Parallels Between Jesus’ Temptations and Nephi’s Vision of the Tree of Life
In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we find an account of Jesus being tempted by the devil while fasting in the wilderness. The scene parallels, in at least two significant ways, Nephi’s vision of the tree of life.
Jesus is tempted by the devil, which correlates with the mists of darkness that Nephi saw in his vision. The only way through the mists of darkness, or these temptations, is to continually hold fast to the iron rod, or word of God.
The iron rod and the mists of darkness are two prominent features of Nephi’s vision recorded in 1 Nephi 11-14. Nephi observes “…that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God,” (1 Nephi 11:25) and that “the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil” (1 Nephi 12:17).
Jesus demonstrates this by replying to each of the three temptations presented to him with scripture – the word of God.
The devil does not seek to tempt us with things that are unappealing to us personally, quite the opposite. Temptations wouldn’t be such if they were not enticing, and if we seek to combat them alone, we may find that they will succeed in securing our involvement.
Temptations must be battled with the word of God, for it is the iron rod and the iron rod alone that will lead us through them. Jesus himself illustrated this successfully in his own life, and we can do the same.