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Lehi's Dream Tree And Alma 32


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Is Alma alluding to Lehi' Dream?  

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  1. 1. Is Alma alluding to Lehi's dream?

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Alma was aware of the small plates, he was in charge of keeping them.

Mosiah 28

[20] And now, as I said unto you, that after king Mosiah had done these things, he took the plates of brass, and all the things which he had kept, and conferred them upon Alma, who was the son of Alma; yea, all the records, and also the interpreters, and conferred them upon him, and commanded him that he should keep and preserve them, and also keep a record of the people, handing them down from one generation to another, even as they had been handed down from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem.

So Alma is quite aware of the records.

Alma is combining Jacob 5 with Lehiâ??s dream while giving it his own twist to create a new analogy, during which he alludes to both of his sources of inspiration. This is the product of a great spiritual man. Alma is doing some great new work in harmoizing these themes into a poetic, insightful sermon while giving a fresh analogy that really carves its own path.

Now letâ??s look at the similarities.

1.

First Lehi, Nephi, and Alma are all talking about the same treeâ?¦the tree of life.

1nephi11

[25] And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.

Alma 32

[40] And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.

2.

In both accounts it is the word of God that leads to the tree of life. This is important, they both identify the word of God as the way to eternal life. In Lehiâ??s dream the rod of iron represents the word of God. In Alma the seed represents the word of God. In Nephiâ??s analogy you must hold to the iron rod following its path to the fruit of the tree of life. In Almaâ??s analogy the word of God must be nourished in order to obtain the fruit of the tree of life.

1nephi8

[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.

1nephi11

[25] And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life;

Alma32

[28] Now, we will compare the word unto a seed.

[39] Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.

[40] And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.

[41] But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.

As a side note to seed mentioned here, I thought this verse that comes right before Lehi's dream was interesting.

1nephi8

[1] And it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind.

[2] And it came to pass that while my father tarried in the wilderness he spake unto us, saying: Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision.

Its interesting he mentions seeds of fruits right beore going into Lehi's dream about a special fruit. I wonder if this also did not influence Alma and helped form the idea that would become Alma 32.

3.

Both their descriptions of the fruit and its qualities are the same, even to the point of Alma paraphrasing Lehi's unique imagery of the fruit..this is a perfect example of a text book example of an allusion. I donâ??t know how Alma is suppose to garner any info on white delicious fruit in Genesis. But it would be easily garnered from the small plates of Nephi that were in his possession. And to be sure this motif of white delicious fruit on the of tree life is a unique one.

1nephi 8

[11] And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.

Alma 32

[42] And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

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As a matter of fact â??above all thatâ? appears in only two verses in the entire BOM.

These two verses are talking about the same subject, eating the white fruit of the tree of life with the same description of the look and qualities, like taste, of that fruit. Alma is obviously paraphrasing Lehi at this point.

If you donâ??t believe me check hereâ?¦ http://www.hti.umich.edu/m/mormon/

Click on Simple Searches and type in â??above all thatâ? the above verses are the only places this phrase appears.

It is also worth noting Almaâ??s curious use of â??neither shall you thirstâ? here. It is far less curious when seen in conjuction with 1Nephi11:25â??s â??fountain of living waterâ? as the equivalent of the tree of life which can be seen in #1 above.

5.

Beyond the description of the fruit, Lehi talks of its desirability.

1nephi8

[10] And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.

[12] And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

[15] And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit.

This is not lost on Nephi or Alma(or me for that matter).

1nephi11

[21] Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?

[22] And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.

Alma 32

[39] Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.

It is worth noting here that besides the above verses just listed there is only one other verse in the bom that utilizes the word desirable. It is used in connection to the word of God no less, a feature prevalent in these two analogies.

1nephi 5

[21] And we had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children.

This makes me wonder of the purposefulness of the rod of iron being a symbol recognizable to Lehi as the word of God. I'm sure Lehi's mind was focused heavily on those plates during the period of this visionary dream as he had just recently taken possesion of them. Brass plates=word of God. Iron Rod=word of God. Brass plates=iron rod?

I have seen far too many instances of doctrine from different parts of the text that are talking about the same subject that when combined, create a much bigger, more complete picture to think this example any different.

All the basic elements that make up Alma 32 can be derived from Lehi's dream and Jacob 5. From the seed, to the cultivation, to the the consumption and nature of the fruit.

If they are both talking about the same tree gives us more than enough reason to then look for possible connections. If we then find quotations and exact ideas, which we do, than I think it is safe to say they are probably related. In the bible when an author is speaking on the same subject and uses exact phrases and paraphrases from a previous authorâ?¦I have never seen a scholar say that it must be doubted that the one knew of the other. It is quite readily accepted and upheld.

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