I came across something interesting while continuing my study on Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life.
“I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.” (1 Ne 8:24)
I find it interesting that Lehi would describe these persons as clinging to the rod rather than merely holding on to it. As I sat thinking about this, two other scriptures came to mind.
“Then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate” (2 Ne 31:18)
“Whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall” (Moses 7:53)
So maybe holding the rod just doesn’t capture what’s required to climb the strait and narrow path. Maybe it’s just too difficult to merely hold on. Maybe those Lehi saw were clinging because the way is just too hard. And maybe they were confident that there was something much better at the end of the rod.