Journey through the Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 12 (Mist of Darkness)

What is deeply impressive about Nephi’s vision is that he didn’t merely see the images that his father described. Instead, he received an expansive vision which elaborate upon and made personally relevant the symbolism from his father’s dream. Thus, symbols that had one meaning in Nephi’s telling of Lehi’s dream take on slightly different roles in Nephi’s vision.

For instance, the mist of darkness which played a prominent role in Lehi’s dream in 1 Nephi 8 recurs in 1 Nephi 12:4. Here it is described as a vapor of darkness, and describes the darkness that fills the land upon the death of the savior. I find this recurrence of the mists of darkness to be highly rich in symbolism. The time before Christ’s coming to the Nephites would be a time of great spiritual darkness where many will stand mocking the righteous believers. Nephi describes the destruction that God will reign down upon the wicked and the fall of the great and spacious building of his day.

Then after generations of righteousness, Nephi sees again the great and spacious building and is again reminded on the mists of darkness (1 Nephi 17). The people have again become blinded and fallen for the wiles of the devil. Thus, the recurrence of this symbolism is appropriate.

I love that Nephi takes the images from his father’s dream and applies them to his own family history and his situation. In a sense, he teaches through example how we can apply scriptural symbolism  to the circumstances of our lives. The images and stories from the scripture can deeply bless us when we liken them to ourselves. That is effectively what Nephi does with the symbolism that his father described.

 

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