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Main Page > Lehi/Tree of Life Stone

Izapa Stela 5: The Lehi Stone

This stone, currently possessed by The Smithsonian, was discovered in the ancient Mesoamerican city of Izapa, in 1941, by archaeologist Matthew W. Stirling. The stone carving has been dated to the Preclassic Guillen Phase between 300 BC and 50 AD. While both LDS and Non-LDS scholars debate the interpretation of the carving, it's hard to ignore the striking similarity it has to Lehi's dream of the "Tree of Life" found in 1 Nephi chapter 8. The tree of life, the people eating fruit, and other resemblances to the account of Lehi's dream, coupled with the location it was found, and it being dated dead on to the Book of Mormon timetable, makes this an intriguing evidence of Book of Mormon authenticity. But like all faith evidences, this won't make people believe who don't already.

The Lehi Stone
The actual stone
Photo taken by Reed Fisher in 1965

Sketch of The Lehi Stone
A sketch of the carving. Notice the prominence of the tree, the father on the lower left offering fruit to his son, the river along the path. All prominent in the 1 Nephi 8 account.

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"And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit"
1 Nephi 8:10, 12

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