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, grownups sometimes have these dreams too. Even old men like Lehi.
In the desert Lehi 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 you still see your hand in front of your face, it was even darker than that.
This was not normal. Normally, when it was dark at night, there were still stars and a moon that shone bright enough that Lehi could still see his own hands, even his own feet. It only got this dark when thick clouds stopped the night sky from shining. When it was dark like this, Lehi could not see a single thing because they did not 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.
And that’s what Lehi’s dream was all about. There was no light. No stars. No moon. And no fire. He was lost and didn’t know how to get home. It was so dark that he didn’t know whether he should go right or left. So he stumbled over bushes, tripped over rocks, and slipped on sand.
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 now. But he was still nervous because he knew his family was still out there somewhere, lost in the sticky, scary darkness. And how could he be happy until they were all safe and sound together?
So Lehi went looking for his family. He found Nephi and Sam and 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 sons 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 people to know and so they laughed instead of crying. That way, no one would ever think they were scared. Others felt abandoned and had so many self-doubts and so they tried to bully and hurt other people. Because if they could hurt other people, it made them feel stronger. And if they could control other people, it made them feel more in control of themselves.
But if you could see into their hearts, you would see that it too was full top to bottom of blacker than black fear. And when people are full of fear, it’s hard for them to feel loved. And when people don’t feel loved, it’s hard for them to be good. And 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. They needed love but Lehi couldn’t reach them. Lehi couldn’t give it to them.
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 was going into everyone’s heart. And like a star in the night sky, He was bringing light and love into the darkest most fearful hearts.
Lehi was no longer scared because Jesus wanted to help all of his 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 confuse 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 them too. Because that’s what makes Jesus, Jesus.
So when Lehi woke up from his dream, though it had been a little scary, he knew he didn’t have to be afraid. And he gathered his family together and 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 because of Jesus they would all be together, under that tree, eating fruit that was sweet and bright like a star, and went down their throats thick and warm like hot chocolate, and went into their hearts where it pulsed and tickled and beamed and where it would stay.