Course Syllabus

Welcome to REL 225: The Foundations of the Restoration!

Note: This course code has changed from FDREL 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 students study the Articles of Faith, relevant scriptures, and teachings from modern-day instruction, they will be looking to identify connections, patterns, and themes that will deepen their understanding of the magnificent truths that cause the gospel of Jesus Christ to stand apart from all other teachings and philosophies.

Students will have opportunities to share those insights and help others refine their understanding as well. Working together in small groups, they will be able to share their testimony of the profound blessing of the restoration of the fullness of the gospel in this, the last dispensation. And they will be able to deepen their ability to learn by using the power of BYU-Idaho's Learning Model principles to learn and grow exponentially together.


  1. Identify and understand foundational revelations and doctrine relating to the ongoing restoration and know key people and historical events related to each.
  2. Develop greater faith in Jesus Christ, a testimony of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, the ongoing restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the continuation of prophetic authority.
  3. Evaluate the reliability and validity of doctrinal and historical source material and constructively manage ambiguity. Students will practice critical thinking skills useful in resolving contemporary challenges to faith.
  4. Become more confident in explaining, defending, and applying the foundational doctrine of the ongoing restoration and in maintaining lifelong spiritual growth within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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.

Required Materials

The standard works are all available online, or students may use their personal copies.

  1. The Holy Bible
  2. The Book of Mormon
  3. The Doctrine and Covenants
  4. The Pearl of Great Price

All additional readings are available through links in the course.

Course Architecture

In an online course, regular and sustained attention to the course is critical. Students will not be successful by trying to cram all their learning into short, intensive bursts of study. Instead, they should pace themselves so that they can ponder the profound truths of the scriptures and other readings daily. They should be attentive to the reading assignments, course activities, and deadlines. Most assignments cannot be made up once the deadline has passed. However, if a student feels they have extenuating circumstances that warrant special consideration, they should let their instructor know early. The earlier they inform their instructor, the more discretion he or she has to work with them. Any accommodations to course material and/or deadlines will be made at the sole discretion of your instructor.

Weeks 01 and 14 are shortened. Weeks 02–14 will open a few days early to accommodate busy schedules. (You will have to determine what your due dates and 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 involvement or noninvolvement in the course will hamper both the student's and their classmates' ability to learn deeply.

Each week, students 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. They should be sure to read all the truths to ponder and key preparation study materials. They will need that information to complete their other assignments.

Then, in the weekly activities, students will become both a learner and a teacher as they use what they are learning to teach others and make changes in their life. The activities will help you better understand scriptural insights as they share what they are learning with others, respond to classmates' questions, and find ways to incorporate gospel principles more fully into their daily life. Every activity is designed to help students draw closer to Jesus Christ. There is no busywork in this course unless students choose to make it so. Graphics on various activities will help them know the kind of learning they are experiencing.

Even though this course is online, it is not an independent study course. Students will be expected to interact with classmates and others in order to teach and learn from them. They 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 students will put their 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, Dec. 1974). Students should let their classmates help meet their needs and help their understanding and commitment to the gospel grow as they study gospel truths together.

This course has two weekly due dates:

  • Midweek
  • End of week

See the Calendar for specific dates and times.

Course Resources

  • Weekly Introductions:
    • Learning goal focus. Each week has an Introduction page that gives context for the studies, lists the learning goal focus for that week, and includes an introduction video for the Articles of Faith being studied that week.
  • Q&A Support Forum
    • Discussion board. These discussion boards are open all semester long and serve as a space for students to post their class questions or concerns. Before posting, students should read the other students' questions. They should check this board frequently so that they can stay up-to-date. They will teach one another by answering each others' questions. Posting on this discussion board is the most effective and efficient way to get issues resolved. Students should contact their instructor through private email if their question is of a personal nature.

Course Activities


Carefully read the Article(s) of Faith and the truths to ponder for the Study Assignments in each week. They will help students know what they should focus on as they study the doctrines and principles for that week. Then, students should complete their first post on the Study Group discussion board and respond to other classmates' insights.

  • Article of Faith
    • Students should 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.
  • Truths to Ponder
    • These will help students know what to focus on as they carefully read the Study Assignment materials. These truths relate to the Article of Faith they are studying in that week.
  • Personal Study Assignments
    • Student should read and ponder these teaching aids in order to complete the week's assignments, including sharing insights on the Study Group discussion board.
    • Students should not procrastinate completing their personal Study Assignments. These assignments will prepare them for all the other weekly activities.


  • Becoming a disciple learner
    • Much of the power of the BYUI Learning Model comes from principles of learning that Joseph Smith Jr. practiced as he learned about the gospel. Those same principles can also work for students in any learning endeavor. Students should take some time now to familiarize themselves with the five learning principles emphasized in the BYUI Learning Model. (Click on the links in the bottom right corner of the page to find the five learning principles.) 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)
    • Students at BYU-Idaho have the responsibility and opportunity (a stewardship) to invite the Spirit of the Lord into their discussions as they do the following:
      • 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)
      • Promote equality in learning and teaching together (see D&C 88:122)
    • Sincerely talking and sharing with classmates is an act of love and consecration and can do the following:
      • Lead all participants to greater sanctification
      • Increase the students' ability to learn
    • Consistently participating in these sharing insights discussions will help students understand the gospel and the restoration more deeply.
      • Students will share their insights with a few of their classmates and learn from others' as well.
      • Talking together will help students prepare for their other assignments each week.
  • Reflection assignment
    • At the end of each week, students will submit a Reflection assignment addressing each of the following sections:
      1. The Article(s) of Faith
      2. Indicate if all the assigned readings for the week were completed.
      3. Explanation of key events and scriptures (200–300 words)
      4. Synthesis, personal revelation, and application to the real world (300-450 words)
    • This assignment asks students to demonstrate their ability to analyze and apply the key truths found in the Articles of Faith. It will allow them to share the ideas they have been refining with a few of their classmates on the Study Group discussion board.
  • Weekly Report
    • Students will report on their 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 they do, so they should be sure to complete it at the end of every week.


The general breakdown of course points is as follows:

Week 01 Activities
Course readiness quiz x 1 12 pts. 12
Course etiquette quiz x 1 5 pts. 5
Getting acquainted discussion board x 1 10 pts. 10
Reflection assignment x 1 40 pts. 40
Week 02–14 Activities


Study group (initial insights and final insights)

x 12

20 pts.


Reflection assignments x 12

50 pts.


Other surveys

x 2

25 pts.


Total Points 957


Grading Scale

Grading Scale
Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 93–100%
A - 90–92%
B + 87–89%
B 83–86%
B - 80–82%
C + 77–79%
C 73–76%
C - 70–72%
D + 67–69%
D 63–66%
D - 60–62%
F 59% and below

Late Work Policy

Assignments are due on the day indicated. Work that is late hampers both the student's and their classmates' ability to fully participate in the course, and will be accepted only at the instructor's discretion. No late work will be accepted without first obtaining permission from the instructor. Students should inform their instructor of the extenuating circumstances before the assignment is due. Any late work that is accepted is subject to a penalty as determined by the 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
      • Work derived from generative artificial intelligence (AI) resources without express permission from instructors is not considered the students' original work. Honesty must extend to all forms of coursework.
      • Student Conduct
        • Sexual Harassment
    • Student with Disabilities
    • Complaints and Grievances
    • Copyright Notice

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

Also, grades may be affected if students are disrespectful in any of their 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. Students will be notified prior to any changes that may take place, so they need to pay attention to communication from their instructor.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due