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[James 1:6–8]. In fact, the best answers often come when our challenges are the greatest. Some questions and answers will be unique to you alone, and some are common to everyone. Indeed, the passage of scripture that led Joseph to the Sacred Grove experience includes both a question and the promise of an answer based on the asker’s faith. I am grateful for but also somewhat intimidated by this assignment to be with you today. So you need to consider both the instructor’s goals and your own when you re-frame the question in your own words. Not only will this drive more effective conversations and exchanges, it may also save time and energy. For example, the crossword clue “Highest university degree (9 letters)” immediately brought to my mind the answer “doctorate”; I didn’t need any letter clues. I would submit to you that these three questions constitute much more than Joseph’s passive curiosity. But you have the advantage of all the work that has gone before and all of the questions that have been asked by others. Paying attention (the key to asking good questions). Answers put us in place, but questions point the way forward. One of the mistakes that may be made by those who pride themselves on their inquiring minds is to focus on “small questions” to the exclusion of the “great ones.” Some get so caught up in minute details that they may miss out on the big picture. Asking questions, and repeatedly revising those questions, is clearly a type of generation strategy, and in some situations it might be helpful to think of it as such. Asking a question attracts attention, so it helps you as well as making your reader think. I always thought that you only asked questions when you didn’t know something. These questions will help us to define what matters to each one of us in particular and where we’re headed. It only tells you of the things that are most important and really true. Asking and answering questions is not only a part of how we learn, but it is also a part of our social skills; we ask and answer questions to be polite and build and maintain relationships. It is likely, of course, that the instructor will have more than one goal, but let’s keep it simple, and assume only one. But asking the right question is crucial, and it should be no surprise that getting it right on the first attempt is not something to be assumed! Where does ... come from? You can develop an Aristotelian method for asking questions, comparing and contrasting, probing definitions, looking toward analogies, asking questions about classification, and such (see Aristotle's Rhetoric). . For example, some geneticists may be willing to work for a long time on identifying the chemical sequence of a particular gene just because it is there. But if your instructor wants you to reveal your understanding of the complexity of the topic, you’ll probably want to come up with a number of specific questions that can each form the basis for a different paragraph in your essay. [Note again the role of questions in the way Jesus teaches.]. These are good questions. Saul asked two very good questions in response to the inquiry of the Lord. In order to use essay questions effectively, it is important to understand the following advantages, limitations and common misconceptions of essay questions. This applies particularly to public debate and communication, even to something that may appear as ‘factual’ as an infographic presenting data. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? In other words, framing questions is not only a first crucial step — it’s also something you need to revisit, repeatedly. Priming is a psychological term that refers to the increased accessibility of related information when a particular item has been retrieved. The questions we ask ourselves sets the tone for how we enter conversations and how we work through conflict with others. It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? The world continues to soften its position on moral laws, but the seventh commandment and its associated principles will always stand, even if cures for AIDS and all venereal diseases were to become readily available. For example, since the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith is then very clearly a prophet of God. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. Because you’re interested in history in general? Why are you interested in the topic? My comment to everyone is that “the questions you ask are frequently more important than the answers that you give”. Asking great questions gives those with whom you are speaking the high gift of insight, perhaps verbalized for the first time. A quotation … The mission of Brigham Young University is unique in all the world, and I have great admiration and respect for those who really understand this mission and are absolutely committed to it. Let us again return to Joseph’s words: It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. Either it is the word of God or it is an imposter of the foulest rank. Is it true or false? Let me continue with the narrative of James: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. One need only peruse the Doctrine and Covenants and recognize that, in fact, virtually all of these revelations—both to individuals and to the Church generally—came in response to carefully reasoned and faith-laden supplications to our Father in Heaven. Ron Gibori. The proximate cause of WW2 from the European point of view might be Hitler’s invasion of Sudentenland; for Americans, it might be the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor — but these are obviously not the sole cause of the War. These are not dichotomous concepts, but ones on a continuum. I don’t know what kind of shoes the Prophet Joseph Smith wore, or even if he wore shoes when he made his trip to the Sacred Grove. Questions are important. Because Joseph is a prophet, then his other revelations are true. Depending on your knowledge of the topic at the beginning, many of those questions may only be revealed once you have answered an earlier question. The operative phrase “but let him ask in faith” gives a basic secret. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to know the answer to a question just because it exists, but it is almost always more productive to have a clear purpose in mind or problem to solve when asking a question. If you do, on the other hand, have an interest in a specific aspect of the multiple causes of WW2, you can still satisfy both your teacher’s goals and your own by briefly describing the ‘big picture’ — covering these same questions, but very briefly — and then pulling out one set of questions to answer in more detail, as a demonstration of the complexity of the issue. Essay Questions: Essay Questions: What was the immediate chain of events leading to Japan’s invasion of Manchuria? Provo, Utah 84602. [Sir John Lubbock, The Use of Life (1894; reprint, Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1972), 102–3], Had Sir John Lubbock known, perhaps he might have best said, “Our education at BYU especially ought to help us answer these questions.”. Let’s look at a learning task: you’ve been asked to write an essay on the causes of the Second World War. One of the fundamental truths about asking proper questions in faith and in the proper way is that the answer received may not be that which was expected or hoped for, and sometimes is even an answer to a more important or fundamental question than we had thought to ask. What is really important, however, is that Joseph went to the grove and had his sacred experience that literally changed the world. Note the pointed answer that he received: “I was answered that I must join none of them” (verse 19), followed by the explanation known to all of us in that same verse. But the instructor’s purposes aren’t the whole story. It is about the general notion of questions that I would like to focus my comments and counsel today. Saul’s response, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” is not only the safe question, it is the right one. We will still have some fundamental things we will need to accept on faith. There is obviously a long chain of events leading up to the invasion of Sudentenland, and most will date this chain back to the Versailles Treaty, which imposed such harsh penalties on Germany after they lost the First World War. The Importance Of Asking Difficult Questions In … . When starting out it’s quickly apparent that graduate school is different from undergrad. . In his history Joseph Smith described his family circumstances and the religious environment in which he grew up as a young boy. I encourage people to ask meaningful and thoughtful questions, not just what is the money and the work hours. rhetorical questions, indirect questions, interrogative sentences, etc.) Before we leave the Prophet Joseph Smith’s history, it is instructive to consider other queries posed by the young prophet during these formative years of the restoration of the gospel. You are saying to them, “You work all day in a specific world. On the other hand, the clue “Large marine predator (9 letters)” left me stumped until I generated the right initial letter. Okay, these are bare bones examples (and have still gone on long enough - demonstrating how long it takes when you try and spell out any process! We then know of the events with the angel Moroni that occupied that entire night as well as the next day, and the tremendous import they had—not only for Joseph Smith but for all of us with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. There is nothing wrong with asking that question, and it might even lead to a publication in a learned journal if the answer is found. RELATED: The Importance of Asking Questions with Katie Couric. A good question can create an "aha" moment… Asking questions is a good strategy, but is there a methodology to questions that would yield better insight? Without understanding them, educators may use an essay question when another item type would . You can open an academic essay with a questionif it serves your purpose, but here are some points you should bear in mind: It is often considered good practice in academic writing to specify your research question near the start of the paper, and then address that question in the conclusion. They allowed him to focus on resolving his own personal dilemma and also prepared him to have that experience so critical to the lives of all of us. It is important to develop the critical thinking skills of students. When we ask the questions of ultimate significance like those pertaining to doctrine, however, the answers are stable and unchanging. Good job. Out of this almost unthinkable misery, the Lord comforted Joseph both generally and with great specificity in answering his questions, including some that he didn’t ask. When we discount questions that are silly, inappropriate, tasteless, or nonsensical, we still have to acknowledge that all questions that could be construed as proper in at least some settings are not equally salient. Art thou greater than he?” (D&C 122:8). Extend the key questions with subsidiary questions to ask. In teaching his son Helaman, Alma made this clear as they discussed some important doctrinal points: “Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear” (Alma 37:11). As I discuss at some length in Perfect Memory Training, your ability to retrieve a memory (‘remember’) depends a lot on the retrieval cue. These are the kinds of questions that we might ask ourselves so that the Lord will not need to do so. I remember the query of the old-time comedian who liked to ask: “What is the difference between a duck?” To puzzled listeners he would then give the answer: “Its leg is both the same.” If we are not careful, our questions and answers may not be much better. We don’t need to visit with Moroni and learn what he taught Joseph Smith because we have the scriptural record that has been provided. What were the proximate causes of Britain declaring war on Germany? [JS—H 1:18]. They help us discover the right answers. ), but hopefully it's enough to show how understanding the questions and assumptions behind the ostensible question helps you frame the right question (and note that questions and assumptions are often just the same thing, framed differently). We can also benefit from those who have gone before in obtaining answers to our important questions. Because Joseph saw the Father and Jesus Christ, then many of our other questions about their nature and roles are answered. Add/Delete/Edit your Emergency (caregiver) contact. That assertion does not mean that the answers to all of them are available or that those that are, are of equal value. Faith without wavering is necessary for receiving the answers we desire. Asking Builds Our Knowledge. Sir John Lubbock was an English banker, statesman, naturalist, and prolific writer born in 1834. I refer in this sense to questions more important even than what should be my major or my career. Briefly put, questions are more important than answers because questions seek and frame and expose while answers, at their best, are temporary responses whose accuracy changes and shift and decays over time, needing to be reformed and remade and reevaluated as the world itself changes. Of course, questions need to be updated too. How we frame those we ask and how we respond to those that come to us will in large measure determine the outcomes in our striving and progression to keep our “second estate” (Abraham 3:26), or, in other words, achieve happiness in this life and qualify for eternal life in the world to come. Ultimately, you might want to argue that the way civilization rose and developed in ancient Mesopotamia led to the use of war as the principal means of establishing state dominance and power. Is there a clearly stated … But Dr. Powell, the director of the Family and Church Education (F.A.C.E.) We know with great appreciation what Paul became and did when his questions were answered. People love to talk about themselves. ), will depend on what the instructor’s real goal is. I suppose that there might be historians or cultural anthropologists or even shoemakers who might be interested in that question. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. You might even want to go back further, to primate evolution. Here we must distinguish between two points of view: the instructor’s, and your own. I am usually very surprised by people’s reactions when I say I always email my prof or ask when I have questions. This post has gone on long enough, but let me end by making two last points, to emphasize the importance of asking the right questions. This is a large topic, but I hope this has helped you understand a little more about the value of asking questions, and how to do it in a way that is most effective. Ours is a gospel of questions, and our lives in all of their spheres require thoughtful and appropriate inquiry if we are going to progress. Remember, we have had more than 170 years of multiple theories advanced by the Prophet’s detractors, and each alternative has been discredited by careful and honest evaluators. In our humility about what we don’t know, however, we must never equivocate about the inescapable data that have been made available to each of us as the basis for our faith. Share patient's GPS location with designated Emergency contact. Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If your question is predicated on the belief that “I’ll never get that promotion/a job unless I lose weight”, then you can see that your question would be better phrased as “Will losing weight improve my chances of getting a job/being promoted?”. Why Are You At University - Asking and Answering Questions. Rather, they gratefully consider the work, theories, and discoveries of those who have gone before, then study them and come to know of their significance and limitations for themselves. First, the question that starts you off not only shapes your search (for the answer to the problem, or for the right information, or the right decision), it … Well, duh. One of the key ways that we learn—not only here at BYU but throughout life—is by asking questions. And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? The most important part of writing is to engage your audience and grab their attention as quickly as you can. Research; study; learning; solving problems; making decisions — all these, to be done effectively and efficiently, depend on asking the right questions. Well that is what I thought before we had the lecture on it and before I began researching the topic. The Prophet Joseph Smith had both faith and questions. [Joseph Smith—History 1:10]. Let me return to Joseph’s history: While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties caused by the contests of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Great leaders constantly ask questions and are well aware that they do not have all the answers. because you’re interested in war? Although all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are motivated to learn, gain knowledge, and increase in wisdom and intelligence, those who have the privilege of being associated with this remarkable institution and its sister schools are uniquely positioned and greatly blessed to acquire the attributes and understandings that lead to the advancement of “the glory of God” (D&C 93:36). It is vital for scientists to ask the right questions, but it is also important for us to do the same in all phases of our lives. Following a heuristic for investigation like this might provide a strategic starting point for analyzing any topic. . Though there may be nothing wrong with many questions in themselves, it is also true that focusing on the trivial can lead us away from the significant. If important answers to questions are to be forthcoming from our striving, then the proper questions need to be asked. What is it called? 218 University Press Building Let me refer to the scriptures for examples that apply to all of us. It may be tempting sometimes to look for the question to ask that seems controversial or sensational or perhaps that no one has previously thought to pose. This can end up quite a deep nesting, leading right down to your beliefs about your self-worth and your relationship with the people in your life. When we are considering proximate things like what to eat or wear, the answers, for good reason, may change often. First, the question that starts you off not only shapes your search (for the answer to the problem, or for the right information, or the right decision), it also primes you. Coming from the perspective of his own trials and experiences, as well as being tutored by the Holy Ghost, he was able to understand “that the great question” in the minds of the people he was teaching was “whether the word be in the Son of God, or whether there shall be no Christ” (Alma 34:5). So it was with me. Consider the... Bloom's Taxonomy. This skill will not develop on its own without any contribution from the student. ~Chinese Proverb. The questions we ask ourselves in these circumstances are among the most important we will ever pose to anyone. Their names are What and Why and When This might appear to be a quite straightforward question — but like most apparently straightforward questions, it is an illusion generated by lack of knowledge. In the midst of His agony and profound prayer, those He might have expected to have the most empathy and to understand best were found asleep. Cecil O. Samuelson was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this devotional address was given at Brigham Young University on 13 November 2001. How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries? But He then gave this stunning summary answer, in part with a key question: “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. Over the years I have heard this rationalization often from those in various kinds of financial difficulty with respect to their tithes and offerings, but it is also a consideration for some with issues of honesty, the moral code, the Word of Wisdom, and so forth. Introduce different types of questions (e.g. What role did the Versailles Treaty play in providing the conditions leading to Germany’s invasion of Poland? Your own goals are important too. While the Prophet Joseph Smith did not go on to share the following verses in his formal history, we should remember that they are vital components in receiving the answers to the questions that Joseph posed as well the ones we might ask ourselves. Some questions have great proximate significance without having any lasting importance, such as: Where will I find a place to park before my next class? You can read more about asking questions as a study strategy in my older articles: Asking better questions and Metacognitive questioning and the use of worked examples. They are also available in paperback. My experience in science and medicine leads me to believe that real progress is almost always the result of asking the right questions. In Rudyard Kipling’s “The Elephant’s Child,” we find this good advice: I keep six honest serving men But the data that are presented, and the way they are presented, govern the conclusions you take away, and they depend on the question the designer thought she was supposed to answer, not on the questions you might be interested in. This post has gone on long enough, but let me end by making two last points, to emphasize the importance of asking the right questions. What was the immediate chain of events leading to Germany’s invasion of Poland? We don’t need to have a personal First Vision experience because Joseph Smith already had it, and we have his account and his testimony, together with the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost and of countless others. Knowing chemical formulas or structures of compounds or substances will contribute to the total body of knowledge, but these facts do not usually help much in fighting cancer if one spends all his time on sequencing genes that have to do with something else. This essay question assumes that the 19th century was very important in the development of archaeology and is asking you to explain why it was so important, and to give your reasons for each of the points made or issues raised. Jesus Himself got to this core question when He asked the Pharisees, “What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42). Your task is to make that nesting explicit knowledge. All this is a long way of saying that any discussion of causes is always going to be a selected subset of possible causes. [JS—H 1:23, 25]. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Some seem to believe that faith and questions are antithetical. [1 John 5:14–15]. To his great credit, however, with some very significant help from Alma, he became what God expected him to become (see Alma 8 and 10). The truth is, … Perhaps your interest is in Japan and how it came to that point, or perhaps your interest is in how a society can come to believe that their best interests are served by invading another country. We might likewise consider that all of our questions—beyond the great one and its associated queries surrounding the Savior: the plan of salvation and our fundamental responsibilities in the kingdom of God—should be only appendages to these central truths. Here's why asking questions is important: It helps you uncover the challenges you're facing and generate better solutions to solve those problems. In a sense his first question—“Who art thou, Lord?”—is the same question described by Amulek as “the great question.” Saul’s second query was the appropriate response to the Savior—who did not have to ask Saul directly, as He had the Pharisees, “What think ye of Christ?” Saul asked, “What wilt thou have me to do?” This was the immediate answer of one prepared “before the foundation of the world.” Apparently, in an instant, an understanding or memory became very clear to Saul of the central truth described by the Prophet Joseph Smith: The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.
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