Mercy and the Mother

Feb 22, 2016
6 min read

I have put the words that I believe are related directly to the divine Mother motif in ALL CAPS AND BOLD. The following verses in this article area all connected to each other and certain key points have been emphasized.

I encourage you to open your scriptures and take the time to ponder them in context and look for other connections because they are everywhere.

The Tree and the Virgin

1 Nephi 11:7
the TREE
which bore the fruit
which thy father tasted

1 Nephi 11:8
I looked and beheld a TREE
the beauty was far beyond
yea, exceeding of all beauty
and the whiteness thereof
did exceed the whiteness
of the driven snow

1 Nephi 11:13
I beheld a VIRGIN and she was
exceedingly fair & white

1 Nephi 11:15
A VIRGIN most beautiful and fair
above all other VIRGINS

1 Nephi 11:18
the VIRGIN which thou seest is the
MOTHER of god after the manner of the flesh [original manuscript & 1830 edition]

1 Nephi 11:20
I beheld the VIRGIN again
bearing a child in her arms (vs.7 – tree which bore the fruit)

1 Nephi 11:21
knowest thous the meaning of the TREE?

Note that the tree itself (not the fruit) and the virgin are both ‘exceedingly’ beautiful/fair and white (another word for pure). The virgin and the tree are synonymous but that is not where the comparisons end. Lehi sees the tree in his vision and partakes of the fruit, but in Nephi’s vision, far more attention is given to understanding the meaning of the tree itself.

The Love of God and Mercy

1 Nephi 11:22
Yea, it [the tree] is the LOVE OF GOD which
sheddeth itself abroad in the
hearts of the children of men;
wherefore it is the most desirable of all things

1 Nephi 11:23
Yea, and the most joyous to the soul

Mosiah 4:12
Ye shall always rejoice and be
with the LOVE OF GOD and always retain a
remission of your sins

2 Nephi 31:17
then cometh a remission of your sins
by fire and by the HOLY GHOST

In the previous four verses we have the tree, or the love of God being the most desirable of all things. Both the angel and King Benjamin use words connected with joy (joyous and rejoice) and King Benjamin connects being filled with the love of God to the remission of sins. 2 Nephi 31:17 connects the remission of sins with the Holy Ghost.

4 Nephi 1:15
no contention because the LOVE OF GOD
did dwell in the hearts of the people

1 Nephi 11:25
And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the FOUNTAIN of living waters, or to the TREE of life; which waters are a representation of the LOVE OF GOD; and I also beheld that the TREE of life was a representation of the LOVE OF GOD.

Alma 42:24
justice exerciseth all his demands,
MERCY claimeth all which is her own

Alma 42:23
MERCY cometh because of the atonement

Note that justice is a HE and mercy is a SHE. Mercy can claim her own because of the atonement. Mercy is the tree/Mother and her Son is the fruit she bears. The iron rod leads us back to both the fruit and the tree that bore it, or in other words, the Son and his Mother.

Birth and the Tree

Redemption is a reversal of the birth process. We all leave Eden and must return back the way we came to the tree of life we were originally cut off from at the navel. Interestingly the Hebrew word for covenant is berith, which is believe to be derived from the word barah, which means “to cut.” There is always blood involved with covenants, literally or figuratively.

In Nephi’s vision, to return to the tree, we must find the end of the “rod” (or perhaps cord) that leads back to it.

1 Nephi 8:24
And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.

See what’s happening here? Below is a picture of human placenta and note the tree-like appearance, the long rod that connects the “tree” to us and the blood and “cutting” that separated us from the tree.


Human placenta

In Nephi’s vision the Mother (represented by Mary) and the Son are juxtaposed together. Baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost are also juxtaposed. Baptism has many direct correlations to birth, a feminine motif.

Moses 6:59
That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten…

I believe that the Mother is far more involved in the process of redemption specifically than we realize. In Alma 42, we might be witnessing the entire heavenly family at work, the Father (justice) the Mother (mercy) and the Son (repentance). How is the mother mercy? Again, she is the tree and can claim her own because she bears the fruit of repentance, her son, the redeemer.

Alma 42:22
But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which REPENTANCE, MERCY claimeth; otherwise, JUSTICE claimeth the creature and executeth the law…

Jesus once said “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9), so is it not possible that those that taste the fruit of his redemption and experience the mercy of God have thus seen the Mother as well? Sometimes people wonder where our Mother in Heaven is or how she is involved in the Plan of Salvation. I say that she is everywhere if you have eyes to see, but she wears a veil.

Wisdom and the Mother

Pay very close attention to the word “wisdom” in the scriptures, it is one of her titles (as well as charity, mercy, patience, and perhaps many others).

Proverbs 1:7-8
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of KNOWLEDGE
but fools despise WISDOM
my son hear the instruction of thy FATHER
and forsake not the law of thy MOTHER

Proverbs 1:20,23
WISDOM crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:…
I will pour out my SPIRIT unto you
I will make known my words unto you

Proverbs 3:13,18
Happy is the man that findeth WISDOM
She is a TREE of life to them that lay hold upon her:
and happy is every one that retaineth her.

Mosiah 8:20
they will not seek WISDOM
neither do they desire that SHE
should rule over them

One last fun thing to include on the subject of wisdom. In D&C 89, also known as the “Word of Wisdom” we find the following words:

D&C 89:18-19
And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their NAVEL and marrow to their bones; And shall find WISDOM and great treasures of knowledge, even HIDDEN treasures;

Seriously, this kind of stuff is all over the place if you keep digging. If this topic interests you, try checking these posts out:

Motherhood: Paradoxes, Wisdom and Love

Mother is There


  1. Jeremiah 10:12:
    He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

    It’s also interesting that the fruit makes one “happy”
    Asherah sounds like the Hebrew word for happiness.

    Proverbs 8 is another Wisdom chapter, especially verses 27-30.

    • That’s a great verse in Jeremiah, it’s interesting that the word “earth” in that verse is ‘erets and is a feminine noun as is the word “world” which is tebel. The earth is spoken of as the mother of men.

      Yeah, the fruit of the tree does make one happy, as does the tree itself, it invokes joy and rejoicing. I haven’t compared the name Asherah with the Hebrew word for happiness but that’s something worth checking out. The first several chapters of Proverbs include many references to wisdom, so there’s a lot to study there.

      In Moses 7:48 we have this verse where the earth appears to be speaking and Enoch hears this voice saying:

      “And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the MOTHER of men; I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face?”

      Could it be that this isn’t actually the planet speaking? Note that the voice comes from the bowels, it could be that this is just symbolic, or that the earth is actually speaking, or that this is the actually the voice of the Mother, a rare moment in scripture where we find her speaking.

  2. Hey I have been reading your blog for a while and it’s great. Amazing insight and wisdom.

    So are there any posts you have done on Tithing? Just wondering?


    • Thanks Chip, always glad to hear that someone enjoys the blog. As for tithing, I’m actually not sure that I’ve ever posted anything on tithing specifically. I do have many thoughts and some very positive personal experiences with the principles involved.

      Do you have a specific question or thought concerning tithing? Perhaps I could offer some feedback here in the comments or in a new post.

      • I don’t have a specific question on tithing. More was just curious if you have any insight or analogy for tithing. I love the whole symbolism of climbing the mount that you apply to principles. So was just curious if you had examples or ideas on tithing like that. So basically no exact question just would be cool to hear your insight.

  3. Jeffrey Richardson

    When reading 1 Nephi 8, “and they came fourth and caught hold of the END of the rod of iron” has ALWAYS caught my attention so I am glad you brought that up. I am absolutely blown away the placenta looks like a tree and that the cord can be representative of the rod of iron. Some suppose the rod of iron is more like a staff. If you search the scriptures for the word “rod” that is usually what you get – something like a staff. The traditional way we picture it is like a hand rail, which is something I haven’t found yet in the scriptures, but I can see why we think that when in 1 Nephi 8 we read phrases like “it extended along the bank” (v. 19)

    Any thoughts on what the “end” of the rod of iron means?

    • Hi Jeffery, thanks for contributing to a conversation on this topic. If you are looking at this vision through the paradigm of a placenta and the cord being synonymous to the tree and the rod, the end of the rod would be where we were once connected to the tree by our navels.

      Note in D&C 89, which we like to call “the Word of WISDOM” we find the promise that those “who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel…” (vs.18)

      Pay special attention to where you find the word “navel” occurring. It’s a scar that represents a connection that once existed and was severed. Much of what we are seeking to do here in life is to reconnect. This is a topic worth your study, trust me. There are patterns here that extend all throughout scripture and unfold amazing things.

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