In this chapter, Nephi continues to see the history of his people.
He sees his people multiply and he sees many cities. He also sees the many wars between the Nephites and Lamanites. Next he sees the great destruction in the land as related in 3 Nephi 8. After the great destruction, he sees Christ minister among those who survived. He sees the Twelve called among the Nephites and Lamanites. And finally he sees four generations pass away in peace and righteousness before the great fall of Nephi’s people. From there, he sees the Lamanites survive and then dwindle in unbelief.
Nephi clarifies more symbolism in this chapter.
The Fountain of Filthy Water = Depths of Hell
Mists of Darkness = Temptations of the Devil
Living the Gospel requires precision and balance. Because the path back to our Father in Heaven is so straight and clear, Satan is left with every other path to tempt us and sway us from the true path to happiness.
If we are not careful, the temptations of Satan will lure us away from our true goal. Just as darkness can guide us away from our path, so can the teachings and desires of the World lead us away from the Gospel.
I remember hiking up to Mount Timpenogus Cave in Utah when I was a young boy. It was a hot day outside, but in the cave, it was cool. The guide led us along a path that was lit by electric light bulbs. Once we were deep in the cave, he shut the light off. The darkness was thick. Absolutely no light could be seen anywhere. I can only imagine the extreme danger one would face if he attempted to journey in the cave in complete darkness. So too are many in the world today … they go day by day blinded by the teachings of men. All too often they fall prey to temptation and end up living an unhappy life.
I am grateful for the scriptures and teachings of a living prophet. They are my light in a dark world. I cannot imagine journeying through life without the light they provide me.