When challenges arise, holding fast to the iron rod, or the word of God will keep us safe and happy. This can be emphasized with a short video clip from The Tree of Life DVD; a story about boys who are confronted with the temptation to try smoking; a game where a child is blindfolded and must avoid obstacles by listening for guidance; and making Iron Rod Candy. The music MP3 “Heaven’s at Hand” is also included.
If you wish to print sheet music or have an online music file to accompany you click on the song link to visit: http://www.lds.org/churchmusic
1 Nephi 8:21–24
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 I stood.
22. And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.
23. And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.
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 forward 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.
Watch chapter 8 from the Animated Complete Learning System, The Tree of Life DVD or CLICK FOR CLIP
Discuss These ideas after you complete the activity:
Complete the activity below before doing this Lesson Summary.
How hard was it to find your way?
The blindfold is like the mists of darkness. What do the mists of darkness represent?
How do the temptations of Satan keep you from your goals?
How did it feel when someone grasped your hand? (You may want to emphasize that not only does being lead help us reach our goal but it helps us feel safe.)
What in your experience represented the iron rod? (Helping hand)
The iron rod is the word of God. How does it help you?
More mature children:
The iron rod represents the word of God. How close do you stay to the iron rod?
What are the many things in your life that influence you to stray from the iron rod?
What can you do to overcome those influences?
Have you ever felt as if you were lost in the dark mist?
What can you do to find your way to the rod?
Read 1 Nephi 15:23-24
23. And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?
24. 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 overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
Quote: "Just as the rod kept people from getting lost as long as they held on to it, so, too, will the word of God help to keep us from going astray. As long as we follow him, always try to do what is right...and pray, God will help us and will lead us back to him." Jeffrey R. Holland
"Welcome Back to the Rod"
The boys hid behind the shed in Kyle’s backyard. Brody lit a cigarette and then passed it around.
Kyle, Alan, and Kurt each took a puff. When it got to Jason he stuck his hands in his pocket and lowered his head. “I’m not doing it,” he said softly.
Brody playfully punched Jason in the arm, “Come on buddy. Don’t be such a wimp.”
“Ya! We’re suppose to experiment. We’re teenagers,” added Kyle.
“Knock it off, you guys,” Jason pleaded. “You know as well as I do that this isn’t right.”
“Who said it was right?” chuckled Brody, “If it was right it wouldn’t be cool! Right guys?”
All the boys laughed. “Hey man. When you’re right, you’re right!” exclaimed Alan.
“Right! This is so cool, hiding behind the shed smoking.” Jason sarcastically spouted. “I’m outta here! You coming Dan?”
Dan looked at Jason and then the rest of boys. Brody put his arm on Dan’s shoulder. With a laugh he said, “You’re not going to be a wimp, too, are you?”
Turning to Jason he shrugged his shoulders and then turned back to Brody, “Uh, no way! It’s cool man. Give me a turn.”
The next morning the boys didn’t stop by to pick Jason up for school. At lunch they didn’t sit by him.
For an entire week they laughed and poked fun at him every chance they got. Each day after school the boys would hide behind the gym and smoke while Jason walked home alone.
Mother and Father were worried about Jason. They knew something was wrong, but Jason didn’t want to talk about it. “Just give him some time,” Father told Mother.
All week after his chores were done Jason spent his time alone in his bedroom. On Sunday morning Mother softly knocked on Jason’s bedroom door. “Jason it’s time to get up and get ready for church,” she invited.
“I’m not feeling very good Mom. I don’t think I can go.”
Mother sat down on the bed next to Jason and felt his forehead. “You don’t feel like you have a fever. What’s wrong?”
“My stomachs upset.”
“Jason, I don’t think you’re sick. I think that the problems you’re having with your friends is causing you to have an upset stomach. Maybe if we talked about what’s going on it would help.”
“There’s nothing to talk about Mom. I just don’t have any friends anymore.”
“Jason, friends will come and go throughout your life, but you know you’ll always have your family. That might not be much comfort right now, but someday you’ll understand.” Mother continued, “Staying home from church isn’t going to help, son. When life gets rough you need to lean on the Lord.”
Mother kissed Jason on the forehead and started to leave the room.
“I’ll get ready!” Jason called, “I love you Mom. Thanks!”
Jason crawled out of bed and knelt down to say his prayers. He pleaded with Heavenly Father to give him strength. When he went downstairs for breakfast he found Mother and Father busy preparing breakfast. “Need any help?” he asked.
“I think we have it covered. Why don’t you go in the family room and check on the rest of the kids. Jason found his younger brothers and sisters watching a DVD. He sat down on the couch next to three-year-old Benjamin. “We’re watching The Twee of Wife,” whispered Benjamin as he crawled onto Jason’s lap.
“No, no. Stay on the rod. Keep to the rod.”
“Now it came to pass that a great many people let go of the rod and felt their way to the great and spacious building.”
“Oh do you think we should?”
“Come on just for a little while. We’ll come back.”
“No. I must go on.”
“But behold there were others who held fast to the rod and they came forth to partake of the fruit.”
Jason suddenly had a warm, soothing feeling inside. He gave Benjamin a squeeze. Benjamin turned and looked up at Jason, “We wouldn’t wet go of the wod would we Jason?”
“No, buddy. We’ll hold on to the rod real tight. No matter what!”
At church Dan sat down next to Jason, “Hey Jase. I want you to know I’ve talked to the Bishop about smoking and I’m not going to do it ever again. Sorry I was such a jerk. No chance we can be friends again is there?”
Jason patted Dan on the back and exclaimed, “Welcome back to the rod Dan!”
Mix the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cream of tartar in a 3 quart saucepan. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, while cooking over medium–high heat (approximately 5 minutes).
Continue to cook (approximately 8 minutes) without stirring until the temperature reaches 265 degrees F.
Turn off the heat and mix in the flavoring and the food coloring to taffy mixture. Pour onto a buttered platter. When cool enough to handle, but still warm (approximately 30 minutes).
Use a buttered spatula to cut mixture into even portions (one or two pieces for each member of your family).
2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
1/2 Cup water
1/4 Teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 Teaspoons raspberry extract (or other flavoring)
5 drops red food coloring
10 drops of blue
With buttered hands, pull, fold, and twist each piece of taffy repeatedly until they appear glossy. Roll and twist each piece into a six–eight inch long rod. Set on a buttered cookie sheet to cool and harden.
Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
What you need:
Blindfold, room with furnishings, mild obstacles in the way of the path or have other children stand in the way.
Choose a goal (sit in a certain chair, stand on a spot marked on the floor, etc...) to reach on the other side of the room.
Place some mild obstacles in the way of the path or have other children stand in the way.
Show the children what goal they are to reach on the other side of the room by following the iron rod (the word of God).
Blindfold a child and spin them around and point them in the wrong direction.
Ask them to find their way to the goal by following the iron rod (your voice). You will want to speak softly and have others in the room try to lure them towards them so it will make following your voice more challenging.
As the child continues to be lost you or another child can grasp their hand and lead them to the goal.
Repeat with additional children as time permits. You may want to vary the experience slightly with each child.
1. Watch chapter 8 from the Animated Complete Learning System, The Tree of Life DVD. (Also available for viewing online.)
2. If time permits complete the Object lesson.
3. Read 1 Nephi 15:23-24
"And 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 overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction."
4. What does the iron rod represent?
(The iron rod represents the word of God.)
5. What does it mean to hearken to the word of God?
(To listen to and pay attention to the word of God.)
6. Where do we find the word of God?
“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (Articles of Faith 1:8.)
“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith” (D&C 21:4–5.)
7. What is the promise we are given if we hearken to the word of God and hold fast to the rod?
8. Read 1 Nephi 8:23–24:
"And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost. 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 forward 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."
9. In this scripture Nephi tells of those who strayed from the rod and lost their way.
If you did the activity ask: How did it feel to be lost?
If you did not do the activity ask: Have you ever been lost?
(Discuss how it feels to be lost and how it feels when you find your way back.)
10. What are the some of the things in your life that influence you to stray from the iron rod?
What can you do to overcome those influences and return to the rod?