5: “This Is the Spirit of Revelation” (Doctrine and Covenants 6–9)
Is there a question you are struggling to ask God or maybe you’ve already asked that question, but you can’t seem to get an answer? If so, you are not alone. In fact, Oliver Cowdery went through something very similar when he became a scribe for the Book of Mormon. And in this week’s lesson, we’ll study Oliver’s experience in Doctrine and Covenants 6–9 and find how we can better understand how the Spirit speaks to us and answers our questions.
Doctrine and Covenants Section Titles:
Doctrine and Covenants 1 The Lord’s Preface
Doctrine and Covenants 2 The Coming Of Elijah
Doctrine and Covenants 3 Lost Manuscript
Doctrine and Covenants 4 Call to Labor-Joseph Smith Sr.
Doctrine and Covenants 5 Witness of the Book of Mormon-Martin Harris
Doctrine and Covenants 6 What greater witness can you have than from God? Oliver Cowdery
Doctrine and Covenants 7 The Parchment of John
Doctrine and Covenants 8 Spirit of Revelation-Oliver Cowdery
Doctrine and Covenants 9 Oliver Cowdery’s Calling—The Translation of the Book of Mormon
(For more about Oliver's stay with the Smiths and how he met Joseph, read Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, Vol. 1, "Chapter 6: The Gift and Power of God," p. 59).
Title of Section 6: What Greater Witness Can You Have Than from God? Oliver Cowdery
2 Behold, I am God; give heed unto my aword, which is quick and powerful, bsharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my words (Doctrine and Covenants 6:1–2).
What did the Lord know Oliver Cowdery did?
14 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast ainquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.
15 Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy amind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been benlightened by the cSpirit of truth; (Doctrine and Covenants 6:14–15).
The Title of Section 7: The Parchment of John
Section 7 heading: "Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they inquired through the Urim and Thummim as to whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself."
- Urim and Thummim Cross Reference:
6 And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord aanswered him not, neither by bdreams, nor by cUrim, nor by prophets (1 Samuel 28:6).
Video: "My Witness: Sister Wendy Nelson"
Quote: "In my early twenties, I admitted to a friend and mentor that I could feel the presence of the Spirit but couldn’t discern specific answers. He asked me if I had asked the Lord to teach me His language—meaning, what it felt and sounded like when He was speaking to me. I hadn’t, but that night I began to ask the Lord to teach me the language of revelation.
"Among other things, through the years it has become apparent that seekers have certain habits that are key to learning to communicate with God. For starters, they engage in the wrestle, meaning they work at it. They immerse themselves regularly in the scriptures, which are the textbook for the Lord’s language" (Sister Sheri Dew, Worth the Wrestle, "Chapter 3: Receiving Answers," Deseret Book).
Donald W. Parry Bonus Episode:
- Cross Reference for John:
6 And he said unto them: Behold, I aknow your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which bJohn, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me (3 Nephi 28:6).
- Power of death = translated being
- Quote: “Translated Beings are designed for future missions” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Teachings," Section Four 1839-1842," Deseret Book).
Where is John now?
"In a conference of the Church on 3 June 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught concerning John’s ministry: 'John the Revelator was then among the Ten Tribes of Israel who had been led away by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, to prepare them for their return from their long dispersion' (History of the Church, 1:176) (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, "Section 7: John the Revelator," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
4 And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter: If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring asouls unto me, but thou desiredst that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my bkingdom.
- Speedily come unto me = to become a resurrected being celestial in kingdom of god (see Doctrine and Covenants 27:12).
- Greater work = greater work than John has yet done.
- Flaming fire = John will be a witness of God's work
- Flaming fire cross references: Psalms 104:4; Isaiah 4:5; Exodus 40:38
Title of Section 8: Spirit of Revelation—Oliver Cowdery
11 And if thou wilt ainquire, thou shalt know bmysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy cgift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring dmany to the knowledge of the truth, yea, econvince them of the error of their ways.
- Cross Reference: Doctrine and Covenants 8:1
What gift could Oliver have?
1 aOliver Cowdery, verily, verily, I say unto you, that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a bknowledge of whatsoever things you shall cask in faith, with an dhonest heart, believing that you shall receive a eknowledge concerning the engravings of old frecords, which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which has been spoken by the gmanifestation of my Spirit (Doctrine and Covenants 8:1).
Oliver's first gift:
4 Therefore this is thy agift; apply unto it, and blessed art thou, for it shall bdeliver you out of the hands of your cenemies, when, if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction (Doctrine and Covenants 8:3–4).
- Spirit of truth = Holy Ghost (John 16: 13-14)
Quote: "Never suppress a generous thought," (Camilla E. Kimball)
How do we know we are receiving personal revelation?
Quote: “I love the combination there of both mind and heart. God will teach us in a reasonable way and in a revelatory way—mind and heart combined—by the Holy Ghost” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," March 2000 Ensign).
Oliver Cowdery's Second Gift:
Quote: “Like Aaron with his rod in his hand going before Moses as a spokesman, so Oliver Cowdery was to go before Joseph Smith. Whatever he should ask the Lord by power of this gift should be granted if asked in faith and in wisdom. Oliver was blessed with the great honor of holding the keys of this dispensation with Joseph Smith, and, like Aaron, did become a spokesman on numerous occasions. It was Oliver who delivered the first public discourse in this dispensation.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, Vol. 1, 52.)
Title of Section 9: Oliver Cowdery’s Calling—The Translation of the Book of Mormon
Oliver Cowdery and translating the Book of Mormon:
5 And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you (Doctrine and Covenants 9:5).
How to receive personal revelation:
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must astudy it out in your bmind; then you must cask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your dbosom shall eburn within you; therefore, you shall ffeel that it is right (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8).
- Cross reference right with 3 Nephi 18:20:
20 And awhatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you (3 Nephi 18:20).
Quote: “I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom ‘burn within’ them.
“What does a ‘burning in the bosom’ mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom. Surely, the word ‘burning’ in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity. That is the witness many receive. That is the way revelation works.
“Truly, the still, small voice is just that, ‘still’ and ‘small’” (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Mar. 1997 Ensign, 13).
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a astupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is bsacred save it be given you from me (Doctrine and Covenants 9:9).
- Study it out cross reference: Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–27
Quote: "What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. As you are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, one of two things will certainly occur at the appropriate time: either the stupor of thought will come, indicating an improper choice, or the peace or the burning in the bosom will be felt, confirming that your choice was correct. When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision” (Elder Richard G. Scott, "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” April 2007 general conference).
- Cross reference for fear:
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of afear; but of bpower, and of clove, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Quote: “In the process of revelation and making important decisions, fear plays a destructive, sometimes paralyzing role. To Oliver Cowdery, who missed the opportunity of a lifetime because he didn’t seize it in the lifetime of the opportunity, the Lord said, ‘You did not continue as you commenced.’ Does that sound familiar to those who have been illuminated and then knuckled under to second thoughts and returning doubts? …
“… After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel His love and hear the word of the Lord, go forward. Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine. … Dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," March 2000 Ensign).
13 ¶ And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will ashew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever (Exodus 14:13).
- Hold your peace in Hebrew = to be silent or become deaf to everything around you.
0:00:00.2 Tammy Uzelac Hall: Now, here's what I want you to do before we get started today. Open up your journal, or go and grab a piece of paper, and I want you to write down something that, here we go, you have been meaning or wanting to ask God or maybe something that you've already asked and you're just still waiting for an answer. I'll wait, I'll even give you some time to think it over, so write it down, or maybe just pause here for a minute so you can consider this, and I promise I'm not gonna ask anyone to share this, it's not going on social media, but this is a must-do for this episode to work, because today's study of Doctrine and Covenants Section 6 through 9 is all about asking that question and receiving specific revelation for you.
0:00:45.8 TH: Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original, brought to you by LDS living, where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the Scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you're new to our study group, please follow the link in our description that will explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study just like my friend Rochelle Parker does, she's a big time Sunday on Monday student, and she uses it daily. Hi, Rochelle, I'm so glad you're joining us and that you love the podcast.
0:01:11.7 TH: Now, another awesome thing and my personal favorite thing about our study group is that each week we're joined by two of my friends, so it's always different, and we get a different take and perspective on the Scriptures. And so today I'm so excited to announce Ruth Todd and Laurel Christensen Day. Hi, ladies.
0:01:27.2 Laurel Christensen Day: Hello.
0:01:29.9 Ruth Todd: Hi. So glad to be here.
0:01:30.0 TH: Oh, my gosh, my palms are sweating. I'm so nervous and so excited all at the same time. Okay, let's find out how you two know each other.
0:01:38.1 LD: I used to stalk Ruth Todd. As soon as I came out to go to school, I vigilantly watched KSL news because I just had a girl crush. Am I allowed to have a girl crush? I had a girl question on Ruth.
0:01:50.9 TH: On Ruth Todd, you can for sure.
0:01:51.9 LD: Oh, yeah.
0:01:52.1 TH: I think we all did.
0:01:53.1 LD: And then we met at some function like in the early 2000s, and she was as graceful and delightful as I hoped she would be, and then we just became acquaintances, and now we're like neighbors.
0:02:04.4 RT: And friends.
0:02:05.3 LD: So sometimes I get to go on a walk with Ruth. Did you just say we're friends?
0:02:09.7 RT: Of course, we are.
0:02:11.5 LD: Yes.
0:02:12.3 RT: That would be my blessing to be friends with both of you.
0:02:15.6 TH: Oh, it's a blessing. Well, if 26-year-old me knew where I'd be right now, I wouldn't believe me, like "You're ridiculous, you're never gonna be sitting with Ruth Todd and Laurel talking about Scripture." And I met Ruth because I taught her daughter in seminary at Skyline and immediately knew I'm like "Oh, we'll be friends." I just love, love Ruth. In fact, every time I use my silverware, I think of Ruth Todd because she gave me silverware for my wedding.
0:02:43.5 RT: I'm so glad. I wish I could tell you I totally remember that but I'm so glad I got there.
0:02:48.9 TH: I registered for it at Target. It's so funny 'cause I registered for it 'cause we really needed silverware and it showed up on my front porch. I'm like "Yes, Ruth."
0:02:55.8 RT: Perfect. Well, you know I'm practical if not anything else, right?
0:03:00.0 TH: Well, if there's one thing moms always run out of is spoons. I don't know where they go.
0:03:02.8 RT: Yeah, I know. They just disappear into thin air. Well, actually, I remember my daughter Jen coming home from your seminary class, and it would be what we talk about around the dinner table, so I loved you because of what you were teaching her, and then through her, all of us around the dinner table, so that was really great. And then I've loved reading Laurel's talks, listening to Laurel's talks, reading her books, she's just been inspiring since I met her.
0:03:28.1 TH: I would agree and I've known Laurel since we were 16 years old, and we've been friends ever since, which brings me to the topic that how did I just found out last weekend that Section 6 is your favorite section?
0:03:41.5 LD: It's my favorite section. Some of the verses in this section were on my missionary plaque, I don't even know if they still do missionary plaques but back in the day, and I can sincerely say I've studied and read Section 6 of the Doctrine and Covenants, probably more than any section or chapter of Scripture that exists. So I was so excited to find out this was the lesson that Ruth and I got to be a part of. So thank you for that.
0:04:07.9 TH: Yeah, this is gonna be so fun because as I was reading Section 6, obviously, I'm going to mark verses 28 and 32 because it's us right now, and I just love how it says "That where two or three are gathered in my name, as touching upon one thing, behold, there, I will be in the midst of them." And I just feel that with you. So thank you for joining me, it's gonna be such a fun day. So my first question to you guys is, what is your earliest memory of having a church question that you want it answered?
0:04:34.7 RT: Well, I remember being oh, probably maybe late elementary or early Junior High School and asking my mother, How do you know it's true, like the whole thing? And she said, You have to get your own testimony. And I remember pressing her, early seeds of a reporter, quizzing, questioning, saying, "But mom, really like how do you really know?" And she just kept telling me, This is a quest you have to go on. This is something you have to figure out for yourself. You've leaned on your parent's testimonies or your teacher's testimonies, but you've gotta figure it out for yourself.
0:05:15.7 TH: Wow, what a brilliant mom.
0:05:18.7 LD: I think for me, probably the first thing was actually wanting to know if it was true, meaning if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was actually the church of Jesus Christ. My earliest recollection of that was being 14, I grew up at that point in my life in Louisville, Kentucky and our bishop took our very small youth group on a church history tour that was going to end in the sacred grove. It was on that trip that I wanted this new era story experience. I had enough of one for me and that was probably my first time really remembering asking if something was true.
0:06:01.1 TH: Wow! Those are both great examples. Mine is not that great. I truly remember the very first question I ever asked, I was in primary, 8 years old, we had just finished singing the song Love One Another, I raised my hand. The chorister said "Yes, Tammy, you have a question?" And I said "What's a shalmeno?" And she said, "What do you mean a shalmeno?" And I go, "By this shall men know, ye are my disciples." [chuckle] Forever I would sing that song as a kid and I just thought what's a shalmeno? I thought it was by this shall men know, ye are my disciples. [laughter]
0:06:33.0 LD: I want a shalmeno.
0:06:35.9 TH: They all laughed at me, every grown adult in that room giggled at me and she goes, "Oh, Tammy, you're so funny." And I was like, "No, I'm serious." And then they had to explain, "It's shall men know." My questions got deeper as I got older, but whatever. So the reason I asked you that question is because it pertains to Doctrine and Covenants Section 6 verses 14 and 15. Let's go there. And while we're going there, I'm gonna give you a little background about Section 6. So during this time that they were living in, it was totally normal for a school teacher to live in the home of the students he was teaching and Oliver Cowdery was teaching the Smith children so he boarded with them for a while. As he was living there, naturally, he was hearing stories about Joseph Smith and these gold plates, as they're sitting around the kitchen table and eating. And so Oliver decided that he needed to have a witness and find out if this was true. So he prayed about it and he had an experience, which we'll get to in a bit, but Oliver traveled 150 miles by foot to Harmony, Pennsylvania with Joseph Smith's brother Samuel, and they end up meeting Joseph, and it's interesting 'cause during this same time, Joseph is anxious to get back to translating the plates, and he writes in a journal on April 2, 1829, "I prayed to the Lord that he would send me a scribe."
0:07:42.6 TH: It will be three days later on April 5th that Oliver arrives, and on April 7th, this specific revelation was given. And so it's just cool, the timing of everything, God really is in the details of all of this. So he gets this revelation, now let's go into verse 14 and 15. So for those of you following us today, here's a little bit you need to know, we are not going to cover verses 1-9, because those verses are also in Doctrine and Covenants Section 12 and Doctrine and Covenants Section 14. So we're gonna study that when we get to Doctrine and Covenants Section 12.
0:08:14.2 RT: Can we just take 30 seconds and talk about verse 1, because I feel like it's so salient as we dive into Section 6?
0:08:21.9 TH: Yes.
0:08:23.4 RT: Who is speaking here? This revelation is going to Joseph and Oliver, but it is Jesus Christ speaking to them in His words, and He says, "I am God, give heed unto My word," and then He tells you about His word. It's quick, it's powerful, it's sharp. Give heed, you've gotta listen to Me. And I feel like there are a lot of times that we get revelation from different places, but this is from the Savior and Redeemer himself. And I love the fact that the very first words are, "A great and marvelous work is about to come forth." We know those words, those are the words the Lord uses. We know Isaiah used those when he talked about the apostasy and then the restoration of all things, which here we are right in the restoration, and then the prophecies about prophets and seers. So I love that we know this language, this is the Lord Jesus Christ and the way He speaks to men and women on earth.
0:09:26.0 TH: Oh, gosh, thank you, Ruth. Thank you for having us look at that verse and for pointing that out, that was excellent. And what's so cool is the word 'about,' because remember the priesthood hasn't been restored yet, the church hasn't been organized, and he is prepping them, saying there's something amazing that's about to come forth, and you're a part of that. I think it's beautiful that we are studying 6-9 together, because the lesson he's going to teach us in these is paramount to having anything else happen in this church.
0:09:52.9 TH: And so let's look at verses 14-15, and here's what I want us to do. I want us to look for and mark what Oliver Cowdery did in these two verses, there's a word that's used often of something he did, so I'm gonna read these two verses. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit. If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time. Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth." What is it that the Lord knows Oliver did?
0:10:31.6 LD: Inquired.
0:10:33.0 TH: What do you think the word 'inquire' is trying to teach us here?
0:10:38.9 LD: I remember a time when I was wrestling with something, and it was actually an opportunity I was being given. It felt so out of my comfort zone, and also I didn't wanna go down that path if it wasn't the right thing for me. And the temple is just my place to go when I'm wrestling, which is part of why the last nine months has been so awful to not have that privilege, but I'm not a Scripture roulette person, I'm not someone who typically goes and sits and opens the Scriptures and expects the Lord to talk to me. And I just happen to flip open to Section 6, and not just Section 6, but the page of Section 6 where this verse is. And I read verse 14, it was like he was speaking directly to me, "Blessed art thou Laurel, for what thou hast done, for thou hast inquired of me, and behold as often as thou hast inquired, thou hast received instruction of my Spirit," and I remember reading that, just knowing it was true.
0:11:37.5 LD: And then He said, "If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time." So I knew, He knew I was inquiring, and He knew I came to the temple to hear His voice and to get an answer. That verse was so powerful that it forced me to go to the few verses up above where He says things like, "I want you to use your gift, and this is what I want you to use your gift for," and so for me, it let me know He had placed this opportunity in front of me, He was kind of nudging me down this path.
0:12:10.6 LD: And the lesson I learned from that, again and again, is when we inquire of Him, He invites us to come to the place where He knows we have the easiest time hearing Him and listening to Him. And so sometimes that's a place of spirituality and maybe there's something in our life that we need to get rid of so that we can come to that place. Sometimes it is the temple, it's the physical surroundings of the temple or the church, sometimes it's as simple as the place of our favorite chair with our Scriptures. But He taught me that day, like He's taught me dozens of times that if I inquire and I come to Him, and come to that place where He knows He can talk to me, He will always talk to me.
0:12:58.9 RT: And I also love the fact that the Scriptures are so layered. In addition to what Laurel is teaching us right now, we are also learning something about the revelatory process, inquire, inquire, inquire, and by the way, I will meet you where you are, that's what the Savior tells us. Wherever you are in that process of eradicating sin, or wherever you are physically, I will meet you and I will be there with you.
0:13:25.7 TH: Ruth and Laurel, thank you so much for sharing that. Everything that both of you just shared is exactly what we're gonna be talking about today, so thank you so much. So we're gonna take a little pause right here in Section 6, and we're gonna go to Section 7. Now, for those of you who are like, "But wait, you're not even covering the best verses in all of Section 6." Don't worry, we have to go forward to get backward. I promise we're gonna come back to Section 6. That's what's so great about 6-9 is, they all are intertwined and they all relate to each other. So what I wanna show you is proof of what Laurel and Ruth just testified about, that when we inquire of the Lord, He really does answer, when we come to Him and to the place where He needs us to be, even in our imperfections, these men were not perfect, even in our imperfections, He's going to answer our questions, and so we'll study that in the next segment.
0:14:20.4 TH: So Section 7 has a really good back story, and before we can even start talking about that, I actually wanna start out by reading the section heading, so Laurel, will you please read that for us?
0:14:31.0 LD: Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they inquired through the Urim and Thummim as to whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried in the flesh or had died. The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John and hidden up by himself.
0:14:53.2 TH: So there's that word 'inquire' in the section heading, so I can just imagine Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery just asking one day, "You know, I wonder, whatever happened to John the Beloved? Do you think he's still alive? Is he dead?" So Christians at this time are talking about this, what do you really think it means, is he alive? So some believe that he actually is just dead, another strain of thought is that he's actually buried at Ephesus, and he's just waiting for Christ to come, and then the third one is, he's buried but he's not dead, he's just sleeping. And then when Christ comes for the second coming, he's going to wake up. And so it would make sense that Joseph and Oliver are now talking about the same thing that many Christians were talking about, but here's the cool part, it says that they inquired through the Urim and Thummim to find out what happened to John. Why is that important?
0:15:38.5 RT: When we're talking about this revelatory process, it's so interesting because I think as kids, sometimes we think there was one way, and now as an adult, you realize there are a lot of ways that we get revelation. Sometimes it's a nudge, sometimes it's almost an audible word that we hear, sometimes it's a dream, sometimes it's a feeling that won't go away; there are all these different ways of revelation, and it was no different in those days. And so sometimes Joseph used the seer stone, sometimes he used the Urim and Thummim. Can you imagine the archeology aspect of what they are translating? The very parchment that John wrote himself like, wow, like stop and just consider what that is really. But they went to this Urim and Thummim which we know existed in the ancient church and used that same process on this time.
0:16:37.9 TH: Perfect, Ruth. In fact, there's such a cool cross-reference for this. To the side of Section 7 put 1 Samuel 28:6, this is Old Testament proof that prophets would go to a Urim and Thummim and look for an answer. I just love this. So 1 Samuel 28:6. So here's some background for this cross-reference. So King Saul has made some poor choices and he actually does not have the Spirit with him anymore, and so he's got to search out another way to receive revelation, which isn't the best. He goes to the witch of Endor. It's such a good Old Testament story. Can't wait to study the Old Testament. But we just have to read verse 6, 'cause this is pretty cool. So go ahead, Ruth.
0:17:13.7 RT: And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
0:17:23.4 TH: There it is, so cool. So it existed then, of course, it exists now and today, and I just love how you brought up the different ways we can receive revelation. So thank you for that.
0:17:34.0 LD: I have several people in my life who I love, who struggle with various aspects of church history or just different things, and I've been asked, "Well, doesn't it bother you when you learned that Joseph Smith translated sometimes by looking into a hat? Or what is the Urim and Thummim? Doesn't that sound made up?" And I don't really care about the method that the Lord uses to talk to me or to people I love or to a prophet. God could talk to me looking into a light, if that's the way God chose to talk to me, it just doesn't matter to me. What I need to know is, did he talk? Did Christ actually speak to Joseph Smith? That's all I need to know. That's all I need to inquire about. I don't need to ask if the hat method was a God or if the Urim and Thummim really existed, though it would be an incredible archeological find, as Ruth pointed out. But the how doesn't matter, it's the fact that he does. And I think sometimes we get hung up on the how. Now that said, I do think it's very cool that we do know this connection between Old Testament methods and restoration methods, I think that's amazing. I just worry sometimes that that's what trips people up when they're missing the whole point. Pay attention to what the Lord said, not how He said it.
0:19:05.0 RT: Exactly.
0:19:05.5 TH: Brilliant.
0:19:05.6 RT: And you know what, think about it like in the Old Testament, or in the time of Joseph Smith, they did use multiple kinds of methods to gain revelation, just like we do today. So when I think about people that get tripped up on one type of revelatory process, I say the same thing, there were so many. Eli and Samuel, dreams, visions, Urim and Thummim. Sometimes Joseph Smith stood next to the window and like a beam of light from heaven it would come to him, he would turn and verbalize that, and it would be scribed and written. So I think that really, if you look at ancient, if you look at the 19th century, if you look at today, nothing has really changed when you think about the various ways there is revelation and that the heavens are open to the children of God.
0:19:58.4 TH: Thank you.
0:20:00.0 LD: Well, and it makes me think about President Nelson. For President Nelson, what is it? Well, we know it's a legal pad at the side of his bed with a pen. Why is that any...
0:20:07.4 RT: In the night hours, in the early morning hours.
0:20:09.8 LD: Right. And why is that any more normal or weird than like the hat or the Urim and Thummim? God's going to speak to his prophets and he's going to speak to us. I just think we shouldn't get caught up on the method.
0:20:22.4 TH: Well, and thank goodness you both brought that up because I was sitting here thinking I'm so grateful that he speaks to us in our own language. Like my husband always jokes, he's never gonna be spoken to in a dream because his dreams are so weird that if he actually followed through on them, he'd end up in prison. And so that's how the Lord speaks to my husband, and I'm so grateful for a God who knows his children individually and knows how to speak to them.
0:20:45.7 LD: Sherry Du taught me once that learning the language of the Spirit is like learning a foreign language.
0:20:52.8 TH: Yes.
0:20:53.6 LD: And so once you've learned the way God talks to you, you'll start to see it more and more in your life, but you've got to learn the language of the Spirit for you, which is going to be different for me than for you, Tammy, and for you Ruth, and for anybody else. And I think that's why it gets tricky is because people want to think that, "Oh, well, if it worked for her that way, it worked for him that way, that's how God's gonna talk to me." That's not the way revelation works, it's just not.
0:21:22.8 TH: Well, and for those of you listening right now, if you're antsy or if you're asking the question, "Well, then how do I know? How do I know He speaks to me?" Hold tight. We're gonna get to that, I 100% promise. We're gonna talk about how you know when it's right and when you know it's wrong, so this is gonna be such a fun discussion today, so thank you, both of you for that insight, because we're just gonna spend a couple of minutes right here in Section 7, and I'm just gonna define some things for us that will help us understand what this is.
0:21:44.5 TH: So Section 7 is the parchment of John, and a parchment is a specially prepared skin of an animal that prophets and apostles would write on and that people would translate from, and truth be told, the only reason I know that answer is because we learned about it when we talked with Don Perry, and we'll have that bonus episode in our show notes if you want to listen to that again. But we don't really know did Joseph see an actual parchment and translate from it? Or, did he look into the Urim and Thummim and just be given the word? There's nothing that has been revealed about that. It just says right here that these are words that came from the writings of John, and that's what we need to know about this. And this is in an answer to the question, Is John still alive? Here's what John's parchment had to say. It starts out, "And the Lord said unto me, John, my beloved," now you can put cross-reference 3 Nephi 28:6, where the Lord says to the Nephites who asked to tarry on the earth a little longer. He says, "Oh, you've asked for the same thing that my Apostle John asked for."
0:22:41.5 TH: So we know in the Book of Mormon that the Lord said, John's still on the earth. And so we're gonna just use that as a cross-reference. And verse 2 says, "And I said unto to him, Lord, give unto me power over death," let's highlight that. Power over death means a translated being, and I just really like this quote by Joseph Smith, it's found in the Joseph Smith teachings page 191. Joseph Smith said, "Translated beings are designed for future missions," and John the Beloved's future mission is right now currently among the Lost Tribes preparing for the gathering of Israel. That is why we have a prophet who's on fire about this, 'cause that is the bottom line. The Doctrine and Covenants for me, is all about the gathering. Everything we read is preparing to gather in the tribes, preparatory to the second coming of Jesus Christ. And so, verses 3-7 are gonna be all about the work that John is going to do. So let's specifically look at verse 4. Laurel, will you please read verse 4?
0:23:40.1 LD: "And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter: If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but thou desirest that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom."
0:23:56.2 TH: Let's highlight "come unto me in my kingdom." I have in my Scriptures written next to it, "to pass, go," kind of like a monopoly, like this means to pass through both death and the spirit world and become a resurrected being celestial in the kingdom of God, and I'll put that in my show notes with the reference points, so you can find that. But then verse 5 is great. And Ruth, will you read verse 5 for us?
0:24:19.1 RT: "I say unto the Peter, this was a good desire, but my beloved has desired that he might do more or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done."
0:24:30.0 TH: Thank you, Ruth. I like this because it's easy to read it and go, "Oh, well, clearly John's better than Peter because his work is greater." But let's not go there, highlight "greater work yet," because what that's referring to is the greater work that John himself has not yet done. Has nothing to do... It's not a comparison point for the work that Peter's done.
0:24:50.7 LD: It's very Mary/Martha to me, right?
0:24:53.3 TH: I know, I hate that.
0:24:55.5 LD: But it's the same kind of thing, it's neither of you is better. You're asking for good things, they're just different.
0:25:02.2 TH: Yes, and this is just a greater work that he had yet done, not Peter. Thank you, Laurel, excellent. And then I love verse 6. I'll read verse 6. "Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth. We're gonna highlight "flaming fire." This is fun. There's some cross-references for this, Psalms 104:4, also Isaiah 4:5, and then Exodus 40:38. Those three cross-references are referencing this flaming fire that was over the tabernacle in the Old Testament, and the purpose of that flaming fire was to be an example of the presence of God. And so how beautiful that John is going to be a flaming fire, he will be a witness of God's presence on the earth as he does the work that the Lord would do if he were here himself.
0:26:05.3 RT: When he says, I will make him a flaming fire, it makes me think of the living Christ where I think Joseph Smith is telling us what he saw as Christ's physical appearance, he talks about his eyes being a flame of fire. If that's not the personification of the presence of God, I don't know what is. The eyes.
0:26:26.7 TH: Absolutely. Ruth, I love that you just made that connection. That's brilliant. In fact, I'm adding that to my Scriptures. Hold, please. And there's a great quote, I'm gonna share this by Joseph Smith, he said, "John the Revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel who had been led away by Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria; to prepare them for their return from their long dispersion." You'll find that in the history of the church, but Joseph Smith will prophesy that that's where John the Beloved is before we know much of anything, and now we know that's where he is. So they'll translate that and they'll say, "Oh, he's still alive." Problem-solved, question answered, okay. That's all that they needed, and that closes that revelation.
0:27:03.0 TH: And then I love verse 8, "Verily, I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires for ye both joy in that which ye have desired." Peter and John, both joy in what they both desire, neither one is better than the other. Amen. Okay, so what's so cool about this section for me is apparently inquiring works; You have a question, you ask, they got the answer. So Oliver inquires about something else now, and we're gonna read about that inquiry in the next segment.
0:27:41.3 TH: Okay, so we're coming off the heels of Christmas and we were a couple of months out, but it made me think about gifts, and it made me wanna ask you guys this question: Is there a gift in your lifetime that stands out to you, maybe one you gave or one you received?
0:27:54.7 RT: Yeah, one of the things we love to do in our family is... And of course, I stole the idea from Oprah, but we love to do a favorite thing at Christmas.
0:28:02.4 TH: Oh, yeah.
0:28:05.3 RT: And so a few years... However many years ago, we started doing Todd family favorite things. And they can be the littlest $5, $2 items, or there's usually like one surprise in there. One year for Christmas and the favorite things, the kind of the grand finale was, everybody got their own set in a treasure chest, that's how it came, of the Harry Potter books. And I'm telling you, some of my children have not even opened theirs yet because they are so special, they are still in the original packaging.
0:28:31.6 TH: Wow!
0:28:34.2 RT: I was so excited that I had something that I knew would thrill them and it did.
0:28:37.8 TH: Yes. That's a great gift. I love that.
0:28:42.1 LD: I don't wanna share a gift that I receive 'cause I'm thinking of all the people I could potentially offend for not saying theirs. But I will say I'm not a great gift giver consistently, but if I'm going to give a gift, I want it to be sentimental. I want people to donate it to Di.
0:28:58.8 TH: That is true about you.
0:29:00.5 LD: They can't give it away, they can't re-gift it. And so I appreciate that as well, when people give me something that clearly was, like they thought about it. I think that's an important element for me.
0:29:15.6 TH: I love that you said something that you can't re-gift or give to the DI. Yeah, that is true about you, and you do give good gifts like that.
0:29:22.4 RT: And I also re-gift all the time. Am I allowed to admit that?
0:29:24.0 LD: Yeah, and I also have...
0:29:28.8 TH: I mean, who hasn't re-gifted a candle? Come on. I just did that two days ago. So let's talk about gifts. We're gonna go back into Section 6, and we're gonna look at verses 10-12, and mark the word gifts as you see this. And Laurel, can you read these verses for us please?
0:29:43.6 LD: "Behold thou hast a gift, and blessed art thou because of thy gift. Remember it is sacred and cometh from above. And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore thou shalt exercise thy gift, that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth. Yea, convince them of the error of their ways. Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things."
0:30:15.4 TH: Thank you. And we're gonna cross-reference these verses to the outside put Doctrine and Covenants Section 8. We're not gonna go there yet though. Turn the page and look at verse 25. Because he alludes to what the gift may be in this verse, which spurs a question or an inquiry from Oliver Cowdery. So look at verse 25, and Ruth will you please read that?
0:30:37.9 RT: "And behold, I grant unto you a gift, if ye desire of me to translate even as my servant Joseph."
0:30:45.9 TH: I'm thinking Oliver must have been thinking, "Huh? I wonder about that. Like, did He really mean I could translate?" So let's go to Doctrine and Covenants Section 8. Because now Oliver is going to ask, "Can I really translate? Is this really something that I'm gonna be allowed to do?" And one of the things that I love to do with Scripture that we have to do with the Doctrine and Covenants, as it starts out, Section 8:1 says, "Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily I say unto you." Above the name Oliver Cowdery, write your own name. I just feel like Section 8 and 9, they are for you. So go ahead and look at that verse and just substitute your name, so it's gonna say, "Laurel Christensen Day, verily, verily I say unto you," or "Ruth Todd, verily, verily, I say unto you," or "Tammy." And now here's this beautiful discourse He's going to give us on these gifts. So He's given two gifts. And the gifts are found in Section 8. Let's start with verse 3, and Laurel, will you read verse 3 and 4?
0:31:41.3 LD: "Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. Therefore, this is thy gift, apply unto it and Blessed art thou, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies, when if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction."
0:32:06.0 TH: So the first gift He's given is the spirit of revelation, that's his number one gift. Now, what's so beautiful about this, and we talked about this earlier, is how this gift works. So let's go back to Section 6 really quickly. And Laurel, you read these verses for us, but will you please read one more time for us verse 15? Because He's going to teach us and He's teaching Oliver what the spirit of revelation feels like, how you know what this is, so go ahead and read verse 15.
0:32:31.3 LD: "Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been been enlightened by the Spirit of truth."
0:32:45.8 TH: Read verse 16 too, 'cause I just love this.
0:32:49.4 LD: "Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart."
0:32:57.2 TH: Thank you. What comes to mind as you read verses 15 and 16 in your own life?
0:33:02.1 LD: I'll tell you, for me, I've had the privilege of teaching young women at various points in my adult life, and one of the things I try to convey to them is how to know when the Spirit is speaking to you. And for me, it's very simple. It's not simple to have it happen, but it's simple to know for me, because any time I have a thought that you're smarter than something I would have come up with on my own, I know it's the Spirit. And any time I get a thought in my mind that's a good thing or an idea of something to do that would be kind that I wouldn't have thought about in my normal day-to-day living in operations, I don't take that lightly, and I believe, yeah, that God is revealing something to me that He is inviting me to do, or that I need to be thinking about differently.
0:33:57.3 RT: To piggy back on that, Laurel, I think of Sister Camilla Kimball who taught us, and then we've heard subsequently from a lot of our church leaders, Sister Bonnie Parkin and others, never suppress a generous thought. Once we start listening to those and acting upon them, then the flood gates open.
0:34:14.9 LD: And I think we make personal revelation too complicated, thinking that it's only these significant moments, so one of the things I tell young women is, if somebody says, When was the last time God spoke to you or the Spirit impressed something upon you? You should be able to look back in the last 24 hours.
0:34:33.7 RT: For sure.
0:34:34.6 LD: This isn't like, "Oh, well, one time I was at girls camp or one time I was... " This is... "Oh, yesterday, yesterday God spoke to me. Yesterday, God gave me an impression. Yesterday, I felt the Spirit."
0:34:47.6 TH: Absolutely.
0:34:49.2 RT: I remember so clearly being a young mom... Okay, wait, the young mom years were a little blurry, I'll be honest, but I remember one experience when I was a young mom, and I think that I had fairly recently had my last two, which are twin daughters, and so I had five children, 8 and under, and I was doing the 10 o'clock news, and my laundry piles were just out of control and just trying to stay up with the day-to-day with these five kids and this job and trying to act like I had it all together when I'd walk into the newsroom at night. It got to the point though I was exhausted and we had viewers that would call in or write in and say, "Is Ruth Todd sick? Because those dark circles under her eyes are really worrisome," and I think, "Oh, I gotta get some better concealer like now."
0:35:37.4 RT: But I remember I was working and my church job was in the primary, and it was a Saturday afternoon, so the twins must have been home with my husband, and I was there with my 3, 5 and 8-year-old practicing for the program, which would be the next day, so it must have been a fall Saturday afternoon, and I can tell you right where I was sitting up in the choir loft trying to keep my class calm during the practice, and just out of nowhere, here came this strong idea, a transfer of understanding to my brain and to my heart that said, "You're fine. You're in the right place at the right time. You're doing your best and it's good enough. Quit worrying." And I'm telling you, so much angst and mom guilt and all these things melted away in that instance. And you know, sometimes you aren't asking for that when you're seeking and knocking and asking. What you are asking for, How can I be the daughter that that would want me to be? And I got a, "You're doing okay, don't worry, don't be hard on yourself and drop the guilt," and that to me, I hung on that for a long time.
0:36:55.9 TH: That's a really great story. The thing I like about that story is that for me as I'm listening to it, I'm thinking that God knew you and you didn't even ask. He just knew you needed in your mind and your heart a revelation, something to just keep you going. How cool is that about our Heavenly Father who loves his children enough to just give us something when we didn't even ask? I wanna go back into Section 6. This is really cool. Okay, first of all, at the end of verse 15, where it says, "Enlightened by the Spirit of truth," highlight "Spirit of truth," that is one of the Holy Ghost monikers. That's a name he has, he is called the Spirit of truth, and that is found in John 16:13-14. So when you see Spirit of truth, just put Holy Ghost right next to it. You've been enlightened by the Holy Ghost. And now we have verses 22 and 23. Laurel, will you read those also?
0:37:46.2 LD: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"
0:38:08.8 TH: Tell me about that, Laurel.
0:38:11.5 LD: Well, it makes me emotional because I think so many of us have a memory of the night that we cried unto Him in our heart. I mean, I have too many to count. There are times when I know only God knows about this moment, it is me and it is Him, and I have countless experiences in my life where the Lord could say, Cast your mind upon that night, Cast your mind upon that morning, Cast your mind about that one time when you were walking. And I cling to those, I have to cling to those because there are other times when I feel some silence from heaven, or other times when I feel some distance, and for me, casting my mind to times when I know He's spoken peace to my soul allow me to believe that He's trying to speak peace to my soul right now, even if I maybe don't see it or feel it as clearly.
0:39:16.1 TH: Absolutely. What about you, Ruth?
0:39:20.5 RT: I'm thinking of Oliver Cowdery, he was the educated one, he was the teacher, and so here he's hearing these things around the dinner table of the Smith family, and if there were some pride that crept in, it would be then. How is this guy, how is he translating through the power of God? He has no education, but I, is this really true? 'Cause there's another hurdle to overcome for Oliver. We know this is something he works with a lot. In fact, one of the things that he is told in this revelation is to be patient and to be sober and diligent, he has to learn those important things.
0:40:04.1 TH: Wow, thank you, both of you. In fact, as both of you were speaking, my heart was just racing like a fast and testimonies race, like the Spirit is here. It's what you're saying is true, and the Spirit of truth is witnessing that to me right now so thank you for sharing that. Ruth, I wanna piggy back on what you said because Oliver Cowdery is the educated one, and what's so interesting is, let's go back to Section 8 now because he's given another gift, and this is so cool that you brought that up. His first gift is the gift of revelation, the spirit of revelation, and what I love, verse 2, we have to mark that because it says, "Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart," both places, that's important to know.
0:40:42.6 TH: In fact, Jeffrey R Holland says, "I love the combination there of both mind and heart, God will teach us in a reasonable way and in a revelatory way, mind and heart combined by the Holy Ghost." So if you're praying about something specific, it has to make sense in your head and in your heart. It can't just make sense in your head and then your heart's like, "Argh." Maybe you should rethink the question or what your revelation you're getting, so both places. But now, Ruth, when you go back to saying he's the educated one, this is the cool thing, 'cause here's his second gift, and it's in verse 6, and Ruth, will you read that for us?
0:41:15.8 RT: "Now this is not all thy gift; for you have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron; behold, it has told you many things."
0:41:24.8 TH: So I'm just gonna give you a little background about what the gift of Aaron is. So Aaron is the older brother of Moses, and he is going to go before Moses and he's going to perform some incredible things, he's going to introduce Moses to the children of Israel in the land of Goshen. He's the spokesman before Pharaoh and he assisted Moses in opening the dispensation, which Moses was commissioned to proclaim, and now Oliver is given the same gift, he is going to go before Joseph Smith, and something interesting is that it's Oliver Cowdery who's going to deliver the very first public discourse in this dispensation. He's the educated one. This is his gift to go before Joseph Smith and prepare the way. And so he's given this gift to do all these incredible things, including translate the plates. And so as he inquires of the Lord about these gifts and the ability to translate, he does, he gets that gift and it works, kind of. So in the next segment, we're gonna talk about what happened with Oliver's ability to translate.
0:42:29.4 TH: So we are gonna just pause really quickly here for a minute, because what I want you to do is go back to Section 6. I'm gonna give you the title for Section 6, so Section 6 is called, "What greater witness can you have then from God, Oliver Cowdery?" Section 7 is called, "The parchment of John," and then Section 8 is "The spirit of revelation/Oliver Cowdery." Now, we're gonna go to Doctrine and Covenants Section 9, and this is called the translation of The Book of Mormon. I want you to go to verse 5, because did he translate? There's a word here that makes us know that he did a little bit of translation. In verse 5, it says, "And behold it is because that you did not continue as you commenced," this word actually leads us to believe, and according to some scholars, there is a belief that he did translate. And now we have this really incredible discourse from the Lord on how to know if it's right, and it is Doctrine and Covenants 9:8.
0:43:25.4 TH: Now, verse 8 is specifically to Oliver Cowdery on how to translate the plates, we need to know that, but it's also for us. We're not translating plates, but we're definitely receiving our own revelation. And here's how we do that. Ruth, can you please read verse 8?
0:43:38.4 RT: "But Behold, I say unto you that you must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you. Therefore, you shall feel that it is right."
0:43:52.9 TH: Talk to me a little bit about when you don't get the answer.
0:44:00.1 RT: We have the how-to in these sections, how do you go through the revelatory process, how do you make that relevant in your own life and how do you make it actionable in your own life? I think sometimes we feel like, "Hey, everybody else gets spiritual promptings but I don't." And I think we've all had times where we feel like, "I just don't get those right now, I'm feeling kind of out on an island by myself, and I'm not sure exactly which way to go," and I think that for me... And again, like Laurel said, it's not for everybody, but for me, there is something about continued, consistent asking; continued consistent prayers, patience, not throwing in the towel. There's just something about consistency over time, where the heavens seem to crack a little bit when I need it. And sometimes it's at the very 11th hour, think about the first vision, and when it was just in the very last moment when Joseph Smith the boy, thought he couldn't handle it any longer, and then the light came. And so I think that that's a good pattern for us.
0:45:10.3 TH: Absolutely.
0:45:13.7 LD: I'd love to share a really, critical sounds so serious, but it was a critical connection for me. I have often struggled for most of my life about thinking that I didn't have enough faith to pray for something, and I made this connection with the verse we just read in Doctrine and Covenants when I was reading 3 Nephi, it's 3 Nephi 18:20.
0:45:39.1 TH: Okay, hold on, let me get in there.
0:45:40.7 LD: And this Scripture has always bothered me because I didn't feel like I had a witness that it was true, I didn't have any life experiences to show me that it was true. So it's 3 Nephi 18:20, and it says, "And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be given unto you." I think we teach too often "That whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name, believing that you receive it, you'll get it," so then it becomes a matter of belief and faith.
0:46:22.1 TH: Yes.
0:46:22.2 LD: The thing I love about Doctrine and Covenants Section 9 is we're actually being taught in my mind how to pray, because verse 8 says, "Study it out in your mind, and then ask me if it be right." And when I made that connection, my prayers totally changed. I stopped praying about the things I desired, believing they would come, and I literally started praying, asking the Lord if it was right for me to pray for it, because then if I knew it was right to pray for, I can pray in faith, but without knowing that the thing I'm praying for is right to pray for, then I'm just setting myself up for constant disappointment, thinking that it's my lack of faith and my lack of believing or God's lack of love for me.
0:47:13.2 LD: And when I made that connection, I'm not perfect at it by any means, but I do have a deep belief that if I will take the time to pray to find out if the thing I actually wanna be praying for is right, my experience with that is completely different than if I just pray for the thing I hope is right, that I want to be right and hope He'll grant it to me. Nobody had ever taught me that before, nobody had ever taught me to pray, to find out what I should pray for.
0:47:46.2 RT: Laurel, what you're teaching me right now is align yourself with the will of the Lord for you. Get in alignment.
0:47:53.0 LD: Yes, and I can tell you that there have been times in my life when the Lord has said, "Don't pray for that. It'll just set you up for heartache. Don't pray for that. It's not to be." And I have had other times where He's invited me, "Give me all the faith you have on that thing, and let me show you what I will do," and maybe He didn't do the thing, but He did something that let me know, "Okay, He accepted my faith, and I prayed with everything I had. And look what He did."
0:48:25.3 TH: What you said, Laurel, is 100% true. I will witness of its truth. There have been times when I've gotten on my knees and said, "Should I pray for this?" And very clear, the Spirit's like, "Nope." "Okay, then I'm not." What you taught is true.
0:48:41.3 RT: Ask if it'd be right, it's just a key critical component.
0:48:45.5 TH: And then rolled up into that is then how do you feel when it is right, you have this burning in your bosom. Can we talk about that? I mean, I've had that. I mean, girls camp maybe, twice. What is this really talking about?
0:49:00.5 RT: I remember I had long struggled with and wrestled with my place, my place in this gospel, a woman's place in this church, in the temple, I've always been a believer, but I was seeking some answers, and I felt like I had done study and prayer and searching, and I didn't really have answers. In fact, I just had those, "Put them on the shelf until you get an answer" or whatever. But I was at the temple and it was... I can tell you exactly where in the room I was sitting and exactly what the air looked like and felt like when... For me, it was a burning in my bosom, the Lord revealed to me, not in words, not in a word that I can say, but in knowledge, that's all... I can't even articulate it correctly, but that I did not need to worry about some of the things I was worrying about, that the Lord's plan for his daughters is perfect, and we may make mistakes along the way. Sometimes culture gets traded out for doctrine and some things don't feel always correct, but the Lord is in charge. From that day forward, when I had that feeling in the temple, I haven't worried about it at all, and I know that God's plan is perfect for his daughters.
0:50:29.3 TH: Ruth, thank you, thank you for sharing that.
0:50:34.0 LD: I'll just Amen what Ruth just said, and in fact for me that burning feeling is... It's interesting the difference between that feeling and a panic attack, which I've had, 'cause it's that same like, "Oh, my gosh, I can't breathe," but it's accompanied by calm. My heart feels like it's going to rupture right now, but I'm calm about it, I'm not anxious about it. And we've gotta tap into, "Oh, that's the way that feels to me."
0:51:05.3 TH: Perfect, thank you. I wanna read this quote by President Oaks, and Ruth, will you please read this for us? This is what he had to say about this burning in our bosom.
0:51:13.6 RT: "I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom burn within them. What does a burning in the bosom mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom. Surely the word 'burning' in this Scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity, that is the witness many received, that is the way revelation works. Truly, the still small voice is just that, still and small."
0:51:50.6 TH: Thank you. And Amen to what you both said, that is exactly what this quote is about; just this good, calm, peaceful feeling for many of us that is that burning in our bosom.
0:52:00.9 LD: It reminds me of my favorite Elder Maxwell quote, and maybe it's my favorite 'cause it's short, most of the things he said were long. He said, "God will not send thunder when the still small voice will do."
0:52:16.3 TH: Absolutely. Brilliant. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Okay, so we just talked about what it feels like when it is right, and in the next segment, we're gonna talk about what it feels like when it's not.
0:52:36.2 TH: Okay, let's just jump right back in to Doctrine and Covenants 9:9, and Ruth, will you please read verse 9 for us?
0:52:42.4 RT: "But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me."
0:52:56.7 LD: So I think this is so important because he is very clear about what a stupor of thought is, he says "stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong," which is different than having fear about something and then misplacing that as revelation. 'Cause too many times in my life where I feel like the Lord has answered something, given me guidance, told me to do something, and then I freak out. The stupor of thought for me personally, a few times it's happened for me, it's literally been like my brain goes blank, and I forget the thing that I was thinking was right. And I think that forgetting piece is critical because otherwise we can think that fear or trepidation or worry is the spirit when the spirit actually isn't fear, and the spirit isn't worry, that's not the way that works. I think that's a life-long pursuit to figure out, I'm not here telling anybody that I have it figured out. All I know is I better be pretty darn careful that I'm not actually denying revelation thinking I'm getting a stupor of thought, when I'm not.
0:54:18.0 TH: Okay, Laurel, I really like that take on stupor of thought, so thank you for sharing that. Here's something that Elder Scott said about stupor of thought. Will you read this for us, Laurel?
0:54:29.0 LD: "What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior's teaching and you need to act, proceed with trust. As you are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, one of two things will certainly occur at the appropriate time: Either the stupor of thought will come, indicating an improper choice, or the peace or the burning in the bosom will be felt, confirming that your choice was correct. When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision."
0:55:17.6 LD: So my experience being an older woman getting married, when my husband now has been proposed to me, we were sitting in the celestial room of the Nauvoo Temple, which isn't even important, I just think it's sweet so I have to share it. And I remember he asked me, it seemed like it lasted an eternity, but it was just a few seconds, but in my mind, I thought, "Oh, my gosh, I've not even asked for an answer that this is right or not," and as clear as anything has ever come into my soul, ever, were two words, "You choose." And I remember thinking, "Are you kidding me? This is like the most important decision I'm ever going to make and you're leaving it up to me?"
0:56:04.4 LD: But I do have experience with the Lord over my lifetime, where he knows that if He gives me a clear answer and it doesn't go quite the way I think it should, I put it all on Him, and I think in that moment, He was like, "You're getting ready to possibly accept a marriage proposal of a man who's been married before, who has four sons, you're gonna be walking into a situation that is not the thing you planned for your whole life, this is going to be hard, and if you wanna do this, I will fully support you, but you're choosing. I'm not telling you this is right so that if it gets hard down the road, you can hang this on Me." Obviously, all of that didn't transpire in three seconds. But I love that quote so much because in that moment I proceeded in trust, and I thought if God is really truly going to let me choose, this is absolutely the thing I'm choosing, I have felt better and better every month we've been dating, I feel close to him, we're in the temple, this feels right. And even though I didn't get this manifestation that this was the right thing to do, I said yes and sure enough, the following months just confirmed the rightness of my choice.
0:57:18.3 TH: That's the study it out part. Will you study it out? Why don't you tell me what you wanna do? In fact, you can cross-reference. I would put Section 58 verses 26 and 27, that's the Scripture that says the Lord will not compel us in all things. Section 58 verses 26 and 27, the Lord really wants us to come to him with our decision, what we have chosen, and then he's going to give us the peaceful feeling or the stupor of thought.
0:57:43.2 RT: You know it's not always an either or for me. It's not either a burning in your bosom or a stupor of thought, sometimes it's "not yet," "no answer," and sometimes "no answer" is not a stupor of thought. A stupor of thought stop you in your tracks, this is wrong. And I don't always get that, but a lot of times in my life, I have gotten no answer. And it has over time, I've come to the point where I make a decision, Heavenly Father, this is what I've decided to move forward. Are you okay with that? And so sometimes there's this middle ground, and sometimes that middle ground actually is a lot of time lapsing, and it's a process, and that process takes time.
0:58:26.0 TH: But I appreciate that you've pointed out the word 'process,' that it is a process, and for some of us, it does, the answers come quickly; and for some of us also in our life, it does take some time to get that answer, and so I appreciate that word, 'cause the word, yeah, process, it is. It requires a lot of us often.
0:58:45.5 LD: I think we can trust that if we really believe the Lord loves us, we should be able to trust that there's something about that process that he actually believes is important to us. I don't believe he's an unkind, unfeeling God who's just gonna make us suffer in the silence. I need to trust that there's something about that that's important for me.
0:59:08.9 TH: Thank you, thank you. So we've talked about what it feels like when it's right, and we've talked about what it feels like when it's wrong, when it comes to the question that we're asking. And Laurel, you beautifully alluded to this in some of your comments that you've said, because in the next segment, we're gonna talk about the role that fear plays in all of this.
0:59:39.5 TH: So I asked you guys a question before this episode that I wanted you to think about, and I'm wondering is there a time when you felt doubtful or fearful about something the Lord wanted you to do?
0:59:49.9 LD: Yeah, I have lots of those. I think maybe the most recent is being called to be the Relief Society president in my ward. It was truly one of those moments where right before I met with the bishop, I had an inkling that I was being called to something, and I actually felt like I was being called into Relief Society and the presidency, specifically. And I remember telling the Lord, "Oh, that's such a bad idea. Let's put me in Young Woman's." And when the bishop called me to be the Relief Society president, I just erupted in tears. It was truly for the first solid month, I was almost crippled with how inadequate and how unprepared and how wrong I was. I was filled with doubt and I was filled with fear, and I had not really hadn't experienced that intense. Even as a missionary, I had fear and doubt, but I knew none of us knew what we were doing, we were all figuring it out together. But in this, yeah, I was filled with fear and doubt.
1:00:56.7 TH: That's a great example. How about you, Ruth?
1:01:02.3 RT: I remember a time when I was filled with some fear and trepidation. I was working for the church as a member of the public affairs team, I was a church spokesperson and on the media team then, and I was asked to meet with a group of women that was demanding some things of the church, and that was a source of fear, and I think what was so amazing is that when I did meet with them face-to-face, I had this overwhelming, just wave of love. And the thought came into my head, "These are your sisters." And then another thought that just came right on top of that first thought was, "The one thing you know about these sisters who have come demanding things of the church is that if something were to happen and another Relief Society sister or a person in the church needed their service, that you would all, in immediate split second, you would roll up your sleeves, you would stand shoulder to shoulder with all these women and you would serve. Because that's who you are." And it changed that whole experience for me to be instead of one of fear, one of... I didn't totally understand or agree with everything they were saying, but I loved them nonetheless, they were my sisters.
1:02:21.5 LD: And we know that the antidote to fear is love, and I loved that that's what the Lord gave you in that moment when you were feeling trepidatious about, I love that.
1:02:30.2 TH: Both of you, the stories you shared contain significant truths about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, about who our Heavenly Father is, so I just want us to jump into Section 9 so we can cross-reference and read some Scriptures about what you guys just shared. I love your stories. In Section 9, let's read verse 11, because going back to the story of Oliver Cowdery, he can relate to this feeling of fear, and here's the role that fear played in his inability to translate. And I'll read verse 11, "But behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and is not expedient now." He got afraid and he had this fear and then he wasn't able to translate anymore, and so now the Lord's saying to him, "So I'm just gonna have you be a scribe, which is fine, I knew this would happen, this was part of the plan," but this idea that this fear, this role that played into his life, what I think is so cool is the Lord knew he would be afraid because let's go back to Section 6.
1:03:29.4 TH: I feel like the Lord is setting him up right now with this, "Hey, you might be fearful," and so before he's even afraid to translate, the Lord pre-empts this fear. Let's go into Section 6 and read verses 33 through 36. Let's each take a verse to read this and discuss these verses, so Ruth, can we start with you?
1:03:47.7 RT: Yes, because I love it, it's the law of the harvest, replete through Judaism and replete through modern Scripture. Here we go, ready? 33, "Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward."
1:04:07.9 LD: "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."
1:04:18.7 TH: "Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you."
1:04:26.7 RT: "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."
1:04:32.0 TH: Tell me what those verses specifically say to you or teach you.
1:04:36.4 LD: So these verse, these were the verses on my mission plaque, it was 34 and 36, and I said these verses in my head. Every time I had to go tracting, every time... I mean, I served back in the day when you actually had to tract a certain number of hours.
1:04:51.6 TH: Sure.
1:04:52.3 LD: But I'll tell you, the thing that I just love is him calling us his little flock. There's something about little flock that reminds me I am an infant spiritually in my eternal progression right now, and he knows that, I can hear what it might sound like to hear him say that, just, Fear not little flock. Just do good, that's all I need from you. Just do good.
1:05:23.2 TH: It's beautiful, I like how you just described that little infant spirits. I wanna read about this experience and what Elder Holland had to say about Oliver Cowdery. Laurel, will you read this for us?
1:05:35.0 LD: "In the process of revelation and making important decisions, fear plays a destructive, sometimes paralyzing role. To Oliver Cowdery, who missed the opportunity of a lifetime because he didn't seize it in the lifetime of the opportunity, the Lord said, 'You did not continue as you commenced.' Does that sound familiar to those who have been illuminated and then knuckled under to second thoughts and returning doubts? After you have gotten the message, after you have paid the price to feel His love and hear the word of the Lord, go forward. Don't fear, don't vacillate, don't quibble, don't whine. Dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet."
1:06:17.7 TH: Well, and going back to your story, Ruth, where you feared and then you felt love, let's look at this verse of Scripture. 2 Timothy 1:7.
1:06:26.9 RT: Okay.
1:06:27.5 TH: Oh, it's so good, go ahead Ruth and read that when you get there.
1:06:30.6 RT: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." That is beautiful. There's nothing about what the Savior does that should make us fearful. In fact, if we can align our lives with his commandments, it should give us great confidence every day.
1:06:53.2 LD: I feel like verse 37 though is like if you were to read 36 and say, "Well, how? How can I do that?" I feel like verse 37 is just the period of the sentence of, "Well, look at the wounds which pierced my side and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet. Period. That's why you can look unto me in every thought and doubt not and fear not. Look what I did for you. You don't need to know about my miracles, you don't need to know about anything else I taught, just look what I did for you, that's why you can trust me and you don't need to fear."
1:07:31.3 TH: Absolutely. You know, it's so interesting in this story... Now, let's go to Section 8, so I told you they're all gonna intertwine. What stood out to me as I was studying this is in verse 3, Doctrine and Covenants 8:3, when he tells Oliver, you have this gift, the spirit of revelation. And then he says, this is the Spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. And what I love about this specific story is we have to turn to the example that we read about it in Exodus, 'cause it's so cool. So let's go, we're gonna cross-reference Exodus chapter 14. This is in the story, where Moses is with the children of Israel, and here come Pharaoh and all of his armies, and they are now at the Red Sea, and they have nowhere to go. They're backed up with the sea behind them, all of the enemy in front of them. And look what the Lord says to them. Go to Exodus chapter 14, in verses 13 and 14. So in verse 13, it says, "And Moses said unto the people, 'Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.'"
1:08:33.0 TH: Now I'm gonna pause for a minute there where he says, "Fear ye not." Here's something interesting I learned about the brain because I was gonna be a nurse and that never worked out, but I do remember something about the hypothalamus and a part of the brain called the amygdala. So if you go to feel the very base of your neck, where that bone is, right on the other side of that, up in your brain is a part of the brain called the amygdala, that is the main center where all of your fear is felt. God gave you this ability to have a fight or flight response to any type of fear or anything that's scary. So God puts in our brain to see a situation and know it's scary, and to run; he gave that to every one of us. He gave us the ability to fear. So here these children of Israel are, and you bet they're afraid because here come the armies, they have nowhere to go, and their fight or flight instinct is kicking in right now and they don't know what to do. And isn't it interesting, the very first thing the Lord says to them is, "Fear ye not." Like, I know your bodies, I created you to be afraid, but I'm telling you right now, don't be afraid at all, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today, for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever."
1:09:42.6 TH: Now, this is so cool, verse 14 says, "The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." Now highlight, "hold your peace," 'cause I have to tell you what this means in Hebrew. Hold your peace in Hebrew means to be silent or to become death, to not even hear what's going on around you, so that you will do nothing but watch God work His miracle. Nothing else but God will grab your attention, and you're not gonna be afraid no matter how scary it is. Isn't that fun? Hold your peace means actually just become death to everything around you that's scaring you right now, which goes against what your body was created to do. So now when we go into this story and we talk about Oliver Cowdery and our own lives, my last question for both of you is, what advice would you give to someone who wanted to know how they could hold their peace, when they're in the midst of asking this question and waiting for an answer, how would you say, "Here's what you should do, here's how you can hold your peace"?
1:10:43.5 LD: Well, I think I would say the answer is right there in verse 36. "Look unto me in every thought." I think that's way easier said than done, but the bottom line is, He is either who He says He is, or He's not. He's either the high priest of good things to come, or He's not. He's either the anchor of our faith, or He's not. He's either the captain of our salvation or He's not.
1:11:15.4 RT: What I was thinking when Laurel was talking was, wherever we are, as we are, looking to the Savior in every thought, we need to make that a holy place, whether that's in our home or backyard or in the temple, we need to stop and do all in our power to make our environment a place where the Spirit can speak to us, and sometimes that's just making sure that wherever you are is a place where the Spirit can dwell and touch you, that we become very still so we can know what He that is the living water, and He that is the bread of life, would have us to.
1:11:56.4 TH: Thank you, both of you. So here's what I want us to do. Let's go back to the very beginning, look down at that question that you wrote in your journal or on that piece of paper, or the question you're thinking of in your brain, and let's apply everything we've learned today about receiving answers to our prayers. Are we holding our peace? Are we not buying into the fears that Satan wants us to buy into? Are we asking if it's right? Are we studying it out and then making our decision? There's just so many great things about today's lesson that we need to apply to that question on your piece of paper, and my challenge to you this week is to do it. My challenge is to apply everything we've learned in whatever respect it needs to be applied to your specific circumstances, and let the Lord work through you, let him have success with you, and I guarantee he will. I just know it, it's happening in my own life. So ladies, tell me what your takeaway was from today? That's the end of our episode.
1:12:53.1 RT: I think my takeaway on these sections is pretty easy, and that is, we need to have one simple, clear focus. Jesus. Jesus is the focus. If we look to Him in every thought, we doubt not, we fear not, we're told to be faithful, to keep the commandments with faithfulness and diligence, it's a pretty simple recipe. And he says, we'll be His children and inherit His kingdom. The greatest gifts and blessings that we can't even imagine are ours, if we keep one simple, clear focus, that Jesus our Savior.
1:13:39.6 TH: That Jesus. I like how you said that.
1:13:43.0 LD: My takeaway, I feel like was actually an invitation from the Spirit at the beginning of this podcast. I felt invited to write down my experiences of the nights that I have cried unto Him in my heart, and the times when He has spoken peace to my mind, and I can recall those right now, but I don't know that I've done a very good job memorializing those moments and writing them down and recording them, and I just felt an invitation that I need to do that.
1:14:18.3 TH: Thank you, Laurel, for sharing that. I feel like I do too now. I'm gonna write those.
1:14:23.8 LD: Sorry.
1:14:24.2 TH: Thanks for more work. My takeaway definitely was when Ruth said, the Lord's plan for His daughters is perfect. I'm grateful Heavenly Father gave you that revelation because I needed to hear that, and I know it and I believe it, but when you said it, something just in my heart was like, "Yep." So thank you for sharing those words and for sharing that experience. That was really great for me to hear.
1:14:49.5 TH: Okay, well, thank you, I love you both. Oh, my gosh, this is great. For those of you who are listening, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode, and if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or on Instagram, go, you totally should, because it's such a great place to ask questions and to study and I try to answer questions throughout the week that you ask, but it's fun to have other people answer. We have such a strong community of faith among the followers on Sunday on Monday, so go to Instagram and Facebook. And if you aren't a member, just sign up just so you can follow Sunday on Monday, it's worth it.
1:15:16.3 TH: Then at the end of the week, it's usually on a Sunday, we do a post asking for what your big takeaway was, so comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you've learned. And I read every single one of them. It's my favorite part of Sunday, and I just love learning from you from your takeaways. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday, it's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because it's where we have the links to all the references that we used, as well as a complete transcript of this entire discussion. So go check it out.
1:15:42.0 TH: The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, it's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall. And today, our brilliant, awesome, wonderful study group participants were Laurel Christensen Day and Ruth Todd. And you can find more information about these ladies at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert, it is recorded and mixed by Mix at 6 Studios, and our executive producer is Erin Holstrom. Thanks for being here, we'll see you next week. And please remember little flock that you are God's favorite.
1:16:18.9 TH: But if I'm being honest, I just wanna sit and talk about the movie Soul for an hour. Can we just do that?
1:16:23.7 RT: I know. I wanna be in the writer's room, I wanna see how it all unfolded.
1:16:29.4 LD: It just spoke to me so deeply.
1:16:30.0 TH: It was so good. It was so good.
1:16:33.9 LD: So good.