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Vision of the Tree of Life - Part 1: Introduction


“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

The Lord often teaches His servants through dreams. Some of the most meaningful revelations contained in the scriptures came in dreams.

Lehi and his son Nephi are prophets that lived in Jerusalem around 600 BC. Through revelation, Lehi was warned to take his family from Jerusalem before it fell into the hands of Babylon. As they were journeying through the wilderness, Lehi received this dream known as - Lehi's Dream, or The Vision of the Tree of Life. Later, Nephi wished to see and understand his fathers dream. Nephi was also blessed to have the same vision.

(NOTE: Lehi and the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah are contemporaries. Nephi lived in Jerusalem the same time as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - compare Daniel and 1 Nephi )



"The Tree of Life in Ancient CulturesThe Book of Mormon brought the tree of life to our attention long before modern scholarship revealed how common the tree was in ancient history. The symbol of that tree pervades the art and literature of every Mediterranean culture from centuries before the time of Lehi until well after the time of Moroni."




1 Nephi 8 Chapter Heading: Lehi sees a vision of the tree of life—He partakes of its fruit and desires his family to do likewise—He sees a rod of iron, a strait and narrow path, and the mists of darkness that enshroud men—Sariah, Nephi, and Sam partake of the fruit, but Laman and Lemuel refuse. About 600–592 B.C.

The following excerpts are taken from Understanding the Dream as Visionary Literature  By Charles Swift

"Leland Ryken, a noted scholar in the field of the Bible as literature, has defined visionary literature as 'pictur[ing] settings, characters, and events that differ from ordinary reality. This is not to say that the things described in visionary literature did not happen in past history or will not happen in future history. But it does mean that the things as pictured by the writer at the time of writing exist in the imagination, not in empirical reality.'

"Most elements of the vision point to Jesus Christ. Lehi’s vision comports well with the genre of ancient visionary literature, a form that biblical scholarship has shown to be worthy of serious scholarly attention."

As we study The Vision of the Tree of Life, here are some of the major symbols we will be looking at in future posts. Understanding what they mean and how they apply to us is of great worth.
  • A Man Dressed In White
  • A Large and Spacious Field
  • A Tree Whose Fruit was Desirable to Make One Happy
  • The River of Filthy Water
  • The Rod of Iron and The Straight and Narrow Path
  • The Midst of Darkness
  • The Large and Spacious Building

There a basically 4 groups of people described in this vision. As we discuss these groups, you will find an interesting comparison between the 4 groups and those in The Parable of The Sower .


Disclaimer: In no way do I profess to be an expert in the field of ancient history or scripture.


 With love and gratitude,
  

Each of us lead a life filled with miracles, we just need to pause and see them! What's new and good with you?