Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
Lesson 5
“This Is the Spirit of Revelation”

Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will help us understand how to prepare to receive personal revelation and encourage us to do so.

Scripture references for study:  Doctrine and Covenants 6, 8, 9, Joseph Smith—History 1:8–17
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at and will open in a new window.

Lesson 5 Handout (PDF)

Introduction/Historical Background

The great drama of the Restoration continues to unfold with the addition of one of its most significant characters.

During the winter of 1828-1829 a young man by the name of Oliver Cowdery taught school in the Manchester school district.

Prior to going to Harmony, Oliver met a young man from Fayette, New York, by the name of David Whitmer.

On April 5, 1829, Samuel Smith arrived in Harmony and introduced Oliver to Joseph. Oliver began as Joseph's scribe on April 7, 1829, and continued until the translation was finished.

From April 7 through the month of May, Joseph and Oliver labored on the translation with few interruptions.

The revelation in Section 6 is directed to both Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Concerning Sections 8 and 9 the Prophet wrote: "Whilst continuing the work of translation, during the month of April, Oliver Cowdery became exceedingly anxious to have the power bestowed upon him, and in relation to this desire the following revelations were obtained." (HC, 1:36)

Lesson 5 and Lesson 6 are closely related and use some of the same Sections in the Doctrine and Covenants. To use an old phrase, they are two sides of the same coin.  Lesson 5 focuses on what we need to do to obtain revelation. Lesson 6 discusses how we receive revelation.

For additional background information on the Sections discussed in this lesson, see Revelations in Context at

Need For Personal Revelation




How We Obtain Personal Revelation

Study the matter in your mind.

Ponder and meditate on the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets.

Inquire of the Lord in faith with an honest heart, believing that you will receive.

Be obedient and serve God.

Be meek and humble.

Focus on the things of God rather than the things of the world.

For additional information, see the topic Revelation at

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on personal revelation. What can you do to more fully prepare yourself to receive personal revelation.

Resources Used In This Lesson

A Comprehensive History of the Church by B.H. Roberts (CHC).

As A Man Thinketh by James Allen.

Come Unto Christ by Ezra Taft Benson.


History of the Church (HC).

History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith.

Improvement Era.

Merriam-Webster Online.

Millennial Star.

New Era.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS).

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Changes last made on:  09 January 2017