Course Syllabus

Course Description

NOTE: This course code has changed from FDREL 121 to REL 121. You may occasionally see references to the old course code or title.

REL 121 examines the first half of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ beginning with 1 Nephi and ending with Alma 29.

Course Objectives

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “the Book of Mormon [is] the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and that a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book,” (See Introduction to the Book of Mormon). This course is designed to bring you closer to God by helping you gain a better understanding of the doctrines and principles taught within the Book of Mormon.

Seven of the primary objectives of this course are to help you do the following:

  1. Develop greater faith and testimony in Jesus Christ and deepen their personal conversion.
  2. Read and understand the context and content of the text for the course.
  3. Develop an ability to learn and teach by the Spirit.
  4. Develop a habit of regular scripture study.
  5. Identify, understand, and apply doctrines and principles from the scriptures and the words of the prophets.
  6. Develop the ability to explain, share and testify of true doctrines and principles.
  7. Master key scriptural passages—understand and be able to explain and apply them to everyday life.

Course Architecture

The foundation for this course is your personal study of the Book of Mormon. Each week you will complete a combination of assignments to supplement your personal study and to help you gain a better understanding of the Book of Mormon and its teachings.

This course is organized into 14 Weeks (W01–W14). Due dates will appear on your calendar. For more clarification on the flow of this course, see the Weekly Patterns and Expectations section below.

Each week your instructor will post administrative information, answer general questions, and share thoughts about the week’s content on the Announcements page.

Weekly Assignments
  1. Lesson Readings: There is no substitute for reading the scriptures. One of the course objectives is to help you develop a habit of meaningful daily scripture study. The insights you gain from the weekly readings will be helpful as you complete the rest of your assignments. At the end of each week, you will report on whether you completed your Lesson Readings in the Personal Study Report. You will choose one option for reading the scriptures each week and again choose one option for the supplemental reading each week, as follows:
    • Scripture Readings: Each week, you will spend time reading out of the scriptures. There are two different options you can choose from:
      • Option 1: Read the entire scripture block. This option is ideal for those who want to familiarize themselves with the basic storyline and teachings of the Book of Mormon.
      • Option 2: Study within the scripture block for 30 minutes at least five days a week. This option is better suited for those who already have a basic familiarity with the Book of Mormon and would like to study the doctrines and principles within the scripture block in greater detail.
    • Supplemental Readings: You are also required to choose an additional reading to supplement your scripture study. You will have two options to choose from:
      • Option 1: Read chapters from the Book of Mormon Institute Manual. Links to the chapters will be provided inside the course material for you to use, but the manual is also available on the Church's website
      • Option 2: Read one additional talk or article from church leaders. The links to these talks will also be provided inside the course material for you to use.
  2. Directed Study: Each week you will be asked to write a 150–300 word response to a prompt regarding a significant theme or principle from within the scripture block. You will submit a document that you create to share your insights.
  3. Digging Deeper: Each week you will be asked to watch at least six video highlights that add further insight into the doctrines and principles you are studying. A wide variety of videos have been selected from prophets, church leaders, Mormon messages, and others. The insights gained from these videos can help you in completing your weekly assignments. At the end of each week, you will report on watching these Digging Deeper videos in the Personal Study Report assignment.
  4. Personal Study Report: At the end of each week you will take a brief quiz to indicate whether you have completed the Assigned Reading, the Supplemental Reading, and the Digging Deeper videos assignment. You will also be asked to share one highlight from the week.
Bi-Weekly Assignments

Each week you will complete one of the following assignments:

  • Doctrinal Discussion Board: You will be asked to participate in a doctrinal discussion board with your classmates. To earn full credit, you will need to make three posts throughout the week. These posts are layered and are designed to build upon each other to help you better understand and apply the scriptures to your life. These discussion boards occur every even week.
    • Post #1 Scriptural Insight: For the first post (due by midweek at 11:00 p.m. mountain time) you will quote a passage of scripture and either share a meaningful insight regarding its significance to you, or ask a meaningful question about the passage and the principles it is teaching.
    • Post #2 Increased Understanding: (due by end of the week at 11:00 p.m. mountain time) Add further insight or understanding into one of the posts made by your classmates by sharing related scripture, or a quote from a church leader and then explaining how you feel it adds additional insights or understanding to the scripture or principle being discussed.
    • Post #3: Personal Application: (due by end of the week at 11:00 p.m. mountain time) Make a personal connection of one of your classmate's posts. You can either share a brief story of when you have seen that principle in your life, identify a way you are currently trying to live that principle, or share an example of a friend or family member who has exemplified that principle to you.
  • Share it! You will be asked to share a scriptural insight with your friends or family. This activity occurs every odd week. When you share your insight, you should do the following:
    • Identify one insight from your personal study you want to share. This should include a scripture passage or prophetic quote along with an explanation of why it is important to you.
    • Share your insight! You could talk with a friend, Skype your family, call your grandma, post something on social media, send someone a letter or email, or make a blog entry. Try to generate a discussion with others about what you shared and why it is important.
    • Submit your assignment You will submit an explanation of what, how, and who you shared your insight with.

Course Projects

Course Projects have two parts, a Project Plan Submission and a Project Report Submission. These will both be turned in separately at the beginning of the project, and again at the end of the project. Plan Submissions are due at the end of Weeks 02, 06, and 10; Report Submissions are due at the end of Weeks 04, 08, and 12.

  1. Family Home Evening Lesson Plan:  For this project, you will create a family home evening lesson plan to share with your family or friends (due at the end of Week 02).  You will then, in Week 04, share a little about how it went.
  2. Five Minute Talk: As the title suggests, for this project you will be writing a talk as though you were invited to speak in Church. Your talk will need to include at least one reference for each of the following:
    • Scripture verses between 1 Nephi 1–2 Nephi 16
    • Prophetic quotes on your topic found in your Supplemental Reading each week
    • Digging Deeper video(s) from Weeks 01–06
    • Personal insights discovered while studying the Book of Mormon
  3. Christlike Attribute Project: For this project, you will select one Christlike attribute, search the Book of Mormon for teachings regarding that attribute, make specific goals to work on that attribute for at least two weeks (due at the end of Week 06). Then, you will submit a Project Report in Week 08.

Weekly Pattern 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:

The tables below provide more detail on what to expect each week and throughout the course. However, it is very important that you check your calendar to see exactly when each item is due.

Weekly Pattern Middle of Week End of Week
Even Weeks
  • Study: Readings
  • Assignment: Directed Study
  • Study: Digging Deeper
  • Doctrinal Discussion - Initial Post


  • Report: Personal Study
Odd Weeks
  • Study: Readings
  • Assignment: Directed Study
  • Study: Digging Deeper
  • Share it!


  • Report: Personal Study


Course Project Schedule
Week 02 Create and submit your W02 Project: FHE Plan.
Week 04 Complete the W04 Project: FHE Report.
Week 06 Create and submit your W06 Project: Five-Minute Talk Plan.
Week 08 Complete the W08 Project: Five-Minute Talk Report.
Week 10 Create and submit your W10 Project: Christlike Attribute Plan.
Week 12 Complete the W12 Project: Christlike Attribute Report.


Grade Breakdown

Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 93%–100%
A-  90%–92.99%
B 83%–89.99%
B-  80%–82.99%
C 73%–79.99%
C- 70%–72.99%
D 63%–69.99%
D-  60%–62.99%
F 00%–59.99%

The general breakdown of course points is as follows:

Activity Name Points # of Activities Total Points Percentage
Course Introduction Activities Varied 3 35 2%
Directed Study Assignments 15 13 195 25%
Personal Study Reports 14 13 182 20%
Doctrinal Discussion Boards 15 6 90 12%
Share it 15 6 90 12%
Family Home Evening Lesson Project Varied 2 50 7%
Five Minute Talk Project Varied 2 50 15%
Christlike Attribute Project Varied 2 50 7%
Total Points Possible 742 100%
The BYU-Idaho Learning Model

Understanding and implementing the BYU-Idaho Learning Model will help you to accomplish the objectives of this course. As you follow the principles and use the process of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model, your study of the Book of Mormon will be enhanced.

The Principles of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model
  1. Exercise faith in Jesus Christ as a principle of action and power.
  2. Understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost.
  3. Lay hold upon the word of God as found in the holy scriptures and in the words of the prophets in all disciplines.
  4. Act for yourself and accept responsibility for your learning and teaching.
  5. Love, serve, and teach one another.

The Process of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model

  1. Prepare
  2. Teach One Another
  3. Ponder and Prove

Love, Serve, and Teach One Another

At BYU-Idaho, whether on campus or online, we love, serve, and teach one another. Please keep this in mind as you interact with your classmates and instructor throughout the semester. Be kind in your comments. Recognize that many students come from different backgrounds with different experiences, attitudes, and perspectives than your own. Be considerate of others views even if you disagree with them. Try to helpful to your classmates if they need assistance. Any mean spirited communication with your classmates or instructor will negatively impact your grade.

Class Policies

Course Questions, Problems, or Concerns

If you have any questions, problems, or concerns about the course, be sure to email your instructor. Also, be sure to read your instructor's weekly announcements. They may post lesson-specific information there that may answer your questions.

Learning in an Online Course

The fourth principle of the BYU-Idaho learning model is to act for yourself and accept responsibility for your learning and teaching. In an online course, you need to take responsibility by planning specific time in your schedule to complete your daily, weekly, and quarterly assignments. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan you are planning to fail in an online course.

In an online course, it is expected that you will spend 3–4 hours working for every credit earned. Therefore, in this course you will need to plan to spend 6–8 hours each week completing your course work.

Late Work Policy

Assignments are due on the day indicated. Each week opens early in order to allow students some flexibility in determining their schedule. Late work will be accepted only at your instructor’s discretion. If you feel your situation warrants personal consideration, inform your instructor before the assignment is due so that he or she has time to work with you. Any late work that is accepted is subject to a penalty as determined by your instructor.

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies
Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies. It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


Your instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus and/or schedule 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.

Browser Compatibility: Please do not use Internet Explorer as your browser in this course. However, you may still experience an issue with some course content if you are using either Firefox or Chrome as your browser. As a default, these browsers will not load pages they determine are “insecure.” If any of your pages are not loading correctly or come up as a blank page, contact your instructor immediately.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due