Latter-day Saint Women

Julie Willis – Gaining Light Through Questioning

17:54
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“Not enough people understand … that questions are good. … They can bring light and understanding.” Julie Willis shared this and other insights in her landmark speech at BYU Idaho in July 2014. Join hosts Shalyn Back and Katie Perez along with special guest Kate Holbrook, PhD as they discuss how to ask questions and seek answers.

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In the same talk Julie also shared, "This beautiful picture of Mt. Moran in the Tetons, photographed by my brother John, reflects a fundamental question that helped shape my academic studies. The actual question is immaterial; what’s important is that I left the serenity of the landscape and asked a question. What question would you ask about this scene? It likely depends on your background and interests. An outdoor enthusiast may ask about climbing routes, a botanist may wonder about the effects of glaciation on conifers, an artist might want to know how to best capture the reflections in the lake, and a geologist may ask about the tectonic forces that built the mountains. The variety and depth of questions that can be asked about a simple mountain scene can be as numerous as the people who view it.

The ability and desire to ask questions and search for answers is a uniquely human attribute that is vital to the scientific, artistic, and religious advancements of humanity. We start asking questions at a very young age, as any parent of a precocious three-year-old knows. This suggests that we bring a questioning spirit with us to earth, and that learning by asking and seeking is one reason that our Heavenly Parents have given us the gift of mortal life."

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