The Iron Rod
A person of Nephi’s time would be shocked that father Lehi saw a handrail stretching through the wastes and vast desert. Who would build such a thing?
1 Nephi 15:23-24
They said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our Father saw, that led to the tree? and I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary over power them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
The desert was never designed to be crossed with out a handrail- But the handrail – straight & strong – is installed. If the desert separated you from our Heavenly Father, he would go through the cost, no matter how costly, to install such a thing. You might say that he built the desert, to see whether you really wanted to go home. He built the handrail straight across the desert to get you there.
Nephi has told us that the Lord gives no commandment unto the Children of Men save he has prepared a way for them.
Thus it is in life, all of our deserts (or trials) will be different- but because he desires us all to come home to him, he indeed paid the price to provide a handrail- a way to come home.
Life is not easy, even for those we see around us, that seem to have it all. Everyone of us will face our own hardships, it is indeed how we react to those hardships that will make us or break us. Are we going to hold on tight to that handrail, or just keep a light hold letting go every now and again? Do we feel as though, “if I just keep it insight, I will be fine” . There is a promise in Nephi’s words “and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary over power them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.”
That is a Strong promise given!
He never said it would be easy- he said it would be worth it!
Hold tight and steady- it was put there at a very high cost.
I am grateful to know when the storms are raging and it seems very dark, I need to muster up every once of strength and hold tighter or reach out for it- he is always there- he provided the way.
We must as families, as Youth leaders, must teach them what this handrail is and then how to reach, & trust that the Lord truly has indeed provided that for us to safely return home.
There are lots of activities, such as a “faith walk”- with blindfolds & ropes, or going on a hike that has a handrail provided- like the up on Angels landing in Zion or at Dixie rock in Saint George.
This activity was a reenactment- this was done as a little skit for the primary children in our ward- it is a great way to show what a pain it is to put a “Rod of Iron” anywhere let alone through the desert.
We did a Faith Walk for Youth Conference-
We tied ropes to trees, One rope was continuous- that if followed got you to the end. But there were many ropes that went off of the main rope that lead to nothing- just ended-
We had leaders set up a head of time to be “angles” or “devils” – the devils where very good at what they did – told some truth with some lies
Our “Angels” were very good also, we had them speak quietly and always tell the truth.
Some of our youth did not want to do this activity, thinking it was way dumb- by the end they admitted that it was great.
It was very hard for all of us – especially our youth who had already completed to watch someone go off the path. Our Leaders who were “devils” really struggled with this.
There was a river on the side of our path which was very cool and kinda distracted our youth from the path.
It was a very powerful activity– taught us how Saten works and how the Holy Ghost works, taught us how important it is to hold on to the Handrail.
I can bare testimony that it was not easy & it took a lot of time setting up our “Iron Rod”– I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father loves all of us enough to have provided a way for us to return- he indeed installed a costly handrail to hang on too-
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Power and Promises of the Book of Mormon