In this episode, I will share my version of an alternate ending to Lehi’s dream. I will start in 1 Nephi 8:17 and the alternate ending begins after verse 32. The written form of this story is shared below, if you would like to read along.
I would like to explicitly state that in doing this episode, I am not attempting to get rid of the original story found in the book of mormon, nor am I calling my story revelation or a translation of ancient texts. I am not claiming any authority for this story and simply leave it up to the listener to interpret, ponder and perhaps enjoy.
Episode 7: Lehi’s Dream (Alternate Ending)
1 Nephi 8
17 And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river, that perhaps I might see them.
18 And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit.
19 And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.
20 And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.
21 And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.
22 And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.
23 And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.
24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they 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.
25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.
26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.
29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.
30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.
31 And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.
32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.
And it came to pass that my father saw a man who arrived at the tree by way of the rod of iron.
And he did cry out to those standing round the tree. And did speak unto them of the filthiness of the river; yea, he did compare its filthiness to the depths of Hell and directed them to look how near it came unto the tree.
And my father saw that because of the filthiness of the river, a foul odor arose, that did upset the joy of this man and of the others surrounding the tree that they became angry.
And it came to pass that this man did gather together as many people near the tree that would follow him, and he did cause that they build a dam to block the flowing of the water that its filthiness might not come near unto the tree, that the foul odor might not overwhelm those that did eat of the fruit of the tree.
And my father beheld that these people cut stones from the ground and did construct a dam at the head of the river.
And he beheld that the bed of the river became dry.
And it came to pass that the tree which had produced fruit that was bright and exceedingly white above that of the driven snow, began to lose its brightness. Insomuch that the brightness became dim and the branches of the tree began to wither and dry up, like a reed scorched by the sun.
Yea, my father beheld that the sun did provide light for the tree but without the water from the river, the roots of the tree had no source from which to draw life.
And many did leave the tree because the fruit had become sour and was no longer satisfying to them.
And it came to pass that my father beheld another man who also appeared out of the mists of darkness, though he was not holding to the rod of iron.
And my father saw that the first man did preach against the one who had appeared out of the mist and warned that without the rod of iron, any who left the tree would be lost forever.
And it came to pass that the man from the mist had but few followers, yet he taught those who followed him how to walk in the darkness and not be overcome by it.
Yea, and the man did lead all those who followed him to go forth and break the dam, that the waters of the river might flow freely; yea, that the river might be restored to its natural course, that the roots of the tree might again receive nourishment and perish not.
And my father beheld that the waters of the river were restored, and the tree also recovered, that the fruit did return to its prior state of brightness and glory and did again satisfy all those who partook of it.
And it came to pass that this man who came out of the darkness, also instructed them that did follow him, how to construct boats, so that as many who desired to cross the river, would be able to do so, that they might not drown in the water.
And he and his followers did constrain none.
And this man took of the fruit; yea, and he did exhort his followers to take of the fruit also, and give it unto all who were not found standing near the tree, that no man or woman, bond or free, old or young, sinner or saint would be without the love of God which is the fruit of the tree that my father saw.
And it came to pass that they did take the fruit, and did carry it across the river on the boats that they had constructed, that the people in the great and spacious building might also eat of the fruit, should they choose to do so.
And they did not fear to bring the fruit also to those who were lost in the mist of darkness, for they had been taught by the man who appeared from the mist, how to navigate the darkness that they were not afraid.
And all were offered of the fruit, and all those who so desired received of the fruit of the tree, for it was given unto them in love without expectation.
And it came to pass that my father did follow the example of this man and did also take of the fruit and did go in search of Laman and Lemuel, until he found them, and they did eat of the fruit that my father offered them.
And when they had eaten of the fruit, my father saw that they were satisfied and filled with the love of God, though they had not come unto the tree.
And my father looked up and beheld along the bank of the river that there were many trees, also with fruit as white and glorious as that of the fruit that my father did eat. And many did eat of the fruit of these trees; yea, and he beheld that they were satisfied and filled with the love of God also, yet the mists that had arisen did separate these trees with no direct path to reach them.
And my father beheld that due to the teachings of the one who appeared out of the darkness, his followers did find a way to travel to these other trees and did have open communication with the people who did stand near those trees as well.
And it came to pass that they did all share freely of the fruit among each other, even up unto cutting a small branch of each tree that they might graft it onto other trees, including the tree near which my father stood.
And my father also did do the same and did share with others, cuttings of the tree near which he stood; that the trees might grow all varieties of fruit that bring joy to the soul.
And these are the words of my father: For all who so desired did partake of the fruit of the tree near which he stood though not all had joined my father round the tree.
And it came to pass that after my father had spoken all the words of his dream or vision, which were many, he said unto us, because of these things which he saw in a vision, he was exceedingly glad for Laman and Lemuel; yea, he feared they should be cast off from the presence of the Lord because they did not come unto the tree, yet he had seen the great mercies of the Lord and how His love and Spirit are able to reach all and are given unto all those who so desire, freely and without constraint nor expectation.
And my father did exhort us then with all the feeling of a tender parent, that we would hearken unto his words, that perhaps we would love one another, and not cast off any from among us, for he beheld in the vision that the love of the Lord casteth away none; yea, He giveth unto all in many forms and He receiveth of all, in all their varieties; yea, these are the words that my father did preach unto us.
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I was so moved by this. It caused me to think deeply and perhaps a little differently about spiritual awakening. Thank you! 🙏
Thank you for your comment. If you have any particular interpretations feel free to send them to [email protected] and I would be happy to share them on the commentary episode following.
Inspiring, again. Most Christlike.
I think that when Joseph wrote the BoM he intended the beginning of Lehi’s and Nephi’s dream/vision to tell us assuredly, once again, to NOT follow a Prophet or any leader to God or Christ, simply echoing Christ.
Where did Jesus go? Still bound and gagged in the trunk of our shiny new Jesus mobile? The FAIRises cannot hear Him and still as they always did, forbid us from hearing or seeing Him over their most righteous appearance and droning, commanding, damning, bullying and threatening all who question them not being the only mouthpiece of God/Christ. Nothing new under the sun…:
1 Nephi 8: 4-9
Matt 7: 20-24
Matt 15: 8-14
Matt 23: 13
Thank you for your comment. Yes I agree it is difficult to hear the very transactional as opposed to relational way we are taught to interact with the world. Be it by society, families, schools, and especially religions. I might push a little further and say that following anyone, including, Jesus as an end in itself is missing the mark. If the ones we follow can’t point us past themselves then we run into trouble.
Thank you! That was beautiful!!
Very moving very inspiring for good.
Quite thought provoking. This made my day.
This is super powerful.
Thank you for a 21st Century version of the Tree of Life vision.
A much improved version of the original story.