Today I read Doctrine and Covenants section 6, our introduction to Oliver Cowdery. We have in this section a lot of famous scriptures and even a scripture mastery. I have often wondered at times why certain sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were included in the publication since they only contain certain instructions that were applicable only to those men and women of the time period or even just the person to whom the revelation was given. This is not one of those sections.
This section is extremely applicable to everyone and it is very good for all. These is even a verse that I felt was almost more suited to a husband and wife than it was for Joseph and Oliver, although now that I think about it, I suppose it is applicable to any true friendship, be it friends or spouses. It was in verse 19 where it says, "Admonish him in his faults, and also receive admonition of him".
A true friend will do just this and will admonish a friend out of compassion for his/her well being. I remember once I lived in California with some friends and one day we were out to eat at a restaurant and my friend, who was a faithful Latter-day Saint got tea for his choice of drink. I jovially rebuked him for drinking tea as it was against the Word of Wisdom and was shocked when he reacted quite abusively. He replied that my soda I was drinking was equally destructive and that he hated people with holier than thou attitudes. He had completely misread my motives and I was so shocked as this was the first time he had reacted in such a way to me that I didn't know what to say so I just dropped the subject but I was very hurt by it all and I'm ashamed to say it was a long time before I ever again admonished a friend, specifically in the moment.
My friend felt that I was in fact trying to be self-righteous when in fact I was actually more concerned about him and his well being. I do not think my story is unique and many of you could share a very similar story, especially those of you who are married. When you are married you are quite concerned with your spouses well being and will frequently bring up things that you feel are inappropriate or at times down right destructive behavior and it is not always met with the love and affection you hope for.
But that is why the scripture in question tells Oliver to be patient. It is not an easy thing to hear you are doing something wrong or inappropriate and the natural man wants to lash out and complain at the unfair treatment. But that will not help us to grow at all. In order to grow and progress we have to be patient and humble and want was is best for our spouse, then and only then can we progress.
A final thought on this section, on the scripture mastery. Verses 22 - 24 is a great example of how the Lord reveals truth to us. When things are true, He will speak peace to us concerning the matter. You will feel calm and collected about the entire thing and even if you have doubts, they are not very serious doubts and are easily overcome. When something is wrong though, you are plagued with self-doubt and don't know if you are on the right path. You will second guess yourself again and again. You will not be able to rest and will not be able to stay calm about your decision and will become agitated. We've all been there, I do not need to expound on these things.
I had an institute teacher once who told us that in regards to these 3 verses, Oliver Cowdery stated that he had not told anyone at all about that experience so when Joseph Smith was able to repeat it back to him it was further proof of Joseph's call as a prophet. I am not sure where he read or heard that, but I suspect it to be true. He was the type of teach not to just repeat things without having some backing to it so I thought I would share. It's just another fun fact of the scriptures. Until tomorrow.