“The way for each person and each family to guard against the slings and arrows of the Adversary and to prepare for the great day of the Lord is to hold fast to the iron rod, to exercise greater faith, to repent of our sins and shortcomings, and to be anxiously engaged in the work of His kingdom on earth, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Herein lies the only true happiness for all our Father’s children.”
President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Lord Expects Righteousness”, General Conference, October 1982
Today in fast & testimony meeting, the iron rod was mentioned a few times. What does it mean to hold “fast” to it? The well known definition of “fast” is “in a rapid manner or quick”, so does it mean to “grab it quickly”? (which we should anyways)
If you look up the definition of “fast”, the very first meaning defined is “firmly fixed”. Another meaning is “not easily freed”. Interesting enough is that another meaning is “firmly loyal”.
Holding fast to the iron rod could and does mean all of the above. When we hold fast to the iron rod, we are firmly fixed to it… where we are not easily freed. It shouldn’t be something where we can just let go. It should take considerable effort to let go. That’s how firmly, how fast, we need to hold on. Getting punched in the gut from Satan’s arrows or having our breath stolen for a bit from the furious winds will not, should not, cause us to let go.
The other meaning of firmly loyal, I take to imply that we will do whatever the iron rod teaches us to do, no matter what. Being loyal literally means “faithful”. Also, I take loyal to mean that we are never ashamed of the Book of Mormon.
So how do we get to the point where we can’t just let go? Daily reading or listening to the Book of Mormon, because we are told to, although important to do, will not make it to where we are holding fast. We could get knocked off or blown off.
Daily immersion, because we have a genuine desire, will strengthen our grip. Constant study, constant pondering, prayer, and, of course, application in our lives as we learn, will make us hold fast. Over time, we will not easily be able to let go.