He Asked Questions
Several months ago a good friend of mine asked me a question as we were eating lunch together, "Do you want to play the question game?"
"Sure," I replied.
"Was that a question or a statement?" He queried.
"A statement," I answered.
"Should you have asked a question?" He prompted.
"Oh," I said, finally catching on, "Do you want me to ask you a question?"
"Would you like to?"
"Does it matter?"
...and off we went. It was hard. Really, really hard. It seemed like my mind's first response was to answer in statement form, not in question form.
Later that evening I found myself thinking back to that game and how hard it was to answer with a question. Wanting to do better the next time I played, I started to think through questions I could have asked. Then, I tried to think of people I knew who would be fun to play with, people who would be really good at asking questions.
It wasn't long before my mind wandered into the scriptures.
Alma would have been good at the question game. Did you know that there are 27 questions in the first 26 verses of Alma 5? They are questions we are familiar with...
"And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?...and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:14 & 26)
The Savior would have been good at the question game too.
"He asked questions that caused them to think and feel deeply. He was sincerely interested in their answers and rejoiced in their expressions of faith. He gave them opportunities to ask their own questions and share their own insights, and He responded to their questions and listened to their experiences. Because of His love, they felt safe sharing their thoughts and personal feelings." (Teaching in the Savior's Way)
Teaching as the Savior taught requires us to learn how to ask good questions.
A seminary teacher once told me that he spends as much time planning his lesson as he does planning his questions.
It made me realize how important it is to spend time making sure we are asking the right questions.
The very best questions are questions that cannot be answered with one word, but require an explanation. Those questions are hard to craft, but we can learn how to become better at it.
One of the ways we can learn is by studying the scriptures to see how the Savior and the prophets of the Lord asked their questions.
Another really simple way we can learn is by playing the question game. It's good practice.
So, how about it?
Would you like to play?