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TitleThe Book of Mormon Was My Answer
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsRoberts, Dorothy S.
Issue Number10
Date PublishedOctober 1988
KeywordsConversion; Dream; Tree of Life

A conversion story of a young woman who had a recurring dream similar to that of Lehi’s dream of the tree of life. Puzzled by its meaning over a period of years, she found her answer in the Book of Mormon.


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The Book of Mormon Was My Answer

By Dorothy S. Roberts

The dream goes back as far as memory will take me. It recurred several times annually all the years I was growing up.

Although I was a city child, the dream took place in a country setting. I was standing on a pathway in a park. A brook ran beside the path. It wasn’t very wide or deep, but instead of the water being clear and fresh, it was dark and muddy. I wasn’t afraid of falling into the brook because I saw, on my right, a railing I could hold on to. It was constructed of sections of iron piping connected by threaded joints, much like my father would have made in his workshop.

As I looked ahead along the path, I could see in the distance an enormous tree with overhanging branches. A bearded old man wearing a long robe stood under the tree. He held his hand out to me, and I started to walk toward him.

As I glanced across the brook, I saw a pretty green meadow. Out of it rose a large, white building six or seven stories high. It had many windows, and out of these leaned men and women who were richly robed and jeweled. Some wore tiaras or crowns.

They shouted to me, but I could not hear their words. Then they waved their arms in scornful gestures. From other window openings leaned skeletons who waved their long, bony arms in similar gestures of derision.

At this point, I always woke up. I think I was too alarmed by the skeletons for the dream to continue. Through the years of dreaming, I never did reach the old man who beckoned from under the tree.

As a young woman working in New York City, I was assigned to the office of a lawyer from Washington, D.C., who was joining our firm. He was youthful, handsome, and enthusiastic, and he lost no time in asking me if I knew any thing about the Mormon church. I had heard of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young but didn’t know anything more.

He came to work the next day carrying an armload of books. He spread them out on his desk and asked if I would choose one and read it. Reluctantly I took one, the thinnest volume, which was LeGrand Richards’s A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. I read it with curiosity and later returned it with the comment that, to my surprise, I had enjoyed it.

Now he grew bolder and asked if I would like to read the Book of Mormon. I declined. He then asked if he could read something to me, and he proceeded to share with me the promise in Moroni 10:4 [Moro. 10:4]. Those words moved me, and I agreed to give it a try.

When I came to the recitation of Father Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life (see 1 Ne. 8:9–35), I was electrified. I knew that story. I had known it all my life. Wasn’t this my dream? And in that moment, I knew that God had touched my life in a very special way.

After several months of study with the missionaries of the Eastern States Mission, I was baptized. Following that ordinance, I was confirmed a member of the Church. I was thrilled when hands were placed on my head and I heard the words, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”

In the many years that have passed since then, the Spirit has witnessed to me at various times and in a number of ways, but never quite so persistently as it did in my dream. And the dream itself? After I emerged from the waters of baptism, I never dreamed it again.

Dorothy S. Roberts is a Relief Society Spiritual Living teacher in the Winder Eighth Ward, Salt Lake Winder Stake.