1 Nephi 11:8-9 — LeGrand Baker — Nephi sees the Tree of Life.

1 Nephi 11:8-9 

8 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow.{1}
9 And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all.

Nephi wrote that he saw a tree that was whiter than the “driven snow.” He did not just say “whiter than snow.” The difference is that the “driven snow” is in the air, but just “snow” would be on the ground. When one tries to envision the Shechinah,{1} the best we might do is remember how a snowstorm looks when we turn on the bright lights of the car, or how snow looks when the wind is blowing it about on an otherwise bright, sunny day. The whiteness is simply too bright for our eyes to see beyond. What Nephi saw was probably something like that, a very bright opaque light that initially separated himself from the tree. Then he saw the tree itself, equally white, and which he recognized as being “precious above all.”

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FOOTNOTES

{1} See: “1 Nephi 8:10-12, Lehi’s description of the tree, the water, and the fruit.”

{2} For a discussion of the shechinah and the veils see the footnote at the end of the section called, “1 Nephi 1:1-6, A Three Act Play.” For further discussions see the section called, “1 Nephi 11:2-7, One Must Say and Do Truth.”

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