REL 225—The Foundations of the Restoration
Welcome to REL 225!
Note: This course code has changed from FDEL 225 to REL 225. You may occasionally see references to the old course code or title.
REL 225 is a study of key revelations, doctrine, people, and events related to the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ as found in the standard works, the teachings of modern prophets, and church history. These things will be studied in the context of the truths expressed in the Thirteen Articles of Faith—those things Joseph Smith Jr. identified as core beliefs for Latter-day Saints.
As we study the Articles of Faith, relevant scriptures, and teachings from modern-day instruction, be looking to identify connections, patterns, and themes that will deepen your understanding of the magnificent truths that cause the Gospel of Jesus Christ to stand apart from all other teachings and philosophies.
You will have opportunities to share those insights and help others refine their understanding as well. Working together in small groups, you will be able to share testimony of the profound blessing of the restoration of the fullness of the gospel in this, the last dispensation. And you will be able to deepen your ability to learn by using the power of BYU–I's Learning Model principles to learn and grow exponentially together.
- Deepen your understanding of the restored gospel, latter-day revelations, and church history and how these relate to Heavenly Father's plan for the redemption of His children.
- Further develop your capacity to study the scriptures in context and strengthen your scholarship relating to the restoration.
- Increase in your ability to seek truth, evaluate the validity and reliability of source material, and discern truth from error.
- As you develop greater faith in Jesus Christ and a stronger testimony of the restored gospel, you will increase in your commitment to make and keep sacred covenants and be better prepared to share the message of the restoration.
Major Doctrinal Emphases
- The prophetic calling and doctrinal teachings of Joseph Smith Jr.
- Key sections and doctrine from the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith—History, and the Articles of Faith.
- The foundational events of the restoration including the first vision, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the restoration of the priesthood.
- The truthfulness, establishment, organization, doctrine, and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
The LDS Standard Works are all available online. Or you may use your personal copies.
All additional readings are available through links in the course.
In an online course, regular and sustained attention to the course is critical. You will not be successful by trying to cram all your learning into short, intensive bursts of study. Instead, pace yourself so you can ponder the profound truths of the scriptures and other readings daily. Be attentive to the reading assignments, course activities, and deadlines. Most assignments cannot be made up once the deadline has passed. However, if you feel you have extenuating circumstances that warrant special consideration, let your instructor know early. The earlier you inform your instructor, the more discretion he/she has to work with you. Any accommodations to course material and/or deadlines will be made at the sole discretion of your instructor.
Lessons generally run for one week. However, lessons 01 and 14 are shortened lessons. Lessons 02-14 will open a few days early to accommodate busy schedules. (You will have to determine what your due dates/times are in your specific time zone.)
Plan to spend six to eight hours every week for this course (three to four hours per credit). If you cannot give that much time to the course work this semester, please consider taking the course at another time. You will be working in small groups each week. Partial, or non-involvement in the course will hamper both you and your classmates' ability to learn deeply.
Each week you will be asked to thoughtfully read in the Standard Works, talks given by General Authorities and other officers of the church, and additional, related material in order to gain better doctrinal understanding of the truths being taught. Be sure to read all the Lesson Truths and Key Preparation Study materials. You will need that information to complete your other assignments.
Then, in the weekly activities, you will become both a learner and a teacher as you use what you are learning to teach others and make changes in your life. The activities will help you better understand scriptural insights as you share what you are learning with others, respond to their questions, and find ways to incorporate gospel principles more fully into your daily life. Every activity is designed to help you draw closer to Jesus Christ. There is no busywork in this course unless you choose to make it so. Graphics on various activities will help you know the kind of learning you are experiencing.
Even though this course is online, it is not an independent study course. You will be expected to interact with classmates and others in order to teach and learn from them. You will need to participate together in some of the course activities. Group activities can provide some of the most powerful experiences in the course if you will put your best effort into them and earnestly seek to learn from one another.
President Spencer W. Kimball has reminded us that “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.” - Small Acts of Service, Ensign, December 1974. Let your classmates help meet your needs and help your understanding and commitment to the gospel grow as you study gospel truths together.
This course has two weekly due dates/times:
- Due Date 1: Wednesday at 11:00 PM Mountain Time (MT)
- Due Date 2: Saturday at 11:00 PM MT
- You will need to determine what these times mean for your particular time zone.
- If you don't know how your time zone compares with USA Mountain Time, there are several time zone converters available on the Internet.
- Lesson Introductions—Learning Goal Focus. Each lesson has an Introduction page that gives context for your studies, lists the Learning Goal Focus for that lesson, and includes an introduction video for the Articles of Faith being studied that week.
- Questions and Conversations—Discussion Board. This discussion board is open all semester long and serves as a space for you to post your class questions or concerns. Before posting, please read other students' questions. Check this board frequently so you can stay up-to-date. Teach one another by answering each others' questions. Posting on this discussion board is the most effective and efficient way to get issues resolved. Contact your instructor through private email if your question is of a personal nature.
Carefully read the Article(s) of Faith, and the Lesson Truths for the Study Assignments in each lesson 1. They will help you know what you should focus on as you study the doctrines and principles for that lesson. Then, complete your first post on the Study Group Discussion Board and respond to other classmate's insights.
- Article of Faith:
- Seek to understand the principles and doctrines these articles teach and why these truths are so important (and unique) to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Lesson Truths:
- These will help you know what to focus on as you carefully read the Study Assignment Materials. These truths relate to the Article of Faith you are studying in that lesson.
- Key Preparation Materials:
- Lesson Study Assignments
- Read and ponder these teaching aids in order to complete the week's assignments, including Sharing Insights on the Study Group Discussion Board.
- Do not procrastinate completing your Study Assignments. They will prepare you for all the other weekly activities.
- Becoming a Disciple Learner
- Much of the power of the BYU–I learning model comes from principles of learning that Joseph Smith Jr. practiced as he learned about the gospel. Those same principles can work for you as well in any learning endeavor. Take some time now to familiarize yourself with the 5 learning principles emphasized in the BYU–I learning model. (Click on the links in the bottom right corner of the page.) You will focus on using those principles throughout the semester as you become a better disciple learner.
- Sharing Insights on the Study Group Discussion Board (small group discussion)
- As a student at BYU–Idaho, you have the responsibility and opportunity (a stewardship) to invite the Spirit of the Lord into your discussions as you:
- practice the principles of inspired inquiry (see D&C 6:11, 14-15),
- instruct and edify each other for unified sanctification (see D&C 43:8-10), and
- promote equality in learning and teaching together (see D&C 88:122).
- Sincerely talking and sharing with your classmates:
- Is an act of love and consecration
- Can lead all participants to greater sanctification
- Will increase your ability to learn
- Consistently participating in these Sharing Insights discussions will help you understand the gospel and the restoration more deeply.
- Share your insights with a few of your classmates and learn from theirs as well.
- Talking together will help you prepare for your other assignments each week.
- Reflection and Synthesis Papers
- At the end of each week, you will submit a Reflection and Synthesis Paper addressing each of the following sections:
- The Article(s) of Faith
- Learning Goal Focus Reflection (100 words)
- Explanation of Key Events and Scriptures (200-300 words)
- Personal Relevance (100-200 words)
- Synthesis and Application to the Real World (150-300 words)
- This assignment asks you to demonstrate your ability to analyze and apply the key truths found in the Articles of Faith. It will allow you to share the ideas you have been refining with a few of your classmates on the Study Group discussion board.
- Weekly Report
- Report on your efforts each week and assess what has gone well and what might be improved. This is the only way to get credit for some of the activities that you do so be sure to complete it at the end of every week.
The general breakdown of course points is as follows:
|Lesson 01 Activities|
|Course Readiness Quiz||x 1||10 pts.||10|
|Course Etiquette Quiz||x 1||5 pts.||5|
|Getting Acquainted Discussion Board||x 1||10 pts.||10|
|Reflection and Synthesis||x 1||40 pts.||40|
|Lesson 02-14 Activities|
Study Group (Initial Insights an Final Insights)
Reflection and Synthesis
|A||93 - 100%||B||83 - 86%||C||73 - 76%||D||63-66%|
|A-||90 - 92%||B-||80 - 82%||C-||70 - 72%||D-||60-62%|
|B+||89 - 87%||C+||77 - 79%||D+||67 - 69%||F||59% and below|
Late Work Policy
Assignments are due on the day indicated. Work that is late hampers both you and your classmates' ability to fully participate in the course, and will be accepted only at your instructor's discretion. No late work will be accepted without first obtaining permission from the instructor. Inform your instructor before the assignment is due of your extenuating circumstances. Any late work that is accepted is subject to a penalty as determined by your instructor.
The University has established and posted policies concerning sexual harassment, plagiarism, and disabilities services. Please review the following University documents:
Also, your grade may be affected if you are disrespectful in any of your communications throughout this course. Common courtesy is an expectation for disciple learners. You can strongly disagree with someone and still be civil and respectful in your dialogue.Final Note: The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place, so pay attention to communication from your instructor.