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What’s new: ‘Ask of God’ examines finding knowledge versus wisdom

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"ASK OF GOD," by John Bytheway, Deseret Book, $12.99, 65 minutes

In an age of super search engines and high-tech mobile devices, there is ocean of information at one's finger tips.

But as John Bytheway points out in his latest talk on CD, "Ask of God," information (sometimes misinformation) is not necessarily wisdom.

Drawing upon Joseph Smith's experience with James 1:5-6, the popular author and speaker analyzes different questions and how to obtain meaningful answers that will strengthen one's testimony. Based on the 2017 youth theme of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bytheway's talk uses scriptural stories, the words of church leaders and a bit of his trademark humor to encourage the listener to "engage in the wrestle" and "ask in faith."

"You'll discover as your testimonies grow, you are bothered less and less by questions you can't answer," Bytheway said in his talk. "Acquiring information is easy, but acquiring wisdom is a lifetime pursuit."

Bytheway, a part-time instructor at Brigham Young University's Salt Lake Center, focuses on three types of questions in his remarks: "Gotcha," "Google" and "Golden."

He explains that "Gotcha" questions are not about learning truth, but are lazy and more about trying to prove a point or ambush a person; "Google" questions are great for learning information, but not necessarily wisdom; and "Golden" questions are inspired questions and involve a sincere desire to learn gospel truths.

"The problem is when we expect Google-speed answers to Golden questions," Bytheway said. "Golden questions, asked in faith, meaning I intend to do something, bring wisdom but rarely in an instant. They are more often answered not in words but in experiences."

Over the course of his 65-minute talk, Bytheway elaborates on the process of going to the right sources to find answers to "Golden questions."

"We all know James 1:5 but James 4:2 says 'Ye have not because ye ask not,'" Bytheway said. "I love that we belong to a church that celebrates questions. … Your questions will lead you to wonderful discoveries."

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