CHAPTER 8

Lehi sees a vision of the tree of life—He partakes of its fruit and desires his family to do likewise—He sees a rod of iron, a straight and narrow path, and the mists of darkness that enshroud men—Sariah, Nephi, and Sam partake of the fruit, but Laman and Lemuel refuse.

1 Then we had gathered together all sorts of seeds, both grains of all kind and fruit seeds of all kind.

2 And while we stayed in the wilderness my father spoke to us, saying, “Listen! I’ve had a dream, and it was a vision.

3 And because of what I’ve seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and Sam, as I have reason to believe that they and many of their seed will be saved.

4 But you, Laman and Lemuel, I am frightened for your sake, for it seemed to me that I saw in my dream a dark and dreary wilderness.

5 And I saw a man who was dressed in a white robe come and stand before me.

6 He spoke to me and bid me to follow him.

7 As I followed him, I saw that I was in a dark and dreary waste.

8 After I had traveled for hours and hours in darkness, I began to pray to the Lord that He would have mercy on me, according to His unending tender mercies.

9 After I prayed to the Lord I saw a large and spacious field.

10 Then I saw a tree with fruit that was desirable to make someone happy,

11 and I made my way to it and ate its fruit, and I found that it was far above the sweetest thing I had ever tasted, and the fruit was also incredibly white, far whiter than anything I had ever seen.

12 As I ate the fruit of the tree, it filled my soul with overwhelming joy, and it caused me to want my family to eat of the tree’s fruit also, as I knew that it was preferable above all other fruit.

13 As I looked around to find my family, I saw a river of water running along near the tree which I was eating the fruit from.

14 I looked to see where it came from and saw the head of the river not far away, and at its head I saw your mother, Sariah, and your brothers Sam and Nephi, and they looked as if they didn’t know where they should go.

15 Then I waved and called out to them to come to me and eat the fruit that was preferable above all other fruit.

16 They then came and ate the fruit.

17 Then I wanted for you, Laman and Lemuel, to eat the fruit also, so I looked back to the head of the river to see if you were there also.

18 And I saw you there, but you would not come to me and eat the fruit.

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

20 And along the iron rod I also saw a straight and narrow path, and it too was led by the head of the river to a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.

21 And I saw numberless crowds of people, many of which were pressing forward so they might get to the path that led to the tree I stood by.

22 And they made their way forward and began walking the path which led to the tree.

23 Then there arose a mist of darkness, which was so dense and dark that those who had started on the path lost their way and wandered off and were forgotten.

24 Then I saw others pressing forward, and they came and caught hold of the end of the iron rod, and they made their way through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod until they came to the tree and ate of its fruit.

25 After they had eaten of the fruit their eyes shifted around as if they were ashamed.

26 And I looked around and saw on the other side of the river a tall and spacious building, and it stood as if it were in the air, high above the earth.

27 It was filled with people, both old and young, male and female, and their clothing was exquisite, and they were mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come to the tree and were eating its fruit.

28 And after those who had come to the tree had tasted the fruit, they were ashamed because of those who were mocking and scoffing at them, and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.”

29 I do not write all the words of my father,

30 but to summarize the rest, know that he saw other multitudes pressing forward, and they came and grabbed the end of the iron rod and made their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod until they fell down at the tree and ate of its fruit.

31 He also saw other multitudes feeling their way toward the great and spacious building,

32 and many were drowned in the depths of the river, and many disappeared from sight, wandering down strange roads.

33 Vast was the multitude that entered the strange building, and after they entered they too pointed their fingers of scorn at me and the others who were eating the fruit, but we ignored them.

34 These are the words of my father: “All of those who had listened to them fell away.”

35 My father also said that Laman and Lemuel did not eat the fruit.

36 After my father had said everything about his dream or visions, which were many, he said to us that because of what he’d seen in a vision he feared for Laman and Lemuel, fearing if they should be cast off from the presence of the Lord.

37 And he urged them with all of his parental tenderness for them to listen to his words, that perhaps the Lord would be merciful to them and not cast them off, and my father preached to them.

38 When he had finished preaching, also prophesying many things to them, he instructed them to keep the commandments of the Lord and spoke no more to them.

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