Friday, April 21, 2017

How Lehi Comes to the Tree of Life: A Faster Way?

10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. (1 Nephi 8:10-11)

I was reading through the account of Lehi’s dream of the tree of life, and I suddenly noticed Lehi’s method of getting to the tree is a bit different than the other ways he describes. He doesn’t notice a path or an iron rod. He sees the tree, knows what it offers to him, and he goes forth and partakes of the fruit. It is like he is so focused on it that there are no obstacles, no distractions in his way.

Then, when at the tree, he looks around and wants other people to have it too. Then he begins to see the obstacles and distractions that others deal with. In the case of his family, they don’t seem to know which way to go, so Lehi calls to them to get to the path, and some grab the path and the tree while others want the great and spacious building.

I wonder if this difference in methods tells us that there is a faster way to the tree (the love of God) than the path and the iron rod. It seems like Lehi’s focus on the tree—see, want, get—gets him there faster. It reminds me of some stories of converts who as soon as they hear, they accept, act, and are blessed.  There have been a few gospel principles that I have adopted into my life that way. Others I have had to be convinced of over time through scripture study and my own experience and experimenting on the word.

So, I have to ask myself, do I see an offer of God’s love for me? Do I act to lay hold on it, or am I brought to the love of God through obedience and scripture study? I think I’ve been brought to it more gradually, but noticing this in Lehi’s dream shows me I could try looking for God’s love being offered me and act to respond.


Joan said...

Okay, thanks for the thoughtful question? After some discussion, re-reading the passages, and pondering, this is what I think: Lehi had already gone by way of the iron rod so he could re-visit the Tree of Life. For him it was a return visit. We all must overcome the world first.

Michaela Stephens said...

Interesting theory. Thanks for stopping by, Joan