Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lift Where You Stand

I'm preparing and elders quorum lesson for tomorrow. It's focused on the talk given last conference by Elder Uchtdorf. I think it's a great talk, but it's led to some controversy in my house. Let me quote the passage to you below. Read it and imagine the scenario as vividly in your mind as you can, then I will ask you questions about what came to mind.

Some years ago in our meetinghouse in Darmstadt, Germany, a group of brethren was asked to move a grand piano from the chapel to the adjoining cultural hall, where it was needed for a musical event. None were professional movers, and the task of getting that gravity-friendly instrument through the chapel and into the cultural hall seemed nearly impossible. Everybody knew that this task required not only physical strength but also careful coordination. There were plenty of ideas, but not one could keep the piano balanced correctly. They repositioned the brethren by strength, height, and age over and over again—nothing worked.

As they stood around the piano, uncertain of what to do next, a good friend of mine, Brother Hanno Luschin, spoke up. He said, “Brethren, stand close together and lift where you stand.”

It seemed too simple. Nevertheless, each lifted where he stood, and the piano rose from the ground and moved into the cultural hall as if on its own power. That was the answer to the challenge. They merely needed to stand close together and lift where they stood.

Okay, now please tell me: how did they move the piano?

My initial thoughts emphasize "standing." In other words, the brethren held their ground, stood where they were and lifted the piano hand-over-hand to get it into the gym. This would make it easier to get it through a tight door, since nobody would have to walk through the doorjamb.

Bret maintains that the emphasis is on "close-together." He reasons that the issue was not spatial constraints, but strength density. The brethren stood close together to allow more of them to contribute, and they all walked into the cultural hall.

Please respond with your analysis, so I can include it in my lesson.


Anonymous said...

I think that it emphasized both of your answers. You need to "stand in one spot" to lift the piano. Because in life if you stand your ground you won't be swayed with things around you. Like if you tried to lift the piano while being told many different things it couldn't be done. You need to stand your ground, but if you don't have others close around you, you will start to sway and thus not be able to lift the piano. You can only be so strong by yourself for so long. I hope my analysis helps!

Hosander said...

my question is, why were they lifting it at all? why didn't they get some wheels on that thing?

The talks Ben and I gave in sacrament were about this talk

Jancisco said...

I think they were all standing close together, and they lifted it up and shuffled into the next room.

But then, that doesn't mean that the piano lifted itself up. So I don't know.

MidSpeck said...

I know it is too late for your lesson, but Bret is right here. Let me illustrate:
"As they stood around the piano... stand close together... lift where you stand."
They did not reorganize into a straight line from the chapel to the cultural hall. They just stood closer together and lifted.