beautiful big tree of life with many branches photo

The Tree of Life Symbolizes the Love of God

“I beheld a tree,” said Lehi, “whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. … And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy” (1 Ne. 8:10, 12). Nephi shared the meaning of the tree: “It is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men” (1 Ne. 11:22). (Art courtesy of the Museum of Church History and Art.)

Tree of Life, by Kazuto Uota of Osaka, Japan, 1990.

Lehi “beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree; [and] … many were drowned in the depths of the fountain” (1 Ne. 8:13, 32). This river, wrote Nephi in his interpretation, “was an awful gulf, which separated the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God” (1 Ne. 15:28).

“On the other side of the river of water,” Lehi saw “a great and spacious building … filled with people … in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit” (1 Ne. 8:26–27). The angel told Nephi that the building represented not only “the world and the wisdom thereof” but also “vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men” (1 Ne. 11:351 Ne. 12:18).

Lehi also saw “a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree” (1 Ne. 8:19). This rod of iron, Nephi explained, “was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction” (1 Ne. 15:24).

Shawna Edwards has written a wonderful song about “The Tree of Life” that is catchy and teaches truth that your children should know.

The Tree of Life by Shawna Edwards

The prophet, Lehi, had a vision of the tree of life
He saw it shining in the distance
So beautiful and bright
The sweetest fruit he’d ever tasted
And white as white could be
It filled his soul with joy and gladness
He beckoned to his family:Come to the tree of life
Partake of the fruit
I feel the love of God
And you’ll feel it too, when you
Come to the tree of life
There’s joy here and peace
The greatest place in all the world to be
Is at the tree!The tree of life is just a symbol
Of the love of God
The pathway there is straight and narrow
So hold on to the rodHis word will guide us through the darkness
And past the mists of gray
The enemies of God may mock us
But we will boldly stand and say:Come to the tree of life
Partake of the fruit
I feel the love of God
And you’ll feel it too, when you
Come to the tree of life
There’s joy here and peace
The greatest place in all the world to be
Is at the tree!
The greatest place in all the world to be
Is at the tree!

The story of the tree of life teaches us so many valuable lessons. My favorite part of the story is the comparison of the love of God to the most delicious, pure white fruit we can imagine. I have felt a taste of this fruit when I prayerfully read the scriptures, hear inspired music and serve others. I know God loves me. I know He lives and is in the details of my life. I strive to grasp the iron rod (Word of God) and teach, invite, encourage, and help my children to enjoy this delicious love with me.

I invite you, also, to Come to Jesus. Feel His love for you. I know He awaits you with open arms.

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