Monday, February 20, 2017

My Vision of The Iron Rod and Tree of Life



I just had a vision.

There is a story in The Book of Mormon about an "iron rod", leading to a "tree of life", and people holding onto that iron rod in order to get to the tree of life. Next to the iron rod is a "mist of darkness", and on the other side of the mist of darkness is a "great and spacious building", full of people pointing down and shouting at the people holding onto the iron rod. The interpretation by Lehi, and indirectly Joseph Smith (who interpreted the story supposedly by vision from God) is that those holding onto the iron rod are the righteous, and the tree of life is salvation and exaltation in the Kingdom of God.

While I have my doubts about The Book of Mormon, let's assume it was a real vision that Joseph Smith saw as he interpreted the story of Lehi. What if Lehi, and Joseph Smith got it wrong? Plato talks about a cave where people inside see shadows on the wall, assuming those shadows are reality. What if, instead of a path to righteousness as Lehi and Joseph Smith interpreted, this "iron rod" story is actually the story about the people in the building, who have a view over the entire world, and the beauty of it all? What if, instead of pointing their fingers in scorn down at the people holding to the rod, the people in the building are actually shouting at the top of their lungs that they're a much more beautiful world, and much bigger story if the people holding to the rod would just turn and listen? What if the river is the chasm that those holding to the rod have to go through, tearing their lives and hearts apart as they get to the building where they can see the entire picture? What if the iron rod is actually Plato's Cave and the great and spacious building are those outside the cave, looking in?

On the other side you see things differently. You see a whole new world without boundaries, and now instead of just one story about a narrow, tunnel-vision group of people focused on salvation, you see everyone in the picture, and a world of suffering, while those holding to the rod judge those that are lost, and on the other side. They don't realize that they're actually the ones who are lost.

I feel free. I feel like I have a view of not just the iron rod and tree of life, but the entire world around me, the people suffering within, and all those holding to the iron rod unable to see the people who are suffering!

"Twas blind but now I see"... This is MY vision, and the clay has been wiped from my eyes.

You can read the story here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/8

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