Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Iron Rod

LOML Holding to the Rod :-)

My lesson in Relief Society a couple of weeks ago was the conference talk from the October 2013 General Conference entitled "Continually Holding Fast". I learned a lot about Lehi's dream as I studied for this lesson.

I found this artwork {below} by James C. Christensen {no relation} that I have learned to love. I've seen it before but I've never taken the time to understand what it was actually depicting. It's entitled, "Hold to the Rod" and you can see the rod, steady, strong, continuous, right there waiting for the little lady to grab a hold of it. And she's looking at it, so she knows it's there and I'm sure she'd love the stability it would give her wobbly legs and loaded down body.

As you can tell, though, she has collected too much 'stuff' and, as much as she appears to want to grasp the rod, she doesn't seem willing to let go of anything so she can. I think some of the artist's words in describing it were that she has 'become a vessel for all her collections'. I liked that description. I don't think everything she's collected can be called 'good' or 'bad'. I think most of it is just 'too much'. The more I look at this picture, the more I relate. I wish someone could snap a picture like this of me so I could have a visual of all the stuff I've become a vessel for. All the material, worldly things that are keeping me from gripping the Rod of Iron with both hands and continually holding on.

After my lesson, I found this picture, also by James C. Christensen {still no relation}. Actually LOML found it. I was excited to see that the little lady rallied and she got rid of some of her 'stuff' and she's going to grab that rod. Looks like there's still plenty she could let go of, but she's made a start.

I hope I can make a start. And soon.

In Lehi's Dream, there are four groups of people. One group wanders off at the onset and wanders onto strange paths. Another group reaches out and grabs the end of the rod but they are soon distracted by the great and spacious building and the mists of darkness. Another group 'grasps' the rod and actually makes it to the Tree and partakes of the fruit but then they see the spacious building and, they, too, become embarrassed and wander off. The group that makes it to partake of the fruit of the Tree are the ones who continually held fast to the Iron Rod and 'fell down' and partook of the fruit of the Tree.

Some things I read made it sound like grasping the Iron Rod wasn't good enough. I know I'm just playing with words here but I know there have been times in my life when all I could do was grasp. Other times I could grip with both hands and continually hold on. Personally, I think the key was the group that made it to the Tree and stayed "FELL DOWN" and partook of the fruit. I think there was some gratitude; some humility; some weariness; some sincere contrite spirits and broken hearts that caused them to 'fall down' and express gratitude their Heavenly Father for helping them endure.

Just my thoughts and ideas and I'm glad I had the chance to study and think about Lehi's Dream. I can see why Nephi went to the Lord and asked for an explanation of the things that his father had seen. I'm glad I know I can go to Heavenly Father and ask for explanations and help and He will hear me and answer me and ease my confusion.

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