REL 325: Doctrine and Covenants
Note: This course code has changed from FDREL 325 to REL 325. You may occasionally see references to the old course code or title.
Welcome to the online version of Religion 325: Doctrine and Covenants II. This course is unique and will prove to be very exciting and rewarding if you are willing to put in the effort. The Prophet Joseph Smith has given each of us the invitation to "Search the scriptures—search the revelations which we publish, and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation . . . Search the Scriptures, search the Prophets and learn what portion of them belongs to you" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 11–12). This course is designed to have you carefully study the Explanatory Introduction, the Preface (section 1), sections 77–138 and Official Declarations 1–2, applying the process described above by Joseph Smith.
Department of Religion Central Aim
The purpose of religious education is to build testimonies of the restored gospel by teaching the scriptures and writings of modern-day apostles and prophets. Measurable outcomes should include a better understanding of the doctrine, history, places, and peoples as given in the inspired revelations. It is also desired that commitment to God will flourish as individuals deepen their knowledge, prepare themselves for the sacred ordinances of the temple, and determine to serve the Church through missions and day-to-day activity in the Lord's kingdom.
Department of Religion Measurable Outcomes
- Students will gain a better understanding of scriptural history and people surrounding the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Students will gain greater knowledge of the doctrines, principles, and ordinances of peoples found in the scriptures and of those practiced in the restored Church of Jesus Christ as they study and compare the writings of both past and present-day prophets.
- Students should have the ability to discuss clearly the basics of the above, to teach them in their homes and in church responsibilities, and to others interested in their religious beliefs.
- As the gospel is taught and the spirit is invited into the learning environment, faith will increase and commitment to God will flourish, better-preparing students for the sacred ordinances of the temple, missionary work, community and church service.
Doctrine and Covenants Course Objectives
- Build testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and encourage living its principles.
- Learn doctrines, principles, and covenants found in the revelations that can increase your ability to receive and recognize personal revelation and improve your ability to live in harmony with God and His children.
- Locate, identify, and explain significant people, places, and events in the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history.
- Share insights, new understandings, and connections with others in order to bless and enrich the lives of one another.
The Standard Works of the Church and the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual [An online version of the student manual will be available in I-Learn].
There are two important, and very different, grading systems used in this class. The first, and most important, is how well you are doing in the process of learning by the power of the Holy Ghost to become a better Latter-day Saint (Discipleship). The Lord—and only the Lord—can judge how well you do in this area. He will bless you for the sincere effort you make to increase your knowledge of the gospel. The other grading system is the one we will use to determine your grade for the course.
You are taking this religion class to allow you to have experiences with the scriptures, words of the living prophets, and the Spirit in a college setting, offered for credit. Your final grade will be determined by the Course Activities. Please keep in mind the real objective of this class has a much higher purpose than the grade you will receive at the end of the semester. Your grade is a reflection of the academic work you put into the class. It would be a real tragedy to get an "A" in the academic process and receive an average or less than average grade when it comes to changing your life for the better. Through your diligent efforts, you can be successful in both.
Grades will be distributed according to the following categories:
|Course Activity||Count||Total Points||% Total Points|
|Teach a Friend||5||100||9%|
|A||93 – 100%|
|A-||90 – 92.9%|
|B+||87 – 89.9%|
|B||83 – 86.9%|
|B-||80 – 82.9%|
|C+||77 – 79.9%|
|C||73 – 76.9%|
|C-||70 – 72.9%|
|D+||67 – 69.9%|
|D||63 – 66.9%|
|D-||60 – 62.9%|
|F||59% or less|
Assignment Descriptions and Due Dates
Course Activities are designed around the Savior's imperative to "Learn of me, listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me" (D&C 19:23). For each activity, you will be required to complete specific assignments designed to fulfill the Savior's directive. The weekly quiz, gospel research, and Insight Sharing: Teach a Friend activities are always due the first half of the week on the assigned week for the given assignment. Reflection activities are always due at the end of the week.
Here is a brief description of each assignment:
By the first half of each week, you will complete several assignments designed to fulfill the Savior's imperative to "learn of me." The assignments will prepare you to more effectively teach, reflect, and walk, which will be the focus of the second half of each week. Below is a description of the various weekly activities designed to prepare:
You will be required to diligently read and study the assigned sections in the Doctrine and Covenants along with the corresponding commentary found in the CES Student Manual. Each Wednesday, there will be an assessment where you will receive points for reading each assigned section in the Doctrine and Covenants and for reading the corresponding commentary in the student manual.
By Wednesday of each week, you will report your study on the assessment for that week. In addition to reporting your reading, you will take a brief assessment on your readings. There will be 13 of these assessments during the semester.
Research & Writing
By the first half of each week, you will complete a 500–600 word scripture study research assignments designed to help you focus on a particular doctrine or principle. Specific details for each research assignment will be given in weekly lessons.
Insight Sharing: Teach a Friend
Every other week, on odd weeks, you will be given the opportunity to share something you learned from your preparation with somebody of your choosing outside of class. You will report your experience in the form of a quiz by the end of the assigned week. There are 6 "Insight Sharing: Teach a Friend" assignments throughout the semester.
Every other week, on even weeks, you will be given the opportunity to share something learned from your preparation with the other students enrolled in the course. This sharing takes place in the form of a discussion board. You will be placed into a group with about 10 other students. Your initial post is due by midweek, and participation posts are due by the end of the assigned week. There are 6 "Study Group" assignments throughout the semester.
Reflection: Final Insight
An essential aspect of listening is reflecting. Much can be learned from Joseph's statement, "I reflected on it again and again" (JS—H 1:12). For this weekly assignment you will be asked to reflect upon and identify the most powerful idea you studied in these revelations. You will then write up a 150–250 word paragraph considering the following questions: Was there a particular "one-liner" in these revelations that captures your greatest insight? What was your biggest "aha" moment in studying these revelations? What do you hope to do better as a result of what you have studied? You will need to account for the reflection experience by the end of the week for the given lesson. There will be 12 Reflect assignments worth 15 points each.
Disciple Learning Project
Essential to our becoming is our ability to act upon the insights gained through our learning and listening process. As part of the imperative to "walk in the meekness of my Spirit" (D&C 19:23), you will be asked to identify a doctrine or principle found in your study of the Doctrine and Covenants that you can more fully apply and make part of your life. In relation to James' invitation, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God" (James 1:5), Joseph Smith reasoned, "At length I came to the conclusion that I . . . must do as James directs, that is, ask of God" (JS—H 1:13). Some of our greatest learning moments in life come when we actually apply and live the truths that we learn and believe.
Throughout the semester (Weeks 04–14), you will take the time to diligently apply something specific from your study of the Doctrine and Covenants. What you do in applying this will push you above and beyond what you normally do as a disciple of the Lord in your day-to-day life. In Week 01, you will read through the project introduction and download the project template, which has three sections (Plan, Midway Progress, Final Report). In Week 03, you will create an action plan/goal and submit the Plan section of the report. In Weeks 04–07, you will work toward your goal or carry out your plan and journal about it. In Week 08, you will reflect and submit the report again with the Midway Progress Report section filled in, then continue working on it in Weeks 09–13. In Week 14, you will submit the report one last time with the Final Report section filled out.
Weekly Patterns and Expectations
This course has a repeating pattern that you will follow week to week. Due dates for specific activities are indicated on the activity page, modules page, calendar, and other places in the course. It is very important that you update your Canvas Profile and be sure the time zone is set to your local time zone. This will ensure that the due dates in the course display for you in your local time zone.
CAUTION: be aware of daylight savings (DST) and how that could affect the times that assignments are due—as they may change throughout the semester. For instance, if you lived in Sau Paulo, Brazil during Winter semester, your time would be 5 hours ahead in January, then 4 hours ahead in February when Brazil DST ends and only 3 hours ahead beginning in March when U.S. Mountain Time DST begins.
In general, the course is organized as follows:
- First Half of Week refers to items that should be started and/or completed before Wednesday, 11:59 PM Mountain Time.
- Second Half of Week refers to items that should be started and/or completed before Saturday, 11:59 PM Mountain Time.
The tables below provide more detail on what to expect each week and throughout the course.
|Weekly Pattern||First Half of Week||Second Half of Week|
|Disciple Learning Project Schedule|
BYU-Idaho Learning Model Vision Statement
At BYU-Idaho, we foster faith-building and life-changing learning. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the gifts of the Holy Ghost, our commitment to the restored gospel, and our effort to build a Zion learning community motivates us to learn and teach by study and by faith.
- Everybody at BYU-Idaho is a learner and a teacher.
- Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho are at different levels in their individual progress towards learning by study and also by faith.
- The principles of the Learning Model apply to all aspects of the BYU-Idaho experience.
Principles-Learners and teachers at BYU-Idaho
- Exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a principle of power.
- Understand that true teaching is done by and with the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.
- Lay hold upon the word of God as found in the Holy Scriptures and in the words of the prophets in all disciplines.
- Act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching.
- Love, serve, and teach one another.
The Code of Honor, Dress and Grooming Standards, and Academic Honesty will be enforced in the class. Although it is online, please remember that you still need to live by the Honor Code standards. This is especially true as it relates to Academic Honesty (because of the nature of the course design, you will be doing significant amounts of self-reporting)! Each of us have made a commitment to follow these guidelines; therefore, it is incumbent on each of us to live true to our commitment and covenants.
All course activities have solid due dates or deadlines! Failure to meet the stated due dates will result in the reduction of your grade for that particular activity! There will be NO make-up work available for missed activities, so it would be beneficial to complete work early.
The online class policy is that for every credit hour, you should expect to spend 3 hours of work per week. For example, in a 3-credit course, there would be 9 hours of work each week. For this class, you should plan on spending about 6 hours per week.
The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus any time during the semester.
BYU-Idaho Support Center
The BYU-Idaho Support Center (BSC) is designed to help any students taking online courses at BYU-Idaho. If you have questions about any online course or any feedback concerning online courses, instructors, or your online learning experience please contact the BSC.
BSC Contact Information
Toll Free Phone: 866-672-2984
Text Messaging: 208-557-4142
Website: BYU-Idaho Support Center Website
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7 AM – 7 PM, Mountain Time
Please visit the University Policies page to read BYU-Idaho's policies on student honor, students with disabilities, sexual harassment, and complaints and grievances.