President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke to students about the importance of clinging to the iron rod at Tuesday's devotional in the Marriott Center.
His address will be broadcast again Jan. 28 on KBYU-TV at 6 and 11 a.m. and on BYU Television at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
"You . . . live in a time of war, the spiritual war that will never end. War itself now dominates the affairs of mankind," President Packer told students. He invoked the imagery of Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon and the iron rod to help students understand the test of life.
After you gain a testimony, President Packer said, the iron rod will direct your path, even through mists of darkness; ". . . at times you will not be able to see your way very clearly. But you can feel your way. Grasp the iron rod, and do not let go. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, you can feel your way through."
President Packer warned students of the trials that would come, saying "You are never safe. It is after you have partaken of that fruit [from the Tree of Life] that your test will come." It is in the little things, he said, that you will be tested.
In this time of war, there will be those who mock the faithful. Citing Book of Mormon examples, he cautioned students that "The types of Sherem, Nehor and Korihor live among us today . . . You who are young will see many things that will try your courage and extend your faith." Continuing, he said "All of the mocking does not come from outside the Church. Be careful that you do not fall into that category."
Despite the trials, despite the mockery of the world, President Packer promised students they would be safe if they "look like, and groom like, and act like an ordinary Latter-day Saint: dress modestly, attend your meetings, pay tithes, take the sacrament, honor the priesthood, follow your leaders, read the scriptures, study the Book of Mormon, pray always. An unseen power will hold to your hand as you hold to the iron rod."