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There is one place that I can honestly say, I have spent more time in over the years – and it holds more memories – than any other one location (well… other than home, of course). That would be Rock Canyon, which is located behind the Provo Temple.**I found this beautiful photo taken by Ashley.You can find her at Little Talks.*I used to spend a lot of time in that canyon, both alone and with others… hiking, trail running, exploring Buckley’s Mine, sparking, rock skiing, emptying many pebbles from my boots, night hikes under the light of a full moon, bouldering, and of course some rock climbing. So many memories!*
*I realize none these photographs will mean anything to you, but the memories they hold mean everything to me. :) Wish I could have found more. Time to go through the boxes in the garage I suppose. ;)* *There are some wonderful parallels between rock climbing and life.  If you are looking for an extremely awesome Family Home Evening, or are looking for an adventure for your youth… may I suggest Rock Climbing. Whether you choose an indoor rock climbing gym or decide to experience the rock itself , I have gathered some great articles and talks below for you to research in preparation. :)*But, before I share all of that, I wanted to share these recent photos of my sister Kathy, enjoying some family time with her husband and kids inside Rock Canyon. Are they not the most adorable family? :)**For those of you who are interested,I found this awesome postcard designed by GreenNeighbor.You can purchase the postcards here.*
*LESSONS TO BE LEARNEDAs promised, here are a few links to articles and talks for creating a great “experience with meaning”:**Built on the Rock, New Era, July 2004This article shares a number of parallels youth found between rock climbing and life. The symbolism is powerful. I only mention a few of those here, see the article for so much more.

  • “Every time we go climbing,” explains Jessica Ercanbrack, a Laurel, “there’s someone who goes before us to make sure the way is safe and all the knots are tied right. In a way, Jesus has done that for us in life. He prepared the way. He has experienced it so that if we fall, He can help us get back on the path through repentance.”
  • “When you climb you have a belayer at the other end of the rope who holds you in place,” says Jayson Nielson, a teacher. “Sometimes you can’t see him, but you have to trust that he’s there. He’s there to help you. That’s what Christ does for us.”
  • “That rope that connects you is His words,” adds Talina Smith, a Mia Maid. “It’s the gospel and your testimony of it.”
  • “When you go rock climbing you have to clip onto the rope, or it doesn’t do you any good,” says Clint. “In life we clip onto the gospel through obedience.”
  • “When we disobey, it’s like climbing without a rope,” Jayson jumps in. “You’re setting yourself up for a big fall.”
  • “But when you’re clipped on and follow the rope you won’t stray from the climbing route,” Clint says.
  • “The Savior lets you do it yourself, though,” finishes Jessica. “It’s up to you to make the choices and do the climbing.”

*Reach Out and Climb!, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, New Era 1985 and 2002
“‘I want you to climb that cliff.’ I took another look and then in bewilderment said, ‘I can’t. It’s impossible!’ ‘How do you know you can’t? You haven’t tried,’ said my guide. What do we do when we face obstacles in the fulfillment of righteous responsibilities? We reach out and climb! The blessings that solve problems and carry us over obstacles come to persons who are on the move.”*
*Anchor to the Rock, New Era, September 1996“That’s one reason why we call Christ ‘the Rock’,” Brother Stowers said. “Because he never changes, we can trust him to bless us when we keep his commandments just as he promised people in the early church and throughout history.”Now I was intrigued. The Rock, huh? This analogy is getting better. Only the true Rock can be depended on like that. Everything else in this world can eventually break off, and that could put a person in a great deal of danger or pain if he had trusted it too much. I looked at Josh and he smiled. He must have thought the same thing. Suddenly I found my hand raised above my head.“Yes, Andrew?” Brother Stowers called on me after consulting his seating chart.“So we should clip into the rock frequently, I guess,” I blurted out.“Clip?” Brother Stowers asked, a bit confused.I should have backed up and explained things a little. Now no one would know what I was talking about. I was remembering the cliff breaking apart yesterday. I was thinking about how each clip on yesterday’s climb gave me a great sense of security and how I wished they were closer together. I was thinking about my broken resolves to read the scriptures and pray every day and how foolish it seemed to put them off now that I could see it all in perspective.Then Josh jumped into the discussion. “Yeah,” he said, “attach ourselves, anchor ourselves to Him.”**The Climb, A modern day fable, Friend, October 1982**It’s a Challenge, I guess, New Era, November 1975“There is a lesson to be learned from these two young men from the Edgemont Fifth Ward. They do things now, not someday. Most of us make all sorts of fantasy plans about the wonderful things we’ll do sometime, when we get around to it. Every week these two do more than some of us will ever get around to doing. They know the silence and beauty of high places, the satisfaction of a challenge met, and the thrill of discovery, because they know that now is the best time to do anything worthwhile.”**This would be my brother, Todd.Yea, he’s cool like that! :)

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