Posted by: isaiahsfan | March 10, 2007

Lehi’s Tent; with Isaiah References

posted by Isaiah’s Fan 

This post is mostly from M&M’s observations about the purposes of Lehi’s tent.  I’ve included some references from the BoM and some from Isaiah.  We will fill these in more as we go.  Click on the scriptures for the full reference.  My suggestion: Take just one of the following points and read the associated scriptures and consider the parallels to Lehi’s tent.  I’m hoping the BoM groupies with our background in Isaiah will be able to make some interesting connections and comments.  As always, visitors are welcome to contribute to this conversation! 

Lehi’s Tent 

–A Standard  

In Bedouin life, “a white flag,” we are told, “is sometimes hoisted above his tent to guide strangers and visitors. All visitors are led directly to the tent of the [sheikh].” (Hugh Nibley) 

Isaiah 49:22; see also D&C 45:9. The Lord extends his everlasting covenant to the Gentiles as a standard, and they in turn become messengers to spread the gospel to the remnant peoples.

1 Ne 22:6-9; 2 Ne 6:5-13.  Nephi and Jacob explain Isaiah’s words as they relate to their people.



The tent is a gathering place, a hub, especially for family but also for those invited to “have place” with the family (1 Ne 4:34; see also D&C 18:25 and Mosiah 26:24)

Isaiah 62.  This short chapter is filled with temple symbolism associated with the gospel standard and the gathering of Israel.

Isaiah 54:2 We are to enlarge the place of our tent (gather others into the gospel).


–Temple-related elements

Altars, sacrifice, teaching, in the sense of bridging the gap between heaven and earth.

1 Ne 7:22.  Nephi & co. come to Lehi’s tent, give thanks to the Lord and offer sacrifices.

Isaiah 56:6-8.  All who take hold of the covenant will be brought to the temple and their sacrifices accepted.



As the point of contact between the earth and the heavens, the tent is a place where revelation is given.

Isaiah 40:5.  The glory of the Lord shall be revealed.

1 Ne 9:1 Lehi saw, heard, spoke many things which cannot be written as he dwelt in a tent.

Isaiah 29:11-19.  The Book of Mormon to come forth.  In that day, the eyes of mankind will be opened and many things revealed.


–Lead to Christ

Here prophets teach of the Atonement and bring the saving and cleansing power of the Atonement into our lives.

1 Ne 10:4-16.  Lehi teaches his family a detailed message about the Messiah. Note connection with the tent in verse 16.



The tent provided both physical and spiritual protection.

Isaiah 4:6.  The tabernacle is a place of refuge.

1 Ne 5:7-9  After her sons return to the tent, Sariah testifies that the Lord has protected them.  They offer sacrifice and give thanks.



The tent is a place where a lot of discussion and decision take place



The bringing together of Lehi’s family, and the family of God.

1 Ne 2:2,4-5



  1. Stay tuned for more ideas on 1 Nephi 2. After all, there are more verses than just the one about Nephi’s father dwelling in a tent!

  2. Amazing work Cheryl! So much to research. Yes, it seems as if there are quite a few verses about Lehi dwelling in the tent and they are all quite significant!

  3. Fleshing out a bit more about what happened in scriptures around the concept of the tent.

    1 Nephi 2:6-7 — sacrifices mentioned right after the tent is mentioned.

    [Note also that teaching is mentioned in verses 9 and 10. Although we don’t know if time passed between the offering and the teaching, I like to see the combination of ritual and teaching together. Teaching can go with revelation above, perhaps.]

    1 Nephi 3:1-2
    Nephi returns to the tent after receiving revelation (he returns to the tent prepared?), and a discussion ensues about the revelation Lehi just received. I would assert that because of Nephi’s preparation, he can accept the word of his father/the prophet as revealed with a soft heart, whereas the pattern of Laman and Lemuel’s rebellion continues. Note v. 7, reflecting the extent of Nephi’s willing and obedient heart.

    I see family, gathering, council/counsel and even temple application here (we should come to the temple with soft hearts, prepared to receive instruction (hard though it may be sometimes…and it will be less hard if our hearts are softened).

    1 Nephi 5:7
    The first thing he mentions about returning with the scriptures is that he goes to the tent. Again, family, gathering, revelation. (Sariah finally gets her testimony of her husband’s prophetic calling at this time.) Comfort is also mentioned. Love that.

    And, again, they offer sacrifices:
    1 Nephi 5:9

    1 Nephi 7:5 (also v. 21)
    Ishmael and his family join the family of Lehi, and where do are they headed? To the tent! (Note that this happens after Ismael’s heart was softened! Pattern there of a softened heart and going to the tent?) The tent was the focus, the destination, as they journeyed. It was what was on Nephi’s mind. Interesting. (Temple, center of our thoughts? Our destination? Our focus?)

    And look at 1 Nephi 7:22
    There it is again!!!…gospel rituals right after the tent is mentioned.

    1 Nephi 9:1
    Revelation — this comes after Lehi’s vision. So a key vision that we still cling to today was received “as he dwelt in a tent.” (Wish we knew what else he saw!)

    1 Nephi 10:15-16
    More prophecy and revelation!

    v. 17 also is interesting to me…Nephi again seeks revelation. Ch. 2 and 3 shows Nephi receiving his revelation and softened heart, and then he goes to the tent. This chapter takes Nephi from the tent of teaching, and seeking revelation. So, I see going prepared to the tent and being ready to receive more, and coming away from the tent ready to seek confirmation and revelation.

    And here he is again…receiving revelation and returning to the tent of his father immediately after. I sense a tight connection between Nephi and the tent and his father/the prophet.
    1 Nephi 15:1
    1 AND it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been carried away in the spirit, and seen all these things, I returned to the tent of my father.

    I wonder if this is significant:
    1 Nephi 16:6-7
    Tent and marriage right next to each other? Hmmmmm…..

    And then Lehi receives the Liahona in v. 10. Does the temple help us receive our guiding Liahona, that gives us guidance according to our heed, faith and diligence?

    Well, I’m very intrigued by the patterns I’m seeing. I think my thought is that the tent is significant. 🙂

  4. I also looked up those same scriptures as m&m did and had many of the same thoughts. thanks for posting your observations m&m.

    A talk was given in Sacrament today and a scripture quoted that made me think more about this topic. The scripture is D&C 88:119-120

    Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
    That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.

    This scripture led me to think about 1 Nephi 2: 4
    …and took nothing with him save it were his family, and provisions, and tents…

    It seems to me that the two correlate. The saints were instructed to organize themselves and Lehi was instructed to gather (organize) his family. The saints were instructed to prepare every needful thing and Lehi was instucted to take provisions (every needful thing). The saints were instructed to establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; that (their) incomings would be in the name of the Lord and their outgoings be in the name of the Lord and all their salutations would be in the name of the Lord (Christ centered). I see Lehi’s tent being very much this same thing. Of course the saints were being instructed to build a temple (there is that temple reference again), but it is also the way to build our own homes in a manner that is Christ centered and I also see Lehi’s tent fulfilling that same role.

  5. Awesome, Cheryl. Incomings and outgoings really sum up what I saw about Nephi and the tent. Everything he did that had importance rotated around that tent, that “axis.” Get revelation, go to tent. Receive revelation at tent from father/prophet. Act on revelation, return to tent. (Get scriptures, go to tent. Get potential marriage partners, go to tent.) And so on.

  6. This makes me wonder if my home is one that my children would want to come to in order to share all their “incomings and outgoings”. Are they receiving revelation here and willing to share it, are they willing to listen to revelation that I receive, are they acting on revelation, do they want to return to the “tent”? Yes, Nephi was very focused on wanting to get back to the tent. I hope my home is one that my children will want to return to and share their most important feelings, events and ideas. I hope that they can use our home as a type for both the temple and their ultimate home of the celestial kingdom. I hope that as all of our family returns home that we can feel that sense of comfort and peace that Sariah felt. Another interesting comment from that Sacrament talk was a quote and forgive me I can’t remember the reference. It talked about our homes being a place where we tailor make and fit the “whole armor of God” for our family members.
    I really loved that analogy and felt a real urgency that I need to be a better “tailor” so that my family will feel comfortable in their “armor” at all times.

  7. Great thoughts, Cheryl. I think that is where the rubber hits the road. Is our home a sacred space, where our children and others want to be? Is it a focal point of their lives?

    Is this the quote?
    One thing is very clear: the safest place and the best protection against the moral and spiritual diseases is a stable home and family. This has always been true; it will be true forever. We must keep that foremost in our minds.

    The scriptures speak of “the shield of faith wherewith,” the Lord said, “ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (D&C 27:17).

    This shield of faith is best fabricated in a cottage industry. While the shield can be polished in classes in the Church and in activities, it is meant to be handcrafted in the home and fitted to each individual.

    The Lord said, “Take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand” (D&C 27:15).

    Boyd K. Packer, “Do Not Fear,” Ensign, May 2004, 77

  8. I believe that is it. Thanks m&m!

    Yes, is our home a sacred place? It doesn’t matter if it is a mansion, an “average” home in the suburbs, a shack, a lean-to, or a tent, we need them to be Christ -centered and a place where our children and others want to be. Do they follow the pattern of Lehi’s tent? If my children were to write and “my mother/father dwelt in wherever” would thousands of years from now others see a connection with the place of my dwelling to the temple…to the celestial kingdom…to a place of safety and security because of the way I have lived?

  9. one more thought. Is the way I’m living my life following the Exodus pattern? Marilyn suggested that this pattern could have latter-day significance and I think she is right. Am I going to be like Nephi, soften my heart and go toward the promised land and receive an inheritance and blessings or am I going to like Laman & Lemuel and most of the children of Israel who murmured because they did not understand the way of the Lord? I was thinking today that all things testify of Christ, so all things must be a “type” of one thing or another having to do with the plan of salvation. This includes us. I wonder if in the future if my story were told what pattern or “type” would my life show?

  10. I also love this from the BD:

    A place where the Lord may come, [the temple] is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.

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