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1 Nephi 8
THE TREE OF LIFE
1 NEPHI 8
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Do you dream every night when you sleep?
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Have you ever been frustrated because
something woke you up in the middle of a dream?
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Have you ever dreamed about something
that actually happened later?
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Have you ever had a dream that gave you an
answer to a prayer?
Joseph Smith Senior:
"I thought," said he, "I was traveling in an
open, desolate field, which appeared to be
very barren. As I was thus traveling, the
thought suddenly came into my mind that I
had better stop and reflect upon what I was
doing. I beheld a beautiful stream of water, which ran from the east to
the west. Of this stream, I could see neither the source nor yet the
mouth; but as far as my eyes could extend I could see a rope, running
along the bank of it, about as high as a man could reach, and beyond
me was a low, but very pleasant valley, in which stood a tree such as I
had never seen before. It was exceedingly handsome, insomuch that I
looked upon it with wonder and admiration. Its beautiful branches
spread themselves somewhat like an umbrella, and it
bore a kind of fruit, in shape much like a
chestnut bur, and as white as snow, or,
if possible, whiter.
I drew near and began to eat of it, and I found
it delicious beyond description. As I was eating,
I said in my heart, 'I cannot eat this alone, I
must bring my wife and children, that they may
partake with me.' Accordingly, I went and brought my family, which
consisted of a wife and seven children, and we all commenced eating
and praising God for this blessing. We were exceedingly happy,
insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed. While thus
engaged, I beheld a spacious building standing opposite the valley
which we were in, and it
appeared to reach to the very heavens. It was
full of doors and windows, and they were all
filled with people, who were very finely dressed.
When these people observed us in the low valley,
under the tree, they pointed the finger of scorn
at us, and treated us with all manner of
disrespect and contempt.
I presently turned to my guide and inquired of him the meaning of the
fruit that was so delicious. He told me it was the pure love of God, shed
abroad in the hearts of all those who love him, and keep his
commandments.
The more we ate, the more we seemed to desire, until we even got
down upon our knees and scooped it up, eating it by double handfuls.
I soon awoke, clapping my hands together for joy."
Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith by
His Mother, p.48,50
WHICH INTERPRETATION OF
LEHI’S VISION DO YOU LIKE BEST?
WHAT IS THE CENTER OF THE DREAM?
David A. Bednar,
Lehi’s Dream:
Holding Fast to
the Rod, Ensign,
October 2011.
The central feature in Lehi’s dream is
the tree of life—a representation of “the
love of God” (see 1 Nephi 11:21–22).
“For God so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, but have everlasting life” (John
3:16). Thus, the birth, life, and atoning
sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ are the
greatest manifestations of God’s love for
His children.
1 NEPHI 8
Read 1 Ne 8:1-4
Symbol
Lehi’s Dream
Field
1_Nephi 8:7-9
Tree and fruit
1Nephi 8:10-16
Rod of iron
1Nephi 8:19–20
Mist of darkness 1Nephi 8:23
Great and spacious 1Nephi 8:26-27
Cross-Reference
1Nephi 11:21–22, 25
1Nephi 15:23–24
1Nephi 12:17
1Nephi 12:18
Interpretation
1 NEPHI 8
Read 1 Ne 8:1-4
Symbol
Field
Lehi’s Dream
1_Nephi 8:7-9
Cross-Reference
Interpretation
The World
Tree and fruit
1Nephi 8:10-16
1Nephi 11:21–22, 25
Love of God
Rod of iron
1Nephi 8:19–20
1Nephi 15:23–24
Word of God
Mist of darkness
1Nephi 8:23
1Nephi 12:17
Temptations
Great and spacious 1Nephi 8:26-27
1Nephi 12:18
Pride of the world
4 GROUPS
1.
2.
3.
4.
1st Nephi 8:18
1st Nephi 8:21-23
1st Nephi 8:24-28
1st Nephi 8:30
“Father Lehi saw four groups of
people in his dream. Three of the
groups were pressing forward along
the strait and narrow path seeking
to obtain the tree and its fruit (one
group fell away from the path, the
second and third groups both
arrived at the tree but only one
stayed after arrival). A fourth group
did not seek after the tree, desiring
the great and spacious building as
their ultimate destination
(see1 Nephi 8:31–33).”
(David A. Bednar, Lehi’s Dream: Holding Fast to the Rod, Ensign, October 2011).
1 NEPHI 8
Which of the four groups are you in?
Trick question– you only have two choices left.
Another symbol: 1 Nephi 8 with Matthew 13.
Lehi’s Dream
1Nephi 8:21–23
1Nephi 8:24–28
1Nephi 8:31–33
1Nephi 8:30
Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:3–4, 19
Matthew 13:5–6, 20–21
Matthew 13:7, 22
Matthew 13:8, 23
Interpretation
WAYSIDE (Lost; rejected the Word)
STONEY (Ashamed)
THORNS (Temptations)
GOOD (Never fell away)
1 NEPHI 8
1 NEPHI 8
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What obstacles did the people in Lehi’s vision face?
What form do those obstacles take today?
What helped the people reach the tree and partake of
the fruit?
In what ways is an iron rod like the word of God?
What do you think it means to “press forward”?
CLINGING VS. HOLDING FAST
David A. Bednar,
Lehi’s Dream:
Holding Fast to
the Rod, Ensign,
October 2011.
“What, then, is the difference
between clinging and holding fast to
the rod of iron? Let me suggest that
holding fast to the iron rod entails, in
large measure, the prayerful,
consistent, and earnest use of the holy
scriptures as a sure source of revealed
truth and as a reliable guide for the
journey along the strait and narrow
path to the tree of life—even to the
Lord Jesus Christ.”
CLINGING VS. HOLDING FAST
David A. Bednar,
Lehi’s Dream:
Holding Fast to
the Rod, Ensign,
October 2011.
“Are you and I daily reading,
studying, searching the scriptures
in a way that enables to hold fast to
the rod of iron—or are you and
merely clinging?
“Are you and I pressing forward
toward the fountain of living
waters—relying upon the word of
God? These are important
questions for each of us to ponder
prayerfully”
THREE ELEMENTS
Elder Neil L. Andersen,
“Hold Fast to the
Words of the
Prophets”, CES Fireside
for Young Adults •
March 4, 2007 •
Brigham Young
University
What three elements in Lehi’s dream assisted
people in making it to the Tree of Life?
“The word of God contains three very strong
elements that intertwine and sustain one
another to form an immovable rod: First, the
scriptures. The second is personal revelation
through the Holy Ghost. The third part is the
words of the living prophets.
President Packer said it this way: ‘If you hold to
the rod, you can feel your way forward with the
gift of the Holy Ghost. . . .Grasp the iron rod, and
do not let go. Through the power of the Holy
Ghost, you can feel your way through life. (See 3
Nephi 18:25; D&C 9:8.)”
1 NEPHI 8
Read 1 Nephi 8:36–38 looking for how Lehi handled Laman and Lemuel’s
rejection.

Have your parents ever stopped speaking to you or a sibling that
wouldn’t listen?

How have your parents tried to convert you to the gospel and Jesus?
So what is the tree of life? See 1 Ne 11:4-6, 20-22.
Why a tree? Of all things to represent Jesus, why a tree???
Sing “The Iron Rod” (Hymns, no. 274).
1 Nephi 8
THE TREE OF LIFE

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