About Kevin Burtt (The Baron)

Kevin is an emeritus blogger.

Charity and Utility Functions

From Alma 29:

“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish…” (Alma 29:1-3)

Alma wishes to cry repentance to the world–seems like an okay desire, what’s the ‘sin’ here? Is Alma just being humble and self-effacing here, or is there a larger principle at play, perhaps?

Continue reading

Improving Gospel Teaching, Part 7: The Art of Asking Questions

[Part 7 in a series about improving gospel teaching. Previous entries in the series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6]

One Sunday last year, I attended a lesson on the book of Jeremiah. The teacher introduced Jeremiah the person and then produced this poser: “So, what kind of prophet was Jeremiah?”

Silence. No one answered. As usually happens, the teacher waited for a little while, then gave up and went on to the rest of the lesson. Perhaps disheartened, she asked a total of one (1) other question the remainder of the lesson.

Continue reading

Higher Education for Average People

Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, wrote a set of spot-on essays that appeared this week in the Wall Street Journal on the topics of education for people of below average, average, and above average intelligence. All are important topics, but his points on the appropriateness of higher education for people of average intelligence are ones that particularly trouble me.

Continue reading