CLICK HERE to read 1 Nephi 12.
In response to his pondering and seeking understanding, Nephi’s vision continues.
And in response to his asking for the interpretation of his father’s dream, the angel continues to explain to Nephi what the dream means.
Nephi sees his descendants, and the descendants of his brothers. He sees them living in a “land of promise”, which refers to the physical and actual place where they live – and also is a metaphor for returning to the presence of Heavenly Father. Because we know this, anytime you read in Scripture and it talks about “the promised land” or the “land of promise”, etc., you can know it is covenant language happening and that it may be talking about a physical, temporal palce, but also is a metaphor for the celestial kingdom.
In his own vision, Nephi sees “wars and rumors of wars”, and many cities after many generations have passed.
Then Nephi sees what we saw in the tornado storms last night: “I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises…” (verse 4). He goes on to describe earthquakes and other natural disasters.
This is the testimony of nature, the groaning of the Earth, the waiting for the Lord to return so that the Earth may be cleansed and her people gathered.
And the Savior does come, Nephi sees in his vision.
“I saw the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them” (verse 6).
Nephi also sees the Holy Ghost coming upon “twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen” (verse 7). The angel goes on to explain that these twelve will judge the twelve tribes of Israel, and that Nephi’s descendants will be judged by them because he (Nephi) is of the House of Israel. But judgment is not to be feared, for all will understand and agree with their judgments, and the quality of their eternal life will match that which they have prepared for and chosen now – so they will be comfortable and happy with their judgment, knowing eternal life is a gift of mercy.
And those that believe are “righteous forever” (verse 10) because of HIS righteousness gifted in exchange for their sins through the atonement, the at-one-ment, the work of the Savior.
The angel then continues explaining Leh’s dream…
The “mists of darkness” are the temptations of the devil (verse 17).
The “large and spacious buildings” is pride.
Nephi sees into the future, seeing his descendants. He sees that when they “dwindle in unbelief”, they become a dark and filthy people who are full of idleness and do not do the things of God.
But there is hope in the symbols already interpreted in the last chapter: the “rod of iron” is the word of God, that is a “light” for the path.
The path leads to the tree, which represents the presence of Heavenly Father, and the happiness we have when we live at-one with Him.