“January 13–19. 1 Nephi 8–10: ‘Come and Partake of the Fruit,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“January 13–19. 1 Nephi 8–10,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Lehi’s vision has many applications for our day. At the beginning of class, you might want to invite class members to share their insights as they read about this vision. Encourage them to share specific verses and the meaning they found for their lives.
It’s natural to share things we love with people we love, but sometimes we find it hard to share the gospel. A discussion about Lehi’s vision may help class members find opportunities to share the gospel. You might give a class member a piece of fruit and ask him or her to persuade the rest of the class to eat this fruit regularly. How is this object lesson similar to Lehi’s experience in 1 Nephi 8:10–16? What do we learn from Lehi’s experience that will help us as we share the gospel? As part of this discussion, you may want to share the video “Good Things to Share” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Elder David A. Bednar taught, “The fruit on the tree is a symbol for the blessings of the Atonement” (“Lehi’s Dream: Holding Fast to the Rod,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2011, 34). Consider contacting a few class members in advance and asking them to reflect on 1 Nephi 8:11–16 and think about questions like these: How would I describe the sweetness that the Atonement of Jesus Christ has brought into my life? How have I beckoned to others to taste its sweetness? (see verse 15). How have others invited me to seek the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement? What am I inspired to do as I read 1 Nephi 8:11–16? Invite these members to share their answers during class, and invite all class members to offer their insights during the discussion.
One way to begin a discussion about Lehi’s vision is to invite a few class members to draw a representation of the vision on the board, using 1 Nephi 8:19–38 as a guide. Or you could show the picture of Lehi’s vision from this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families. You could then invite each class member to find verses that give an interpretation of one of the symbols in the drawing or picture—these interpretations can be found in 1 Nephi 11:4–25, 35–36; 12:16–18; and 15:21–33, 36. As class members share what they found, invite them to discuss what these symbols teach us. For example, what does a great and spacious building teach us about pride? What does a rod of iron teach us about the word of God? They could also talk about how Lehi’s vision has helped them come unto Christ. How have we seen ourselves in the vision?
One prominent message in Lehi’s vision is the importance of the word of God, symbolized by the iron rod. To help emphasize that message, you could divide the class into four groups and assign each to learn about the four groups of people that Lehi saw, as described in “Additional Resources” and in 1 Nephi 8:21–23, 24–28, 30, and 31–33. Then let class members share with each other what they learned. You might also provide a few minutes for class members to ponder what they feel impressed to do to ensure that they are “holding fast to the rod of iron” (1 Nephi 8:30).
Mists of darkness that obscure our path and mocking voices from the great and spacious building can make it hard for us to find the truth. Reading together about Nephi’s example as a seeker of truth could help. You might begin the discussion by asking class members to identify some of the confusing messages the world is sending. For instance, what worldly ideas did prophets and apostles warn us about in the most recent general conference? Consider making a list on the board of the steps that Nephi took to gain his own witness of the truth of his father’s vision (see 1 Nephi 10:17–19; 11:1). How can we follow his example as we seek truth?
To inspire class members to read 1 Nephi 11–15, invite them to find out what the following images have to do with Lehi’s dream: the infant Jesus, a cross, the mother of harlots, multitudes gathered together to battle, and books.
Consider showing a video that depicts events from these chapters (see the Book of Mormon Videos collection on ChurchofJesusChrist.org or the Gospel Library app).
“In 1 Nephi 8:21–23 we learn about the first group of people who pressed forward and commenced in the path that led to the tree of life. However, as the people encountered the mist of darkness, which represents ‘the temptations of the devil’ (1 Nephi 12:17), they lost their way, wandered off, and were lost. Notice that no mention is made in these verses of the rod of iron. 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.”
“In 1 Nephi 8:24–28 we read about a second group of people who obtained the strait and narrow path that led to the tree of life. This group ‘did press 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’ (verse 24). However, as the finely dressed occupants of the great and spacious building mocked this second group of people, ‘they were ashamed’ and ‘fell away into forbidden paths and were lost’ (verse 28). … Even with faith, commitment, and the word of God, this group eventually was lost—perhaps because they only periodically read or studied or searched the scriptures.”
“In verse 30 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. The third group also pressed forward with faith and conviction; however, there is no indication that they wandered off, fell into forbidden paths, or were lost. Perhaps this third group of people consistently read and studied and searched the scriptures. … This is the group you and I should strive to join.”
“A fourth group did not seek after the tree, desiring instead the great and spacious building as their ultimate destination (see 1 Nephi 8:31–33).”
(David A. Bednar, “Lehi’s Dream: Holding Fast to the Rod,” Ensign or Liahona, Oct. 2011, 34–36.)