“The Greatest of All the Gifts of God” – 3 Nephi 15:36

The central symbol in Lehi’s dream was “a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy” (1 Nephi 8:10) After eating some of the fruit, his greatest desire after that was to help others experience that same joy, beginning with his own family.

When one of Lehi’s sons, Nephi, prayed to understand his father’s dream, he experienced a vision. He saw the same tree, followed immediately by a couple of scenes representing the birth of the Savior. An angel asked, “Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?” Nephi replied, “Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.” And the angel added, “Yea, and the most joyous to the soul” (1 Nephi 11:21-23).

Nephi later identified the tree as “the tree of life” and described its fruit as “most precious and most desirable above all other fruits.” He also said, “It is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (1 Nephi 15:36).

The prophet Alma later used a similar symbol as an object lesson for the Zoramites. If you will plant the word of God in your hearts like a seed, he said, and then nourish it with much care, it will grow until it becomes “a tree springing up unto everlasting life.” He called the fruit of that tree “most precious” and “sweet above all that is sweet” (Alma 32:41).

In June 1829, Joseph Smith received a revelation on behalf of David Whitmer. In that revelation, God made the following promise to David:

If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

Doctrine and Covenants 14:7

Elder J. Devn Cornish made it clear that our Heavenly Father wants to give us this gift:

The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back home and live with Him as families forever. He truly gave His Only Begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life! Please believe, and please take hope and comfort from, this eternal truth. Our Heavenly Father intends for us to make it! That is His work and His glory.

Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?” General Conference, October 2016

Today, I will be grateful for the gift of eternal life. I will remember that our Heavenly Father wants to give us that gift, and that He is willing to help us receive it. I will strive to follow His commandments, knowing that those commandments will help me receive His greatest gift.

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