Episode 36: D&C 6-9
Ben and Shiloh review the sections that speak primarily to and about Oliver Cowdery. Oliver has a rich history before and after coming into the LDS narrative as a scribe to Joseph in penning the Book of Mormon. In these sections we find an incredibly supportive, compassionate, and encouraging God that is patient, merciful, and forgiving. God speaks to His children not just through their own language but according to the context of their cultural, religious, and personal understandings. Both Joseph and Oliver were (or had been) engrossed in what we would see today as a “magical” worldview of experiencing God where imbuing random objects with divine power (e.g., stones, handkerchiefs, walking sticks, etc.) were not abnormal. Whereas Joseph had found a rock while digging a well that he used as a “seer stone” to assist in translation of the Book of Mormon, Oliver had had previous successful experiences before meeting Joseph in dousing (i.e., “witching”) with a stick. God does not reject these abilities and worldviews that were commonly understood and known to Joseph and Oliver, but, rather, He incorporates their worldview and focuses their own interests and talents on His own purposes. How does God do the same for us today? God encourages Oliver’s endeavors and gives him what was originally called the “gift of the rod” (as written in the 1833 Book of Commandments) but that was later recorded in subsequent publications of Section 8 as the “gift of Aaron” after 1835. God also blesses Oliver with many revelatory moments, and we learn much of how to recognize God’s love and promptings for our lives through Oliver’s experiences.