“I Beheld”

Brant Gardner

Symbolism: Nephi had asked two things: to see his father’s vision and to understand its meaning. The angel answered both requests simultaneously, carefully showing Nephi each aspect of the vision accompanied by its meaning. Rather than symbol only, Nephi sees precisely how the Messiah’s mission explicates the dream’s meaning, illuminating the symbols by their association with his life and mission.

This verse explains the iron rod. Lehi had seen it as a guide; now Nephi understands that the guide is Yahweh’s word—by implication, the Messiah’s teachings during his mortal ministry. Yahweh embodies the Most High God’s love, a love that extends to the words by which we should live.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1