The Rod of Iron
This is a copy of the page that Sandra Hawkins posted to her website, that is now down.
In Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life, we read about an iron
rod 1 Nephi 8:19-30) which leads men along the
narrow path, through the darkness 1 Nephi 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
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 specious 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 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” 1 Nephi 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. (Isaiah 2:3) (see also
2 Nephi 12:3 for the “Brass Plates” version of this verse)
Note that just as “Zion” and “Jerusalem” are synonyms 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 . . . (Prov. 6:23)
Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
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 2 Nephi 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 Book of Mormon and the New Testament speak of those who walk in
darkness (Jn. 8:12; 12:35; 1 Jn. 1:6; 2:11):
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the
voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness
and hath no light? 2 Nephi 7:10
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.