1 Nephi 15:15 — LeGrand Baker — “The True Vine.”

1 Nephi 15:15  

15. And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God?

“Receive” is a verb that requires action on the part of the one who accepts, but it also requires action on the part of the one who gives. If one receives without being given it is stealing. If one is given but does not receive, it is rejection. One cannot passively receive. That is only being dumped on. For one to receive strength and nourishment, one must actively accept it. The “true vine” is the Savior (John 15:1-10).

The idea of receiving such strength and nourishment from the source of life is very ancient. A favorite Old Testament promise reads:

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.
9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine (Proverbs 3:5-10).

The Hebrew word translated “navel” does not mean “belly button,” it means “the umbilical cord.”{1} Since no adult human actually has a healthy umbilical cord, the words cannot be taken literally, but must be taken figuratively. When one looks about to discover what it might mean, one remembers the often repeated idea that the ancient Jews considered the temple at Jerusalem to be the “navel of the earth,” the connecting place between God and his people. In that instance, also, the idea “navel” does not mean a severed, but a functional umbilical cord—a living connection between heaven and earth. It suggests staying attached to the “true vine.” If we will “trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding,” then the rectitude of our intentions will keep alive and functional that conduit between ourselves and heaven, bringing into play all of the covenants we made with God in the premortal world, and keeping us aware that God’s grace is sufficient to deter every power on earth or in hell from preventing us from fulfilling the assignments we accepted while at the Council in Heaven (Psalm 25).

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FOOTNOTE

{1} Strong # 8270. A similar idea is found in D&C 89:18-21.

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