Nephi's Vision of the Virgin and Child

1 Nephi 3:23–75, Book of Mormon

Nephi's Vision of the Virgin and Child, by Nancy Harlacher

Nephi's Vision of the Virgin and Child
By Nancy Harlacher

This painting depicts a part of Nephi's Vision as recorded by the scripture 1 Nephi 3:23-75 in the Book of Mormon. After Lehi’s company traveled three days from Jerusalem, they made their camp by the Red Sea, where they remained for a number of days. While there, Lehi experienced a vision, which included the tree of life. Nephi rejoiced when he heard Lehi tell his wonderful vision. Nephi prayed that he might have the same experience, and he was granted this desire because of his faith and righteousness. Caught away by the Spirit to 'an exceeding high mountain' (1 Nephi 3:38), Nephi experienced a very extensive vision, which included seeing the virgin mother and her Child.

"And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father concerning the things which he saw in a vision; and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost; which power he received by faith on the Son of God (and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come); I Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek Him, as well in times of old as in the time that He should manifest Himself unto the children of men;

"For He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. And the way is prepared from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto Him; for he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in this time as in times of old; and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. . . .

"For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart, I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord; yea, into an exceeding high mountain, which I never had before seen and upon which I never had before set my foot. And the Spirit said unto me, 'Behold, what desirest thou?'

"And I said, 'I desire to behold the things which my father saw.'

"And the Spirit said unto me, 'Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken?'

"And I said, 'Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father.' And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying, Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for He is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired . . . for I spake unto Him [the Holy Spirit] as a man speaketh; for I beheld that He was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord: and He spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.

"And it came to pass that He said unto me, 'Look!' And I looked as if to look upon Him, and I saw Him not; for He had gone from before my presence. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me, 'Nephi, what beholdest thou?'

"And I said unto him, 'A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.'

"And he said unto me, 'Knowest thou the condescension of God?'

"And I said unto him, 'I know that He loveth His children; nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things.'

"And he said unto me, 'Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.'

"And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; And after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time, the angel spake unto me, saying, 'Look!' And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me, 'Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! . . .'

"And after he had said these words, he said unto me, 'Look!' And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men. And I saw many fall down at His feet and worship Him. . . .

"And the angel said unto me again, 'Look and behold the condescension of God!' And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; And I also beheld the prophet [John the Baptist] who should prepare the way before Him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him: And after He was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abode upon Him in the form of a dove. And I beheld that He went forth ministering unto the people in power and great glory" (italics added).

Prints of the above painting are available in various sizes for purchase at the Restoration Bookstore or from our online store.