Oct 7, 2010

Question About Questions

by Kari Diane Pike

My children have a pet peeve about their Dad. Sometimes it endears him to them. At other times, eyes roll and groans of frustration echo down the hallway as they beat a hasty retreat to their bedrooms. More often than not, this particular personality trait will elicit a melodic,


Even my brother-in-law gripes about it. Until recently, that is. We were listening to a General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak about raising families and teaching children how to learn.

"Teach your children how to learn by answering their questions with another question."

A huge grin appeared on my husband's face. I giggled. A couple of our children snickered. My brother-in-law just glared.

Questions intrigue me. I remember as a young child being told to not ask stupid questions. So I stopped asking questions and just followed directions. I soon came to learn that questions are essential to growth and understanding. Whenever we desire to gain secular or spiritual knowledge, questions help us focus and pay attention to the most relevant information. The Lord wants us to ask questions. ("Ask and ye shall receive.") The scriptures are full of them. (Alma 5. Have you ever counted the questions in that chapter of the Book of Mormon?) Best of all...we will be given the answers.

Questions are also important to us as writers. We want the reader to ask questions. We can answer the question with another question and keep them reading, but when do you stop? When is enough, enough? That is just one of my questions.


  1. My father always taught us by answering a question with a question. It became a game and we loved it. We do it to each other all the time. I think it's a wonderful way to make a point...unless you're asking about where to eat dinner, now that drives me insane.

  2. My four-year old grandson is into the question stage and no matter what I answer, it leads to another question. Only recently have I started returning his question. Today was, "Why do people live in houses?" I answered, "If we didn't have houses, where would we live?" Silence. "Do all turtles have shells?"--"Have you ever seen one without a shell? Me neither." It has become a new game between us.

    I'm glad to read your post. It gives hope that I might be on the right path!


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