Eternal Life Here and Now?

Lehi saw a vision of the Tree of Life (See 1 Nephi 8). In his vision he saw some pressing forward until they arrived at the tree and tasted its fruit. Some of them “after they had tasted of the fruit…were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost” (1 Nephi 8:28).

Nephi, the son of Lehi, wished to “know the things that [his] father had seen” (1 Nephi 10:1) and then had a glorious vision recorded in 1 Nephi 11-14. After his vision, he explained the vision to his brothers in 1 Nephi 15. At the close of his explanation of the vision he had something quite remarkable to say:

Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that tree of life, whose fruit is most precious and most desirable above all other fruits; yea, and it [i.e., the fruit] is the greatest of all the gifts of God (1 Nephi 15:36).

This should make any LDS seminary graduate to raise his eyebrows. What is the greatest of all the gifts of God?

The Doctrine and Covenants states that “eternal life…is the greatest of all the gifts of God” and also that “there is no greater gift than the gift of salvation” (14:7; 6:13). So salvation or eternal life is the greatest gift a child of God can receive, and this is synonymous with the fruit of the tree of life!

So, apparently some can partake of the fruit of the tree of life (which is eternal life or salvation) and then fall away. Since this life is the time to prepare to meet God, and since salvation cannot be lost after death, in what ways can we partake of eternal life and salvation in this life?

Or, am is there more to this that I’m not seeing?

PS. There are a few Biblical references to having “eternal life” in this life. I won’t point them out to you specifically, but they’re there.


4 thoughts on “Eternal Life Here and Now?

  1. Great concept. I remember learning from a powerful teacher that the “tree of life” in ancient Israel was an olive tree, which enhances the metaphor and may point to the sacred ordinances of the temple.

    Concerning the idea that “salvation cannot be lost after death”, perhaps this is just my feeling, but I believe that it is possible at any time for a person to fall away and lose their blessings. But then again, this is just my belief.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

  2. Greg,

    Thanks for your insights. I definitely think there is more to this than we normally consider.

  3. As a Rosicrucian and personal friend of the Lord Jesus Christ I will share a little. The “Tree of Life” can only be understood in light of Spiritual insight by studying the Cabbala (many different spellings).. It is the schematized whole of Creation…. The upper world and the reflection being the lower world, the seven days of Creation…. This is spiritual meat way beyond rudimentary and basic beliefs.

    The “Physical Incarnation (body)” is the “exile” that man must endure as he interacts with the phenomena of the material world to learn and be exercised in making the right choices.


  4. buen punto, pero talvez la respuesta se encuentre tambien en una analogia, yo puedo decirte a ti que te entrego el fuego para que puedas calenterte en el frio, pero te entrego una caja de fosforos, a pesar de que en ese momentos no cuentas con el fuego si cuentas con los medios para obtenerlos, por lo que podria decirte que si te estoy entregando el fuego, ¿ pero que pasaria si los fosforos se mojan? ciertamente perdiste el fuego.

    es lo mismo, cuando en esta alegoria se les da el maximo de los dones la vida eterna y despues caen, se le entregan los medio para obtenerla , es decir el Evangelio, quien sigue el evangelio como medio llegara a ala vida Eterna, y todos podemos caer mientras vivimos la vida en el Evangelio.

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