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.
(Joseph L. Townsend, The Iron Rod, LDS Hymns, no. 274)
As we walk the road of life, we tend to collect things that make us feel safer and more sure of ourselves. These may be material possessions, titles or responsibilities, but in the end they amount to the same thing: a fleeting and superficial sense of security. It is only by holding fast to our beliefs that we can navigate life with any confidence.
The character in Hold to the Rod finds himself so burdened with the mundane objects he has collected that, while he hopefully eyes the rod, he cannot reach up to hold it for fear of losing something else. The man has become little more than a vehicle for his adornments. He demonstrates that what is truly important is keeping sight of our true belief and faith, that they alone will guide us through.