“He Saw and Heard Much”

Brant Gardner

Scriptural analysis: Lehi's call as a prophet was not a single event epiphany. The trigger for the call was Lehi himself, who took it upon himself to pray for his people (verse 5). In response to that prayer, Lehi receives a revelation. Verse 6 is tantalizing in its brevity. The key phrase is that Lehi saw a pillar of fire descend before him to dwell on a rock. The image of the pillar of fire and its relationship to Jehovah could not have been lost on him. Lehi knew from whom he received information. Unfortunately, while he saw and heard much which touched him to the soul (verse 6) we have no idea what that was. The record is completely silent as to the nature of this particular revelation.

The effects of close interaction with the Spirit are frequently described as enervating (Joseph Smith-History 2:20, Moses 27:29, Acts 9:3-6). Joseph was drained after his experience in the Grove, and Lehi was drained after his experience with the pillar of fire. He returns to his home and ponders his experience (verse 7).

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon