder Tad R. Callister

Be thou strong and very courageous (Joshua 1:7).

When Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone was visiting our area for a conference, my wife and I wanted our family to know something about him and his family. So we read a story to our children about Elder Featherstone’s son, who hurt his leg in an accident.

The boy had wanted to compete in an upcoming track meet, but he couldn’t run in any of the events because of his hurt leg. However, at the meet he found an event he could enter—the sit-up contest. As the contest began, Sister Featherstone was worried when she saw how many sit-ups her son was doing. But he wouldn’t give up. He did 1,001 sit-ups, winning the blue ribbon.

After hearing this story, our nine-year-old son, Rick, who had been training for the Cub Scout Olympics, said, “I want to beat that boy’s record.”

“That’s a great goal,” my wife and I told him. “You’ll need to build up to that by doing a little more each night.”

“No!” came Rick’s response. “I want to do it tonight.”

Right there on our living room floor, Rick started doing sit-ups. After about 250 we said, “That’s very good, Rick. Now you can go to bed and tomorrow night you can do some more.”

But Rick wouldn’t give up. When he got to 500 sit-ups, we could see in his eyes that he wasn’t going to stop. He did 1,004 sit-ups that night. My wife and I know that even if we had given a hundred lessons on never giving up on our goals, they wouldn’t have meant as much to our family as Rick doing 1,004 sit-ups that night.

Illustration by Bryan Beach