This is part 2 of "Lehi's dream". See the previous post for part 1.
After Lehi related his dream to his children, his son Nephi wanted to understand the meaning of the things his father had seen. He had faith that God, through the Holy Ghost was able to reveal these things to him. He said, "For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round." (1 Nephi 10:19) With this faith as his strength, Nephi sat pondering the things that his father had told him.
As he was pondering, an angel appeared to him and asked what he desired. He explained that he desired to see the things his father had seen. He was then shown the tree that his father had seen. He described the fruit as being exceedingly white. He asked the meaning of the tree, and in response was shown a vision of the Savior being born in to the world. The angel asked him if he understood the meaning of the tree. Nephi replied that he understood that it was a symbol of the love of God; and that it was the most desirable thing of all.
TREE: LOVE OF GOD
Nephi was then shown the Savior going forth teaching the people, and them falling at his feet worshipping him. He then understood that the rod of iron was the word of God which leads one to God.
IRON ROD: WORD OF GOD
Nephi was then shown the life of the Savior, as well as His crucifixion. He is then made to understand that the great and spacious building is a representation of the pride of the world. He saw that the fall of it would be great.
GREAT AND SPACIOUS BUILDING: PRIDE OF THE WORLD
He is then shown the future of his people in the Americas, including the Savior's visit after His resurrection. He saw the Savior choose twelve apostles from among the people. He was shown that after the Savior's visit to the people of the Americas, that they would live in righteousness for four generations. But then he saw that they would begin to war against each other.
The angel then explained that the fountain and river of filthy water were a representation of the depths of hell. And the mists of darkness represented the temptations of the devil which he uses to blind men, harden their hearts, and lead them down the wrong paths.
MISTS OF DARKNESS: TEMPTATIONS AND DECEPTIONS OF THE DEVIL
Nephi is then shown many more things that I cannot write in this post. My one fear in writing about this subject was that I would not do it justice. I encourage you to follow this link to read the account for yourself.
One of the great lessons of Lehi's vision is that we must hold on to the word of God if we are to wend our way past the temptations and traps of the devil in this life. We cannot let the pride of the world shame us in to letting go of the word of God and veering off the path. If we hold fast to the words of God, we can partake of the love of God and will be protected from the temptations of the devil.
Below is a video of a hymn we sing to remind us to hold fast to the Iron Rod.
1. To Nephi, seer of olden time,
A vision came from God,
Wherein the holy word sublime
Was shown an iron rod.
Hold to the rod, the iron rod;
’Tis strong, and bright, and true.
The iron rod is the word of God;
’Twill safely guide us through.
2. While on our journey here below,
Beneath temptation’s pow’r,
Through mists of darkness we must go,
In peril ev’ry hour.
3. And when temptation’s pow’r is nigh,
Our pathway clouded o’er,
Upon the rod we can rely,
And heaven’s aid implore.
4. And, hand o’er hand, the rod along,
Through each succeeding day,
With earnest prayer and hopeful song,
We’ll still pursue our way.
5. Afar we see the golden rest
To which the rod will guide,
Where, with the angels bright and blest,
Forever we’ll abide.
Text: Joseph L. Townsend, 1849–1942
Music: William Clayson, 1840–1887