The Search for Happiness: The Iron Rod

When Lehi told his family of his vision, Nephi desired to see it for himself. Because of his great desire and unwavering faith, the Spirit visited him and showed him the dream. When Nephi is witnessing the vision, the thing that Lehi talked about are explained. The symbolism is made clear.

The iron rod is one of these symbols. In the vision, Nephi sees the iron rod along the straight and narrow path, extending to the tree of life. The multitudes of people in the dream are following the path to the tree by holding on to the rod of iron. Mists of darkness envelope the people. Many of them let go of the rod and become lost. But those who hold tight to the rod eventually make it to the tree of life and eat of its fruit.

Nephi understood this symbolism.

And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God. (1 Nephi 11:25)

So what is the word of God? The scriptures, naturally. But what exactly are the scriptures? The Bible, the Book of Mormon, and modern-day revelation. Essentially, the words of God and Jesus Christ and the prophets.

Nephi, the same that saw his father’s vision, said,

Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32:3)

The words of Christ and the words of His prophets (which are the same) will tell us all things that we should do. And if we should heed the words of the prophets now passed, then surely all the more reason to heed the words of the living prophets.

I testify that holding strongly to the word of God in His holy scriptures will keep us on the straight and narrow path to eternal life. I know that we also have living prophets today, found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We must listen to their counsel just as thoughtfully as we study the words of their ancient predecessors. The iron rod leading to the tree of life is indeed the word of God. It will safely guide us through.

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Desperate Times

In these desperate times
This I plead
When all else fails
Remember me

Desperate Times ~ Killswitch Engage

Desperate times are all around us. Though they’ve existed since the dawn of time itself, sometimes it seems they are raging more fiercely in this day and age. Whether across the world or in our own homes, calamities are always near. So what can we do? How can we pull through these desperate times? The Savior taught us not to rely on the world, for “the world passeth away.” We cannot put our trust in the world, because the world will fail us.

But everything is in the world, right? If the world fails, what’s left? What won’t fail? In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni teaches,

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail. (Moroni 7:46)

Charity never fails. Charity is what we can rely on. But what is it? Moroni continues in verse 47,

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Charity is the pure love of Christ. It is His love for us. It is the perfect love that we are all trying to achieve. It is the love that brings peace to war. It is the love that turns enemies into friends. It is the love that made a perfect Man suffer and die for the sins of mankind. So how can we obtain this love?

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. (verse 48)

We must pray to our Father in Heaven, with all the energy of heart. We must sincerely seek after this love if we hope to be filled with it. Only through charity are we able to endure the trials of life. When desperate times come, turn to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I testify that charity never faileth. It endures all things. And when all else fails, remember Jesus Christ and pray for charity.

No Giving Up

So your scars fade away
You soaked up the pain
A better person ’cause you lived through those days
And now you know what it’s like to prove
You can overcome anything that gets to you
Well it’s alright
We’re sayin’ our goodbyes
To the past and everything that ain’t right
We won’t waste another day
With all these silly things in our way

There’s no giving up now!
Do you really want to give this all away?
Can’t you ever see things in a different way
Somedays?
No giving up now!
Such a beautiful thing to throw away
You should think things through
Over and over again

No Giving Up“, by Crossfade

We’ve all had times when we’ve felt like giving up. Hard times come and go. Such is life. When those hard times do come, we should always desire to be the optimist. Look at the beauty in life. Look at the blessings we’ve been given. We alway have so much to be thankful for. When Christ came to the Americas after His resurrection, He taught many of the same things that He taught those back in the “old country.” And of course He would; it’s the same Gospel after all.

Enduring to the end is a common phrase among Latter-day Saints. It refers to living our lives in harmony with Christ’s gospel, to the best of our abilities. It involves having faith in Jesus Christ, turning to Him in all walks of life, repenting daily of our sins, and keeping God’s commandments. It is the day to day things, the little things, that add up over time.

3 Nephi 15:9

Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

With enduring to the end, there is no giving up, now or ever. Live each day at a time. We must not dwell on the past, but instead look steadfastly unto Christ. It is through Him and only Him that we can receive eternal life.

“Before I formed thee…”

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

When Jeremiah was called to be a prophet, he did not feel like he was up to the job. He felt inadequate, unqualified, perhaps even unworthy.

We are counted on to do a lot of things in life. Many of them are just… tough. Many of them are things we may not want to do. Oftentimes we just don’t feel like we’re strong enough, prepared enough, or good enough. The counsel of the Lord to Jeremiah can be applied to us.

Before this world began, we existed as spirits with our Father in Heaven. We conversed with Him just as we converse with our parents here on the earth. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet because the Lord knew him. He knew Jeremiah’s strengths and weaknesses. He knew his likes and dislikes. He knew Jeremiah better than Jeremiah knew himself.

Our Father in Heaven knows you. Just like Jeremiah, He knows you inside and out. He knows what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at. He knows what you like and what you despise. He knows what you love and fear. He knows exactly how to push you because He knows exactly what you’re capable of, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

1 Corinthians 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Whether it’s temptation or just something that is difficult to do, God will not allow an impassable obstacle to block our path. Whatever life throws at us, it’s there because Heavenly Father knows we can conquer it.

I know this to be true. I know God knows us all better than we know ourselves. And I know that by trusting in Him, and having faith in the Savior Jesus Christ, we can endure anything.