Many years ago, I learned to climb cliffs. It started as a way to fight my own fear of heights. I can't tell you how many times I would shakenly try and climb a cliff, only to slip and fall down the side of the mountain, usually leaving some of my own skin on the downward plunge. One of the first principles of climbing that I ever learned was the principle of the belay. As a beginning climber, I never attempted anything without first being "on belay". This meant that I was safe. That the climber who was holding the rope had me in his sights and was protecting me from any fall that I might take. I grew to love climbing and still have a couple of pictures of myself in my bright pink, trademark, spandex. (And no, I don't show those to ANYBODY!)
The following quotation has been used a few times by LDS authors and speakers over the last few years comparing the emotion of gratitude rock climber Alan Czenkusch felt towards the man who saved his life to the gratitude we should have towards the Savior who saved ours.
Climbing is a unique sport, presenting mental and physical stress that you learn to overcome by operating close to your limits. Sometimes your limits are higher than you realize. "Of course, you recognize your limits in climbing by falling off the rock," says Alan Czenkusch [leader of Whistepig Climbing School of Del Norte, Colorado]. "However, you're safe because you're on belay." The belay anchor system is the crux of climbing. It allows falls with impunity - almost. The person running the rope does so to protect the climber. There is a great responsibility and obligation to this concept and Czenkusch explains it solemnly. The belayer protects himself by the use of pitons and other devices which give him fail-safe redundant protection. When the belayer calls out to the climber below "On Belay" it means he is set up correctly and has assumed a serious duty and would even give up his own life to protect the climber. Such dedication should allow the person below to ascent with no fear of falling. The mutual trust which allows belaying is part of the camaraderie, the intimacy, the mystique of mountaineering. Belaying has brought Czenkusch his best and worst moments in climbing. Czenkusch once fell from a high precipice, yanking out three mechanical supports and pulling his belayer off a ledge. He was stopped upside down 10 feet from the ground when his spread-eagled belayer arrested the fall with the strength of his outstretched arms. "Don saved my life," says Czenkusch. "How do you respond to a guy like that? Give him a used climbing rope for a Christmas present? No, you remember him. You always remember him."
“The Vertical Wilderness," Private Practice, Nov. 1979, p. 21.
The Savior has always had you "on belay". He is the one who has His arms outstretched and is saving you from your own sins and anguish. He is the one who loves you so much more than you can possibly imagine. He alread gave His life for you that you might have the opportunity to live forever with Him and our Father in Heaven. How do you respond to a brother like that? What are you doing to always remember Him?