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Sunday, March 29, 2015

311: SYMBOLS AND SIGNS

 One of the most common symbols used in the scriptures is a tree. In fact, the Bible contains more references to trees and wood (over 525) than to any other type of living organism except humans.  Tree references are found from the first book of the Bible, when Adam and Eve were introduced into the Garden and God presented them with two trees, the tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  We also read many references to trees in the Book of Mormon. Lehi was showed in vision a tree that represented the Love of God. One of the greatest allegories in all scripture which is found in Jacob 5 is all about the tame and wild olive tree. Trees are used by the Lord to teach us.

Today is Palm Sunday. Historically, the palm tree is a symbol of victory, triumph, peace and eternal life.  We read in John 12 that when Christ entered into the Holy City, the people "took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord."  In the ancient Egyptian religion, the palm was carried in funeral processions and represented eternal life. The palm branch later became a symbol of Christian matryrs and their spiritual victory or triumph over death.

Below are a few photos of some tree taken on a hike in the mountains last week on the Spring Equinox. Trees typically grow very slow and can live for thousands of years. I wrote about the bristlecone pine here. Until 2013, the oldest individual tree in the world was Methuselah, a 4,845-year-old bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California.

What causes one tree to live for thousands of years while another tree dies before reaching full maturity?  Some probable causes are the lack of essential nutrients, rotting and decay, infiltration of insects.. and/or the tree is cut down by man.


Photos taken on March 18, 2015 on a hike in the Wasatch Mountains.

 On the hike last week, I came across a lone tree that was cut down many years ago along the banks of Lake Mary up Big Cottonwood Canyon. I wrote about the importance of this lake here. The stump is currently exposed in the deep snow, but normally it would be submerged underwater. When the natural Lake Mary was damned up to make a larger reservoir, trees were cut down that normally grew along the waters edge. Now that Lake Mary is now empty, the trees that were cut down are now visible. I walked up the stump. I was surprised to see small pine cones from a tree which had been cut down. If you look carefully you can see them on right side in the below photo. The pine cones are seeds for the tree to replenish itself and grow again.


 


1 comment:

  1. 7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
    8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
    9 Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
    10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?
    (Job 14)

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