Theme - Disciple Leaders: Improving Teaching at a Disciple Preparation Center (DPC)

Resources to Help You Prepare

Theme - Disciple Leaders: Improving Teaching at a Disciple Preparation Center (DPC)

BYUIdaho is not just a university. You are not merely university students. Studying here involves much more than taking tests and performing well in academic classes...there are essential lessons to be learned and preparations to be made at this DPC by the Lord’s latter-day disciples. ~Elder David A. Bednar

Link to devotional text:

Link to devotional audio:

3 Lessons to be learned at a DPC:

  1. A disciple’s faith is focused upon the Son of God.
  2. A disciple recognizes that faith in the Savior is a spiritual gift and appropriately seeks for that gift in his or her life.
  3. A disciple’s faith in the Savior and spiritual preparation dispel fear.

Questions you might Ponder and Discuss:

  • How can we help our students learn the three DPC lessons Elder Bednar outlined?
  • How do we help extend the DPC experience online for us and our students who may not be in close proximity to a temple, or strong stakes of Zion?
  • What are some ways that Christ prepared his disciples? How might you prepare your students in a like manner?
  • Compare and contrast what your students and Christ's disciples are/were being prepared for.
  • How can you make your course feel like a temple of learning?
  • What is the role of an online instructor in a DPC?

Supplemental Resources:

Email me when people comment –

You need to be a member of BYU-Idaho Online Instruction Community to add comments!

Join BYU-Idaho Online Instruction Community


  • I'm getting an EdD through an online Christian university right now.  I think I used the Bible more in my first two semesters than I ever did as a student at BYU.  In some ways, it feels forced.  However, I think they do a really good job of incorporating the ideals of Christianity into every assignment we do and helping us see how we can be better Christians in our career and how our career and assignments apply to our Christianity.  I think as an instructor I can do a better job of helping my students apply the principles to gospel living.  It all applies, but sometimes I need to do better at showing them how.  

  • Great theme!  Thanks for your great video and focus for the Winter Semester.   My students are reading this talk this week in Lesson 3 in the Pathway GS 120L course and are learning the skill of becoming a better disciple leader.  Each semester I am so grateful for my opportunity to reread this talk by Elder Bednar and discuss it with my students in the discussion boards.  Today I posted this great quote in my announcement :

    I remember an instructor who made a profound difference in my life as a BYU-Idaho online student because of her Christlike charity she showed towards me personally - it strengthened my faith in the Savior.   In my course I hope that I can help my course feel like a temple of learning is to make sure that my announcements, responses, and feedback invite the students to strengthen their faith in the Savior.  Also in my communication with my students I try to encourage them to strengthen their faith and encourage them to be more Christlike.  

    For example, currently I have a student from the Philippines, yesterday she expressed some frustration with her husband who is also in the Pathway Program in I-Learn 3.0 instant message.  I encouraged her to be patient and understanding with him because everyone is at a different spiritual level.  Today she responded to me and I was so happy to see that she looked at the situation with much more Christlike charity and compassion: 

    • I love the meme, thanks Jenny. 

      • Thanks David! :)   I also love this quote from David Bednar's DPC, "A disciple of Christ is one who is following and learning to be like Christ—learning to think, to feel, and to act as He does...A disciple is one who loves the Lord and serves Him with all of his or her heart, might, mind, and strength."  I'm still trying to be like Jesus....but I still have a ways to go. 

        • Yes, Jenny--thanks for the excellent meme! I'm going to use it this week.  That's a great quote you pulled from Elder Bednar's devotional, too.  It applies to us as instructors, and to our students as disciple-leaders as well.

          • Hello Alisha, Thanks for your response.   I love finding meme's like this, the church is doing a great job creating meme's like this.

  • Not that you were inviting discussion here but...

    How do we help extend the DPC experience online for us and our students who may not be in close proximity to a temple, or strong stakes of Zion?

    It seems like we need to get students talking to each other in meaningful ways to be edified online even if they can't be edified locally. Makes me think of a quote from a talk given by Elder Kim B. Clark: "In gathering together in holy places with the guidance and power of the Spirit, we strengthen and support each other.  This is the first principle that connects our individual spirituality to the Spirit of Ricks." 

    We need to make our online classes a holy place where we get students to love, serve, and teach one another.


    This also makes me think... what does the Lord expect of me (Jerrod Guddat) living 10 minutes from a temple that he might not reasonably expect of someone living 10 hours from one?

    • I really like your last question.  It reminded me of this talk by Elder Holland and what he said about hometeaching:

      • Brethren, in the best of all worlds and in those circumstances where it can be done, a monthly visit in each home is still the ideal the Church would strive for. But realizing that in many locations around the world achieving such an ideal is not possible and that we cause those brethren to feel like failures when we ask them to do what cannot realistically be done, the First Presidency wrote to the priesthood leaders of the Church in December 2001, giving this inspired, very helpful counsel: “There are some locations in the Church,” they wrote, “where … home teaching to every home each month may not be possible because of insufficient numbers of active priesthood brethren and various other local challenges.” We’ve mentioned some of them. “When such circumstances prevail,” they go on, “leaders should do their best to use the resources they have available to watch over and strengthen each member.”

      Our circumstances vary, and we need to be aware of that as instructors even as we teach our students to be disciple leaders and even as we hold up the standard.  As you point out, that's going to look very different for people in different circumstances.  For me with a temple two blocks from where I live, I should go often.  For someone who has a temple in another country, they may have a different goal.  Great point and good question.  Thanks for pointing this out!  

    • Don't hate me Jerrod, but I have to challenge the phrasing regarding students who "cant be edified locally." Having been a military brat, I haven't always lived close to temples or areas with lots of strong members in the area. And, I can also say that living in an area that does have a large concentration of both temples and strong members, it can be easy to rely on easy access to edifying sources and, perhaps, get lazy in our responsibility to seek that edification for ourselves. (Something akin to the whole give a man a fish or teach him to fish principle.)

      Whether it is online, in a physical location (which is a great aspect of the Pathway Program), or in our own hearts and homes, the skills discussed in Dave's awesomely-designed-and-presented post are essential for latter-day living and survival. I'm a little passionate about this topic right now, so I'll try keep it brief, but the last days are no joke. They are palpable, and preparing disciple learners is feeling like a weighty responsibility.

      Regardless of how close we are physically to temples, other LDS students/instructors, or other physical "gathering places," where we gather in our hearts and homes is what will make the greatest difference. If we aren't anchored in Christ--in becoming like Him rather than just talking about or thinking about Him--we are looking beyond the mark. If we aren't deeply rooted in our covenants that bind us to Him, we may be liable to be blown about with the "shafts in the whirlwind" (Helaman 5:12).

      End soap box . . . now.

      • Kimberly, I must say I hear a bit of "Marilyn" in your response!  :)))

This reply was deleted.