“January 13–19. 1 Nephi 8–10: ‘Come and Partake of the Fruit,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“January 13–19. 1 Nephi 8–10,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Lehi’s dream—with its iron rod, mists of darkness, spacious building, and tree with “most sweet” fruit—is an inspiring invitation to receive the blessings of the Savior’s love and atoning sacrifice. For Lehi, however, this vision was also about his family: “Because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam. … But behold, Laman and Lemuel, I fear exceedingly because of you” (1 Nephi 8:3–4). When Lehi finished describing his vision, he pleaded with Laman and Lemuel to “hearken to his words, that perhaps the Lord would be merciful to them” (1 Nephi 8:37). Even if you have studied Lehi’s vision many times, this time think about it the way Lehi did—think of someone you love. As you do, the security of the iron rod, the dangers of the spacious building, and the sweetness of the fruit will take on new meaning. And you will understand more deeply “all the feeling of [the] tender parent” who received this remarkable vision.
Lehi’s vision offers an invitation to reflect on where you are—and where you are going—in your personal journey to know the Savior and feel His love. President Boyd K. Packer taught: “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 (see 1 Nephi 19:23). Lehi’s dream or vision of the iron rod has in it everything a … Latter-day Saint needs to understand the test of life” (“Lehi’s Dream and You,” New Era, Jan. 2015, 2).
One way to study 1 Nephi 8 could be to fill out a chart like the one shown here. To understand the meaning of the symbols, it is helpful to refer to the vision that Nephi had when he prayed to understand his father’s vision—see especially 1 Nephi 11:4–25, 32–36; 12:16–18; and 15:21–33, 36. As you study Lehi’s vision, consider what the Lord wants you to learn.
Symbol from Lehi’s vision
Questions to ponder
Tree and its fruit (1 Nephi 8:10–12)
What am I doing to invite others to partake of the love of God?
River (1 Nephi 8:13)
Rod of iron (1 Nephi 8:19–20, 30)
Mist of darkness (1 Nephi 8:23)
Great and spacious building (1 Nephi 8:26–27, 33)
See also David A. Bednar, “Lehi’s Dream: Holding Fast to the Rod,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2011, 33–37.
The Lord’s “wise purpose” in having Nephi create two records became clear centuries later. After Joseph Smith translated the first 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon, he gave the pages to Martin Harris, who lost them (see Doctrine and Covenants 10:1–23). But Nephi’s second set of plates covered the same time period, and the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to translate these plates rather than retranslate what had been lost (see Doctrine and Covenants 10:38–45).
The account of Lehi’s vision surely made an impression on his family, but he still had other eternal truths to teach them about the Savior’s mission. As you read 1 Nephi 10:2–16, think about why the Lord would want Lehi’s family—and all of us—to know these truths. Consider what you could tell your loved ones to invite them to turn to the Savior. After studying Lehi’s vision and teachings, what are you, like Nephi, inspired to learn “by the power of the Holy Ghost”? (1 Nephi 10:17).
How do you respond when you encounter a gospel principle that you don’t understand? Note the differences between the way Nephi responded to Lehi’s vision (see 1 Nephi 10:17–19; 11:1) and the way Laman and Lemuel responded (see 1 Nephi 15:1–10). Why did they respond in these ways, and what were the results of their responses?
Consider writing about a time when you wanted to know if a gospel teaching was true. How did the process you followed compare with what Nephi did?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
Your family members might enjoy reenacting Lehi’s vision or drawing pictures and using their drawings to tell about it. Or you could show the artist’s depiction of Lehi’s vision that accompanies this lesson and invite family members to point out details and look for scriptures that describe what these things represent. The hymn “The Iron Rod” (Hymns, no. 274) goes well with this chapter. You might also watch a video depicting Lehi’s vision (see the Book of Mormon Videos collection on ChurchofJesusChrist.org or the Gospel Library app).
For an interactive experience for you and your family, download the Tree of Life AR app here. Available now for iOS and Android devices.
Who could we invite to come closer to Jesus Christ and feel the sweetness of His love? What can we do to “[beckon] unto them”?
When have we followed a commandment without fully understanding the reasons for it? How were we blessed?
How is being physically unclean similar to being spiritually unclean? What can we do to make sure we are remaining spiritually clean?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.