“The Iron Rod” is a hymn composed by William Clayson, with lyrics by Joseph L. Townsend. The hymn is number 274 in the 1985 hymnal but was originally written for the Payson Sunday School in Utah, where both Townsend and Clayson were Sunday School workers. The hymn was first included in the Deseret Sunday School Song Book in 1892.
The text for this uniquely Latter-day Saint hymn is based on an account in the Book of Mormon. In the book of 1 Nephi, chapter 8, Lehi saw a vision of the tree of life. “This hymn exhorts us toward our destiny; it also reminds us of the dangers that threaten us if we choose to release our hold on the one sure guide,” explained author Karen Lynn Davidson (Our Latter-Day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages , 274).View Full Story