“A Good Spot of Ground”

Jana Reiss

This last “tree” of scattered Israel represents Lehi and his descendants in the New World. Although it has been planted in a good spot of ground and the master of the vineyard has nourished it continually, only a part of the tree bears tame fruit. On first glance, this would seem to symbolize the split between the Nephites, who brought forth good fruit, and the Lamanites, who did not. However, a closer reading of the Book of Mormon suggests that the reality was far more complex. Many of the Lamanites whose stories were recorded in the Book of Mormon were righteous, and many of the Nephites succumbed to pride, vanity, selfishness, and hatred. Also, the first few generations after Christ’s visit saw considerable intermingling of both peoples, with the former divisions set aside for a time.

The Book of Mormon: Selections Annotated & Explained