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Course Materials

Course Learning Outcomes

It is expected that each student will:

  1. Gain a greater historical knowledge and background concerning the life and mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith, thus increasing his or her appreciation and testimony of him as the Prophet of the Restoration.
  2. Understand the most significant events, episodes, and movements of the early Church between 1805-1844 in New England, New York/Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.
  3. Know who many of the important participants were in early LDS Church history (both LDS and non-LDS).
  4. Be able to identify significant LDS Church history sites and locations in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.

Course Materials


The textbook for this course is Church History in the Fulness of Times: The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2000. This manual is used by Church History professors at Brigham Young University in Provo, Brigham Young University–Idaho, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, and by CES Instructors in LDS Institutes of Religion classes. Church History in the Fullness of Times is used for three courses–Rel C 341 (Joseph Smith and the Restoration, 1805-1845), Rel C 342 (Pioneers and Persecution, 1846-1899), and Rel C 343 (The Global Church, 1900 to the Present). This course will cover pages 1-292 (chapters 1-23). The manual is available through BYU’s Department of Independent Study. However, the manual can also be accessed online in PDF format at

Supplementary Readings

Students will also be expected to read ten readings by professional historians that deal with specific episodes or events in early Mormon history. Seven of the readings appear in periodicals that examine topics associated with interpreting Mormon History (i.e. Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies, Missouri Historical Review, the John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, Utah Historical Quarterly). Three readings are taken from chapters published in books.

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Each student will be required to complete four Units of reading activities. Each Unit is made up of five or six lessons from the student manual, Church History in the Fullness of Times. For example, in Unit I, students will read Chapters 1–5 of Church History in the Fullness of Times.

Portfolio Assignments

At the completion of each lesson the student will answer several short answer questions (7–10 questions) about the information in the chapter, these are called portfolio assignments. They are to be turned in as a part of the portfolio due at the end of each unit. When answering the short answer questions some students are inclined to merely repeat what was stated or written in the manual. Avoid this. Instead, respond in your own words. Your response should be your own. Be sure and give a complete and thorough response for each question. Your response should not be an essay, but rather short answer, meaning a short paragraph consisting of several sentences. Each response must be typed and include the question that is being responded to. Proper grammar, diction, and spelling are a must. Each question is worth a maximum of 4 points. The point total break-down is as follows:

"A" outstanding response 4 points
"B" good response 3 points
"C" average response 2 points
"D" poor response 1 point
"E" no response 0 points

At the end of each of the four Units there is also an essay activity. Several essay questions are provided, but students will answer only one of the essay questions. The completed essay should be typed, double-spaced, and a minimum of one page, but no more than two. A total of twenty points will be awarded for this activity. This will also be turned in at the end of each unit as part of your portfolio assignment.

Formatting Your Written Work

You will submit written assignments to Independent Study electronically through your course. To make sure I can open and read your papers, please save them as a .RTF (rich text format) files. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Type your paper in a word-processing program (such as Microsoft Word).
  2. When you save the file, click the Save as type: drop-down list.
  3. Select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).
  4. Use the course number, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, “RELC341_JaneSmith_Lesson1Assignment.rtf.”
  5. Click Save.

Submitting Your Portfolio Assignments

It’s very important that you submit all of the assignments for a portfolio at the same time. Here’s how to submit your completed portfolio assignments:

  1. Click the Portfolio Submission link in your course.
  2. Click Open.
  3. Attach all of the relevant assignments by clicking the Choose File button, then locating the file you wish to submit.
  4. To attach additional files, click Add Attachment and use the Choose File button to locate and upload the next file. Make sure you attach every file you need to include in the portfolio assignment.
  5. When you are finished, click Submit.
  6. You will be asked if you are sure you want to submit this assignment. Click Yes.
  7. You will receive a message that tells you that you have successfully submitted your assignment. Click OK.

Remember: Do not submit any assignment until you have completed all of the assignments for the portfolio!

Speedback Quizzes

In addition to the chapter readings in Church History in the Fullness of Times, each student will also be required to read ten historical articles/book chapters that discuss specific episodes or events in early Mormon history such as Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Kirtland Temple, Liberty Jail, and the burials of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Each Unit will include two or three article/book chapter reading assignments. The articles/book chapters are available on the online course in PDF form.

After reading the article/book chapters, students will answer ten multiple-choice questions about the material read. These 10 question multiple-choice quizzes are called Speedbacks. They are computer graded and they are available in the online version of the course. Upon completion of the Speedbacks, students will be given immediate feedback which shows which questions were answered correctly and what score was obtained on the quiz.

There are ten Speedbacks throughout the course; each one is worth 1% of your final grade.

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Finally, after completing all twenty-three lessons, students will take a final exam. There are 150 questions on the final exam. The final exam is worth 26% of your final grade. Students must be proctored and take the final exam at an approved academic testing center. It is closed book/notes with no time limit.

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Course Point Breakdown
Learning Activity Weight
Unit Portfolios 64%
Ten Speedback Quizzes 10%
Final Exam 26%

Letter grades are based upon the percentage of total points earned.

A 100–94% C 76–73%
A− 93–90% C− 72–70%
B+ 89–87% D+ 69–67%
B 86–83% D 66–63%
B− 82–80% D− 62–60%
C+ 79–77% E (fail) 59% or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


10 computer-graded assignments, 4 instructor-graded portfolio assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.


1 proctored computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course.

Retake an exam for a fee.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514