Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Tree of Life

(copyright Intellectual Reserve and lds.org)

I'm so excited! In art class, we are having the opportunity to do self portraits in any way we like. At first I was a little unsure about it, because being the center of attention isn't too cool, but I have an idea!

I was thinking, and I realized there were not really very many widely known art pieces about the tree of life that are actually personal. They all show the grand scheme of things, but not a personal view. 

So I am going to draw myself reaching up and plucking off the fruit of the tree of life! 

For those who are unfamiliar with this story, it is found in 1 Nephi 7-11 or so (?). For those who are familiar, too bad! ;)

The tree of life was a dream that a prophet had. But I'll just describe what was in the dream. 

Many people were gathered, confused by the fog and storms and darkness of life. They were wandering, just like how we wander. Some of them found an iron rod suspended in the air, and grabbed hold of it. Looking down at their feet, they saw a straight and narrow path. If they followed that path and rod, they would reach a tree. Full of fruit and shining like the sun, the tree welcomed all to partake of its sweetness.

Across the way, a dirty river flowed. Across the river people laughed and spat and pointed fingers at the followers. They were rich and pleasurable, and some people who had reached the tree were ashamed. But those who had held fast to the iron rod were able to reach the tree and share the fruit with their families.

What did this dream mean? Well, that's what Nephi, a young man and the son of this prophet wanted to know. He prayed and asked God what it meant. An angel came to him and asked him what he thought the tree was. Nephi said he did not know the meaning of all things, but he knew that God loved his children (more on that in another post). The angel then showed him the vision and explained.

The tree of life is the love of God, and the fruit was the sweetest above all other fruits. The only way was by following the straight and narrow path and the iron rod to the tree. The iron rod was the word of God, and if we hold fast to it we can find our way through the mists of darkness to reach God's love. The word of God is found in the scriptures.

We need to make sure we find the iron rod and hold fast to it so that the people who laugh and mock us do not cause us to leave the light we've been given. As we keep progressing along the straight and narrow path, we will one day be able to bask in the light of God's love.

This past year, I have read my scriptures so much. I am so grateful to feel the love God has for me. If you want to feel it, read the scriptures. They will show you the way. God's love is the source of true happiness! I know that if you will search for him, and ask him if he loves you, you can receive a knowledge of that as well!


  1. I've never thought about the tree of life in a personal way. Thanks for the insight! In seminary, my friend once told me that I should think of the rod as something more like a shepherd's crook; where I hold one end, and God holds the other end and guides me.

    1. I love your ideas, Helen! Yeah, I'm excited for this piece. I'll be sure to show you guys when it's done!

  2. At activities tonight, we had a giant birthday party to celebrate all the young women's birthdays for the entire year. Our leaders gave us little tree charms, reminding us of a lesson given by one of them on Sunday. Well, because it was so ridiculously cold on Sunday, my dad wouldn't let me go to church (not to mention he's Catholic and my going to Mormon church isn't high on his list of priorities, besides, it was waay below zero out). So I had no idea what the lesson was. But it was about the free of life! And I remembered your post and now I get it! Thank you for this post!

    <3 Marie-Rose

    PS it makes a wonderful lesson to tie into "Come Unto Christ," doesn't it? :)

  3. You're so welcome! I'm glad this could help!

    I love lds jewelry, it's so cool because it's sweet and pretty but also carries a lot of meaning behind it.