And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.
It may seem a little odd that the Lord gave Lehi a vision where He gave Lehi a book to read about the destruction of Jerusalem, since, after all, it’s a vision, right? Couldn’t the Lord have just shown the destruction to Lehi? But Lehi wasn’t the only one given a book in a vision.
Ezekial also had a vision where he was handed a book.
9 ¶And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Ezek. 2:9–10
In the revelation experienced by John the Beloved, John was given a book and told to eat it, probably symbolically suggesting the idea, “Devour the contents of this book. Make it part of you.”
And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. Revelation 10:9-11
Also in John’s vision, the very book of life was opened, and mankind as individuals were judged from the both the book of life and other books of scripture:
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation 20:12
By this time, Lehi had learned to take such dreams very seriously. Plus, being able to clearly read words is an additional proof that this is a vision, and not just a dream. In a dream, reading anything is terribly difficult, if at all possible. Reading these words had a profound effect on Lehi. They filled him with the Spirit and caused his heart to both mourn for Jerusalem and rejoice in the goodness of the Lord.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Chas Hathaway is the author of the books Scripture Study Made Awesome, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with Dating? and Giraffe Tracks. Learn more at chashathaway.com. Please participate in the conversation by adding comments and sharing with friends on the web!
Gospel Living Made Awesome is not an official work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Chas says something stupid, it's his own fault.