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Course Materials

Course Prerequisites

I presume that you have already attained some basic knowledge of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Restoration, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the move of the Church west from New York to Ohio, to Missouri, and eventually to Nauvoo, Illinois. You have probably studied somewhat in the Doctrine and Covenants and a few historical works. They will all be of benefit to you. There is another course that precedes this one, Church History 341 (Rel C 341), which covers the period from 1805-1844 in depth. You would do well to take that course; however, it is not a prerequisite to this present study.

Learning Outcomes

Since this is a course for the heart as well as for the mind, you will not be learning any new physical skills. It is, however, a course that will challenge you intellectually and spiritually. One of the very real skills I hope you derive from this course of study is a sharpened understanding of Church history and a critical approach to its study. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” wrote the Apostle Paul (1 Thess. 5:21). Developing critical thinking skills is not the same as becoming negative. In fact, it can lead to very positive, faithful thinking. I hope you will learn enough to answer difficult questions that you and others may have about our history, that you will be able to separate myth from fact, and that your faith will grow in the process.

Specifically, you will understand much more about Brigham Young-who he was, and what his lasting contributions have been to our history. The miracle of the Exodus-why that enterprise eventually succeeded against all odds. The re-establishment of the Church in the Rocky Mountain West and, equally importantly, the recapturing of the concept of Zion. Plural marriage, and what impact it had on our history. Wilford Woodruff and his vital role in the history of temple work in the Church. John Taylor and Lorenzo Snow and their contributions to our doctrine of continual revelation.

Course Materials


Your text is Church History In the Fulness of Times. It is well-researched and well-written and provides you with a great deal of background that is essential to your success in this course. Read and mark your text very carefully. Then read the lesson materials. I have provided key handouts and other learning aids that will broaden your understanding and enrich your appreciation of the course. Carefully and completely answer each of the Self Check questions along the way to help you master the material. Don’t hurry. Take your time. Feel it through. Take plenty of notes. The course is packed with delightful and instructive learning aids and resources (photos, video clips, and maps) that are designed to enrich your learning experience. Take full advantage of these assets.

You will also need a set of the standard works. (The Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and, especially, The Doctrine and Covenants).

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Course Structure

This course is designed to give you as rich a learning experience as possible, short of actually showing up in person to one of my classes. Each of the twelve lessons includes a Lesson Objective, a Reading Assignment, and a bibliography of some of the better published works on the topics, followed by the various component discussions for each sub-topic in the overall lesson. For instance, lesson 9, dealing with the end of Utah’s isolation after the coming of the transcontinental railroad, has four separate discussions or subsections: the coming of the railroad, opposition to the Saints, how Brigham Young educated and prepared his people to deal with the Gentile incursions, and an overview of the progress of the Church from 1867 to 1877.


At the end of each subsection are review or Self Check questions. These questions are designed to test your knowledge of the materials presented in both your text and the lesson discussion materials. They very much approximate quizzes, which I give in my regular classes here at BYU. Then, at the end of the lesson, additional Speedback questions are provided to test your overall understanding of the entire lesson. These are to be submitted and will be marked as part of your grade.

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Some of the Self Check and Speedback questions may show up in one form or another on the midcourse and final examinations. The Final Exam will not be cumulative, save for a few questions from early Speedback assignments and the Midterm.

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Assignment Weight
Speedback Assignments 24%
Midcourse Exam 33%
Final Exam 43%
A 100 91
A- 90 88
B+ 87 84
B 83 80
B- 79 76
C+ 75 72
C 71 68
C- 67 63
D+ 62 58
D 57 54
D- 53 50
E (fail) 49 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.


12 computer-graded assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee.

Resubmit an assignment for a fee.


2 proctored exams (multiple-choice, short-answer, essay questions), may retake each once for a fee, must pass the final exam 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