Awareness of the use of questions in the Book of Mormon aids the understanding of several passages, and provides a model for effective use of questions in gospel teaching.
A few months ago I was leading a discussion in a Teacher Council Meeting about how to use questions effectively while teaching. I asked each person in the room to find a scripture where someone used a question while teaching the gospel, figuring that this would be a fairly straightforward exercise. Many people in the scriptures, and especially Jesus Christ, the Master Teacher, used questions extensively in their teaching, and I could think of several example passages. However, this was a difficult exercise for many of the people in the group, who struggled to find a passage containing a question. After a few days of pondering on this experience, I decided that I would study the Book of Mormon, looking specifically at the questions and marking them all with a colored pencil.
This study was inspired by President Thomas S. Monson’s final General Conference address, where he urged the members of the Church to study the Book of Mormon with new intensity. He said:
“My dear associates in the work of the Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.” (from “The Power of the Book of Mormon,” April 2017)
President Russell M. Nelson responded to this challenge by making “lists of what the Book of Mormon is, what it affirms, what it refutes, what it fulfills, what it clarifies, and what it reveals. Looking at the Book of Mormon through these lenses has been an insightful and inspiring exercise! I recommend it to each of you.” (from “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?,” October 2017)
My response to President Monson’s challenge to was to make a list of all of the questions asked in the Book of Mormon. I expected that reading the book this way would give me a new perspective on several passages, and it turns out that it did! In this article I will summarize what I learned. Continue reading