Lehi had a dream. And in this dream he saw a tree whose fruit was sweeter and more desirable than any other he had ever had in his life. This fruit was so desirable he shared it with his family and wished everyone could partake of this fruit. The joy it brought to his soul was “exceedingly great.” This joy is the joy available to us through the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.
Not long ago I was assigned to address my ward on the subject of living a covenant life. In the course of my preparations the Holy Ghost instructed me to study Lehi’s dream. These studies and subsequent discussions with my wife on the subject led me down a path of study and enlightenment that has transformed my understanding of Lehi’s dream and its importance to our understanding of the doctrine of Christ. I learned that living a covenant life is in fact the process of following the path to the tree and living in this way will open the full blessings God has to give us if we will endure to the end. I learned a great many other things which I hope to impart both in this and subsequent posts. Fundamentally my studies taught me that the entirety of Christ’s Gospel can be seen in and understood through Lehi’s dream.
Each element of Lehi’s dream is intended to help us understand how to seek, follow, and stay on the path to everlasting joy and to encourage us to take that path instead of any other. The symbols in the dream are also designed to make us aware of the pitfalls and deterents along the way which can have power to alter our course away from that joy. A few of them are as follows:
- The way – no other way than Jesus Christ
- The gate – baptism and repentance
- The rod – God’s word, the Holy Ghost
- The tree – the love of God, eternal life, Jesus Christ (God so loved the world)
- The fruit – the atonement of Jesus Christ
- The building – pride of the world, false happiness
- Multitudes – children of God, all attempting to find happiness
- Clinging – desperation
- Holding fast – personal autonomy with the use of a guide
From my studies I have learned one simple truth: each of us has the simple goal of being happy. Whatever other decisions or goals we make in life each is calculated to bring us happiness. The entire point of Lehi’s dream and Nephi’s subsequent vision is that there are two possibilities for seeking to find happiness: God’s way and Satan’s way. God’s way leads us to the tree whose fruit brings happiness and joy unlike any other; or we can choose the far more permissive and open path offered by Satan which leads only to our eternal captivity. It is our choice.
And so I begin yet another Russty Follower of Christ Project – one intended to study and understand Lehi’s dream in a way that will encourage us all to seek for the tree whose fruit “is desirable to make one happy.” Welcome to “Lehi’s Dream.”