Lehi's dream is a beautiful metaphorical vision that Lehi had and shared with his family found in 1 Nephi 8. It is filled with beautiful analogies that bring to life many principles of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I was impressed with beyond the analogies was the language and manner in which the dream was related to Lehi and then to the children of Lehi. The message given from God, our Heavenly Father, to Lehi was done through a dream. The symbolism in the dream was not complex or hidden, but yet wasn't spelled out in complete detail either. It was the perfect guidance that both tested the willingness and humility of Lehi, and yet provided instruction and encouragement for the benefit of those who made an effort to understand.
As a father my instructions to my children sometimes lack the perfect balance that Lehi's dream illustrates. With small children it is sometimes hard to give any instruction except for direct commands, yet there comes a point where those commands become demeaning and patronizing. Metaphors, like the ones used in Lehi's dream are tools that can provide the balance needed to provide complete instructions. They will also stick better in the minds of children, and test their ability to figure it out on their own. I am going to try and attach a story or metaphor to the instructions given to my children more often.
One are of instruction I think this would be particularly helpful with is in chores. Right now, my children are only motivated to do their chores if there is some reward involved. But I think a better and more consistent motivation would be to instill a sense of duty and hope they understand their ability to help the whole family through their chores. What are some good metaphors I could use for that?