Lesson 5: D&C 6, D&C 8, D&C 9, Joseph Smith History 1:8–17
Those who are preparing lessons to teach should notice that the scriptural material for this lesson and for lesson 6 are almost identical.
Doctrine and Covenants 6
Verse 2: What does it mean to say that God’s word is quick? powerful? sharper than a two-edged sword? In what sense does his word divide joints and marrow? In other words, what is the significance of this metaphor?
Verse 7: Given the things that have happened to Joseph in the recent past, what is the significance of this verse? In what sense are those with eternal life rich?
Verse 9: How do we say nothing but repentance? How can we do that without beating the subject to death, without driving people crazy? What is repentance? How do we preach it / say it?
Verse 10: What is the gift referred to here? How can our gifts be blessings, when they usually bring obligations?
Verse 11: The word “mystery” means, literally, “secret.” What are the mysteries the Lord is speaking of here?
Verse 12: Why should Oliver Cowdry keep his gift concealed? What does “of thy faith” mean?
Verse 13: Why is salvation the greatest gift? How is the word “salvation” being used here? Is it being used in contradistinction to “exaltation”?
Verse 14: What has brought Oliver to where he is? What could that mean to us?
Verse 17: Why does the Lord have to witness to Oliver that the words he is writing are true? What kinds of doubts might Oliver have had?
Verses 21-24: Notice that Oliver’s further witness is the peace he received as well as the knowledge that Joseph can tell him of something only he knows of. (We might focus on the latter aspect of the witness, but the Lord points specifically to the former.) How is peace a witness of the truth of the gospel? What is the peace of which the Lord speaks here? When do we experience this peace?
Verse 25: Did Oliver do any translating?
Verse 27: This seems to present a “catch-22″: If Oliver has good desires, then he can assist in the Lord’s work. By implication, if he doesn’t have good desires, he can’t. But how can Oliver change his desires? It seems like either he has them or he hasn’t, and if he hasn’t, then there isn’t anything he can do about it. We sometimes use this seeming dilemma as an excuse for our sins: “I can’t change my desires; I can’t help it that I have desires for this or that.” What gets us out of this seeming dilemma in our own lives?
Verse 29: How much comfort does Joseph receive here?
Verses 34-35: How about here? What do these verses tell us about the comfort of the Lord?
Verse 36: How does one look to the Lord in every thought? In other words, what is he telling them to do here?
Verse 37: Perhaps the Lord appeared to Joseph in person when this revelation was given. Perhaps not. If not, in what ways might he have beheld the Savior’s wounds? How might we do that?
Doctrine and Covenants 8
Verses 1-2: What has Oliver asked for?
Verse 3: Does the phrase “spirit of revelation” refer to the Holy Ghost or to something else?
Verse 4: The spirit of revelation is Oliver’s gift. How was he to use it? (What does “apply unto it” mean?)
Verses 10: How might we trifle with our gifts? How can we know what we ought to ask for so we can avoid asking for what we ought not to ask for?
Doctrine and Covenants 9
Verses 1-6, 10: Is the Lord rebuking Oliver?
Verses 7-9: To what is the Lord referring when he tells Oliver of the burning in his bosom? What is the relation of this burning to the peace discussed earlier, a peace that came in answer to his prayers (Section 6)?
Verse 14: What is the point of the Lord’s message in this verse?
Joseph Smith History 1:8–17
See the questions for lesson 3.