Location: the wilderness
People: Lehi & his family
Important events & details:
- Lehi sees a vision of the tree of life, “whose fruit was desirable to make one happy”. He calls Sariah, Sam, and Nephi to come partake of the fruit with him, and they do. Lehi also sees the iron rod and the strait and narrow path that lead to the tree. On the other side of a river Lehi sees a great and spacious building full of people laughing at and mocking those who are eating the fruit.
- Lehi sees some people who follow the path for a little ways, before getting lost in a midst of darkness; some people who cling to the iron rod and taste of the fruit before feeling ashamed and joining the people in the great and spacious building; a third group who press forward, continually holding onto the rod until they come to the tree and eat the fruit; and finally many people who went into the great and spacious building.
- Laman and Lemuel do not partake of the fruit and Lehi is “exceedingly feared” for them.
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted…
12 … it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also…
30 … 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.
- It’s easy to get distracted or stumble when we are more focused on Satan’s temptations (e.g. what’s going on in the world around us, what people are saying/doing about us & the gospel, etc.) than on our straight and narrow path. But we have the iron rod (i.e. the word of God) that we can, and need to hold onto in order to press forward and stay on the path. The iron rod and the path are always there – they never disappear – even if & when midst of darkness sometimes cloud our vision. All we need to do is keep our end goal, the fruit of the gospel, in our sights; hold onto the knowledge we have; and have faith as we press forward and then we won’t be so distracted and tempted by the things that don’t matter.
- “If there is any one thing most needed in this time of tumult and frustration, when men and women and youth and young adults are desperately seeking for answers to the problems which afflict mankind, it is an “iron rod” as a safe guide along the straight path on the way to eternal life, amidst the strange and devious roadways that would eventually lead to destruction and to the ruin of all that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report.”” – Harold B. Lee
- Which group am I most like? Do I cling to the rod and then become ashamed of my membership in the gospel? Do I get distracted and lost in midsts of darkness? Or am I able to have faith, press forward, and continually hold onto the things that I know are right and true?