Anyone who knows me knows that I love lead climbing! However it's really dangerous if you don't follow what you've been taught and use all of the equipment correctly. You have someone to belay you and he uses a device that will catch you when you fall. You also tie a special knot before you begin climbing. The last step before climbing is that both you and your belay check each other off. Another important element to lead climbing are the bolts in the wall. These have been previously placed and they are permanent, unwavering fixtures in the wall. These bolts are what allow you to progress on the climb. You also have quick draws which are two carabiners linked together. You use the quick draws to connect the rope to the bolt. This is called clipping in. It has to be done a specific way and if done wrong the fall could be very dangerous, even deadly. The first bolt that you clip in to is usually about 10 ft off the ground and you have to do this on your own. Your belay can't really catch you because you haven't clipping the rope in yet. Once you make it to the first bolt and clip in your belay is watching you very closely to make sure that you don't clip in the wrong way. If you do he will tell you but you have to listen closely. At some point you will most likely fall. Any climber will agree that falling is extremely important to becoming a stronger and more experienced climber. Once you fall you take a minute to decide whether or not you're going to descend or ascend. Your belay and maybe even some other friends are going to cheer you on and encourage you to go on but ultimately it's your decision. Lead falls are terrifying! You usually whip down the wall anywhere from 10-20 ft. However You're belay is awesome and will never let you fall. It's really hard to get back up when you fall you have to take the rope and pull it as your belay takes out the slack. Once you have removed all the rope from your fall you have to keep going. The annoying part about falling is you fall below where you slipped and you have to redo a portion of the climb. When you get to the spot you slipped you get really scared that you are going to fall again and if you climb like I do you hesitate to do that move again. However your belay knows where you fell and he is going to cheer you on like crazy to make it past that move. To your amazement you make it past that spot and you clip the next bolt! Lead climbing is a series of clipping and falling. However if you're determined enough after a few tries or even a few months you will make it to the top or the anchor where you will clip in and then your belay will bring you back to safety to him.
So all of this climbing directions can compare to the Doctrine of Christ as found in 2nd Nephi chapter 31. The belay that I talked about represents Christ and the belay device is his atonement. The sacrifice that Jesus made when he died on the cross and atoned for our sins is what makes it possible for us to go through this life safely and to be able to return to our Heavenly Father and Savior one day. Each of us has tied the knot so to speak and each of us will be descended back to our belay or will be resurrected when we die. The bolts that I referred to are the ordinances of the gospel. Our Heavenly Father has placed ordinances for us to progress and to make it back safely to him. the carabiners represent us making and keeping the ordinances and the covenants found in them. By keeping our covenants that we make at baptism and following the commandments we are able to progress in life. The first bolt that I talked about is baptism. It is an important ordinance because it is the first step that we make to be able to progress. When we are baptized we receive the Holy Ghost who if we are repenting and keeping the commandments will be a constant companion to us. In 2nd Nephi 31:5 it says; "And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!" Christ set the perfect example for us by being baptized and I know that if we are baptized it will help us progress more than without it. Once we are baptized we will inevitably make many mistakes as we go through life. Because of the Atonement we can repent and keep going. As we keep our covenants from baptism and later on in the temple we continue to clip into more bolts and hopefully we can make it to the anchor and as is promised in 2nd Nephi 31:20; "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God andd of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." I know that all of these things are true and that we have a loving Heavenly Father who sacrificed his only begotten son so that we could return to him. I know that he restored the gospel to Joseph Smith in our days and that all of the Priesthood keys have been handed down to each prophet. I know that our current prophet, Thomas S. Monson, is a prophet called by God. I know that the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith and that it is the Word of God. I am so grateful for the gospel and that I have the ability to be a missionary. I am excited to share the gospel not only on my mission but forever afterward too. I say these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.