Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Tree of Life

 Lehi and the "Tree of Life"

Hello everyone!

How is everything? Things are going great over here. Things are getting hotter, more humid, the mosquitoes love my blood, and the work of the Lord moves on. We're currently working with a few investigators and actually have one set with a baptismal date! Missionary work is probably the most satisfying thing one can do. I highly recommend it.
Another great thing about being on a mission is having a guaranteed study time for each day! You will learn things every day as long as you stay focused and diligent in your study. I recently finished the Book of Mormon and have enjoyed starting it over again. I'll share something I just recently learned:

In 1 Nephi chapter 11, Nephi is shown the vision of the Tree of Life as well as the interpretation of it. Let me show you a difference between reading the scriptures and studying the scriptures. When we just read the scriptures, we see that the Tree of Life represents the Love of God. But when you study the scriptures we're able to see things a bit deeper. So the Tree of Life is the Love of God...ok...what is the Love of God and how does it bear the Fruit of Eternal Life?

In verse 11, Nephi says he wants to know the interpretation. Immediately, the Spirit shows him the birth and life of the Savior. Then in verse 22, after being asked what he thought the Tree of Life was, Nephi says, "Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men..." The footnote for "sheddeth" refers to Moroni 8:26 which speaks of the "remission of sins". How is that done? The Atonement. Next, in verse 25, Nephi sees the iron rod which "led to the fountain of living waters, or, to the tree of life..." So, the Tree of Life is comparable to a Fountain of Living Water. Living Water? Sounds familiar...let's go to the Topical Guide. In the book of Jeremiah we read, "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters..." and in John we read, "...Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink...".

Jesus Christ = Living Water = Tree of Life = Love of God

How is Jesus Christ the Love of God?

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Everything in the scriptures (the Word of God = Iron Rod) lead to Jesus Christ. Study hard.

Elder Smith

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