And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Luke 11:9-10
What are we looking for? Is there someone or something that we want to find?
God has something of great value to share with us, but to receive it we must put forth the required effort. “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods . . .” Thomas Paine
I imagine in my mind a game of hide-and-go-seek. Do I expect to find this great treasure in the first place I look? No. I keep looking for the Heavenly Gift, asking for clues, and following directions. This is how He teaches me and shows me the path.
Along the way I have to change my paradigms and thoughts to match His. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings. (Bible Dictionary page 753)
Finding this treasure takes time. It’s not that God is unwilling to grant the blessings now, but my heart needs to learn a few things. I’m on a journey. I don’t know the way, but trust in Him as the perfect guide. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
Let’s contrast the results of those who are unwilling to ask God questions with those who eagerly ask Him questions.
What happens when we don’t ask Him questions?
Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. 2 Nephi 32:4
Why are people unwilling to ask God questions?
And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me. Doctrine and Covenants 10:21
What happens when we ask in faith and believe?
Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you. 1 Nephi 15:11
Who will we find?
Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Doctrine and Covenants 88:63
What does God have to give us?
If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal. Doctrine and Covenants 42:61
Who can qualify for these blessings?
Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth. Mormon 9:21
Some people are afraid of questions because it threatens their false traditions, but God welcomes all our questions. I find it humorous that after confronting Jesus’ wisdom time after time, the Pharisees and Sadducees decided not to ask him any more questions. “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.” Matthew 22:46
How do our traditions prevent us from asking questions?
I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct. Mosiah 1:5
How do we know if our traditions are true traditions or false traditions? Are they true because our parents told us they were true? Are they true because our friends and neighbors believe they are true? This is an interesting phenomenon. Who can tell us the truth? Who can show us what reality really looks like?
I have good parents and I feel secure their love for me. We were having a conversation, and I asked some questions that had been on mind for some time. It was interesting to see my dad’s reaction. He said, “That’s very dangerous to ask those questions.” I asked him why it was so dangerous. He didn’t have a response.
Now his reaction is not uncommon. My parents have raised me to be an independent thinker, and we often talk about things that are different from mainstream thinking. But when it comes to challenging a deep seeded tradition of our family, it feels like dangerous territory.
We really are in a predicament. If we don’t have permission to challenge our own traditions, we’ll never know if they’re true or false. There’s little room for progress with this mindset.
We have false traditions that we think are true. If we’re willing to ask God questions, the door is open for Him to lead us to the truth. Now if you decide to ask God questions, it’s very probable that talking to Him will change your belief system. How many people really think like him? How many people have his power and wisdom?
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. James 1:5
God won’t scold you for asking questions. He rejoices in the humble soul who will come and inquire of him. He stands at the door and knocks, ready to have a conversation with you.
Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. 2 Nephi 28:31
Although we can help and encourage each other, we are cursed if we rely on another person for knowledge. We must inquire of God for ourselves.
It’s an awesome undertaking to come before God for first-hand knowledge. The children of Israel found it quite frightening. They didn’t want to talk to God. They wanted Moses to talk to God for them. Because of their unwillingness to come, God swore in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest.
And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. Exodus 19:17
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. Exodus 20:18-21
Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness. Jacob 1:7
God loves us and want us to enter into his rest. God welcomes our questions. If we don’t know the answers, he will tell us all about it. He really does answer all of the questions of our hearts. I have learned this truth through my own experience, and I still have many things to inquire of Him.
Not All Who Wander Are Lost