Sunday, May 5, 2013


A frequently repeated conversation in our house is:
"I'm thirsty"
"Hi Thirsty"
"No!  I'm thirsty..."

I feel like we've been through the appropriate phase of "Mom I'm thirsty" and we reply "Mom can I have a drink please?"  She's old enough now to take some responsibility for asking for things she wants.  She often does the same thing with telling us she's hungry. 

Sometimes these things come to a head and if forces me to look into why it bothers me.  Like last week with the gift giving friends.  In the case of telling feelings and relying on others to come up with the solution, that's a life long skill to be learned called 'asking'.

In college I had a roommate who would say things like "I need a ride".  The roommate with a car wouldn't give her a ride if she didn't ask.  Part of me feels like it's rude to not help someone out with something they need.  But it's also rude to not own your need enough to ask.  The roommate with a car was a return missionary and probably had a lot more experience with people stating needs, not asking.  Now that I have kids I get it.

In relationships this unwillingness to ask, is emotional laziness, and unwillingness to admit that you need something the other person has the power to give.  Like saying "You make me crazy.", "I need a ride" says "there is a problem and it's someone else's job to fix it.

This passage in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 9 is really cool.

 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
 10 Now, if you had known this you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now.
 11 Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now;

Oliver Cowdery wanted to translate scripture instead of just act as scribe.  Heavenly Father tells his that he needed to study it out in his mind first, then ask if it was right.  Heavenly Father even says that if Oliver Cowdery had studied it out, then asked, he would have been allowed to translate.  But because he didn't go through the process to grow in spiritual communication, he missed the opportunity.

So I think it's important to think of your needs and wants, consider who might supply them, then ask. 


Lucky Day said...

I think especially considering the ability of someone to meet your need is important. It's childish to just go around asking for things without thought of cost. But at the same time some adults never ask for anything because they take inability to meet a request to be rejection.

Okishdu said...

Another aspect of asking is the frequent tendency of some people to say "will you help me?"

I used to say 'yes'. Then I learned some wisdom after being roped into doing things I really couldn't afford to do for some reason. I learned to ask 'what is it that you need?' It is interesting how often the person who said they needed help would say 'never mind' when they had to frankly state what they expected. I think it means they wanted me to commit myself to something before I had a true idea of the task.