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The BYU-Idaho Learning Model: Ponder and Prove

A student's personal insights on the steps of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model

This is part three of a three part series regarding the Learning Model. Parts one and two discussed — Prepare and Teach One Another .

To learn more about the Learning Model, check out “ BYU-Idaho Learning Model.

The BYU-Idaho Learning Model brings a proactive and positive approach to learning. The three-step process includes:

  1. Prepare
  2. Teach One Another
  3. Ponder and Prove

Let’s take a look at the third and final step of the Learning Model: Ponder and Prove.

Ponder and Prove

“In this step, students ponder what they have learned in class. They… write down impressions and insights they have received… [and] pursue unanswered questions…” 1 Ponder and Prove is an essential step of the Learning Model. This step includes the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Let the Spirit guide you in your thoughts and take to heart the things which come to your mind 2 — they are for your benefit and growth.
woman praying
Prayer can play a critical role when pondering and proving. Let the Spirit guide your thoughts and prayers, and act on the promptings you receive. Image from Church Media Library.

Let’s take a moment to understand their individual purpose.


“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” 3

This is the time to make the lesson personal and individual for you. Think deeply on the concepts you have learned in your preparation, gathering, and discussion boards and discover how those teachings apply to your personal life. During your preparation, think of a question regarding the lesson topic, and use this time to reflect on what answers you may have received.

By putting forth an honest effort in your preparation and pondering, you will be amazed at the promptings you have earned.


“But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself…” 4

You have the unique opportunity to prove to yourself and God what you have learned and what you will do with it. By acting on the impressions you receive while pondering, and sharing your insights, you are proving that you are willing to submit yourself to your Father in Heaven and apply the things needed for your eventual eternal happiness.

Take the time to study things out in your mind, and write down goals to apply these principles in your life.

man writing things down
Writing down insights or personal revelation you receive during your classes can help you to ponder and prove the things which you can apply into your life.

My Personal Insights

During Spring Semester 2017, I took the Eternal Families class — which is a required foundation course at BYU-Idaho. This class left me with several insights and ideas to consider regarding the family and what I wanted for my future.

I took the opportunity to attend the temple almost weekly throughout the semester, which gave me the chance to ponder on those principles which I had learned in the class. By doing this, I was taking accountability for the things I learned during my preparation and discussions with my classmates.

When I think about pondering, I always come back to Doctrine and Covenants 30:3 . “Wherefore… ponder upon the things which you have received.” By pondering “upon the things which you have received,” you are showing your gratitude for the knowledge which you have been given. Often times, the things you ponder and prove become personal revelation for yourself — act on it!

Make it Personal

As you consider ways to apply this step into your life, allow the Spirit to guide you in your planning and in your efforts to strengthen yourself. If you do this, you will find a greater joy in learning, and the Spirit will continue to guide you in those crucial decisions. Here are some examples of how you can apply pondering and proving into your daily and educational life.

Apply the principles in your life

Take time to relate what you have learned with real life examples — think about how you can apply the principles to your life.

Seek personal revelation

Pray for understanding of what you have learned and seek personal revelation — write down any insights that you receive while doing this.

Make a plan

Sit down and make a plan for how you will improve on what you’ve learned for each area of your life (social, spiritual, academic, etc.).

I invite and encourage you to apply this final step of the Learning Model into every aspect of your spiritual and academic journey. By following each step of the Learning Model, you will find a renewed strength to accomplish greater things than you could imagine.

The things you will learn in your PathwayConnect and university classes can carry you beyond the classroom if you allow it.

Looking for more information on how pondering can benefit you? Watch or read “ Pondering Strengthens the Spiritual Life ,” a talk given by Elder Wirthlin in the April 1982 general conference.

To learn more about the courses and curriculum in PathwayConnect, visit the BYU-Pathway website !