The Book of Mormon is so incredible! I only recently discovered that Joseph Smith's father had actually had the very same dream or vision as the one Lehi had over 2,400 years earlier! Have you heard about this?
The other day I was reading in a great book called Rough Stone Rolling, by the preeminent LDS historian, Richard Lyman Bushman. In his book, Bushman details how Joseph Smith Jr.'s father, Joseph Smith Sr., had the very same dream as Book of Mormon prophet Nephi's father, Lehi had.
The dream of Lehi, commonly known as the Tree of Life dream provides a wonderful lesson about holding fast to the iron rod which represents the word of God. As the story goes, the iron rod leads those who hold fast to a tree of life which bears the sweetest fruit ever to be had. The sweet fruit symbolizes the love of God. It's a beautiful allegory.
At any rate, the cool thing here is how Joseph Smith Sr. had never even read nor heard of the Book of Mormon when he had the same dream that Lehi had. In fact, the Book of Mormon hadn't even been given to Joseph Smith, Jr. yet, let alone translated! In Rough Stone Rolling, Bushman shows us how Joseph Smith Jr. knew about and had, indeed, heard and re-heard the detailed telling of his father's dream as a youth even before laying eyes on the elusive golden plates.
Isn't it fascinating how the very same dream Joseph Smith Jr. had heard repeated many times by his father ended up being translated into the Book of Mormon several years later? Amazing!
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