Day 10 S-366-LYDoG: “Hold to the Rod, the Iron Rod”
If you don’t already know this about me I’ll tell you now. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Some of you might know me better as a Mormon or a member of the LDS church. Others of you might be thinking, “Great, this chick is a member of that crazy Utah cult.”
Well, I can assure you, we are not a cult and as a whole we are not crazy. As for some of us individual members, I cannot vouch for mental states. I mean, I know I’m crazy but, that’s not due to my religious beliefs.
Anyway, the reason I tell you this is not to make fun of my religion, although you may be tempted. I actually want to explain the title of my post. We are Christians, believe it or not, and we believe in the bible just the same as most Christians. We also have other scripture that I’m sure you’ve heard of, it’s called the Book of Mormon. We refer to all of the above as the word of God.
There is a story in our Book of Mormon that refers to a prophet in ancient times here on the American continent who had a dream, or vision if you will, where a visual representation of the scriptures was depicted as a rod of iron. This rod, or the word of God, led to a tree and if you ate the fruit of that tree it was meant to give you eternal life. Those in this prophet’s dream who did not heed the word of God holding tightly to this iron rod were lost in a mist of darkness representing the lies that Satan tells us which keep us from eternal life.
The reason I give you this background is so that you will understand the reference of the following song. One of my favorite songs that we sing in the LDS church is called The Iron Rod. The chorus is sung, “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.”
Now, I know that many of my readers have different beliefs. My thoughts today are not meant to cause offense or to detract from your personal ideals. Rather I mean to share with you what I am most grateful for today and that is guidance from God. When I am struggling, which is often; When I am in pain or suffering, I know I can turn to him and he will provide answers to my prayers. One of the ways that he does this is as I’m reading my scriptures.
I know that they are the word of God and I cling to them with all of my heart. They have, quite literally, saved my life. During the months leading up to my separation, I was battling depression. Deep, dark depression that was pulling me under on a daily basis. It was a struggle to get out of bed, let alone function in any other capacity. I’ve written about this before, but at night I would attempt to suffocate myself in my pillow. At my lowest, I would lay there and imagine the concoctions I could put together with the drugs I had left over from various surgeries and sleep medications.
It was awful and I couldn’t see a way out. One night, in particular, I lay sobbing and praying that I might die in my sleep. All I remember was that I reached over and held my scriptures to my heart and pressed until the pressure literally felt like they were holding me together. During that night I remembered several versus of comfort that seemed to pour straight from the pages into my aching soul. I know that there is power to be had in studying the word of God and that night my study and my love of the scriptures kept me anchored in my swirling emotions.
The next morning I awoke still cradling those books and I thanked my Father in Heaven for allowing me another day to make things better.
I’ll leave you on this lovely Sabbath with one of the scriptures that kept running through my mind that night. It is from the King James version of the bible.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”