I have a dear friend who is a student of the gospel. She regularly logs onto BYU.edu and LDS.org and reads talks recorded on those sites, finding the gems that she then recommends to her slacker friends like me. I appreciate her ongoing efforts to lift me and others to a higher plane of thinking.

Sometimes I don’t take her good recommendations as quickly as would be prudent. It isn’t that I don’t believe her opinions, she has never steered me wrong. It is just that I get busy with other meaningless projects that fill my time.

In the past months my friend has made two recommendations. The first was His Grace is Sufficient, by Brad Wilcox. It is a lovely talk about the Atonement. The second, Increase in Learning, by Elder Bednar I would to read, but I can’t. I have searched BYU.edu and LDS.org and even Googled the talk.

I did find it, in a hard bound book with DVD that I can buy from Deseret Book or Amazon.com for a mere $24.29. If only I had taken my friend’s advice and read the thing a few months ago, when it was still on the internet for free!

I know of other talks that became books, like President Hinkley’s talk to YW about the B’s. Heck, that talk become not only a book, but a whole Franklin Planner kind of program with posters, stickers, etc. to remind us to be all we can BE.

I’m not opposed to making a bit of cash off of a good concept. I like self-help books as much as the next girl. I just don’t like it when it starts out as a talk and then gets turned into a book/DVD combo that the book publisher says

“This new interactive book will help you acquire one of the most important skills you’ll ever possess: the power to learn. With its unique blend of print, media, and online resources, it provides patterns for spiritual learning that will lead you to understand and act on gospel truths. Learn how to get the answers you need for yourself!”

Dang it. Now I have to choose between ignorance or learning how to learn for $24. 95.

If any of you tech-savy types know how to find Elder Bednar’s original talk on line for free, please send me a link to it. I think I can learn the concept without the DVD and interactive online support. My friend says it is a really good talk and a definite keeper.

The next time she recommends a talk to read, I won’t wait. There is a good chance I won’t be able to afford it.