“The Rod of Iron”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

In this remarkable vision, there are several parts which all call for serious thought.

There is the “mist of darkness” (1 Ne. 8:23), which is so thick that people lose their way in it. That is the actual condition of the world, as regards moral and spiritual truths. Notwithstanding the numerous institutes of learning, and the marvelous progress in material and mechanical fields, people are lost, as in a fog, when confronted by the social problems of the day.

Then, there is the iron rod, which represents the word of God (I Ne. 15:24) and is so placed that those who are lost can seize it, and, by following it, will reach safety.

There is, further, the fountain of living water, symbolizing the love of God, as manifested in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; for we read,

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this he spake of the Spirit, which they that believeth on him should receive.” (John 7:37-9)

Finally, there is the tree of life, which symbolizes the love of God, as manifested in the gift of life eternal.

The great lesson of the vision of the iron rod is, therefore, that the word of God—and by this we mean the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and whatever else the Lord graciously reveals through the channels selected by him—has been given, or will be given, in order that his children may not get lost in the dark mists, but find the truth, and the way to temporal salvation and life eternal, through the Holy Spirit.

Well may we then ask ourselves, Do we study the Word of God? In our homes and our meetings of worship? Are we teaching our children the word of God? Do we believe the word of God? Are we practicing its precepts? These are questions of life and death.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1