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Lehi’s Dream and the Garden of Eden

TitleLehi’s Dream and the Garden of Eden
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCalabro, David
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
KeywordsDream; Garden of Eden; Lehi (Prophet); Nephi (Son of Lehi); Tree of Life; Vision

Lehi’s dream in 1 Nephi 8 and Nephi’s related vision in 1 Nephi 11–14 contain many features related to the biblical garden of Eden, including most prominently the tree of life. A close reading of the features of Lehi’s dream in light of the earliest Book of Mormon text shows further similarities to the biblical garden, suggesting that the setting of Lehi’s dream is actually the garden of Eden. But the differences are also informative. These include both substantive features absent from the biblical Eden and differences in the language used to describe the features. Many of the variant features are also found in other ancient creation accounts. In view of these observations, it is likely the Book of Mormon presupposes a variant account of the garden of Eden. This variant account forms the backdrop for Lehi’s dream and for other references to the garden in the Book of Mormon.


Scripture Reference

1 Nephi 8
1 Nephi 11
1 Nephi 12
1 Nephi 13
1 Nephi 14