The Tree of Life

From Eden to Eternity

No image of eternal life is more powerful or persistent than the tree of life. From the paradisiacal Garden of Eden to the apocalyptic New Jerusalem, the tree of life dominates the landscape, being mentioned explicitly thirty times in the scriptures and alluded to on many other occasions. From the temple to the cross, the tree of life invites all to come unto Christ, to become planted by rivers of living water, to bring forth and enjoy the fruits of God s love that are sweet above all else. This uplifting and beautifully-illustrated book contains original essays by leading LDS and other scholars including Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, Andrew C. Skinner, John W. Welch, and Margaret Barker that focus on the symbol of the tree of life in the Bible, early Christianity, and the Book of Mormon, as well as in Southeast Asian, Islamic, and Mayan temples, cultures, and art.

About the Author

John W. Welch

John W. Welch (J.D., Duke University) is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School, editor in chief of BYU Studies, and director of publications for the university's Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for LDS History. He is the founder of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. He serves on the executive committee of the Biblical Law Section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Cherubim, the Flaming Sword, the Path, and the Tree of Life
  • The Tree of Life in the Hebrew Bible and Later Jewish Thought
  • The Fragrant Tree
  • The Tree of Life in the New Testament and Christian Tradition
  • The Tree of Life in John's Gospel
  • "I Have Dreamed a Dream": Lehi's Archetypal Vision of the Tree of Life
  • The World Tree and Maya Theology
  • The Tree of Life in the Catholic Religious and Liturgical Imagination
  • The Qurʾanic Tree of Life
  • The Tree of Life in Asian Art, Religion, and Folklore: A Sampling of the Evidence
  • The Tree of Life: A Cross-Cultural Perspective in Mormon Art
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Citation Index
  • Subject Index
View More

Publication Information

  • Subject:
  • Subject:
  • Publication Month:
  • Publication Month:
  • Publication Year:
  • Publication Year:
  • Series:
  • Series:
  • Language: , ,
  • ISBN 13: 9781609086749
  • Page Count: 296
  • Illustration(s): 87
  • Imprint:

Monthly Newsletter

Contact The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Brigham Young University Provo, UT 84602

Local: 801.422.9229
Toll-Free: 800.327.6715


The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)