Lehi, in his vision, sees a tree with fruit that he says is “desirable to make one happy”.
After partaking of the fruit he said, “it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also…”.
What was this fruit and why was is it so important his family also partake?
We know from Nephi’s record of his conversation with an angel about Lehi’s vision that the tree represents the love of God.
To understand what “the love of God” is, we need only read one verse from the New Testament, John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
From this scripture , I will conclude that the love of God was manifest in the sacrifice of “his only begotten Son”, Jesus Christ.
Now if the tree is Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, what then does the fruit represent?
Remember, it was the partaking of the fruit that filled Lehi’s soul with joy and it was the fruit that was “desirable to make one happy”.
To better understand the meaning of the fruit, I look to Jesus’s words in Mathew 7: 15-17. First he warns of false prophets. Then in verse 16 and 17 he tells us how we are to know the good from the bad, “ye shall know them by their fruits”.
What was the “fruit” Jesus Christ came to bear to the world?
His fruit was ultimately the Atonement. Suffering for the sins of the world and dying that we might live again.
If Jesus Christ is the tree in Lehi’s vision, then the fruit is the atonement.
Therefore, it is the efforts we make to live as Jesus lived and repent of our sins that fills our souls with joy and ultimately makes us happy!
If we as parents, or spiritual leaders, are “partaking of the fruit” we should also be desiring that our families partake.
If we are partaking, we will be living a life our children will want for themselves. If they know it is because of this “fruit” that we are able to live so happily, they to will have the desire to partake!
We must be determined to live a life worthy of the pursuit of happiness by using the atonement of Jesus Christ to heal our souls.