The Iron Rod is a hymn that EVERY Primary child will enjoy singing! Use these The Iron Rod Primary singing time ideas to engage your Primary children with this fun hymn!
That said, hymns can be hard to teach with their big words and less-familiar melodies. But if you focus on this hymn’s strong steady beat using rhythm sticks (or even pencils!) they will sing it over and over again. Your Primary will have it learned in no time!
Teach the hymn, The Iron Rod using these various singing time methods (click on the link to jump to that section):
History of the LDS Hymn The Iron Rod
This information comes from the Tabernacle Choir Blog.
The hymn was originally written for the Payson Sunday School in Utah, where both Townsend and Clayson [the composers] 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 Karen Lynn Davidson [author of Our Latter-Day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages]
The Iron Rod Lyrics
Find the sheet music to The Iron Rod on the Church’s website. Once you hear the lyrics, you’ll want to hold to the rod and never let to!
To Nephi, seer of olden time, A vision came from God, Wherein the holy word sublime Was shown an iron rod.
[Chorus] 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.
2. While on our journey here below, Beneath temptation’s pow’r, Through mists of darkness we must go, In peril ev’ry hour.
3. And when temptation’s pow’r is nigh, Our pathway clouded o’er, Upon the rod we can rely, And heaven’s aid implore.
4. And, hand o’er hand, the rod along, Through each succeeding day, With earnest prayer and hopeful song, We’ll still pursue our way.
5. Afar we see the golden rest To which the rod will guide, Where, with the angels bright and blest, Forever we’ll abide.
The Iron Rod Song Flip Chart
Find The Iron Rod lyrics in a printable flip chart format so you can easily post the words in your Primary!
Ideas for Teaching The Iron Rod to Primary
3. Pat Graham
Sister Pat Graham, who helped compile the Children’s Songbook and A Children’s Songbook Companion, put together singing time ideas for The Iron Rod during her 2020 workshop.
Access this in my Resource Library. Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.
6. Eraser Pass
For something quick and easy, Erica shared this idea on the PML FB group:
Write the lyrics up on the board and call on kids to come up and up and tell us how they can “hold to the rod.” Then erase a word and sing it again.
Leave your The Iron Rod Primary Singing Time Ideas
How will you teach The Iron Rod in singing time? Leave a comment with your suggestions and ideas!
These printables are filed on the Resource Library page under Song Title > The Iron Rod.