A couple Mondays ago we cruised over to the Edge Rock gym with Sister Draper, a military relations missionary for the church here at naval station Mayport. We arrived at the gym still bearing the nametags of Him whom we love and serve, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we gladly expressed to the lady at the front desk our role as missionaries for the LDS church. After getting our shoes and harnesses we hooked into the auto belay device, grabbed some chalk for our hands, and latched onto the wall, eager to be the first to the top. At this point my photography instincts awakened my creativity and I grabbed my soft bound Book of Mormon, immediately recognizing the new perspective and analogy that I could get in these next shots.
The principle that I realized later that night as I looked through my camera is the fact that in order to reach new heights, physically, mentally, spiritually, one must have a firm foundation. In order for an elevator to rise, it is firmly held and lifted by cables, of which have a firm foundation within the building where they found. Hikers, mtn bikers, runners, etc., all gain elevation only if they follow firmly packed paths that lead them safely up the mountain. Even airplanes are firmly held by the thrust of the engines and the aerodynamics of the design, and without being firmly held inside the plane itself, man would not be able to fly anyway! Whether the means by which we are rising is doing the work for us or not, airplanes being a good example, has no influence on the fact that in order to rise at all, we have to be firmly held to something, or else we will literally fall. It is such a simple principle, but at the same time profound. It applies to every aspect of our lives, whether we are physically rising or not.
Being a missionary, I have seen and felt first hand the firm foundations, or “rocks”, as portrayed in the picture, that missionaries must use in order to rise spiritually. The Book of Mormon in my opinion is the most important, or most firm handhold, in ones progression to exaltation and life with our loving Heavenly Father. We are even told by Isaiah in the Bible; “For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways than your ways…” (Isaiah 55:9). The key word in that scripture is higher. The Heavens are higher. We then can logically assume that spiritually we have to rise in stature and knowledge in order to return to the Heavens. I love that. Theres a scripture in the Book of Mormon by a prophet named Helaman that I also love…
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
We must build our foundations on Christ….and the Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ. I can testify that as we read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We will literally rise in understanding His gospel and we can safely return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and I know it is true.