“I May Preserve Them Also for Mine Own Purpose”

Brant Gardner

Symbolism: Botanically, the branches from the nethermost region that were part of the original tree—now strong and uncorrupted—are regrafted into the original tree. The visit of the master and servant to the nethermost branches focused on Lamanites and Nephites, but here it is more inclusive, also encompassing those planted in the poor and poorer soils.

Allegorically, this gathering of original branches refers to the process of bringing Israel home. Where the Lamanites and Nephites are concerned, however, there is an additional meaning—the Book of Mormon comes as part of this regrafting and the words of those far-flung branches of Israel will bring renewed strength to the original tree.

The strength of the mother tree will also be sent to the roots in the nethermost regions. This would appear to be the time when the Book of Mormon comes to the world from the nethermost regions and the Bible comes from the mother tree to the nethermost regions.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2