Lehi's Dream, Tree of Life, Book of Mormon, Lehi, Religious teachings


“Behold, I have dreamed a dream,” Lehi announced to his family one morning in the valley of Lemuel in northwestern Arabia (1 Nephi 8:2; see also 9:1; 10:16). This dream and its subsequent interpretation (given in vision to Nephi) provide a powerful Christ-centered foundation for the whole Book of Mormon.1 Of course, Lehi’s dream of his family, a tree, and its fruit was not the first revelatory dream he had received. Nephi indicates that his father, Lehi, had written an account of his own prophetic ministry that included “many things which he saw in visions and in dreams” (1 Nephi 1:16). The Lord had already communicated his will to Lehi through dreams on such important points as the command to leave Jerusalem (see 1 Nephi 2:1–2)2 and to have his sons return to Jerusalem to retrieve the scripture record on the brass plates (see 1 Nephi 3:2). However, we do not have reports of these dreams, only references to them.

Original Publication Citation

“Lehi Dreamed a Dream: The Report of Lehi’s Dream in Its Biblical Context,” in The Things Which My Father Saw: Approaches to Lehi’s Dream and Nephi’s Vision (2011 Sperry Symposium), ed. Daniel L. Belnap, Gaye Strathearn, and Stanley A. Johnson (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2011), 92-118. Available at:

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor