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Principle Four

Learners and teachers at BYU–Idaho act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching.

Learning by faith does not come without effort and sacrifice. Teachers and students are expected to act in accordance with their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; these actions include diligent effort and preparation, participation, reflection and prayer, and maintaining a proper attitude toward learning. When learners and teachers exercise agency by acting in accordance with correct principles, they open their hearts to the Holy Ghost and invite His teaching.


[ Scriptures | Hymns | Quotes | Applications | Examples | Invitations ]



  • 2 Nephi 2:14, 16
    God ... created all things ... both things to act and things to be acted upon. God gave unto man that he should act for himself.

  • 2 Nephi 2:26
    They have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day.

  • D&C 58:26-28
    For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they
    are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.

  • D&C 6:33
    Whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap.

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  • Study is an act of faith requiring the use of personal agency.
    (Preach My Gospel, [PMG], 2004, p. 17)

  • While learning from a good teacher is very important, it is more important for you to have
    meaningful learning experiences on your own.
    (PMG, 2004, p. 17)

  • Acting on what you have learned will bring added and enduring understanding.
    (PMG, 2004, p. 19; see John 7:17)

  • I believe in study. I believe that men learn much through study. As a matter of fact, it has been my observation that they learn little concerning things as they are, as they were, or as they are to come without study. I also believe, however, and know, that learning by study is greatly accelerated by faith.
    (Marion G. Romney, Learning for the Eternities, 1977, p. 72)

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  • Teachers organize class discussions and assignments so students have opportunities to act rather than just be passive participants in the learning process.
  • Teachers take responsibility for fostering learning experiences that are meaningful for students.
  • Students prepare for class by completing assignments beforehand, seeking additional information that might pertain to class discussions, finding opportunities to teach course material to peers, and actively applying core concepts in their individual lives.
  • Students engage in class discussions and participate actively in projects and assignments. They make comments, ask questions, answer questions, offer explanations, listen actively, and respond when called upon.


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  • A teacher includes a requirement that each student teach others throughout the term.
  • A teacher provides opportunities for students to teach and learn by using small groups for
    assignments inside and outside of class.
  • Applying the principles of the Learning Model, and with a deep breath, a student volunteers her opinion during class discussion and actively listens to understand others.
  • A student contacts a teacher for suggestions about a research project outside of the parameters of the course.

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  • What are some of the actions that lead to enduring understanding of a discipline?
  • How does a learner demonstrate responsibility for learning?
  • Have I designed my courses so that students are given the opportunity to act rather than just
    be acted upon, i.e., peer-to-peer instruction opportunities, discussion-based teaching, group
    projects, etc.?
  • Am I just covering the material, or am I creating learning experiences?


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