I subbed for Gospel Doctrine this week and taught lesson 6, which was similar to lesson 5, both on revelation, with long streams of proof texts. Fortunately lesson 6 also had as base texts sections 6, 8, 9. These are the revelations that cover Oliver Cowdery’s interaction with translating the book of Mormon and they are incredibly rich—fortunately more than enough to discuss in the allotted time. We dug into the sections and then reviewed the lesson’s objective of identifying various ways of receiving revelation.
We read only three items that were not in the sections themselves. Relating to Cowdery’s gifts, we read a bit from the Church’s new Revelations in Context resource and also from the early manuscript of one of the revelations as available on the Joseph Smith Papers Projects website. I felt like we had a lot of great discussion.
The third non-canonical item we read was a quote from Elder John H. Groberg supplied by the Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s manual for this lesson. At first I thought it was added for all the student wards affiliated with BYU campuses. But Groberg’s comment has radical consequences if broadly applied, and I therefore think it is worth highlighting:
I would…caution you that you cannot receive a one-sided revelation from God in regards to an eternal marriage. Only as both parties feel the same way can you have the assurance that it is from the Lord. Those who try to force another’s free will into their supposed-revelation mold are doing a great disservice to themselves and to their friends”
(John H. Groberg “What Are You Doing Here?” New Era, Jan. 1987, 37–38).