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Vision of the Tree of Life - Part 6: The Mist of Darkness

View parts 1-5 HERE


I Nephi 8:  23 And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.

As the above scripture depicts, not everyone chooses to even catch hold of the iron rod. 

I have divided the next section of scriptures into two groups of people.

Group 1
 24 And it came to pass that 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.

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

26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.

 27 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.
 28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

(Compare these people with the Seeds In Stony Places in the Parable of the Sower.)

(Another comparison can be made when studying The Parable of the Ten Virgins. The five foolish virgins may have had a testimony of Christ, but their conversion was not solid, so when temptations or mist of darkness, came their 'light' was not strong enough to light their way. A close relationship to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and direction from the Holy Ghost are imperative if we desire to find our way through the mist of darkness and to the Tree of Life.)

Group 2
 29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.
 30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.

(Compare these people with the Seeds In Good Ground in the Parable of the Sower.)

What was the difference between the first group 
of people and the second group? 

Both groups caught hold of the iron rod, both groups made it through the mist of darkness to the tree and both groups partook of the fruit.

Fear vs Faith

Let's look at how each group held to the iron rod and what happened once they partook of the fruit.

Group 1: Lehi and Nephi describe these people as 'clinging' to the iron rod. Since the iron rod symbolizes the Word of God and Jesus Christ, it appears that they are complacent or sporadic in how they held to the rod. Also, the word 'cling' implies to me a certain amount of fear

Picture in your mind a little child 'clinging' to their parent. They are afraid and unable to move forward.

After partaking of the fruit, they became ashamed.

Group 2: These people were described as 'holding fast' to the rod. Regular gospel study, prayer, choosing the right, etc. keep our hands held tight to Christ and His word.

Once these people came to the tree, they fell down and partook of the fruit. They were humble and prayed. My own life is enriched every time I have humbled myself and acknowledged my dependence on Heavenly Father for getting me through my own personal mists of darkness. I have gained a deeper love and gratitude for Christ and His Atonement.

Everyone passes through mists of darkness - times when we cannot see clearly what is ahead of us, times when trials and temptations abound. It is our faith that keeps us holding fast.
I Nephi 12: 17 And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost.

Take a moment and ponder what is that that Satan doesn't want us to see?

The Tree
The Iron Rod
The River of Filthy Water

Why doesn't he want us to see these?

"Doesn't it make you deeply grateful to belong to a church with apostles and prophets at the head--knowing that one link will always hold, one light will never go out? As the world moves deeper and deeper into sin, this wonderful Church stands like a giant granite boulder. 

"Aren't you proud that the Church teaches us the truth? We don't have to wonder about earrings for boys and men, tattoos, spiked hair, the four-letter words, and obscene gestures. We have prophets who model the standards. They teach that the Ten Commandments are not outdated. The word of the Lord has thundered down through the generations: 'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain' (Ex. 20:7). Profaning God's name is a great offense to the Spirit, and to do so is Satan's great ploy to mock our God. . . .

"...aren't you thankful to God that the apostles and prophets never waver on sin? No matter how strong the winds of public opinion may blow, the Church is immovable...."  (Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, Conf. Report, October 1999)

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?