Friday, December 14, 2012

Where Much is Given

Latter-day Saints are familiar with the scriptural passage "of him to whom much is given much is required" (D&C 82:3). We expect more from those who are blessed with greater talents, greater abilities, or greater advantages. Those who have greater advantages who do not produce are said to be burying their talents (see Matthew 25:24-29).

A few years ago I attended a conference where one of the presenters showed off a project he had been working on for a decade and was now complete and online. It was and still is extremely useful. It is in fact more useful than the multimillion-dollar government-subsidized project of a famous university that after forty years, millions of tax-payer dollars, and dozens of paid assistants is still not finished several years after the other one was. The finished project was done by one person in his spare time at a fraction of the cost.

I do not want to minimize the enormous difference in the design of the two projects that makes the big difference in the utility, but I suspect the biggest difference in the completion rates is that the solitary worker knew how to work. It certainly made one wonder what the other project had been doing all those years with all that money.