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Religion A 122: Book of Mormon

(Alma 30 Moroni 10)


Winter Semester 2015
Instructor: Dr. Catherine C.
Taylor
Email: catherine.taylor3@gmail.com
Office: JSB 102
Office Phone: 801-422-4812

Office Hours: T/Th 10-11am or by


appointment

As a result of what we learn in this class, you will be able


to:
KNOW AND UNDERSTAND: and Understand
KNOW factual information regarding the first half of Book of Mormon,
including background, narratives, important people, places and events; also
relevant scholarship available.
UNDERSTAND key principles and doctrines; how the Book of Mormon is
Another Testament of Christ; how individual passages of Scripture apply to
your own life.

APPLY:
APPLY principles learned in class to your own Scripture study.
Analyze scriptural texts and APPLY principles to problems in your own life.
Express verbally and in writing your understanding of how Scriptures APPLY
to you.

ENRICH:
ENRICH each other by sharing your understanding of scriptural passages;
explain and discuss Gospel principles, verbally and in writing.

In order to achieve these goals, you will do the following :


Obtain the Sacred Records (and Bring Them to Class):

The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price
The Bible

Consult the Following (Online Resources):


We will use BYU Learning Suite (learningsuite.byu.edu). Log on and select Rel A 121:
Book of Mormon (section 006/013). Lecture notes, readings, and other materials will
be posted in the Content section. Many items will need to be downloaded to be
viewed. Please check the site frequently as there will be many class activities,
assignments and updates that will appear only there.
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Fulfill these Requirements (Explained in Detail Below):


1. Attendance 110 Points Possible, - 5 Pts. for Every Class Missed (2 excused
classes)
2. Class Participation 5 pts. per week for 55, also 55 assigned by the Professor.
110 total
3. Scripture Reading 10 pts. per week, 140 total
4. Scripture Exegesis Assignment 50 pts.
5. Reflective Writing Paper 100 pts.
6. Weekly Related Readings & Digital Dialog Comments 10 pts/Relevant
Weeks, 120 total
7. Midterm I Exam 100 pts.
8. Midterm II Exam 100 pts.
9. Final Exam 110 pts.
PLEASE NOTE: NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS ACCEPTED!!! This may seem harsh, but
it is the only way to be fair to those who work hard to submit assignments on time.
Plan ahead to avoid the risk of forgetting, missing the deadline, resubmitting
homework that dog ate, etc.
Understand the Details:
1. Attendance (110 points)
Attendance Students will be responsible for the information communicated in
classroom discussions (KNOW & UNDERSTAND); therefore, it is expected that you
will attend class regularly, take good notes, and be prepared for class
discussions by having studied the chapters from the Book of Mormon for the
given class period. Attendance will be taken starting the second week of the
semester. Attendance in this course is essential as we cover so much material
on a daily basis. Attendance will be kept daily. Perfect attendance will be
awarded with 110 points towards your final grade. Each day that a student fails
to come to class, 5 points will be subtracted from the 110 points. Excused
absences must be cleared beforehand with our instructor. You get two free
absences.
2. Participation (110 points) REPORTED VIA EXAM CLASS WEEKS BY
MIDNIGHT, FRIDAYS.
As we are all in this journey together and one of our key goals is to ENRICH each
others experience, Class Participation is of great importance for the course.
SOME weeks will not have class participation based on our in-class schedule.
Please come to class having read the assigned readings and with questions to
ask the instructor. Please feel comfortable asking and responding to questions.
Your opinions, feelings, experiences, testimony, doubts, and even complaints are
most welcome in our class. Participation will be graded weekly by two separate
means (55 points based on your own assessment, 55 points based on
the teachers assessment):
o Your own weekly report of how you feel you have participated during the
week, submitted at the end of each week on Learning Suite as part of the

Weekly Accountability report (which includes In-Class Participation and


Scripture Study)
The instructors evaluation of your weekly participation and your office
visit to me within the first month of the semester. (Awarded at the
end of the semester).

3. Scripture Reading (140 points) REPORTED VIA EXAM EACH WEEK BY


MIDNIGHT, Saturdays.
You will read the first half of the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi Alma 29) during this
semester (KNOW & UNDERSTAND). You will read the assigned portions of the
Book of Mormon text for each class period, as specified in this syllabus, before
coming to class. Scripture study for this course should occupy about 30 minutes
of your time every day (Mon-Fri required for class, but feel free to keep up the
habit on the weekends). Please bear in mind that the assigned scripture reading
for any given class period may range in the number of chapters. You will record
your weekly Scripture reading each week on Learning Suite as part of the Weekly
Accountability report. Studying all 5 weekdays will be rewarded with 10 points
per week, whereas reading 4 days will receive 8 points and on down to 0
points for zero days of reading.
We will emphasize applying five principles of effective scripture study as outlined
by Elder David A. Bednar (Because We Have Them before Our Eyes,
Liahona, April 2006):
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2
3
4
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Pray for understanding, and invite the help of the Holy Ghost
Work (regular and diligent study)
Be consistent (set aside a specific and scheduled time)
Ponder (thinking, reflecting, applying)
Write down impressions, thoughts, feelings

4. Scriptural Exegesis Assignment (50 points)


During the semester you are required to sign-up to do a short class
presentation on one reading block. The purpose of this assignment is to
give you the opportunity to do a close reading and exegesis on a passage
of scripture and to orally present your ideas to our class. Close reading
describes, in literary criticism, the careful, sustained interpretation of a
brief passage of text (only the short, relevant verses you have
read closely NOT the entire scripture block for that day). Such a
reading places great emphasis on the single particular over the
general, paying close attention to individual words, syntax, and the order
in which sentences and ideas unfold as they are read.
The criteria for the assignment includes:
Presenting a new, surprising, strange or insightful single aspect of the
scriptures that you have studied. Do not summarize the entire scripture

block. Choose one particular passage and do a close reading with thoughtful
research. Prepare your presentation with care in order to discuss:
a) how your close reading references and familiarizes us with the doctrines
and principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon
b) how your close reading is significant for you individually.
This presentation should be only 5 or 6 minutes in length, so you need to plan
well, be concise and coherent.
4. Research Paper Assignment (100 points)
You will be required to write a short paper in this class. This paper is not a
traditional paper like the ones you have written in other courses. Instead, you
will only be required to write out a one-half page thesis statement and then
include 10 peer-reviewed, published and doctrinally based references that
support your claim as well as 5 scripture references that support the thesis. You
will not write out the entire paper, but rather you will give me only your
thesis statement and the evidence (written as supporting sentences) you would
use to develop your idea(s). Please understand that this paper is not intended to
demonstrate your ability as a writer, but rather is a way to teach you what
sources are available for you to use as you study the gospel, and prepare for
talks and lessons (see learning outcomes above). If you follow the format of
the assignment and submit the paper on time, then you can expect to receive a
perfect score on it.
This assignment will be due Thursday, April 2 and will be submitted by hard
copy paper due in class. It is worth 100 points.
5. Weekly Reading and Digital Dialog (110 points) DUE EACH WEEK VIA
DIGITAL DIALOG, MIDNIGHT, SATURDAYS.
Each week, by Tuesday, you will be assigned to read one or more articles,
answer a scripture related question or, occasionally, watch a video, and then
write your thoughts/feelings about it on our class Learning Suite forum (Digital
Dialog). No weekly reading will be given on the weeks that tests are given.
Beyond your own comment, you are required to respond to someone elses
comment as well. That means that you need to leave a total of two
comments (one of your own and one response) on Digital Dialogue
every week. You will have all week to complete this assignment comments
are to be submitted by Midnight on Saturday of that week. Comments
should be approximately two paragraphs (or more) in length and should focus
not so much on a summary of the item viewed, but on what you understood for
yourself, how it was helpful to you, and personal application how you can apply
what you learned to your own life. This assignment fulfills all of the goals of this
class (KNOW, UNDERSTAND, APPLY & ENRICH). Posts may be stand-alone (not
responding to someone) or they may be responses to other comments. I want
this to be a real discussion, so you should feel free to comment as many times
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as desired. The weekly reading and digital dialog assignments will, cumulatively,
be worth 110 points (10 points each). Each will be graded on whether or not
the assignment has been done (you need to post a real, serious comment at
least once per article) and also on how much effort has been put into the
comment you make to others (as judged by the instructor), including whether it
is clear that the commenter has read the article or not.
7. Exams (2x100, 1x110 points)
There will be three exams given during this term, two Midterms and a Final. The
Midterms will be given after we have finished studying a certain scripture block
and will be worth 100 points. The Final Exam will be worth 110 points. Class
lecture notes (Power Point slides) will be available online (Learning Suite) for
your use in preparing for the exams until the day of the exam. Exams will be
given online through Learning Suite (not the Testing Center). Exams are open
Scripture and will require you to search your Scriptures diligently.
Please be aware that the exams will be given on the assigned dates only. No
early or late exams will be given. Note, however, that exams are given online, so
you do not have to be in a specific location or even on campus in order to take
them. You have the class schedule (below) please make your plans
accordingly.
Grading
The following is the point value for each assignment and how those points
determine your final grade:
Midterm Exam 1 = 100
Midterm Exam 2 = 100
Final Exam = 110
Research Writing Paper = 100
Weekly Reading & Digital Dialog = 110
Scriptural Exegesis Assignment = 50
Scripture Reading = 140
Class Participation = 110
Attendance = 110
Total = 930 points

Grading Scale Based on Points


Earned out of Total

A = (94-100%)

C = (74-77%)

A- = (91-93%)

C- = (71-73%)

B+ = (88-90%)

D+ = (68-70%)

B = (84-87%)

D = (64-67%)

B- = (81-83%)

D- = (61-63%)

C+ = (78-80%)

E = (0-60%)

Extra Credit
5 points of extra credit will be granted for all students who complete the student
evaluation/rating online form (on myBYU) at the end of the term. Other forms of
extra credit may be announced by the instructor. These will be available for the
entire class and not for specific individuals alone.
Classroom Policies
The responsibility rests on each of us to make this a class that provides an
environment in which we can all learn and be inspired by the Holy Spirit. These
classroom policies are designed to help each of us contribute to such an
environment. Failure to follow classroom policies could result in a lowering of your
participation grade.
Class Procedure: Each class will begin with the class listening to or singing one or
more verses of a hymn, followed by an opening prayer offered by a student. If you
prefer not to pray, that is perfectly okay just let me know outside of class and I will
honor your request. During class discussions, we will follow the Lords direction in
D&C 88:122: but let one speak at a time, and let all listen unto his sayings
Please refrain from visiting with your neighbor while someone is speaking, even if
the subject is related to the class discussion.
Late Assignments: Again, a reminder that NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS will be
accepted!! Please keep this in mind and plan ahead so that if you become ill or have
to miss a class you have your assignment completed by the due date. With this
policy, your instructor has in mind the goal of fairness to all.
Cell Phones, Laptops, Electronics, etc.: Please assure that your phone is turned
off before class starts. Please refrain from using electronic devices in class
inappropriately (including texting, email, internet, etc.). Although the availability of
the Scriptures and other useful tools on portable electronic devices is to be
celebrated, these devices can also become a distraction for you and your neighbors
in the classroom.
Additional Religious Education Policies: Religious Education fully supports all
University Policies including those that relate to the honor code, sexual harassment,
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assistance to students with disabilities, plagiarism, and classroom etiquette. For a


detailed description of these policies, see http://reled.byu.edu/policies.ph

Course Schedule
Day
1

Tuesday
Thursday

Tuesday
Thursday

Date
January

Scripture Readings
6

None

8
1
3
1
5

Alma 30-31

Notes

Alma 32-35
Alma 36-38

2
0
2
2
2
7
2
9

Tuesday
Thursday

Tuesday
Thursday

Tuesday

February

Helaman 5-9

3 Ne. 15-19

5
1
0
1
2
1
7
1
9
2
4
2
6
3
1

3 Ne. 20-23

Ether 6-11

Tuesday

Ether 12-15

Thursday

9
1
4

Moroni 1-6

Tuesday

Tuesday

Tuesday
Thursday

Tuesday

March

Thursday
1
0

Tuesday
Thursday

1
1

Tuesday
Thursday

1
2

Tuesday
Thursday

1
3

Tuesday
Thursday

1
4
1
5

None

5
1
0
1
2
1
7
1
9
2
4
2
6

Thursday
8

Alma 52-63

Helaman 1-4

Thursday
7

Alma 43-51

Thursday
6

Alma 39-42

Tuesday

April

Examination #1

Helaman 10-12
Helaman 13-16
None

Monday Instruction - No Class

3 Ne. 1-7
3 Ne. 8-11
3 Ne. 12-14

3 Ne. 24-26
None

Examination #2

3 Ne. 27-30
4 Nephi
Mormon 1-6
Mormon 7-9
Ether 1-5
Research Paper Due in Class

Moroni 7-10