Nephi’s experience encourages us to ask the Lord for revelation. His vision showed him important events in the future and the mission of Jesus Christ.
The Things Which My Father Saw: Approaches to Lehi’s Dream and Nephi’s Vision, ed. Daniel L. Belnap, Gaye Strathearn, and Stanley A. Johnson
This book is the 2011 Sperry Symposium volume, which focuses on the doctrinal message, cultural setting, and symbolism of Lehi’s dream and Nephi’s vision. Each of the twenty chapters will be useful as a study of the text of 1 Nephi 8-15.
“‘Zion’ and ‘Jerusalem’ as Lady Wisdom in Moses 7 and Nephi’s Tree of Life Vision,” Samuel Zinner, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
When the angel tells Nephi to behold the love of God, Nephi sees a vision of the virgin Mary. Samuel Zinner explores the idea of the divine feminine by comparing Jewish treatment of “Zion” and “Jerusalem” throughout Hebrew scripture, as well as by drawing connections with other Middle Eastern traditions of the divine feminine.
This piece explores what it means when the angel taught Nephi about the “plain and precious parts” that would be excised from the gospel. John Welch elaborates that angel specifically outlined three ways in which this apostate process would take place. Welch then further discusses how the Book of Mormon restores those things that the angel prophesied would be lost.
“Nephi and His Asherah,” Daniel C. Peterson, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 9, no. 2
Asherah was the chief goddess of the Canaanites. Some Israelites worshipped her over a period from the conquest of Canaan in the second millennium BC to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Asherah was associated with trees—sacred trees. In 1 Nephi 11, Nephi considers the meaning of the tree of life as he sees it in vision. In answer, he receives a vision of “a virgin, . . . the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.” The answer to his question about the meaning of the tree lies in the virgin mother with her child. The virgin is the tree in some sense, and Nephi accepted this as an answer to his question. Nephi’s vision reflects a meaning of the “sacred tree” that is unique to the ancient Near East.
At the end of 1 Nephi 14, Nephi bore record that he had seen “the things which my father saw,” but Nephi’s vision in 1 Nephi 11-14 does not appear at first glance to align well with Lehi’s dream and revelations in 1 Nephi 8-10. However, this convenient chart shows over thirty elements that are surprisingly comparable in both passages. Viewing these two texts together yields new insights concerning the meanings of the Tree of Life and the future of Lehi’s posterity.
John Welch first outlines and accounts for the seeming disparity between Lehi’s and Nephi’s visions. Though the two visions are distinct, Welch seeks to show that the two visions are unified in essence and share many of the same elements. Nephi did indeed see the things which his father saw and more, as the angel guided him through the interpretation of the vision.
Was the rod of iron like a handrail as often depicted in artwork by Latter-day Saints? This article examines the ancient Near Eastern and biblical background of the rod as a symbol of power, authority, and shepherding. It proposes that the rod of iron in Lehi’s dream can be understood as a shepherd’s rod extended by Christ to guide his people to the tree of life, rather than a handrail along the path.