Lehi, the Patriarch
The prophet Lehi
Lehi and his family lived around Six Hundred BC, near the same time as the prophet Jeremiah. He too gave several warnings concerning the coming destruction of Jerusalem, and as his message was rejected by the people. He then took his family and fled Jerusalem so that the scripture concerning the posterity of Joseph could be fulfilled. Gen. 49:22 "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by the well; whose branches run over the wall."
Lehi had a vision of the tree of life, this vision was concerning the state of man, it is the trials and tribulation which all must face before seeing God. There were several elements to this vision;
First is the tree which represents the love of God,
Next is a rod of iron which lead down a straight and narrow path until it reached the tree. This rod represents the word of God.
Next is a large and spacious building which the multitude of the world had gathered into. This is the pride of the world.
Lastly is the gulf which divided the the spacious building from the tree of life. And at the bottom of that gulf ran a river full of filthy water. this gulf is a representation of the justice of God which divides the wicked from the righteous, and the deep and filthy water is Hell.
The Lehi Stone
This stone, currently possessed by The Smithsonian, was discovered in the ancient Mesoamerican city of Izapa, in 1941, by archaeologist Matthew W. Stirling. The stone carving has been dated to the Preclassic Guillen Phase between 300 BC and 50 AD. While both LDS and Non-LDS scholars debate the interpretation of the carving, it's hard to ignore the striking similarity it has to Lehi's dream of the "Tree of Life" found in 1 Nephi chapter 8. The tree of life, the people eating fruit, and other resemblances to the account of Lehi's dream, coupled with the location it was found, and it being dated dead on to the Book of Mormon timetable, makes this an intriguing evidence of Book of Mormon authenticity. But like all faith evidences, this won't make people believe who don't already.
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