First of all, we need to ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that we shall receive the knowledge we seek. Then God will tell us in our minds and in our hearts.
Later, vs. 10 reminds us that without faith, we can do nothing, so we should always ask in faith. Then it says, "Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not."
Like when you go to bed after 2 am on a Saturday night and you pray to feel rested and ready for church at 9 am. (I think that also goes back to asking with an honest heart!)
These two subjects really stood out to me this time -- asking with an honest heart, and not asking for that which we ought not.
Because lying to God, and ourselves, is, uh.................bad. Wrong. Impossible. The deepest form of treachery -- lying to those who know the truth. I think we know what things we should or should not ask for. God is not our own personal genie in a lamp. He's not going to magically grant us what we don't need. As a parent, I try to teach my children the difference between a need and a want. I think that's what our Father in Heaven is trying to do here. He's telling us not to convince ourselves that our wants are actually needs.
D&C 7 is a revelation that came after Joseph and Oliver asked about John the Beloved. What happened to him?
Basically, they are told that he asked to stay on the earth till Christ comes again, so that's what he's doing. Then it talks about Peter, whose desire was to enter God's kingdom speedily. Both righteous desires, but one was better than the other.
John's desire. For he wanted to remain on earth and bring people unto Christ. His desire was to others, while Peter's was to himself. (Though still righteous.)
--- On a side note.........I love learning things about Peter. He's often characterized as impulsive, but I think he was just a huge people-pleaser. (Something I can identify with!) I think that instead of really searching for the right answer or solution, he just said what he thought people wanted to hear. "Please, Lord, let me wash your feet." "Jesus doesn't have time to bless every child." "No, I don't know him." "I want to be with you in your kingdom."
It's entirely possible that I'm completely off base here, but what are your thoughts on Peter?---
And what does all this mean for me? Are my desires, even the righteous ones, toward myself or others? Does my family count as myself, or as others? Am I honest in my desires? Do I ask for only the things that I should?