Lehi’s Dream

Lehi’s Dream by Paul L. Anderson

Years ago, my Uncle Paul designed a sculpture representing Lehi’s dream, as described in 1 Nephi 8. His son, Christian, recently had it cast in metal, and you can see the result above. I love the way different characters are represented in this sculpture! Let me point out a few highlights:

  • Two of the people on the far left are facing away from the tree and looking downward. They seem discouraged. Perhaps they are like Sariah, Sam, and Nephi, whom Lehi saw standing “as if they knew not whither they should go” (1 Nephi 8:14). Or perhaps they are well aware of the tree but insecure about their own ability to reach it. The third individual is looking confidently toward the tree, which gives me hope for all three of them.
  • The person skipping down the stairs on the right seems to represent the people whom Lehi saw “feeling their way towards [the] great and spacious building” (1 Nephi 8:31). Christian pointed out that this individual looks rather giddy with excitement at being so free and independent. But the characters at the bottom of the stairs, all pointing “the finger of scorn” (1 Nephi 8:33) in unison, suggest just how conforming and monotonous rebellion can be.
  • My favorite detail is the individual reaching out his or her hand to help someone who is trying to approach the tree. Just as Lehi wanted to share this fruit with his family (1 Nephi 8:14-16), and like the Good Samaritan in the Savior’s parable (Luke 10:33-35), this individual represents awareness, empathy, and compassion. Even though the beneficiary is already grasping the iron rod and moving forward, why wouldn’t they be grateful for a helping hand?

Today, I will remember some of the lessons of Lehi’s dream as depicted in my uncle’s sculpture. I will strive to look up and be hopeful. I will remember that nonconformism may not be as liberating as it appears. And I will strive to help others in their journey toward the tree of life.

9 thoughts on “Lehi’s Dream

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  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing! Is that a husband and wife grasping to partake of the fruit simultaneously?…beautiful to see the doctrine of eternal marriage woven into the artwork


    1. Not sure whether that’s intended, but I like the thought that the two people reaching for the fruit are unified and supportive of one another. Thank you for sharing your impressions!


  2. Beautiful depiction! I would love one hanging in our house if your uncle is selling them. Looks like bringing the scriptures to life runs in your family!


    1. Thank you for the comment! My cousin only had one sculpture made from my uncle’s design. I’m glad you like it! I agree, this sculpture really brings Lehi’s Dream to life for me.


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