Understand the Symbolism of the Tree of Life
the tree of life also in the midst of the garden
~ Genesis 2:9 ~
And I, the Lord God, planted the tree of life also in the midst of the garden,
~Moses 3:9 ~
And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
~ 1 Nephi 11:21-22 ~
The tree represents Christ, who is the clear manifestation of the love of God. The fruit is His infinite Atonement and is great evidence of God’s love. Eternal life with our loved ones is sweeter and more desirable than any other thing. To realize this gift, we must “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.” He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” We can fill our lives with accomplishment and well-doing, but in the end, if we do not enter into sacred covenants to follow Christ and faithfully keep them, we will have utterly and completely missed the mark.
~ Elder Kevin W. Pearson: Stay by the Tree – General Conference April 2015 ~
In Word: The Tree of Life was planted in the midst of the Garden. This reference provides us the key in understanding the importance of Christ’s infinite atonement and fulfillment of our Heavenly Father’s divine purpose and plan. The midst of the Garden of Eden is the center of God’s Holy Kingdom. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the center of our Heavenly Father’s heart and mind. Jesus Christ is central to the plan of salvation. John writes that For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). The Apostle Paul writes: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). And in the Book of Mormon, we read: He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation (2 Nephi 26:24).
In Deed: John wrote the words of Christ where the promise of those who endure to the end shall be granted permission to sit on the throne with Christ as he sits on the throne with the Father (Revelation 3:21). True discipleship is one of great cost. It requires us to take up our cross and abide in Christ by keeping his commandments (Matthew 16:24-26 and John 15:10). It is essential to the plan of salvation that we endure as Christ has endured. Through our enduring to the end, we shall overcome as Christ has overcome. There is no greater blessing than what promises are contained within the plan of salvation. It is through our daily commitment to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him (Moroni 10:32).
Take a Moment and Ponder: The Tree of Life symbolizes the love of God and the powerful purpose of the Plan of Salvation. How does this help you with your faith and commitment to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him? If you are struggling in faith – how does this give you assurance and hope? What cost is it for you to come unto Christ and follow him every day? Have you partaken of the fruit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by committing to keeping those commandments and covenants you have made?