Syllabus for Religion 327 

Winter 2011

The Pearl of Great Price

Instructor:  Michael Rhodes                          Office:  316 D JSB                             Phone:  422-2445

Office Hours: M, W 10:00-10:50                        Email Address:

Meeting times:

Section 6, M, W  11:00 – 11:50, 106 JSB

Midterm Exam: In testing center, Mon February 28 to Sat March 5

Final: In room 3222 of the Wilkinson Center during finals period, Sat April 16 – Thu April 21

Required texts: Standard Works: Bible, Book of Mormon, D&C, Pearl of Great Price.

Student Learning Outcomes

Brigham Young University: To assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life by providing an education that is (1) spiritually strengthening, (2) intellectually enlarging,  (3) character building, and (4) leading to lifelong learning and service.

Religious Education: Students who successfully complete the required Doctrinal Foundation core in Religious Education will be able to demonstrate that they have acquired an understanding of LDS scripture, doctrine and history through the process of rigorous study and personal faith (Doctrine and Covenants 88:118).

Inherent in the process of learning by study and by faith is the responsibility each student assumes for their part in the learning process. Therefore, students who apply themselves will be able to demonstrate competence in the following areas: (1) recall factual information necessary for a basic understanding of LDS scripture, doctrine and history, (2) analyze and interpret LDS scripture, doctrine, and history, (3) use factual knowledge and conceptual understanding of LDS scripture, doctrine, and history to problem solve, and (4) seek the Holy Ghost as an aid in studying and pondering LDS scripture, doctrine, and history.

Religion 327: At the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Outline the historical background of the Pearl of Great Price.

2. Identify the fundamental Gospel principles taught in the Pearl of Great Price.

3. Clarify the fundamental Gospel principles taught in Acts-Revelation by the use of the other standard works.

4. Expound on the fundamental Gospel principles taught in the Pearl of Great Price with statements from modern apostles and prophets.

5. Understand how to apply these Gospel principles to their own life.

Measures of Student Learning

Assigned Scripture Reading before Class

You are expected to have done the assigned reading for each lesson before the class in which that lesson is covered. You need to mark having done this in Blackboard before class begins. You can mark this reading from two days before the assigned class up until the hour that class begins on that day. For each reading not done ahead of time (and marked in Blackboard), you will have 2 points deducted from the possible 50 points for reading.


You will take the quizzes in Blackboard. They will consist of five questions on the assigned reading for the class on that date and the class prior to that, e.g. the first quiz will cover the reading for lessons 2 and 3; the second quiz will cover the reading for lessons 4 and 5, etc. The quizzes can be taken up to two days prior to the time indicated in the syllabus, but must be completed by the time the class begins on that date. You may use the scriptures and notes when you take the quiz. After you have completed the quiz, Blackboard will give you your score and feedback on any question you missed. Instead of quiz 14, you will receive 10 points for filling out the online teacher evaluation by logging on to Route Y and clicking “Student Ratings.” The online teacher evaluation must be completed by the last day of class.

Second Scripture Reading 

During the course of the semester you are to read the Pearl of Great Price a second time. Note that this is not extra credit. If you do not do it you will loose 50 points. When you have completed this second reading, mark having done it in Blackboard. You have until the last day of the final exam period to complete this reading.

Midterm Exam 

The midterm exam will be given in the testing center. It will consist of 50 questions—some multiple choice, some matching, and some true/false. Most of the test material will be over what is discussed in class but you can expect some questions over material in the assigned reading. If you choose take the midterm on the last day, you will be charged a late fee.

Final Exam 

The Final exam will be administered by the Testing Center. It will consist of 100 questions—some multiple choice, some matching, and some true/false. It will be comprehensive, covering all course material from the beginning of the semester. The majority of the test material will be over what is discussed in class, although there will be a few questions that cover material in the assigned reading. Note that all Religion finals are given in room 3222 of the Wilkinson Center, and that on the last day of the finals period, they close at 5:00 PM, which means you need to be there by 4:00 PM.

Class Preparation and Attendance:  

You should come to class each day having read the assigned reading for that day and be prepared to discuss it. You should always bring a copy of the Standard Works with you. You are expected to attend each class period. I will pass a roll around for you to mark your attendance. Marking the roll indicates that you were present during the entire class, i.e. you did not arrive late or leave early. For each class missed, you will have 2 points deducted from the possible 50 points for attendance. There will be no excused absences. Since a significant portion of the exam questions will be based on classroom discussion, it is to your advantage to be in class every day.


This course will be using Blackboard extensively. You can access Blackboard by logging on to Route Y and clicking the Blackboard Icon. You will be using Blackboard to record your reading and to take quizzes. You will also be able to check your cumulative points in the course at any given time. I will regularly post announcements on Blackboard for the course. Using Blackboard you can also email me with questions you might have. Outlines of each lesson as well as other supplementary material helpful for the course are also available there.

Supplementary Reading Material:  (Available on Blackboard)

1.  Parallel creation texts of Genesis, Moses, and Abraham
2.  Organic Evolution and the Gospel
3.  Michael D. Rhodes, "The Joseph Smith Hypocephalus, Seventeen Years Later"
4.  Other Accounts of the First Vision


Class Attendance

  50 points

Assigned Reading before class

  50 points

Quizzes (14 at 10 points each)

140 points

Second Scripture Reading (Pearl of Great Price)

  50 points

Midterm Exam

100 points

Final Exam

200 points


590 points

Your grade for the course will be based on the percentage of points that you earn. I will curve the grades based on the overall performance of the entire class.

 University Policies

 Religious Education fully supports all University policies including those that relate to the honor code, sexual harassment and to students with disabilities, and classroom disruption, and online evaluations. You can review these policies in their full form on the Religious Education website. See

Frequently asked questions about Religious Education can be reviewed at the same site.

Class Schedule 

Note that the quizzes are all online in Blackboard and must be completed before the beginning of class on the day scheduled.












We 5





Mo 10


Revelation to Moses

Moses 1


We 12

Quiz 1

The Nature of God



Mo 17


Martin Luther King Day



We 19


The Creation

Moses 2, Abraham 4, Supp. # 1


Mo 24

Quiz 2

The Creation (continued)

Moses 3, Abraham 5, Supp. # 1


We 26


Organic Evolution and the Gospel

Supplementary reading # 2


Mo 31

Quiz 3

The Fall

 Moses 4







We 2


Rise of the Kingdom of Satan

Moses 5


Mo 7

Quiz 4

Gospel from the Beginning

Moses 6


We 9


The Visions of Enoch,

Moses 7


Mo 14

Quiz 5




We 16

Quiz 6

Noah and the Flood

Moses 8


Mo 21


Presidents Day



Tu 22*


Background on the Book of Abraham,



We 23


The Life of Abraham

Abraham 1, Genesis 11-17


Mo 28

Quiz 7

The Life of Abraham (continued)

Genesis 18-25









Midterm Exam

Mon 28 Feb – Sat 5 March


We 2


The Abrahamic Covenant

Abraham 2


Mo 7

Quiz 8


Facsimiles 1, 2, & 3


We 9


Facsimiles (continued)

Supplementary reading # 3


Mo 14

Quiz 9

Astronomy & Preexistence

Abraham 3


We 16

Quiz 10

Signs of the Last Days

Joseph Smith Matthew


Mo 21


Signs of the Last Days (continued)

D&C 45


We 23

Quiz 11

The First Vision

JS-Hist. 1:1-26, Supp. # 4


Mo 28


Visit of the Angel Moroni

JS-Hist. 1:27-54


We 30

Quiz 12

Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon

JS-Hist. 1:55-74







Mo 4


Review General Conference

General Conference


We 6


Articles of Faith

Articles of Faith


Mo 11

Quiz 13

Articles of Faith (continued)



We 13

Quiz 14


Quiz 14 = online student evaluation

* Monday instruction

Lesson Outlines (Click on lesson to go to that page)

Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7
Lesson 8
Lesson 9
Lesson 10
Lesson 11
Lesson 12
Lesson 13
Lesson 14
Lesson 15
Lesson 16
Lesson 17
Lesson 18
Lesson 19
Lesson 20
Lesson 21
Lesson 22
Lesson 23
Lesson 24
Lesson 25
Lesson 26

Three Accounts of the Creation (Supplementary Reading # 1)
Organic Evolution and the Gospel (Supplementary Reading # 2)
Joseph Smith Hypocephalus (Supplementary Reading # 3)
Other Accounts of the First Vision (Supplementary Reading # 4)
Talmage, The Earth and Man
First Presidency Packet on Evolution

Last updated: January 6, 2011 by Michael Rhodes
Michael D. Rhodes