Lehi’s Dream – 1 Nephi 8:1-38

1 And it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind. [They had brought various dried fruit and grains.]

2 And it came to pass that while my father tarried in the wilderness he spake unto us, saying: Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision. [A vision is often similar to a daylight dream, where you are awake yet seeing something in the Spirit.]

3 And behold, because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam; for I have reason to suppose that they, and also many of their seed, will be saved.

4 But behold, Laman and Lemuel, I fear exceedingly because of you; for behold, methought I saw in my dream, a dark and dreary wilderness. [the world]

5 And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.

6 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.

7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste. [The Adversary often deceives us as a being of light.]

8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, [Lehi’s vision was leading nowhere, as he struggled to see. He began to feel the need for God’s help. This is often the pattern for those seeking divine guidance. Often, we are allowed to be deceived that we may know the good from the evil.]  I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies. [As we pray for deliverance we are blessed.]

9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field. [The beginning of the true vision. The field is leading to the purpose of the vision.]

10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, [representing Christ] whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. [Eternal Life]

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. [Although a vision, the fruit of the Tree of Life is a tangible real fruit, which exists at the Throne of God. Each person who will receive Eternal Life must partake. I have eaten of this fruit and it is as Lehi describes. It reminds me of the flavor of a sweet Nashi with the texture of soft pineapple, wrapped in a white husk.]

12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; [exquisite love and 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. [The fruit itself plays an important role in the Everlasting Covenant.]

13 And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit.

14 And I looked to behold from whence it came; and I saw the head thereof a little way off; and at the head thereof I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go. [The beginning of each person’s spiritual journey.]

15 And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit. [Often the Lord teaches us through symbolic visions or dreams to prepare us for future events. The key is to ask and discover the meaning to the dream.]

16 And it came to pass that they did come unto me and partake of the fruit also.

17 And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river, that perhaps I might see them.

18 And it came to pass that I saw them, [In our visions we see that which we desire to look upon.] but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit.

19 And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.

20 And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, [This path represents the commandments, the church, and all things which can help guide us in our journey.] which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.

21 And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path [Those who seek the path will find it.] which led unto the tree by which I stood.

22 And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.

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. [The mist of darkness can be many things: unbelief, false traditions, philosophies of men, temptation to sin, doubt, depression, etc. Every person is susceptible to this mist of darkness unless they grab hold of the rod.]

24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end [Always start at the end, not the middle.] of the rod of iron; [I have seen this in vision and one detail I noticed was that as they grabbed hold their bodies are filled with light. The Lord told me this is the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The rod itself is the “word of God,” which is personal revelation. This is received however the Lord gives it us, whether directly or through scripture, or another.] 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. [No person, once having grabbed hold of the rod fails to come to 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, [The barrier between God and Satan.] a great and spacious building; [The kingdom of the Adversary.] 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; [Many levels in  Satan’s realm.] 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. [This the manner of those of perdition, as they mock and plot against the servants of God.]

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. [become sons or daughters of perdition]

29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father. [concerning those who will fall]

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 [at the feet of Christ] and partook of the fruit of the tree.

31 And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building. [Different groups of people will find their way to perdition.]

32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; [overcome by Satan’s temptation.] and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads. [Various religions of the world.]

33 And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. [Church of the Devil] And after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.

34 These are the words of my father: For as many as heeded them, [Kingdom of Darkness] had fallen away.

35 And Laman and Lemuel partook not of the fruit, said my father. [But they did not yet join the Church of the Devil.]

36 And it came to pass after my father had spoken all the words of his dream or vision, which were many, he said unto us, because of these things which he saw in a vision, he exceedingly feared for Laman and Lemuel; yea, he feared lest they should be cast off from the presence of the Lord.

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. [This verse says much about Lehi’s style of parenting. He would reason and preach to his sons patiently.]

38 And after he had preached unto them, and also prophesied [spoke by the Spirit of God] unto them of many things, he bade them to keep the commandments of the Lord; and he did cease speaking unto them.

Lehi’s Dream gave him comfort and understanding regarding his family and how the Adversary operates. The most common misconception is that as long as we hold to our scriptures and church authorities (iron rod) we will be safe from the mists of darkness. This is not how this should be interpreted. In the later chapter Nephi tells us that the rod of iron is the word of God. This means that we are now receiving revelation for ourselves and rely upon no man to teach us but the Lord. Until we learn this important lesson we are vulnerable to the confusion and temptations that may befall us as we walk the path.

Posted in BofM Thoughts | 1 Comment

Family of Ishmael – 1 Nephi 7:1-22

1 And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise. [This revelation came to Lehi because he inquired of the Lord.]

2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness.

3 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did again, with my brethren, go forth into the wilderness to go up to Jerusalem.

4 And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, [I have not inquired regarding the family of Ishmael and who they are, but will include that information in the future. I know there are theories, but I prefer to learn from the source. I recommend that anything you read here only be considered and then you receive your own personal revelation.] and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord. [Nephi rehearsed the events that lead to their journey in the wilderness and asked Ishmael to inquire of the Lord.]

5 And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father.

6 And it came to pass that as we journeyed in the wilderness, behold Laman and Lemuel, and two of the daughters of Ishmael, and the two sons of Ishmael and their families, did rebel against us; yea, against me, Nephi, and Sam, and their father, Ishmael, and his wife, and his three other daughters. [This is the second time Laman and Lemuel have openly rebelled against their father.]

7 And it came to pass in the which rebellion, they were desirous to return unto the land of Jerusalem.

8 And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying, yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, [cannot receive revelation] that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?

9 How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord? [The spirit of Revelation]

10 How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord? [gift of the Spirit: ministering of Angels, beholding of angels]

11 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record?

12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

13 And if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shall obtain the land of promise; and ye shall know at some future period that the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; for all things which the Lord hath spoken concerning the destruction of Jerusalem must be fulfilled.

14 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; [People of Jerusalem] for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison. And they have sought to take away the life of my father, [Such details were included in Lehi’s plates.] insomuch that they have driven him out of the land.

15 Now behold, I say unto you that if ye will return unto Jerusalem ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go ye will also perish; for thus the Spirit of the Lord constraineth me that I should speak. [Often when the Spirit comes upon us it compels us to reason the Gospel with those who need to hear. Nephi did not, in this case, command his brothers. He reminded them of what was at stake and what they had witnessed. He said it was their choice.]

16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts. [Often the wicked are angry when they are reasoned with and prefer to stop the utterance of the righteous. Their anger for losing their place and possessions was fueled by the Adversary, and their hearts were murderous.] 

17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound. [It was not a force of will that allowed Nephi to break the bands, but that he voiced his belief that God could do it. He asked in faith and believed God would deliver him. In such manner we too can be delivered from our precarious situations according to the Lord’s will.]

18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again. [His confidence in the Lord was such that he didn’t run, being led by the Spirit of God. This was the second time his brothers had attempted to take his life.]

19 And it came to pass that they were angry with me again, and sought to lay hands upon me; but behold, one of the daughters of Ishmael, yea, and also her mother, and one of the sons of Ishmael, did plead with my brethren, insomuch that they did soften their hearts; and they did cease striving to take away my life. [Sometimes the wicked place a wall from hearing one person (Nephi), yet are willing to listen to another. The Lord uses different people to reach the sinner. We pray that we can be a tool in the Lord’s hands.]

20 And it came to pass that they were sorrowful, because of their wickedness, insomuch that they did bow down before me, and did plead with me that I would forgive them of the thing that they had done against me. 

21 And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so. And after they had done praying unto the Lord we did again travel on our journey towards the tent of our father.

22 And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father. And after I and my brethren and all the house of Ishmael had come down unto the tent of my father, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him.

As I read the story of Nephi I am struck by how the Lord guides them in their journey, not in a straight line, but a series of trials and experiences that prepare them for what lies ahead. Lehi could have received all the instructions at once: the plates, Ishmael’s family, his possessions; but the Lord knew the end from the beginning. This is how it is often in our lives and how things will transpire leading up to the establishment of Zion. We must be faithful.

Posted in BofM Thoughts | Leave a comment

A Common Weakness

The failure to ask questions is a spiritual weakness.

In the Book of Mormon after Jesus had spoken to the people he said,

“I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time. Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.” 3 Nephi 17:2-3

What does it mean to “understand?” According to the etymology of the word it means to investagate, examine, and scrutinize. The people were not asking questions, the kind that would open the door to more knowledge. All of us only learn from the Spirit according to what we seek, ask, knock, and are willing to understand – and that rarely comes from books.

Posted in Revelation | 7 Comments

Higher Priesthood – What is It?

The following is from a sermon given by the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

Joseph Smith
August 27, 1843

History of the Church, (5:554-556) Version

Respecting the Melchizedek Priesthood, the sectarians never professed to have it; [They claim priesthood, but not called Melchizedek by name.] consequently they never could save any one, and would all be damned together. [Not the power to assist in receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost at the time of Joseph Smith.] There was an Episcopal priest who said he had the priesthood of Aaron, but had not the priesthood of Melchizedek and I bear testimony that I never have found the man who claimed the Priesthood of Melchizedek. The power of the Melchizedek priesthood is to have the power of “endless lives;” for the everlasting covenant cannot be broken. [Laying on of Hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, which opens the door to ascension in the Everlasting Covenant.]

The law was given under Aaron for the purpose of pouring out judgments and destructions. [For the purpose of separating the righteous from the wicked and preserving their lives.]

The sectarian world are going to hell by hundreds, by thousands and by millions. [Those who follow the path to perdition. Not the same as a son of perdition.]

There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to here. 1st. The King of Shiloam. (Salem) had power and authority over that of Abraham, holding the key and the power of endless life. Angels desire to look into it, but they have set up too many stakes. [Angels are referring to those exalted souls who have not yet ascended to their 4th estate, which requires a condescension of glory.] God cursed the children of Israel because they would not receive the last law from Moses. [This is what we refer to as Melchizedek Priesthood.]

The sacrifice required of Abraham in the offering up of Isaac, shows that if a man would attain to the keys of the kingdom of an endless life; he must sacrifice all things. [An important note regarding Abraham. He was the Dispensation head who would establish the covenant line of God’s people. His sacrificial test of Isaac was prepared before the foundation of the world as a sign and foreshadowing of the covenant with the House of Israel.] When God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned. [Whether in this life of the next.] The Israelites prayed that God would speak to Moses and not to them; in consequence of which he cursed them with a carnal law. [And thus they did not receive the higher priesthood, or relationship, needed to come into the presence of God.]

What was the power of Melchizedek? ‘Twas not the Priesthood of Aaron which administers in outward ordinances, and the offering of sacrifices. [temporal ordinances] Those holding the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. [Sealing Power in Heaven and Earth] In fact, that priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam.

Abraham says to Melchizedek, I believe all that thou hast taught me concerning the priesthood and the coming of the Son of Man; so Melchizedek ordained [set apart for future events] Abraham and sent him away. Abraham rejoiced, saying, Now I have a priesthood. [relationship with God]

Salvation could not come to the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ.

How shall God come to the rescue of this generation? He will send Elijah the prophet. [The return of the Melchizedek priesthood.] The law [How to acquire this priesthood] revealed to Moses in Horeb never was revealed to the children of Israel as a nation. [But, was received by individuals at times, such as prophets.]

Elijah shall reveal the covenants to seal the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers. [First shall be last, and the last shall be first. The rise of the 144k servants to restore Zion in the last day.]

The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure. [These servants.]

“Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.” The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right from the eternal God, and not by descent from father and mother; and that priesthood is as eternal as God Himself, having neither beginning of days nor end of life. [From before the foundation of the world, bestowed upon the High Priest and Priestesses of the 4th estate. See Alma 13]

The 2nd Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood. [Our current temple endowment barely touches upon this priesthood. Had Joseph’s life not been taken more would have been revealed. Listed as the “2nd Priesthood” is not to imply that it is second in acquiring. It is the second to be taught in the forthcoming temple that Joseph was hoping for.]

The 3rd is what is called the Levitical Priesthood, consisting of priests to administer in outward ordinance, made without an oath; but the Priesthood of Melchizedek is by an oath and covenant. [These are second estate Priests who are seeking their Second Comforter and help to lead the people toward a fullness of the Priesthood. There will be an abundance of these in Zion to help those who are new to Zion to prepare their minds for greater things. This particular priesthood will not exist on the earth during its terrestrial and celestial state.]

The Holy Ghost is God’s messenger to administer in all those priesthoods. [4th listed, and certainly not in order is the Lord’s Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, as often these terms are used interchangeably). All communication from God to us comes via his Spirit.] 

Jesus Christ is the heir of this Kingdom–the only begotten of the Father according to the flesh, and holds the keys over all this world.

Men have to suffer that they may come upon Mount Zion and be exalted above the heavens. [The mystery of condescension.]

I know a man that has been caught up to the third heavens, and can say, with Paul, that we have seen and heard things that are not lawful to utter. [The Throne of God is beyond comprehension. Much of what you will witness there is not permitted to share, especially to those unprepared to receive it. During Joseph’s day even fewer were able to receive than today.] 

Understand that the priesthood of God is analogous with the degree of relationship we have with Him. It is available to both men, women and children according to their faith. Nothing can be done in His name without permission; otherwise, we are taking His name in vain.

Priesthood categories could be defined as such:

Aaronic = temporal, telestial, perfunctory, earthly ordinances, 2nd Estate

Levitical = temporal, telestial, transitional, earthly ordinances, 2nd Estate, introductory to the higher priesthood (These priests are on the path to ascension.)

Melchizedek = terrestrial, heavenly ordinances, High Priest and Priestess, Dominions, 4th Estate, 144k, sealing power of Heaven, from before the foundation of the world.

Patriarchal = Highest priesthood, Celestial, includes Matriarchal, Fullness of glory, Omnipresence, Omniscient, Omnipotent, power of creation in its fullness, without end. (5, 6, 7, 8th Estate)

Posted in Priesthood | 21 Comments

The Prophet Nephi’s Intent – 1 Nephi 6:1-6

I am doing a careful examination of the Book of Mormon to share some of my insights and revelations for those who are interested. Pray for your own confirmation and revelation as you read these thoughts. 

1 And now I, Nephi, do not give the genealogy of my fathers in this part of my record; neither at any time shall I give it after upon these plates which I am writing; for it is given in the record which has been kept by my father; wherefore, I do not write it in this work. [He received this by commandment not knowing the reason.]

2 For it sufficeth me to say that we are descendants of Joseph. [The record keepers of the House of Israel.]

3 And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God. [There was a record of the events before and after traveling in the wilderness that detailed their struggles. Nephi was the first to abridge what would be the Book of Mormon, “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”]

4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved. [The hallmark of a prophet.]

5 Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world. [Those who are not of this world is a reference to the anointed servants of God. The Book of Mormon is a blueprint to those who will awaken and gather Israel.]

6 Wherefore, I shall give commandment [revelation] unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men. [Again, Nephi writes by way of commandment to his posterity to not include entertaining and frivolous material in this record. It’s purpose is clear, to bring those who are not of this world, his posterity, and the gentiles to an awakening that they may be perfected in Christ.]

Posted in BofM Thoughts | 8 Comments