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.
Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.
1. To Nephi, seer of olden time,
A vision came from God,
Wherein the holy word sublime
Was shown an iron rod.
Hold to the rod, the iron rod;
‘Tis strong, and bright, and true.
The iron rod is the word of God;
‘Twill safely guide us through.
2. While on our journey here below,
Beneath temptation’s pow’r,
Through mists of darkness we must go,
In peril ev’ry hour.
3. And when temptation’s pow’r is nigh,
Our pathway clouded o’er,
Upon the rod we can rely,
And heaven’s aid implore.
4. And, hand o’er hand, the rod along,
Through each succeeding day,
With earnest prayer and hopeful song,
We’ll still pursue our way.
5. Afar we see the golden rest
To which the rod will guide,
Where, with the angels bright and blest,
Forever we’ll abide.
Begin by writing the word “WORD” on a piece of paper. Ask your children what a word is. Have them pick some of their favorite words.
Read aloud: The scriptures are full of words! Sometimes, it may seem that words have no power and are just squiggly shapes and lines written on a piece of paper. But the words of the scriptures are very important. The scriptures have the words of Jesus Christ in them. When we follow the word of God written in the scriptures, we are promised help as go through life.
Pick some of your favorite words from the scriptures. Show your children a simple scripture with the word in it. Examples include atonement, charity, forgiveness, eternal life, and joy.
Read aloud: We love the words of the scriptures. But did you know that word can me something else? Word can also mean promise. When you hear someone say, “I give you my word!” they are making a promise to you. In the Book of Mormon, the Iron Rod represents the word of God. This can mean the scriptures. But it can also mean God’s promises. In fact, the scriptures show us God keeps his promises. God has promised He will always talk to His children. He will always give us the things that we need. Having the scriptures shows us that.
Ask: Do you know some of the promises God has given us?
Make a simple list of promises we find in the scriptures. Go through them with your family. Share any personal experiences about a time you could rely on the word of God. Ask your children for any personal experiences about reading the scriptures.
*For Teenagers and Adults*
Begin by reading this article from President Monson in the October 2011 Ensign, Precious Promises of the Book of Mormon. Invite your group to listen for the promises identified in the article.
Many years ago I stood at the bedside of a young father as he hovered between life and death. His distraught wife and their two children stood nearby. He took my hand in his and, with a pleading look, said, “Bishop, I know I am about to die. Tell me what happens to my spirit when I do.”
I offered a silent prayer for heavenly guidance and noticed on his bedside table a copy of the triple combination. I reached for the book and fanned the pages. Suddenly I discovered that I had, with no effort on my part, stopped at the 40th chapter of Alma in theBook of Mormon. I read these words to him:
“Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, … are taken home to that God who gave them life.
“And … the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow” (Alma 40:11–12).
As I continued to read about the Resurrection, a glow came to the young man’s face and a smile graced his lips. As I concluded my visit, I said good-bye to this sweet family.
I next saw the wife and children at the funeral. I think back to that night when a young man pleaded for truth and, from the Book of Mormon, heard the answer to his question.
From the Book of Mormon come other precious promises, including promises of peace, freedom, and blessings if we “will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12).
From its pages comes the promise of “never-ending happiness” to “those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual” (Mosiah 2:41).
From its pages comes the promise of “incomprehensible joy” to those who become “instrument[s] in the hands of God” in rescuing His precious sons and daughters (Alma 28:8; 29:9).
From its pages comes the promise that scattered Israel will be gathered—a work in which we are engaged through our great worldwide missionary efforts (see3 Nephi 16; 21–22).
From its pages comes the promise that as we pray unto the Father in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, our families will be blessed (see 3 Nephi 18:21).
From a study of its pages comes the fulfillment of the prophetic promise that “there will come into your lives and into your homes an added measure of the Spirit of the Lord, a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to His commandments, and a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.”1
And from the pages of the Book of Mormon comes Moroni’s promise that through prayer, real intent, and faith in Christ, we may know the truth of these promises “by the power of the Holy Ghost” (see Moroni 10:4–5).
With other latter-day prophets, I testify of the truthfulness of this “most correct of any book on earth,”2 even the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. Its message spans the earth and brings its readers to a knowledge of the truth. It is my testimony that the Book of Mormon changes lives. May each of us read it and reread it. And may we joyfully share our testimonies of its precious promises with all of God’s children.
Ask: Which promise stood out the most to you? Why?
Read aloud: In the Book of Mormon, we learn that if we hold to the iron rod, or the word of God, we will be safely guided through the trials of life. When times of trial or hardship may bring questions, doubt, and fear into our minds, we can read the scriptures to learn of God’s promises. The scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, are full of examples of God keeping His promises to His children. Today, we have made powerful covenants with God and can be assured that God will honor every blessing and promise He has made to us.
Ask: How does the knowledge of God keep His promises help in times of trouble?
Read aloud: Sometimes God’s timing isn’t our own. We may have to wait for God to fulfill His promises to us. It is important to keep an eternal perspective. Elder Jeffery R. Holland said: “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”
Share any personal experiences you have about God keeping His promises and how the scriptures helps strengthen your faith in God’s will. Ask anyone else to share personal experiences they may have. Finish with your testimony.
Strawberry Popsicles or Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
-20 medium sized fresh strawberries, hulled
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 cup water
Add all ingredients into a blender and puree. Pour mixture into popsicle molds or Dixie cups. Place in freezer and freeze for at least 3 hours. After frozen, carefully remove from the molds and enjoy!
(Courtesy of The Frugal Girls)
Slice cucumbers into thirds or quarters. Place on top of a pretzel crisp. Spread or pipe cream cheese on top and sprinkle with dill. Top with another pretzel crisp.
(Courtesy of Pretzel Crisps)
Scripture Kickball or Book of Mormon Reading Race
Before you start:
-you’ll need a kickball, something for bases, and for the youth to bring scriptures
-use the same rules as kickball and divide into 2 teams
-ask scripture questions before each player kicks from home base
-players are allowed to get help from their team members
-be sure to mix up the Bible questions and Book of Mormon questions
-there is a 1 minute time limit for answering the question (this is just to keep the game moving)
-1 point for making it home
-2 points for answering a question correctly without their team members help
-1 point for answering a question correctly with their team members help
(Courtesy of Let’s Get Together)
Book of Mormon Reading Race
Have everyone get a copy of the Book of Mormon. Choose one person to start. The person who is chosen to be it opens up to a random spot in the Book of Mormon and begins reading. The first person to then find where they are reading and begin reading along gets a point. The next person then opens up and starts it over. Play as long as you’d like or until everyone has had the chance to go three times.