1 Nephi 8: Lehi's Dream

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 19–20


Lehi’s inspired dream symbolically represents our life in mortality. We can find ourselves represented in it and can see where our lives are headed if we remain on our present path. Notice what brought Lehi joy and sorrow. Watch also for what Lehi’s children did in the dream. Why were some of them in danger? Think about how Lehi might have felt as he pondered what the Lord revealed to him in this dream.
Lehi's dream

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Nephi 8

Bade (v. 6)Asked
Beckoned (v. 15)Signaled to come
Strait (v. 20)Narrow and direct (using two words that have similar meanings, strait and narrow, is a poetic form)
Commence (v. 22)Begin
Scoffing (v. 28)Making fun of, mocking

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 1 Nephi 8.

Activity A iconFind the Key

In his dream, Lehi found himself in a dark wasteland for many hours (see 1 Nephi 8:4–9). What did Lehi do to get out of the darkness? How is the darkness Lehi experienced like the world in which we live? How can what Lehi did to get out of darkness also help you?

Activity B iconMatch the Scripture to a Phrase

Lehi’s dream helps us understand important principles about life and our efforts to live the gospel. The images in the dream are symbolic, and they represent real challenges that we face every day. Write out what Lehi saw, as listed below, and then, from your reading of 1 Nephi 8, choose the phrase that best describes the image.

What Lehi Saw

Which Statement Best Describes It?

1. “Dark and dreary wilderness” (v. 4)

a. A pleasant place
b. A fearful place

2. “Man … dressed in a white robe” (v. 5)

a. Helped Lehi feel at ease
b. Increased Lehi’s fear

3. “Large and spacious field” (v. 9)

a. Also a dark and dreary place
b. A neutral place

4. A tree with wonderful fruit (see v. 10)

a. The center of the dream
b. The source of Lehi’s concern

5. “River of water” (v. 13)

a. A danger
b. A blessing

6. “Rod of iron” (v. 19)

a. marked the path to the tree
b. Protected travelers from the river

7. Narrow path beside the river (see v. 20)

a. Easy to follow
b. Difficult to follow

8. “Mist of darkness” (v. 23)

a. Made travel difficult
b. Caused by the many people

9. “Great and spacious building” (v. 26)

a. Stood by the tree of life
b. Stood across the river

Activity C iconWrite a News Interview

Lehi told us that the fruit of the tree in his dream “was desirable to make one happy” (1 Nephi 8:10) and tasting the fruit filled him with “exceedingly great joy” (v. 12). In his dream, Lehi saw four groups of people that represent people in this life:

  • Those who tried to get to the tree but were lost in the mist of darkness (see vv. 21–23)

  • Those who made it to the tree but fell away when the multitudes mocked them (see vv. 24–25, 28)

  • Those who desired the great and spacious building more than the fruit of the tree (see vv. 26–27, 31–33)

  • Those who got to the tree and were not ashamed (see v. 30)

  1. 1.

    Imagine you are a news reporter and you interviewed a person from each of the four groups. From what you read about each group, write how you think each person would answer the following questions:

  1. a.

    Where were you trying to go? Why?

  2. b.

    Did you get to where you were going? Why, or why not?

  3. c.

    Do you like the place where you finished? Why, or why not?

  1. 2.

    Suppose you could interview those same people in the next life. Write how you think they would answer the last question from that point of view.