1 Nephi 11-14 

Questions for Review:

1. In Father Lehi's dream, what did the tree represent? (1 Nephi 11:21-22,25)

2. What did the iron rod represent in Father Lehi's dream? (1 Nephi 11:25)

3. Who will judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel? (1 Nephi 12:7-10)

4. In Father Lehi's dream, what was the meaning of the mist of darkness? (1 Nephi 12:17)

5. What did the large and spacious building in Lehi's and Nephi's visions symbolize? (1 Nephi 12:18)

6. What happened to many plain and precious parts of the gospel contained in the Bible? (1 Nephi 13:20-27)

7. In Nephi's vision, who was going to write about the end of the world? (1 Nephi 14:20-22,27)

1 Nephi 11
Nephi's Vision of the Future

. A great vision of the history of the world

. Nephi saw the real thing, not some possible interpretation of past events or a logical speculation about possible future events

. The Lord does not live in time, but in eternity. For Him past, present, and future are one single and everlasting now (D&C 130:7). This may be hard to conceive because our mortal minds are accustomed to the confines imposed by mortality, and because we can't remember how it was like to live in eternity.  But in the future--once we are resurrected we will find that absolutely normal

"Prophecy may well be defined as history in reverse. Before our very eyes we are witnessing the fulfillment of prophecies made by inspired prophets in ages past."  (President Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye In Holy Places, p.231)
. Father Lehi saw this vision, but it appears that he may have missed important details (see 15:27)   This same vision had been shown over a thousand years earlier to Moriancumer, a.k.a. the brother of Jared (see Ether 3:25; 4:16) and would be shown about 700 years later to John, the Beloved Disciple (see 1 Nephi 14:25,27)
. Key elements of the vision and some of their meanings         . The Rod of Iron = The Word of God (25; also 15:24)
               . An inflexible object; it leads people invariably and assuredly to the tree, or the love of God
               . Only those who cling to the Rod taste the love of God
. To cling - to hold firmly, tightly, or tenaciously, resisting the pressure to dislodge or separate; to have a strong emotional or intellectual attachment or loyalty; to continue on a course of action or policy as if resisting efforts to interrupt or distract
    . However, tasting the love of God alone does not guarantee one's salvation (see 8:28,34)
. The Large and Spacious Building = Pride and Vain Imaginations of the World (36; also 8:26; 12:18)
    . Floating in the air, which indicates that it doesn't have a firm foundation
    . Filled with multitudes of elegant people of all ages and of both genders who mock those who taste the love of God
    . Eventually, the building will fall and it's not going to be pretty ...
. The Mists of Darkness = The Temptations of the Devil (12:17; also 8:23-24)
. Tries to prevent the people from reaching the tree, or the love of God, by blinding them to the truth and by hardening their hearts, thus leading the people to broad roads

. That mist must be appealing to the mortal senses; it can only be overcome by clinging to the Rod of Iron, or the word of God

. Nephi saw the mortal history of the Savior: his birth, ministry, miracles, rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection (18-20,24,27-29,31-33; 12:6)

. He also saw Mary and the Twelve Apostles
    . Just out of curiosity: How many times is Mary mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

1 Nephi 12
Nephi's Vision of the Future  (Cont.)

. Nephi sees several generations in wars and the destruction of the Nephites (2-3, 19-23)
    . "After the manner of ..." - in the habit or custom of; following a mode or fashion; nature, character, condition
    . Why are there so many wars--and what is the Lord's reaction to wars and contentions? See Moses 7:28-29,32-41

. The judges of the people: Jewish Apostles and Nephite-Lamanite Disciples (9-10)

1 Nephi 13
Nephi's Vision of the Future  (Cont.)

. The great and abominable church (5-9)
    . Hungry for power, wealth, and worldly prominence (i.e. status, prestige, admiration, popularity)
    . Observe that the heavenly messenger was giving Nephi a description of the general characteristics of this corrupt organization, not its name or title--therefore, avoid "pointing fingers"

. Nephi saw the great explorers and settlers of the Renaissance (12-13)

. He saw Cristóbal Colón (a.k.a Christovam Colombo or Christopher Columbus) , and very likely others such as Pedro Álvares Cabral, Fernán de Magalhães, etc.
. Comparing the Bible and the Brass Plates (23)
    . Are there more prophecies in the Brass Plates or just more engravings?

. The loss of "plain and most precious parts" (26-27,29)

. The Lord's promise of further information in the latter days (34; 39-40)
        . Other books: The Doctrine & Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price, plus ...
            . The Brass Plates (see 1 Nephi 5:18)
            . Mahonri Moriancumer's visions (see Ether 3:17-18,25-28)
            . Many other records (see 2 Nephi 29:12-13)
            . A fuller account by John (see D&C 7:heading)
            . A fuller account of Christ's mortal ministry 63:21 (his own account, perhaps?)

. The sequence of the missionary work in the last days (42)

1 Nephi 14
Nephi's Vision of the Future  (Cont.)

. Nephi saw that the church of the Lamb would be small in numbers and in dominion, but armed with righteousness and the power of God (14)

"... I know now that the place of safety in this world is not in any given place; it doesn't make so much difference where we live; but the all-important thing is how we live, and I have found that security can come to Israel only when they keep the commandments, when they live so that they can enjoy the companionship, the direction, the comfort, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit of the Lord, when they are willing to listen to these men whom God has set here to preside as His mouthpieces, and when we obey the counsels of the Church."  (Elder Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, April 1943, p.129)
. We still have only an abbreviated account of Nephi's great vision (28,30)

Copyright 1994-2006 - Marcus H. Martins
This web page was published only as a support for classroom discussion.
For more information, contact Dr. Marcus Martins at: martinsm@byuh.edu