This is a great thought from Clayton Christensen (renowned Harvard business professor, who is also a Mormon (member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Professor Christensen’s thoughts were recently summarized by Andy Proctor here.
“[Clayton Christensen has] referred to heaven as an immense library that was [and is!] full of books and that those books had [and have!] the answers to all questions. Yes, ALL questions. We just had to request the books and we could find the answers. He used this example to teach about the restoration of the gospel – that up until the time of Joseph Smith, no one believed that we could ask questions because they supposed all the answers had been given. So people stopped asking questions. And they stopped receiving answers.
Then Joseph asked.”
(For more information about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel and the answers that came to his heartfelt questions, see Mormon.org.)
I’ve had the opportunity to hear Brother Christensen talk about this. He testifies that God desires with all His heart to give us answers, but if He were to give us answers where we don’t have questions, those answers wouldn’t have the same meaning and “sticking power.” We have the opportunity have to create spaces in our minds and hearts and spirits so that the answers have a space to be received and to stay and take root.
How often when we have questions do we, instead, turn to Google or Facebook for answers? (See Andy’s post for some stats that show the kinds of questions people take to the internet.)
The blog post author continues:
“When was the last time you asked God a question?
When was the last time He answered?…
[T]here is an actual library that you can go to and that there is information just waiting to be checked out or in our digital lingo, queried. We cannot ask too many questions nor can we query heaven too much. There is no heavenly query limit. No server downtime. No system errors and we all have free access to the largest database of information in the universe. Do we believe this? Because this is true. There is no limit to the revelation that we can receive from heaven.”
I know from my own personal experience that this pattern of asking and receiving answers is real. God hears prayers and questions can be answered. He gives some of those answers through living prophets and through honest seekers of truth. Answers often distill over time — like when you go to a library to do extensive research. It’s a thrilling process to discover how close truth really is when I’m willing to seek, ask, knock — and then receive and act upon what answers come.