[The Earliest Text] 1 Nephi (LDS 8:3-12) (RLDS 2:42-53)
AA 3 And behold, because of the THING which I have SEEN,
AB I have reason to REJOICE in the Lord because of NEPHI and also of SAM.
-B For I have reason to suppose that they and also many of their SEED will be saved.
–C 4 But behold, LAMAN and LEMUEL, I fear exceedingly because of you.
—D For behold, methought I saw a DARK and DREARY wilderness.
—-E 5 And it came to pass that I saw a man and he was dressed in a WHITE robe.
—–F And HE came and STOOD BEFORE ME.
——G 6 And it came to pass that he spake unto me and bade me FOLLOW HIM.
——-H 7 And it came to pass that I FOLLOWED HIM.
——G And after I had FOLLOWED HIM,
—–F I BEHELD MYSELF that I was in a DARK and DREARY WASTE.
—-E 8 And after that I had traveled for the space of many hours in DARKNESS,
—D I began to PRAY unto the Lord
—-E that he would have MERCY on me
—-E according to the multitude of his tender MERCIES.
—D 9 And it came to pass that after I had PRAYED unto the Lord,
–C I beheld a LARGE and SPACIOUS FIELD.
-B 10 And it came to pass that I beheld a TREE
A whose fruit was DESIRABLE
-B to make one HAPPY.
–C 11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and PARTOOK of the FRUIT thereof
—DA and BEHELD that it was most SWEET,
—DB ABOVE all that I ever HAD BEFORE TASTED.
—DA Yea, and I BEHELD that the fruit thereof was WHITE
—DB to EXCEED all the whiteness that I HAD EVER SEEN.
–C 12 And as I PARTOOK of the FRUIT thereof,
-B it filled my soul with exceeding great JOY.
A Wherefore I began to be DESIROUS
-B that my FAMILY should PARTAKE of it also,
A for I knew that it was DESIROUS above all other fruit.
The thing which Lehi saw in verse 3 stanza AA is the sweet and white fruit upon the tree which makes one happy in verses 10-11 stanzas AB – AD. White is symbolic of righteousness, and sweet deals with goodness. Keeping in mind that the tree represents Yeshua/Jesus, the fruits are His works, which we will strive to imitate after we have decided to follow him.
Alma (LDS 5:34-36) (RLDS 3:58-60) A 34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the FRUIT of the tree of LIFE; B yea, ye shall eat and drink of the BREAD and the WATERS of LIFE freely; A 35 Yea, come unto me and bring forth WORKS of RIGHTEOUSNESS, B and ye shall NOT be HEWN DOWN and CAST INTO THE FIRE— AA 36 For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth NOT GOOD FRUIT, AA OR whosoever doeth NOT the WORKS of RIGHTEOUSNESS, B the same have cause to WAIL and MORN. Alma (LDS 40:26) (RLDS 19:60-61) A But behold, an awful death cometh upon the WICKED; B for they die as to things pertaining to things of RIGHTEOUSNESS; A for they are UNCLEAN, B and no unclean thing can inherit the KINGDOM OF GOD [ELOHIM]; A but they are CAST OUT, -BA and consigned to partake of the FRUITS of their LABORS -BA OR their WORKS, -B which have been EVIL; A and they drink the DREGS of a BITTER CUP. 1828 Webster's Dictionary, FOLLOW: 9. To imitate; to copy; as, to follow a pattern or model; to follow fashion.
In addition to stanza AA in verse 3 coinciding with stanzas AB – AD in verses 10-11, stanza AB in verse 3 also goes along with stanza AB in verse 12 in that they are both dealing with Lehi’s family.
Stanza B in verse 3 connects to Stanza B in verse 10 for multiple reasons, one seeds grow into trees, and more importantly people, the prosperity of Nephi and Sam, are trees as taught in Mark 8:22-26.
Mark 8:24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
Sadly through out their lives, Laman and Lemuel wandered around aimlessly in the large and spacious field as stated in the C stanzas in verses 4 and 9.
In stanzas D, E and F in verses 4 – 5 and 7 – 8 we see a lot of contrasting Yeshua’s/Jesus’ righteousness and the wickedness in the world and ourselves and then Lehi praying for mercy to be forgiven of his sins through Yeshua’s/Jesus’ atonement.
Stanza H in verse 7 is the focus of this chiasmus which is to follow/imitate Yeshua/Jesus.
Another focal point is in stanza DE in verse 8 reminding us that we need to seek forgiveness and mercy from Yeshua/Jesus in prayer to Him not some religious leader.
When we first start waking up to the awful situation we are in, we see all the wickedness that everyone else is doing, but not our own. If we continue to learn of Yeshua/Jesus and His infinite goodness, we realize that not only is the darkness around those not of our association, but it’s everywhere including in ourselves because we are sinners in need of Yeshua’s/Jesus’ grace and mercy. We see Lehi going through this process in verses 4 – 9. Lehi sees a dark and dreary wilderness. Yeshua/Jesus asks Lehi to follow Him. After Lehi followed Yeshua/Jesus, Lehi figured out that he WAS already in the same dark and dreary waste and prayed for mercy. Mercy is something you need from Yeshua/Jesus when you are doing something wrong. If the darkness was coming at Lehi, instead of him already being in it, he would have been praying for protection not mercy. Lehi did not go into the dark and dreary waste after following Yeshua/Jesus, Lehi was already in it, and didn’t comprehend that until after starting to imitating Yeshua/Jesus in His ancient path.
Ether (LDS 8:24) (RLDS 3:98) Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall SEE these things come AMONG YOU that ye shall AWAKE to a sense of YOUR AWFUL SITUATION, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. 2 Nephi (LDS 28:14) (RLDS 12:16-17) They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have ALL GONE ASTRAY save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are LED, that in many instances they do ERR [SIN] because they are TAUGHT BY THE PRECEPTS OF MEN. 2 Nephi (LDS 4:18-19) (RLDS 3:33-34) 18 I am encompassed about, because of the TEMPTATIONS and the SINS which do so EASILY BESET [ENTANGLE] me. 19 And when I desire to rejoice, MY HEART GROANETH BECAUSE OF MY SINS; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. 3 Nephi (LDS 4:30) (RLDS 2:77) And they did rejoice and cry again with one voice, saying: May the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, PROTECT this people in RIGHTEOUSNESS, so long as they shall call on the name of their God [Elohim] for PROTECTION.
In one last attempt to show that our fruits are our works, the passages below teach us that wickedness will not bring happiness or joy as partaking of the fruit of the tree of life will, in addition to the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary definition of wickedness.
1828 Webster's Dictionary, WICKEDNESS: noun: DEPARTURE from the rules of the divine LAW; EVIL disposition or practices; IMMORALITY; crime; SIN; SINFULNESS; corrupt manners wickedness generally signifies EVIL practices. What wickedness is this that is done among you? Judges 20:3. But wickedness expresses also the corrupt dispositions of the heart. Their inward part is very wickedness Psalms 5:4. In heart ye work wickedness Psalms 5:48. Alma (LDS 41:10-12) (RLDS 19:73-76) AA 10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning RESTORATION, AB that ye shall be RESTORED from SIN TO HAPPINESS. -B Behold, I say unto you, WICKEDNESS NEVER WAS HAPPINESS. --C 11 And now, my son, all men that are in a STATE OF NATURE, ---D or I would say, in a CARNAL STATE, ----E are in the GALL OF BITTERNESS ----E and in the BONDS OF INIQUITY; ---D they are WITHOUT GOD [ELOHIM] in the world, --C and they have gone CONTRARY to the NATURE of GOD [ELOHIM]; -B therefore, they are in a state CONTRARY TO THE NATURE OF HAPPINESS. AA 12 And now behold, is the meaning of the word RESTORATION ABA to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an UNNATURAL state, ABA OR to place it in a state OPPOSITE to its nature? Helaman (LDS 13:38) (RLDS 5:51-52) But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness IN DOING INIQUITY, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.