This week we are studying one of the pivotal stories in the Book of Mormon, Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life.

You can also find it on any of these platforms by searching for Meridian Magazine-Come Follow Me.

Maurine and Scot Proctor have taught Book of Mormon for many years in Institute and have spent extensive time in the Arabian peninsula, following Lehi’s trail. They are the creators of a foundation that has sponsored a multi-year archaeological study of the best candidate for Nephi’s Bountiful in Oman. They have written a book on the Book of Mormon, as well as immersed themselves in the culture, history, and geography. of the scripture.

Join our study group and let’s delve into the scriptures in a way that is inspiring, expanding and joyful.

Scot

I remember once being so tired as we made our way out of a remote area of the Sinai Desert in Egypt.  It was night and we wanted to drive all the way back to Cairo but we were just too exhausted from having hiked Mt. Sinai at 2:00 o’clock that morning.  We pulled over to rest.  We got off the main road and pulled up onto a small hill.  We watched from our perch, as an occasional car would go by.  And then it happened.  We watched as a dark mist or fog rolled in like a slow-motion wave of the sea.  We were both wide awake now—the mist completely obscured our view of the road below us—we could no longer see headlights or anything.  It was almost an inky black. This was the mist of darkness Lehi had talked about!

Maurine

Hello!  We’re Scot and Maurine Proctor and this is Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me Podcast.  This week we are studying one of the pivotal stories in the Book of Mormon, Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life.  Before we go on we have an interesting and wonderful surprise for you.  If you look at your lesson materials, you’ll see in the manual and online the lesson starts with a beautiful artist conception of Lehi’s Vision of the Tree of Life.  That painting has hung in the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City for more than 30 years.  We know the artist, Steven Lloyd Neal, very well.  That painting was the Grand Prize Winner of the First International Art Contest of the Church back in 1987.  Steven called us this past week and made an unbelievable offer:

Scot

That’s right, he said, “I’d like to give away Lithograph prints of that painting for just the cost of shipping and handling.  These beautiful prints measure 39 inches x 19 inches and are available in limited quantities.  For just $10, Steven Lloyd Neal’s staff will put these in a shipping tube and ship them anywhere in the United States.  That is literally giving them away.  Trust us, Steve is one of the most generous people we have ever met and he will share these with you as promised (as long as he has inventory).  So, those of you who are Friday listeners will get your first chance at these:  Go to latterdaysaintmag.com/treeoflife and we’ll have these beautiful lithograph prints of the Tree of Life Vision there for you, again, for just $10 for shipping and handling.

Maurine

It’s worth it for your family just to study the painting and 1 Nephi chapter 8 and find the symbols and talk about them with your children.   We’ll give you just one hint about the painting:  Steve fashioned the Tree of Life itself after a hand—the hand of God extending to offer its fruit to all mankind.  And you’ll love studying the massive building on the right side of the painting—the depiction of the great and spacious building.  Again, go to latterdaysaintmag.com/treeoflife to order your free lithograph print today. 

And thanks to Paul Cardall for his beautiful music that opens and closes this podcast.

We love the Vision of the Tree of life.  And do you realize, Scot, that in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, the Tree of Life Vision is in one larger chapter—named Chapter 2—coupled with the bringing of Ishmael and his family to the tent of Lehi—That 1830 edition chapter 2 starts with 1 Nephi 6:1 and goes through the end of 1 Nephi Chapter 9.  Read those chapters together and it will make a difference in your understanding.

Scot

That’s right.  And a careful reading shows that the preamble and beginning of the Tree of Life Vision is all about gathering seeds—and gathering families together that they might have seed in the Promised Land—including gathering Ishmael’s family so that Lehi and Sariah’s boys could have wives.  It’s very telling of the message of this great vision.

Now, you have to understand Lehi and his background to more fully understand this vision.

Lehi is of the tribe of Manasseh.  He is naturally a man of the desert.  Manasseh lived deep in the desert and therefore he is familiar with the characteristics, atmosphere and environment of the desert.

Dr. Hugh Nibley wrote:  “Lehi possesses in a high degree the traits and characteristics of the model sheikh of the desert. He is generous, noble, impulsive, fervent, devout, and visionary, and he possesses a wonderful capacity for eloquence and dreams. As to the dreams, when the Arabs wander, they feel they must be guided by dreams, and their sheikhs are often gifted dreamers. The substance of Lehi’s dreams is highly significant, since men’s dreams necessarily represent, even when inspired, the things they see by day, albeit in strange and wonderful combinations.”  (John W. Welch, Hugh Nibley, Darrell L. Matthews, Stephen R. Callister; Lehi in the Desert/The World of the Jaredites/There were Jaredites; Deseret Book Company, 1952, p. 41.)

Maurine

In fact, Scot, I think we often focus on our amazing hero figure, Nephi—and he is indeed amazing—but sometimes we look upon Lehi in a secondary position—but this is one remarkable and great prophet, who knows how to bring his family through the desert, and lead his challenging family in circumstances that were some of the hardest on earth.

Scot

And by the way, Maurine, as you know whenever you and I are in the Arabian Peninsula and people ask us what we are doing there I tell them we are researching a Prophet who came through this area about 2,600 years ago by the name of Lehi (lay-he).  They never are surprised, they just immediately try to remember if they’ve ever heard of this Lehi prophet.  Prophets are well accepted in that culture.

Maurine

So, Lehi is, above all, concerned about gathering his own seed into the safety of the fold of Jesus Christ.  He is absolutely obedient to the commands of the Lord.  He has been shown a number of visions and with all his heart (like all of us) he wants his family to be with him for eternity.  And there is only one way for that to happen and that is if they all come to Christ and receive of the fruit that He alone has to offer.

I think this dream or vision of the Tree of Life was likely a direct answer to Lehi’s personal prayers about his own family.  It’s a tender and personal dream.

Scot

It certainly is. 

The Tree of Life is a ubiquitous symbol and permeates most every culture in the world.  We have found them nearly everywhere in our extensive travels throughout the world. 

The Tree of Life is represented as the Menorah in Israel.  In fact, one translation of the word Menorah (you recognize the end word there—Orah—Ur—Urim—light or lights)—means a flowing or stream of light—more simple, though, a lamp stand.

The Tree of Life is in Scandinavia and is called the Yggdrasil (igg dra sil).  It is very holy in Norse lore and cosmology and is a place where the Norse gods gathered.

The Tree of Life is found in the Persian culture; the Assyrian culture; it is found in Russia and China and India and in sub-cultures throughout the world.

Maurine

The Tree of Life was common in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and was represented by the massive Ceiba Tree.

In the Book of Enoch, those whose names were written in the Book of Life were given to eat the fruit of the Tree of Life.

And eating the fruit from the Tree of Life was thought to give eternal life in all these cultures. 

The real truth is that eating the fruit from the true Tree of Life indeed would bring eternal life.

Yet, one part of this dream or vision for Lehi as a desert man is more like a nightmare.

Scot

Dr. Nibley records:  “In his dream Lehi finds himself wandering “in a dark and dreary waste,” a “dark and dreary wilderness,” where he must travel “for the space of many hours in darkness,” lost and helpless (1 Nephi 8:4-8). Of all the images that haunt the early Arab poets this is by all odds the commonest; it is the standard nightmare of the Arab; and it is the supreme boast of every poet that he has traveled long distances through dark and dreary wastes all alone. 

Maurine

“Invariably darkness is given as the main source of terror (the heat and glare of the day, though nearly always mentioned, are given second place),” Nibley continues, “and the culminating horror is almost always a “mist of darkness,” a depressing mixture of dust, and clammy fog, which, added to the night, completes the confusion of any who wander in the waste. Quite contrary to what one would expect, these dank mists are described by travelers in all parts of Arabia, and al-Ajajj, one of the greatest of early desert poets, tells how a “mist of darkness” makes it impossible for him to continue a journey to Damascus. In its nature and effect Lehi’s “mist of darkness” (1 Nephi 8:23) conforms to this strange phenomenon most exactly.” (Lehi in the Desert/The World of the Jaredites/There were Jaredites, p. 41-42.)

Scot

Maurine, you remember that mist of darkness we saw in the Sinai, don’t you?

Maurine

Oh! How could I ever forget it?  It was indelibly printed on my mind and heart.  It came in like a large, slow motion wave or fog or river flowing over its banks that was 15 or 20 feet high and when it rolled in it completely obscured everything.  It was like “thick darkness” and was impenetrable by sight.  It looked like something out of a Cecil B. DeMille movie—it was eerie and haunting and made the description given three times by the Prophet Lehi of the “mist of darkness” very real.

We’ll talk in a few minutes about how the people were able to get through this near impenetrable mist of darkness.

Scot

As many of you know, Joseph Smith’s father, Joseph Smith, Sr. also had a vision of the Tree of Life. This was one of seven visions he had before his son Joseph would have his First Vision.  Listen to some details of this vision:


“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 before I went any farther. So I asked myself, ‘What motive can I have in traveling here, and what place can this be?’

“My guide, who was by my side as before, said, ‘This is the desolate world, but travel on.’ The road was so broad and barren that I wondered why I should travel in it, for, said I to myself, ‘Broad is the road, and wide is the gate that leads to death, and many there be that walk therein; but narrow is the way, and strait is the gate that leads to everlasting life, and few there be that go in thereat.’

Maurine

“Traveling a short distance further, I came to a narrow path,” he continued.  “This path I entered, and, when I had traveled a little way in it, 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 gazed upon the same with considerable interest, and as I was doing so, the burs or shells commenced opening and shedding their particles, or the fruit which they contained, which was of dazzling whiteness. I drew near and began to eat of it, and I found it delicious beyond description. (Smith, Lucy Mack edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor, The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1996, pp. 64-65)

Scot

Maurine, now let’s look at Lehi’s vision and see the remarkable parallels.  This is found, of course in the 8 chapter of 1 Nephi.

Lehi finds himself in a dark and dreary wilderness.  Don’t we all find ourselves in that same kind of place at times?  Life can be dark and dreary—even on a sunny day.  The light that we seek really starts from within, given as a gift from the Lord.

Lehi is met by a guide dressed in a white robe—an angel who gives him guidance and direction. 

Maurine

I wonder how many times we are actually guided and directed by angels unaware. I think they are around us all the time.  We are promised that the Lord will be on our right hand and on our left and that angels will be round about us to bear us up. (See D&C 84:88)  We need to understand that these are not metaphors—they are reality.

Now Lehi goes from this wilderness into a dark and dreary waste.  This part is very difficult for him.  A waste can be without water, without food, without light or guidance and, for a desert man, this would be the most frightening of all.  And for each of us, the wastelands of our lives can be when we are not as close to the Spirit, when our endurance has worn thin, and our trials seem greater than our strength. 

In this situation Lehi cries unto the Lord for his tender mercies to come upon him.  And his prayer is answered.

Scot

It was at this point that Lehi comes to a large and spacious field and he first sees the tree that is abundant in fruit that is “desirable to make one happy.” (1 Nephi 8:10)

Lehi struggles to describe this fruit as anyone would who is seeing something infused with celestial light.  In the desert his family would have been living off of Jamid—which looks like a roll but is hard as a rock and is rehydrated into a sort of herbal soup.  And the family would have had dried figs and dates—now he sees a fruit unlike anything he’s ever imagined.  He said its whiteness was beyond any whiteness he’d ever seen.

Here Lehi is beginning to describe the joy of the Atonement and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And in both cases with Lehi and Joseph Smith, Sr., their immediate desire when they had tasted of this most delicious fruit was to share it with their family!

Scot

Here’s Lehi: 

12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit. (1 Nephi 8:12)

And I love how Joseph Sr. describes the experience:

“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…. we all rejoiced together. 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.”  Later in the vision the angel tells Joseph to bring his other children.  He says he has no more but the angel said there were two others.  He gathered them in as well—yet-to-be-born Don Carlos and little Lucy.  (The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, p. 65-66)

Maurine

Isn’t it the case with each of us when we experience something that fills us with joy we immediately want to share that experience with those that we most care about, those that we love so much.

I know many times when we are in a very wonderful place, full of beauty and full of wonder and our hearts our filled with joy we say, “Oh, how I wish all the children and grandchildren were here with us and could experience this amazing place with us!” 

Haven’t you had that same experience in your lives?

Now, let’s get to that question:  How did the people get to the Tree of Life?

Scot

We all know that anyone who was going to make it to the Tree of Life had to grasp hold of the iron rod which ran along a narrow path that led to the tree.  And in the dream or vision Lehi saw “numberless concourses” of people “pressing forward” that they might get to the path that led to the tree.

It’s at this point that troubles begin—a mist of darkness rolled in and obscured their vision and many lost their way immediately.  Those who absolutely held fast to the iron rod made their way to the tree through the mist of darkness.

Haven’t you seen this so much in your personal ministries and in your full-time missions?  Your families who are less active or your investigators who have not yet tasted of the fruit start down the path of learning the gospel, taking the lessons, being fellowshipped and it seems that all hell breaks loose at that point.  Well-meaning relatives step in to give them loving advice about staying away from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Sincere ministers and priests of other faiths step in and give the person who has set her foot on the path some literature or websites that will “help” them make a good decision.

Maurine

These mists of darkness come is all forms.  We have seen investigators come through the mists and are ready to receive Jesus Christ through the ordinances He has established of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands—and the day of the baptism, something happens to stop them, a flat tire, a begging parent or sibling, a well-meaning friend.  They let go of the iron rod at the very moment they need to hold fast and they wander off and are lost.

Of course we know that the “rod of iron” is the word of God and those who followed it, obeyed it, clung to it, held fast to it, did not stray from it—made it safely to the Tree of Life.

Let’s talk about that rod of iron.  We all love the scriptures, don’t we?  You wouldn’t be listening to this podcast if you didn’t love them.  Our holy scriptures and the words of the living prophets and apostles are the word of God. 

Scot

Carefully studying this vision of Lehi makes me want to cling to those words with all my hearts and with all my might and with all my strength. 

We really must hold fast to the rod of iron in this world with fingers pointing and scoffers cackling and mists of darkness rolling in over the path and rivers of tempting waters to our sides, and a narrow path to stay on—our only hope is to hold to the rod. 

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.” (Hymns, no 274)

Maurine

But here’s where we’re introduced to even more trouble for those who have come to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life.  We see this in Lehi’s vision and in Joseph Smith, Sr.’s vision:

Here’s from Lehi:

25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.

Oh!  Isn’t shame one of the most effective weapons of mass destruction in Satan’s arsenal?!

Of course, Lehi noticed that these people were all-of-the-sudden ashamed so he looked around and saw that great and spacious building which represents Babylon or the world and it was filled with “people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.” (1 Nephi 8:27)
 
Scot

And here is Joseph Smith Sr.’s description:

“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. But their contumely [which means their arrogance, disdain and rudeness] we utterly disregarded.” (The Revised and Enhanced History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, p. 65-66)

So, those of us who want to partake of the fruit of the Tree will face some trials getting there and some possible problems once we are there.  This is a perfect view of our current world.

That reminds me of that piece you did on Meridian once Maurine, “What if Nehor and Korihor had a Blog?”  You talked about how they might have mocked believers.

Maurine

That’s right.  His blog might read, “Can’t we just talk about your foolish doctrines? Can’t we revise your old, repressive sexual morality?”

“’Foolish’, in fact, is a favorite word of Korihor’s. He reminds the believers that their hopes are ‘foolish’ and that they are yoked to ‘foolish’ things. He is superbly arrogant, as if his viewpoint were the only rational and defensible one. As for the believers their naïve acceptance of the gospel was the effect of ‘a frenzied mind’ and ‘the derangement of your minds.’

It is surprisingly effective to call people foolish—or any modern variation on that theme.” So, here in Lehi’s dream many simply crumpled in shame.

“As believers, we may all experience what it is to have ridicule heaped upon us for our views, which have become politically incorrect. Many assume that the religious are less intelligent. (See https://latterdaysaintmag.com/what-if-nehor-and-korihor-had-a-blog/)

Scot

So it truly is this way and this vision of Lehi is very much a reflection of our day.  We’ve been happily partaking of this most delicious, wonderful fruit for a long time and then someone comes along and begins to make fun of or degrade or deride or denigrate some part of the history of the Church—there’s those fingers pointing at us from the great and spacious building.  Or the Church remains firm, steadfast and immovable on the laws of God concerning marriage and there go those fingers pointing at us again from the great and spacious building.  Or, the Church is under fire because of this or that (we see it in the news now and again)—and we can say, ‘Oh, there are those pointing fingers again from the great and spacious building!’

Maurine

And it’s so interesting that this great and spacious building in Lehi’s vision doesn’t seem to have any foundation—“it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.” (1 Nephi 8: 26)  Isn’t that so much like the philosophies of men, high and mighty and so often without foundation?  Isn’t that like the ridicule and disdain we sometimes receive from people—all without foundation. 

I love what Hugh Nibley wrote about this from the perspective of Lehi as a man of the desert:

When Lehi dreams of the vanity of the world, he sees “a large and spacious building,” suspended in the air out of reach and full of smart and finely dressed people (1 Nephi 12:188:26). That is exactly how the Bedouin of the desert, to whom the great stone houses of the city are an abomination, pictures the wicked world; and as the city Arabs still mock their desert cousins (whom they secretly envy) with every show of open contempt, so the well-dressed people in the big house “were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers” (1 Nephi 8:27) at the poor little band of bedraggled wanderers, hungrily eating fruit from a tree, and duly abashed that their poverty should be put to open shame. One is reminded by Lehi’s imagery of the great stone houses of the ancient Arabs, “ten- and twelve-story skyscrapers that . . . represent genuine survivals of ancient Babylonian architecture,” with their windows beginning, for the sake of defense, fifty feet from the ground. At night these lighted windows would certainly give the effect of being suspended above the earth.”  (Lehi in the Desert/The World of the Jaredites/There were Jaredites, p. 42.)

Scot

We’ve seen those very structures in the Arabian Peninsula haven’t we, Maurine?  I wish we could take each of you listeners into the Arabian world and on Lehi’s Trail.  All this comes to life in that forsaken desert!

Maurine

You know, Scot, we learn from the record that we only have a small part of Lehi’s vision—kind of reminds me of the Prophet Joseph’s First Vision. 

29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father [and he says later that those words were many] (1 Nephi 8:29, 36)

We are left being given a general overview of the vision and some of the many things that Lehi saw and then we’re left on our own.  Or are we?

Nephi will now show us a pattern that all of us can follow.

Let’s turn to 1 Nephi chapter 10 verse 17 and see the pattern.

Scot

Oh Maurine, I do love this verse so much.  Let’s read it together:

17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men. (1 Nephi 10:17, emphasis added)

That’s like the best kept secret in the gospel—that these things are available to all who seek them in faith.

Maurine

It’s the same thing the Prophet Joseph said:  “God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them.”  (History of the Church, 3:380; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on June 27, 1839, in Commerce, Illinois; reported by Willard Richards.)

What an invitation from Nephi and from the Prophet Joseph!

Scot

And President Russell M. Nelson has taught:  “Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!… I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that “if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal… Nothing opens the heavens quite like the combination of increased purity, exact obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on the words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, and regular time committed to temple and family history work.” (Nelson, Russell M., Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives, April 2018)

Maurine

So, Nephi is teaching us the pattern.  He had great desires to see and hear and know the things that his father Lehi had experienced.  And then he humbles himself and prays and receives that same vision again.   He tells us that by the power of the Holy Ghost we may know these things. We will look at Nephi’s approach in detail in our next podcast. 

I have to go back for just a moment and talk about one verse at the end of Lehi’s account. In this great vision, Lehi saw that Sariah and Sam and Nephi all came and partook of the fruit of the Tree of Life—and Lehi rejoiced in this.  But Lehi could not get Laman and Lemuel to come and partake of the fruit.  This broke Lehi’s heart.  Of course, like all of us, he wanted all his family to come and partake of the fruit—to have the fullness of the Gospel in their lives.

And here’s the verse that I love:

37 And he did exhort them then with all the feeling of a tender parent, that they would hearken to his words, that perhaps the Lord would be merciful to them, and not cast them off; yea, my father did preach unto them. (1 Nephi 8:37)

Don’t you find yourself in that position so often with your own children?

Scot

This reminds me so much of what our dear friend, Larry Barkdull, once wrote for Meridian:

“It all comes down to the one—one person. Although God makes stars, they are not His primary occupation; He is in the business of redeeming His children. All creation points to the rearing and redemption of the one; everything that God does is for the one. He said, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.”  One redeemed soul has the potential of becoming like God, a creator of infinite creations and the parent of infinite beings. God simply does not create anything, let alone children, with the expectation of failure.

“What does this means for parents of wayward children? God is completely dedicated to His work. While nothing trumps agency, when it comes to reclaiming and redeeming His children, there is simply no one better than God. Utilizing His complete arsenal of perfections—knowledge, power, love, etc.—He foresees every child’s situation, provides for a Savior and a saving solution, endows that solution with power, and sets out in love to assemble every resource in heaven and on earth to rescue the one.

“This is the God we believe in.”

(Barkdull, Larry, Does God Remember Your Wayward Child?, Meridian Magazine, republished April 28, 2019.  You can link to the article here:  https://latterdaysaintmag.com/does-god-remember-your-wayward-child/)

Maurine

I count on this God of personal redemption.  I count on His perfect help in imperfect circumstances.  There are many times when we have just done all we can to help a wayward child or have tried to save someone we love from a lot of pain and we realize that He, the Lord, is the mighty one of Israel, the one whose merits and mercy are mighty to save.

Scot

And we cannot obtain eternal life without coming to this dazzling, beautiful Tree of Life and utterly disregarding the fingers of scorn of the world, the shame and disdain of the world—and fall down with our families at the Tree and partake of the fruit of eternal life. 

I just have to repeat how Joseph Smith, Sr. recorded this:

“We were exceedingly happy, insomuch that our joy could not easily be expressed…. we all rejoiced together. 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.”  This is feasting on the word of Christ.  This is feasting at the Table of the Lord.  This is coming to Him who freely gives eternal life to all who will seek it.

Maurine

That’s all for today.  We’re so glad you joined us today.  Don’t forget you can get your free lithograph art print of the Tree of Life Vision by artist Stephen Lloyd Neal by just paying $10 for shipping and handling.  Go to latterdaysaintmag.com/treeoflife  This will be a wonderful addition to your home and for you and your families to study together. 

Next week our lesson covers 1 Nephi chapters 11-15 and is entitled “Armed with Righteousness and with the Power of God”

Scot

See you then!