We’ve been talking about parables, symbols, and what the Lord has to unveil to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Joseph Smith had this dream the night before he was martyred. What do we learn from the Prophet’s dream? What do the symbols reveal?
“Joseph related the following dream which he had last night: I was back in Kirtland, Ohio, and thought I would take a walk out by myself, and view my old farm, which I found grown up with weeds and brambles, and altogether bearing evidence of neglect and want of culture. I went into the barn, which I found without floor or doors, with the weather-boarding off, and was altogether in keeping with the farm.”
What does Joseph’s old farm represent? What does the barn symbolize? Who is supposed to be taking care of the farm? What do the weeds and brambles that are permitted to grow signify? What do the floor, doors, and weather-boarding suggest? Who removed these items? Why is the removal of these things significant?
"While I viewed the desolation around me, and was contemplating how it might be recovered from the curse upon it, there came rushing into the barn a company of furious men, who commenced to pick a quarrel with me.”
When Joseph sees the condition of his farm, what are his first thoughts? Is Joseph blaming anyone? Or is he simply observing the situation and considering possibilities to improve its condition? Why is the farm cursed? Why does a company of furious men meet Joseph in the barn? Why not outside, in the house, or elsewhere? Who are these furious men? Why do they pick a quarrel with Joseph? Why do they initiate the quarrel?
"The leader of the party ordered me to leave the barn and farm, stating it was none of mine, and that I must give up all hope of ever possessing it.”
Why does the leader order Joseph to leave the farm? Who cleared the ground, built the barn, cultivated the fields, and cared for the farm? Does the party recognize Joseph as the rightful owner? Why are these imposters so possessive of the disorderly barn and farm?
"I told him the farm was given me by the Church, and although I had not had any use of it for some time back, still I had not sold it, and according to righteous principles it belonged to me or the Church.”
What makes Joseph the rightful title-holder of the farm? Why has Joseph been away for some time? Where has Joseph been? Who has usurped Joseph’s position?
"He then grew furious and began to rail upon me, and threaten me, and said it never did belong to me nor to the Church.”
Why is this leader so furious? Why does the leader rail, threaten, and lie? Why does this bunch of hooligans claim that Joseph was never in the picture and definitely want him out of the picture now?
"I then told him that I did not think it worth contending about, that I had no desire to live upon it in its present state, and if he thought he had a better right I would not quarrel with him about it but leave; but my assurance that I would not trouble him at present did not seem to satisfy him, as he seemed determined to quarrel with me, and threatened me with the destruction of my body.”
Why doesn’t Joseph want to live on the farm in its present state? Why doesn’t Joseph quarrel about the leader’s right? The leader told Joseph to leave; Joseph is willing to leave. Why doesn’t this satisfy the leader? Why is Joseph’s presence threatening? Why is the leader still determined to pick a fight with Joseph? Why is Joseph’s life threatened?
"While he was thus engaged, pouring out his bitter words upon me, a rabble rushed in and nearly filled the barn, drew out their knives, and began to quarrel among themselves for the premises, and for a moment forgot me, at which time I took the opportunity to walk out of the barn about up to my ankles in mud.”
Who is this rabble? Do we use the tool of contention? Do we fight with one another? Where will this approach place us? Who will be forgotten? Who may walk out and leave unnoticed? How is Joseph’s life preserved? What does the mud represent? Why is the mud up to his ankles and thus covering his feet?
"When I was a little distance from the barn, I heard them screeching and screaming in a very distressed manner, as it appeared they had engaged in a general fight with their knives. While they were thus engaged, the dream or vision ended." TPJS 393-394