When the brother of Jared tried to solve the problem of interior lighting in eight barges, the Lord’s answer had very little to do with the lighting problem (see Ether 1:11). The Lord’s answer redeemed this prophet from the fall (see Ether 1:13), and the Lord ministered unto him (Ether 1:14), which would have included a great deal more than solving lighting issues. This is what liberally means. Revelations from the Lord go well beyond the question asked. Oftentimes, the issue that brings a prophet before God has nothing to do with the Lord’s answer. The highly local question (which church to join, how to light a barge, where to hunt food, why some ancients had plural wives, what repentance is required, etc.) is largely irrelevant to readers of scripture. The liberally-given answers address matters of universal concern: apostasy and restoration; Priesthood restoration to Joseph; the fullness of God’s revelations to mankind, including from the beginning to the end; calling and election; sealing authority; visions of eternity, etc. It is the liberally-given material which shows what the Lord really intends to bestow on mankind.1
1 “Answer: Reading Scripture,” June 30, 2012, blog post.