The New Era is the only magazine I read, and I know that if every person in the world could read it, they would find the light of the gospel.

Nancy Oliverson
Smithfield, Utah

The Munter Hitch, etc.

Being a rock climber myself, I was extremely interested in the article “Rock Climbing” in the May 1975 issue of the New Era. I found the article to be generally accurate, informative, and interesting. However, as Nell Humphrey said in the article, “Some readers will experience the urge to try rock climbing.” For this reason, I feel compelled to explain a few points.

1. Climbing boots, or rock shoes, or whatever footgear one may or may not wear is the most basic piece of equipment that a climber can own. This is echoed in all standard climbing texts. There is quite a lot of fun climbing to be had on boulders where nothing but footgear and determination is necessary. This is the place to learn how to use hand and footholds, not 300 feet off the ground on the side of a cliff, tangled in 150 feet of rope!

2. Climbing ropes are the next basic piece of equipment. Although not generally rated by tensile strength, they range from about 3,000 pounds (Edelrid 9mm) to close to 6,000 pounds (Edelweiss Energy Rope). Standard manila rope (Fed. Spec. TR601A), with a comparable diameter, has a test of only 1,750 pounds. This, however, is not the basic requirement of a rope to hold a fall but rather the amount it will stretch. The greater the stretch, the greater the capacity of the rope to absorb the force of a fall. Some climbing ropes will stretch as much as 66 percent before failing (Edelweiss Energy Rope). Manila, on the other hand, stretches only 12 percent. Common nylon ropes, ski ropes, etc., have so many different properties, I am not even going to discuss them. Using the wrong kind of climbing rope can have serious consequences, not to mention the consequences of using a nonclimbing rope.

3. I would hardly call wrapping the rope around the hips to provide friction to hold a falling climber (hip belay) a modern rock climbing technique. Although the hip belay has held innumerable falls, I am not even sure I would call it safe. The hip belay has been around for years, and tests show that it provides a maximum holding force of only 300 to 400 pounds under ideal conditions. Other tests indicate a lower holding capacity. The UIAA (Union International des Associations d’Alpinisme) Committee on Climbing Safety has recommended a variety of methods to increase the friction and control in a belay. The acceptable restraining force set up by the UIAA ranges between 200 to 700 kiloponds (440 to 1,540 pounds). The recommended range is between 300 to 400 kiloponds (770 to 880 pounds), and two methods of belay have been endorsed by the UIAA which fall within this recommended range, the “Munter Hitch” and “Saxon Cross.”

4. Plastic nuts are rare. Don’t expect to find any.

5. The picture on the bottom of page 45 looks more like someone seconding on Jumars, cleaning an aid pitch, rather than direct aid climbing.

If you have an urge to climb, please do it safely, and if you don’t know how, seek proper instruction. If you do so, you will find climbing to be an extremely exhilarating sport that one can continue throughout most of a long and healthy life.

Arnold J. Amenda
Austin, Texas

“John and Mary”

How can one comment on what a prophet of God says to the Lord’s people? We should simply thank him for his counsel and determine to follow it. I’m speaking of “John and Mary, Beginning Life Together” in the June New Era. I’ve often thought of marriage and imagined what it would be like, but this message helped me see it much more clearly than ever before. As I read the article I also wished that the world could catch a glimpse of what real marriage is. Let’s show our love for the people of the world by telling them what it’s really all about.

Ron McCormick
Sandpoint, Idaho

Senior male members can doubtless look back on their years with eternal mates and recall sins of omission and commission in their behavior. This writer certainly can. The splendid advice, plain to understand, given by President Spencer W. Kimball to John and Mary in the June New Era enables us oldsters to see more clearly where we fell down, sometimes without even having been aware of it. The Johns and Marys starting out on that long, long trail had better place that New Era where they can review the advice often. Is it not scripture from a living prophet?

J. S. Stanford
Logan, Utah

“John and Mary, Beginning Life Together” and the Q and A section in the June issue of the New Era really helped me a lot. They answered a lot of my questions on marriage in the temple and on how to prepare myself to be worthy to have that privilege. I’m getting married in the Los Angeles Temple, and I read these two sections carefully and then passed them on to my boyfriend. We both think they’re great.

Barbara Anderson
Garden Grove, California

Yes, the New Era

Even though I am not a Mormon, I want to tell you just how much I have enjoyed the New Era. I like the way everything is clean and straightforward. Someday I hope to be baptized, and the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, and yes, the New Era have helped me through some very rough spots in my life.

Glad to Be a Part of It All
Newton, Massachusetts

Better family home evenings

I’m a Lamanite on the Indian student placement program. I enjoy reading the New Era. We get a copy monthly and we sometimes use our family home evenings to read it together. The messages of the prophet are so inspiring. Taking time to read this wonderful magazine has brought my family closer together, and our family home evenings are more inspiring now that we have some lessons based on messages given by the leaders of the Church. Thank you so much for making our family home evening lessons even more inspiring and meaningful.

Barbara Contarres
Kearns, Utah

We’re out of order

I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful article “Eliza: A Woman and a Sister” in the October 1974 New Era. I enjoyed every detail regarding the life of this refined and educated sister in the Church. How blessed we are that she was such an important woman in the early history of the Church. However, you refer to Lorenzo Snow as the fourth president of the Church. He was the fifth. Please accept this correction in the humble spirit in which I send it to you.

Vera W. Larsen
Brea, California

They practice what they preach

I feel that I must write and congratulate you on your marvelous magazine. Although I am not a member of the Church, the New Era has given me a valuable insight into the LDS religion. I would like to thank President and Sister C. Albright of Maul in the Hawaiian Islands for being kind enough to send me a year’s subscription. I have every intention of continuing my subscription. I visited my pen pal, Edie Valentine, last summer in Hawaii, and she introduced me to the Church. I was amazed at the kindness and genuine love that I was shown. I think Latter-day Saints truly practice what they preach.

Lesley Miners
Penryn, Cornwall, England

“Why Not Now?”

I really enjoyed the April issue of the New Era, especially “Why Not Now?” by Elder Neal A. Maxwell. As missionaries we often put things off. We put off tracting and challenging people to change their lives. This article has really helped me in teaching the gospel and doing it now and not later. After reading the article, my companion and I went out and challenged a lady to be baptized—something we should have done two weeks ago.

Elder Nolan J. Briscoe
South Dakota Rapid City Mission

Always a winner

For the past three years I have been trying my hardest to make varsity cheerleader in my high school. I thought that I had everything going for me, and I thought that I would make it this time. I was absolutely crushed when I found out that I hadn’t. Then I happened to find a January 1973 New Era on my sister’s desk. It was opened to an article by Margie Christiansen called “Can a Loser Really Be a Winner?” As I read it I felt that it was speaking to me, and I was depressed no longer. That article really helped me to see the light and was the answer to a prayer. I’m a winner now, and always will be.

Kathy Porter
Simi Valley, California

Walls not thick enough

We at the Utah State Prison enjoy and learn much from the articles in the New Era. It makes us feel that all is not lost for us. We see that there is a way back to Christ. The walls of a prison are not thick enough to hold out the words of the Lord nor the love he has for us sinners. We see here at the prison every Sunday the love and understanding that people from the outside have for us. Please print my public thanks for their understanding, teachings, love, songs, and the time that they give to bring God’s love to us. Remember us in your prayers, and we will remember you in ours.

Richard Kenealy
Utah State Prison