Sunday, June 23, 2013

Understanding Lehi's Dream




In 2007 something kind of awesome happened.  There were 3  Devotional/Fireside talks  given back to back one month after another....on Lehi's Dream.  Coincidental??  I think not!

Interesting don't you think that all three randomly inspired, chose to speak on the same topic?  Here is what Elder Anderson said prior to giving his CES Fireside talk.



"I want to tell you of the Lord’s guiding hand in our meeting tonight. During the early days of January I worked to organize and outline what I would present to you. Knowing that Elder David A. Bednar was scheduled to speak to you in February, I asked him if he had finalized the subject he would address.

I was taken aback when he responded that his talk was about holding fast to the iron rod. It was the exact title I had chosen for my talk. The choir was already practicing this beautiful number that they have just shared with us.

As Elder Bednar and I discussed the messages we had prepared, it was evident that we had approached the subject differently. Elder Bednar thought for a moment and said: “The Lord loves the young adults of the Church. There is purpose in this. This is a message the Lord wants delivered.” I determined to proceed.

Then, just a week later and before Elder Bednar’s talk, President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave a BYU devotional address he entitled Lehi’s Dream and You.  He too included in his talk what it means to hold fast to the iron rod.

My brothers and sisters, this is a subject the Lord wants you to think about."-Elder Anderson
 


That was six years ago, and I can't stop thinking about these talks.  Here are some significant highlights :



"You may think that Lehi’s dream or vision has no special meaning for you, but it does. You are in it; all of us are in it." -President Packer
 
"At your baptism and confirmation, you took hold of the iron rodBut you are never safe. It is after you have partaken of that fruit that your test will come. " -President Packer
(Lehi's dream refers to members of the Church)
 
"The mist of darkness will cover you at times so much that you will not be able to see your way even a short distance ahead. You will not be able to see clearly. But you can feel your way. With the gift of the Holy Ghost, you can feel your way ahead through life. Grasp the iron rod, and do not let go. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, you can feel your way through life"-President Packer
 
"Largely because of television, instead of looking over into that spacious building, we are, in effect, living inside of it. That is your fate in this generation. You are living in that great and spacious building." -President Packer
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  • "Father Lehi saw several groups of people pressing forward along the strait and narrow path, seeking to obtain the tree and its fruit.
  • The members of each group had entered onto the path through the gate of repentance and baptism by water and had received the gift of the Holy Ghost (see 2 Nephi 31:17–20)
  •  The tree of life is the central feature in the dream and is identified in 1 Nephi 11 as a representation of Jesus Christ.
  • The fruit on the tree is a symbol for the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement.
 Interestingly, the major theme of the Book of Mormon, inviting all to come unto Christ, is central in Lehi’s vision. Of particular interest is the rod of iron that led to the tree (see 1 Nephi 8:19). The rod of iron is the word of God.
  • Group 1: Baptized members of the Church, as soon as the "mists of darkness" came they were gone.  No mention of the rod of iron. 1 Nephi 8:21-23
"Those who ignore or treat lightly the word of God do not have access to that divine compass which points the way to the Savior. "-Elder Bednar
  • Group 2: "Clingers" This group pressed 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. When they were mocked by the members of the great and spacious building, they were ashamed and fell away into forbidden paths and were lost. Please notice that this group is described as clinging to the rod of iron. 1 Nephi 8: 24-28


"Clinging to the rod of iron suggests to me only occasional “bursts” of study or irregular dipping rather than consistent, ongoing immersion in the word of God." -Elder Bednar

  • Group 3 "Held Fast":  Members of the Church who "held fast" to the rod of iron continually pressing forward until they reached the tree.we read about a third group of people who pressed forward continually holding fast to the rod of iron until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree. The key phrase in this verse is “continually holding fast” to the rod of iron. 1 Nephi 8: 30 No mention of them wandering off or getting lost.

 "Perhaps this third group of people consistently read and studied and searched the words of Christ. Perhaps it was the constant flow of living water that saved the third group from perishing. This is the group you and I should strive to join." -Elder Bednar
 
  • Group 4Probably not members of the Church-people who did not even come to the path but went straight for the great and spacious building

"Are you and I daily reading, studying, and searching the scriptures in a way that enables us to hold fast to the rod of iron—or are you and I merely clinging? Are you and I pressing forward toward the fountain of living waters—relying upon the word of God? These are important questions for each of us to ponder prayerfully."
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"The iron rod is the word of God. I like to think of it in this way:
 
The word of God contains three very strong elements that intertwine and sustain one another to form an immovable rod.
 
These three elements include, first, the scriptures, or the words of the ancient prophets."
The second element of the word of God is the personal revelation and inspiration that comes to us through the Holy Ghost
 
... the third element, a critical addition intertwining with the other two...the words of the living prophets. We must also hold fast to the word of God as delivered by the living prophets."  -Elder Anderson
 
 
 
These are all must read talks that I will include in my LDS Talks tab for quick reference.  These are significant talks given by living prophets and apostles, each inspired to teach in a three month period..back to back on the principles of Lehi's Dream.  Just as President Packer taught, it applies to you and me.
 
 Next post will be a more in-depth study of the groups spoken of by Elder Bednar. Stay tuned!!