Hold to the Iron Rod


(Based on a true story)
The rod of iron … was the word of God (1 Nephi 11:25).

Eight-year-old Matthew sat with the other children in his Primary class. They were quietly waiting for sharing time to start.

“We have a special treat today,” the Primary president said. “Sister Danton, the stake Primary president, is here and she will do sharing time for us.”

“Today we are going to talk about a vision the Book of Mormon prophet Lehi had in a dream,”* Sister Danton explained. “In his dream Lehi saw a tree with white fruit. He ate the fruit and it made him happy. Then he asked his family to come and eat the fruit. He wanted them to be happy too. Lehi also saw many people holding onto an iron rod. The rod led them on a strait path through mists of darkness to the tree. Some of the people ate the fruit but others did not.

“The objects Lehi saw in his dream have special meanings,” Sister Danton said. Then she showed the children a cardboard tree with paper fruit on it. “The tree of life is the love of God. The fruit is happiness and eternal life.”

Sister Danton then held up a long metal rod. She explained that the rod represents the word of God. “We can find the word of God by reading the scriptures, listening to the prophet, and attending church.” She looked around the room and said, “I need someone to help me.”

Matthew raised his hand.

Sister Danton blindfolded him and guided him to the rod. “Hold onto the rod until you reach the tree. Then I want you to pick a piece of fruit,” she told him.

Matthew gripped the rod and used it to guide him to the tree. When he reached the tree, he pulled a paper fruit from it.

“Congratulations! You reached the tree of eternal life and picked the fruit of happiness,” Sister Danton said. Then she removed Matthew’s blindfold. “Could you have found the tree on your own?” she asked.

Matthew shook his head. “I had to hold onto the rod or I wouldn’t know where I was going.”

“How did you feel when you held onto the rod?”

“I felt safe,” Matthew said.

Sister Danton smiled and said, “Just as the rod guided you to the tree, we can all return to Heavenly Father by holding onto the word of God.”

A warm feeling settled over Matthew. He was glad Heavenly Father had provided a way for everyone to be happy.

[illustration] Illustrated by Julie F. Young