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From: James Trimm <jstrimm@h...>
Date: Wed Aug 23, 2000 1:50pm
Subject: The Rod of Iron
THE FOLLWOING MESSAGE SHOULD NOT BE MISUNDERSTOOD AS AN ENDORCEMENT
BOOK OF MORMON
In Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life we read about an iron rod (1Nephi 8:19-30)
which leads men along the narrow path, thru the darkness (1Ne. 8:23), to
the tree of life:
8:19 And I beheld a rod of iron; and it extended along the bank of
the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.
8:20 And I also beheld a straight and narrow path which came
along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it
also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field,
as if it had been a world;
8:21 and I saw numberless concourses of people; many of whom
were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led
unto the tree by which it stood.
8:22 And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in
the path which led to the tree.
8:23 And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea,
even an exceeding great mist of darkness, insomuch that they
which had commenced in the path, did lose their way, that they
wandered off, and were lost.
8:24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward; and
they came forth, and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron, and
they did press through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of
iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the
tree. And after that they had partaken of the fruit of the tree,
8:25 they did cast their eyes about as it they were ashamed.
8:26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other
side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it
stood as it were in the air, high above the earth;
8:27 and it was filled with people, both old and young, both male
and female; and their number of dress was exceeding fine; and they
were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards
those which had come at, and were partaking of the fruit.
8:28 And after that they had tasted of the fruit, they were ashamed,
because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into
forbidden paths, and were lost.
8:29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.
8:30 But to be short in writing: Behold, he saw other multitudes
pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the
rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually
holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down,
and partook of the fruit of the tree.
THE ROD OF IRON = THE TORAH
The "rod of Iron" represents the "Word of God" (1Nephi 11:25; 15:23-24)
The Book of Mormon tells us to search the Scriptures (Tanak (OT))
diligently to understand what "the Word of God" is (Alma 17:2). What does
the Tanak (OT) say that the "Word of God" is?
...For the Torah will go out from Zion;
and the Word of YHWH from Jerusalem.
(see also 2Ne. 12:3 for "Brass Plates" version of this verse)
Note that just as "Zion" and "Jerusalem" are synonymns in this poetic
parallelism, so are "Torah" and the "Word of YHWH".
Thus the "iron rod" represents the Torah.
DARKNESS = TORAHLESSNESS
So what does the darkness represent?
Let us search the Scriptures:
For the commandment is a lamp;
and the Torah is light...
Your word is a lamp to my feet,
and a light to my path.
To the Torah and to the testimony;
if they speak not according to this word,
it is because there is no light in them.
(Isaiah 8:20 also 2Ne. 18:20)
...for a Torah shall proceed from me,
and I will make my judgement to rest
for a light of the people.
So according to the Tanak the Torah is a light for our paths. Those that
walk in the Torah walk in the light. This is why both the BoM and the New
Testament speak of those who walk in darkness (Jn. 8:12; 12:35; 1Jn. 1:6;
Who is among you that feareth the Lord,
that obeyeth the voice of his servant,
that walketh in darkness and hath no light?
These are those who do not walk by the light of Torah.
So the rod of iron that leads us through the darkness is Torah!
Take hold of the Torah and let it be your guide.
Study Torah with SANJ Mitvah Club
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