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Ga Answer And Question Sessions


Olavarria

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I have been to 4 of these(Nelson, Bednar and Gonzales, Holland, Bednar), not counting my mission. Here are my tips to asking good questions. Take them with a grain of salt ie don't get offended.

1)Leave the sword of Laban location, Jesus married questions, when are we sending missionaries to China questians at home.

2)Don't ask questions you can find the answers to on your own but don't because of laziness or a lack of confidence.

3)Do ask questions only they can answer.

For example:

"Elder Holland, you have seen several Presidents of the Church exit this life. What can you tell us about how prophets deal with their own mortality?"

"Elder Nelson, what have you learned since becoming a member of the Q of 12, that you wish you has learned before?"

Just sayin....

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How do you deal with nerves? the thing is too, you don't want to sound like a wolf is sheep's clothing by asking something that is probably controversial, like, "what did you think of Joseph Smith being married to other women" or "how do you feel about modern day polygamist colonies" -just thought of those off the top of my head! Like I don't need the aggravation of having a meeting with any leader of people coming to me afterwards and daying, "you can't play at my house again" type stuff-I would've rather had them have little cards so you can write out questions, honest questions and it respects your privacy

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So what you are saying is they can not answer questions any better than any other man with their years of experience. If you are looking for wisdom on general matters there are plenty of places to get it outside of the church. YOu do not need to rely on these men all the time for general information. That being said they may have some good things to say and might be good to listen to them but I do not see how this makes them prophets when all then can answer are questions of a general nature.

I agree questions about the sword of Laban are silly, but what about answering things like what is the true nature of heaven, and why does theology so often clash with observation and history, They should be able to give detailed answers to those without resorting to just have faith.

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So what you are saying is they can not answer questions any better than any other man with their years of experience. If you are looking for wisdom on general matters there are plenty of places to get it outside of the church. YOu do not need to rely on these men all the time for general information. That being said they may have some good things to say and might be good to listen to them but I do not see how this makes them prophets when all then can answer are questions of a general nature.

Every GA is different, some are more historically bent and soem aren't, some are better in counsellng and some aren't, some are better in organizing and some aren't-the problem is what is this specific man interested in and I suppose that is where his background comes in. For example I would have asked Elder Marlin Jensen a different question then I would have with Elder Neal A. Maxwell. I would ask a newly called GA something different then someone who has been around 25 years.

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I have been to 4 of these(Nelson, Bednar and Gonzales, Holland, Bednar), not counting my mission. Here are my tips to asking good questions. Take them with a grain of salt ie don't get offended.

Good tips. I think there is also an element of “When in Rome…”

I’m sure general authorities try to conduct these sessions are conducted in the manner laid out in D&C 55:21, 22 and 88: 117-125 and invite us to participate accordingly. The GA gave expectations of good questions and examples of good and not-so-good questions in the sessions I’ve attended.

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I have been to 4 of these(Nelson, Bednar and Gonzales, Holland, Bednar), not counting my mission. Here are my tips to asking good questions. Take them with a grain of salt ie don't get offended.

1)Leave the sword of Laban location, Jesus married questions, when are we sending missionaries to China questians at home.

2)Don't ask questions you can find the answers to on your own but don't because of laziness or a lack of confidence.

3)Do ask questions only they can answer.

Yes, I agree, only ask questions that they could answer. I've been to a number of similar meetings, with apostles. My experience is that the apostles never answer the question that has been asked, rather, they reword the question and answer it obtusely.

For instance, someone asked Elder Bednar, in a meeting I was in, the relationship between the 3 degrees of glory, and what would happen if some of his family ended up in a lower degree than he did. Elder Bednar reworded the question and gave a standard answer from the scriptures. I've also heard apostles decline the question altogether - one brother asked an apostle, I think it was M. Russell Ballard, about the second annointing and calling-and-election-made-sure and Elder Ballard simply said, "Those who have it, don't talk about it, those who talk about it, don't have it" and that was it.

So, I think you are right, ask questions only they can answer, but expect an answer to a different question.

H.

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Yes, I agree, only ask questions that they could answer.

This is interesting, as a man of God can only answer with pure doctrine, as vague or obtuse as it may seem to the one asking. I had a personal experience with this. I privately asked a challenging question as the result of something taught during a session. I was given an incredibly stock answer. I pushed back a little, and was given an equally stock answer from another perspective. This may have happened a third time. His eyes appeared to be saying, "I can't tell you explicitly, but the Spirit wants to get this across to you." After pondering a bit, I got the epiphany, and if I were to explain the answer to someone else in my own words, it would sound like an incredibly stock answer too.

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Elder Perry QA on my mission:

Elder: Elder Perry, where are the Three Nephites?

Elder Perry: How the heck should i know? They don't check in with us.

I suspect that in Joseph Smith's day he would have welcomed questions from category #1 and answered them with authority. But in 2011, you're probably right.

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This is interesting, as a man of God can only answer with pure doctrine, as vague or obtuse as it may seem to the one asking. I had a personal experience with this. I privately asked a challenging question as the result of something taught during a session. I was given an incredibly stock answer. I pushed back a little, and was given an equally stock answer from another perspective. This may have happened a third time. His eyes appeared to be saying, "I can't tell you explicitly, but the Spirit wants to get this across to you." After pondering a bit, I got the epiphany, and if I were to explain the answer to someone else in my own words, it would sound like an incredibly stock answer too.

I'm not so sure about this - while some questions can be answered with pure doctrine, others don't need such a lofty explanation. For instance, "Why is the church constructing a mall and condo complex in SLC, and directly or indirectly, are tithing funds involved?" is a question that an apostle could answer with very little doctrinal insight.

My suspicion is that Apostles and GA's are afraid to answer questions directly because of the durable nature of information these days.

H.

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I'm not so sure about this - while some questions can be answered with pure doctrine, others don't need such a lofty explanation. For instance, "Why is the church constructing a mall and condo complex in SLC, and directly or indirectly, are tithing funds involved?" is a question that an apostle could answer with very little doctrinal insight.

My suspicion is that Apostles and GA's are afraid to answer questions directly because of the durable nature of information these days.

Not afraid, but wise, as I suppose they've seen how their answers get treated on message boards, chain e-mails, etc. I missed the exchange on tithing-for-malls, but I'm sure the spirit in which such questions are asked makes a difference. And I'm sure in these settings GAs don't want to parrot answers that have probably already been given out of the PR office by the Church spokesperson. From what I've seen, the Q&A sessions are structured to facilitate individual revelation on matters for which deeper testimony and conversion can be based. I think they are trying to get away from "meetings"and instead show how revelation through group learning can be accomplished, and that this is why the saints gather together in these particular settings. I've heard this point emphasized every time over the past 10+ years. I would think, under consideration of their stewardship and priorities in these settings, that GAs would rather risk helping people stretch themselves spiritually than oversee their getting distracted from this aim because of debate that can easily overwhelm some. (By the way, I don't see why the tithing-for-malls question couldn't be answered with pure doctrine).

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For instance, "Why is the church constructing a mall and condo complex in SLC, and directly or indirectly, are tithing funds involved?" is a question that an apostle could answer with very little doctrinal insight.

How about:

Since the Church recognizes two classes of money in the Church: "Tithing Funds" and "Non-Tithing Funds", can you please explain the difference? On a related note, I would like to classify a part of my assets as non-tithing funds which aren't accountable in the tithing equation, just as the Church does. Is that ok?

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CV75,

I'll have to disagree with you on this, "This is interesting, as a man of God can only answer with pure doctrine" if I understand you correctly. Are you saying that as an apostle, if he gives an answer on doctrine, it will be pure doctrine? I think overly fundamentalist ideas like this harm peoples testimony foundation and would not be substantiated if an apostle was asked his opinion on the matter. If I misunderstood you, sorry.

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Elder Perry QA on my mission:

I suspect that in Joseph Smith's day he would have welcomed questions from category #1 and answered them with authority. But in 2011, you're probably right.

That is a hoot because Elder John Madsen asked us if we wanted to know the names of the 3 Nephites, because he knew them, and of course we were all surpised and looking around at each other, and so he asked us to open our scriptures to 3 Nephi 19 and said they are all right there for everyone to see-like, Elder Madsen you tricked us!!!! He also told us a story about them and John The Revelator

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CV75,

I'll have to disagree with you on this, "This is interesting, as a man of God can only answer with pure doctrine" if I understand you correctly. Are you saying that as an apostle, if he gives an answer on doctrine, it will be pure doctrine? I think overly fundamentalist ideas like this harm peoples testimony foundation and would not be substantiated if an apostle was asked his opinion on the matter. If I misunderstood you, sorry.

I guess it depends on how one uses the term "pure doctrine." When apostles lead a Q&A session according to D&C 55:21, 22 and 88: 117-125, there are certain expectations about the kinds of questions that are brought up and answered, and how the Spirit operates for the teacher and the learner. So when, as in the posts I replied to, someone who sees this revelatory setting as a means for getting "pure doctrine" also wants less-lofty questions brought up or answered without relying on the Spirit, we suffer from some significant goal incongruity. According to the scriptures I cited, as a man of God operating in the more desirable Q&A setting, the GA must answer by the Spirit in order to fulfill his obligation, and in that sense would be providing pure doctrine (whether he succeeds or fails is another matter).

So when someone has a doctrinal question, and it is asked by the Spirit and answered by the Spirit according to the instructions in the D&C 50 and 88, I do believe that constitutes pure doctrine, at least for the purposes of the posts that were exchanged. I would expect that a GA’s opinions would be properly framed as such, but even inspired opinion may be what the learner needs in order to arrive at the particular answer the Lord wishes him to receive for his particular circumstance and concern. Other spiritual gifts and attributes often come into play as well, since nobody's perfect.

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I have been to 4 of these(Nelson, Bednar and Gonzales, Holland, Bednar), not counting my mission. Here are my tips to asking good questions. Take them with a grain of salt ie don't get offended.

1)Leave the sword of Laban location, Jesus married questions, when are we sending missionaries to China questians at home.

2)Don't ask questions you can find the answers to on your own but don't because of laziness or a lack of confidence.

3)Do ask questions only they can answer.

For example:

"Elder Holland, you have seen several Presidents of the Church exit this life. What can you tell us about how prophets deal with their own mortality?"

"Elder Nelson, what have you learned since becoming a member of the Q of 12, that you wish you has learned before?"

Just sayin....

Why does the Lord choose so many lawyers and businessmen to be General Authorities?

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How about these 2 questions:

When will refined sugars and trans fats replace coffee and tea in the Word of Wisdom since those items are actually causing health problems and death on a massive scale moreso than Folgers and Lipton?

Do you ever cringe when you read apologetic publications that postulate BOM inhabitants rode tapirs or that the ancient BOM people ate all the horses as a legitmate hypothesis regarding the lack of an archeological homerun concerning the existence of horses in Pre-Colombian America?

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