“The Rod of Iron, the Fountain of Living Waters, and the Tree of Life”

Monte S. Nyman

Having understood the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, Nephi is next shown his mortal ministry, “the Son of God going forth among the children of men” (v. 24). Again the central figure is the tree of life, but the iron rod or the word of God is what leads to the living waters, or the tree of life. These both represent the love of God (v. 25). Keep in mind Nephi’s definition of the tree of life: “it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men” (v. 22). As used in Christ’s mortal ministry, “sheddeth” means to give off or disperse the word of God to all who will receive it. The word of God leads to the tree of life which produces the fruit. One obtains eternal life through eating the fruit. God’s love, therefore, is available to those who will firmly grasp the rod of iron, come to the tree, and eat the fruit.

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record