03698_000_029(See 1 Ne. 1–5, 7–8, 10–11.)
As Lehi prayed, pleading with all his heart for the people of Jerusalem, a pillar of fire suddenly appeared upon a rock in front of him. Then the Lord showed him things so magnificent that Lehi began to tremble exceedingly and grow weak. After the vision he returned home and fell upon his bed, completely exhausted.
While he lay there, he had another vision. He saw the heavens open and God sitting upon His throne, surrounded with angels all singing and praising Him. Lehi also saw Jesus Christ and twelve Apostles and many other wonderful things. But not all the things that he saw were gladsome. He also was warned that if the people did not repent, Jerusalem would be destroyed and the people carried away as captives.
When Lehi awoke from his dream, he told his family all that he had envisioned. Then he went throughout the city, teaching the people and calling them to repentance. But they would not listen. They mocked him and threatened to kill him.
Once more the Lord spoke to Lehi, commanding him to take his family and flee Jerusalem before it was destroyed. Lehi was a very wealthy man, yet he did not hesitate. He packed up tents and provisions, but left his home, gold, silver, and many other precious things and departed into the wilderness with his wife, Sariah, and their four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi.
They traveled toward the Red Sea for three days, then stopped near a river and pitched their tents. After building an altar of stones, they made an offering and gave thanks to the Lord.
Now, Laman and Lemuel did not believe the things that their father taught. They were upset that he had taken them from their comfortable home, and they argued with him and tried to stir the others up against their father. But Sam and Nephi believed the words of their father.
After a while the Lord told Lehi to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get the record of his people that was written on plates of brass. Laman and Lemuel argued against it, but Nephi said that he would go, and his brothers went with him. For many days Lehi and Sariah waited in the wilderness for the return of their sons. They must have worried a lot before the boys returned with a marvelous story of how the Lord had helped them obtain the records. After studying them, Lehi began to prophesy of wonderful things that would happen because of them.
When Lehi finished prophesying, he told his sons to go to Jerusalem once more to get Ishmael and his family so that they could marry Ishmael’s daughters. Laman and Lemuel were again upset with their father. Even after persuading Ishmael and his family to go with them, Laman and Lemuel wanted to return to Jerusalem. Only after Nephi spoke with them, and three of Ishmael’s family pleaded with them, did they continue their journey back to their father’s camp in the wilderness.
Once more Sariah and Lehi waited, and once more, when their sons returned with Ishmael and his family, they made an offering and gave thanks unto God for His guidance and help.
Lehi continued to have revelations from the Lord. In one, he saw a vision of a beautiful tree, which represented the love of God. A path beside a river led to the tree, and along the river and the path was an iron rod, which represented the word of God that people could use to find their way to the tree. In a large field beyond the river was a building that seemed to float high above the ground. The building represented the pride of the world, and in the building were many people who laughed and scoffed at the people who were trying to follow the path and get to the tree.
Lehi told his family about the dream and tried very hard to teach them the gospel.
(To be concluded.)