Have you ever had a dream that scared you so bad that when you woke up you couldn’t sleep? Maybe you cried, and you just wanted to be with someone who loved you and could hold you and tell you everything is going to be alright. Well even grownups sometimes have these dreams. Even old and righteous men like Lehi.
In the desert he dreamed the scariest dream he had ever dreamed. It was dark, so dark. It was darker than you’ve probably ever seen. Turn off all the lights and see how dark you can make it. If you can still see your hand in front of your face, it was even darker than that. Do you know why it was so dark? It was dark because when Lehi lived they didn’t have street lights or light switches, TVs, or Computer screens. All they had to help them see at night was the stars, the moon, and fire.
Normally, the stars and moon shone so bright they could still see their own hands, even their own feet. But when the clouds were out, covering the night sky, that’s when it got really dark.
And that’s what Lehi’s dream was all about. He was lost and it was so dark that no one knew whether they should go right or left. He didn’t know how to get home. He stumbled over bushes, tripped over rocks.
But then something happened. An angel came and showed Lehi a tree. And the tree was shining like a light bulb. Or like a Christmas tree. Except all the lights were fruit and when he ate the fruit it was the most delicious fruit he had ever eaten. Lehi was safe. But he wasn’t happy yet. He wanted his family to be there with him. You see, they were still lost in that sticky, scary darkness.
Lehi went looking for his family. He found Nephi and Sam and his wife Sariah. He helped them get to the tree and they were all happy. But Lehi was still not happy because he needed his whole family to be safe. And Laman and Lemuel were still out there in the darkness. And this is when something really scary happened.
Lehi saw Laman and Lemuel, and it was so dark, and they didn’t know where to go, and they were going in the wrong direction. Instead of coming to the tree they were headed right off a cliff. He tried to call out to them. To tell them to turn back, to go the other way. But they couldn’t hear or they wouldn’t listen. And they just kept on going.
And that’s when the scariest thing of all happened. Lehi realized that his children weren’t listening to him because there were other people calling out to them. These other people were intentionally misleading his children, telling them the wrong way to go! Now why do some people mislead other people? Why would someone lie, or cheat, or steal? Why would someone try to cause harm to another person? That’s what Lehi couldn’t understand. And that’s why his dream was so scary.
But remember how Lehi was a prophet? Shouldn’t he be able to do something? But even as a prophet he didn’t know how to help all these people. A whole world of people. And it was so dark and nobody knew where to go or what was happening.
Some had become sad and were crying. Others were scared but they were embarrassed and didn’t want others to know they were scared. So they laughed instead of crying so that people wouldn’t think they were scared. Others felt abandoned and had so many self-doubts that they bullied others so that they would feel better about themselves.
They did these bad things because down in the deepest parts of their hearts they were all full of fear. And when people are scared and have feelings like fear, it’s hard for them to feel loved. And when people don’t feel loved, it’s hard for them to be good. That’s why Lehi was so scared. He wasn’t scared for himself. He was safe and sound by the tree. He was scared for all the other people in the world who were lost, scared, tired, hungry, poor. People he couldn’t help.
But you know what happened then? God happened. Lehi didn’t have to solve everything because there was someone kinder, better, more powerful than he was. There was Jesus. He was like an iron rod that would guide people out of the darkness. Bring them home to this big, beautiful, Christmas-like tree where they could see again. And they could hug and talk together and tell each other that everything was going to be alright. And everything was alright because Jesus had created a way so that all those people could be safe, every single one.
Jesus wanted to help all of Lehi’s children. Not just Nephi and Sam, but Laman and Lemuel too. And not just Laman and Lemuel, but even the people who were trying to mislead Laman and Lemuel. Even the people who were hurting other people, Jesus wanted to help them. Even people who would try to hurt Jesus, he wanted to help. That’s what makes Jesus, Jesus.
So when Lehi woke up from his dream, he was a little scared but he knew he didn’t have to be afraid because of Jesus. And so he gathered his family together. Told them his dream. And even though in his dream he never saw Laman and Lemuel at the tree, he still trusted that God was merciful and could find a way to save them. And so he told them his dream, and told them about Jesus.