1 Nephi 8 and 11 outline a fight that was happening in the 7th century B.C. regarding how the Israelites viewed God, visions, ascension into heaven, and the temple. In other posts I will write more about this, but for now, know that this was a debate between the visionary men of Lehi’s ilk and what scholars call “The Deuteronomists“… In this paper by Daniel C. Peterson, we read how the tree that Nephi and Lehi see have many levels of meaning. As I have studied the texts that come to us from the Jewish tradition, I am absolutely convinced of the multi-layered aspect of all of our sacred scriptures. To see the Tree of Life as an aspect of Heavenly Mother is, to me, something that is awesome to see and to ponder. I hope you appreciate Dr. Peterson’s paper as much as I have and that you see these visions in a different lights as a result of his scholarship.
See: Nephi and His Asherah by Daniel C. Peterson, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 9/2 (2000): 16–25, 80–81.
For more on the Deuteronomists and their affect on Israelite theology, see: