Brother Bott was quoted in a 2/29/12 Washington Post article claiming that the
LDS ChurchÂs historic ban on priesthood for black people was a
"blessingÂ to them because they were not ÂreadyÂ for
priesthood. He also compared black LDS members with a young child prematurely
asking for the keys to her fatherÂs car.
Elder Randy "Lama" Bott and I were "soa" [companions] in the Samoa
Mission: He was great then, and has obviously gotten better over the years.
Served a mission in Samoa. I got to know Bro Bott. He was a great missionary,
and a great Bro. in the gospel. Bro Bott would do a great job in any thing he
does.May God bless you old friend.
I have never taken a class from Prof. Bott but I have sure heard a lot about
him.I agree with the final comment made by one student "it does not
have to be a hard class in order to be a good class." Let it be a
lesson to all faculty members out there reading this article (especially all
those proud and brilliant individuals in the BYU Math Department).
I would like to hear your reasoning. I took Brother Bott's class.
Was it entertaining? Yes. Of course it was. But the concepts that he teaches
aren't always simple. BUT he helps his students understand the concepts. He is a
good teacher because he helps us understand and learn. I had never had an easier
class, was it because of the curriculum or because he was just THAT good. I
learned more in that class than so many other classes i have taken. He is not
just entertaining. He just knows how to teach, get his points across, without
making his students feel like they are in a class. To me, that can be the best
way to learn, the best way to teach.
I thought Bro Bott was pretty good. Except that he is so anti-science and
completely slanders the biology department at BYU. It was really dissappointing
the first or second day of class that he would give his opinion as doctrine and
say that science basically is blaspheme. I did not enjoy another one
of his lectures after that. Sad, but true.
I came to try out BYU for a summer session and had Brother Bott for mission
prep. He was part of the reason I transferred to BYU. It was the feeling I
felt in class that I had never had in an academic setting. I loved it! I
actually looked forward to going to his class every time! The setting is
relaxed, yet studious.
Unbelievable. Randy Bott was the absolute worst teacher I had at BYU, hands
down. I can only conclude that something funny is going on with that ratings
Professor er... Brother er.... President Bott was my Mission President while I
served in the California Fresno Mission. I was his secretary and some of the
most important things I have ever learned I learned from him. He is an amazing
man. But I wonder if I get an award for being the lowest rated teacher on that
I love Brother Bott's missionary prep class. I wish we would have had more time
in class to hear everything he wasn't able to share in the time allotted.
Bro. Bott is ranked highly because his lessons change lives. I feel more
motivated in everything I do, more empowered from knowledge, and I felt the
spirit in his class. It IS easy to get an A in his class, but that's what
made it easier to focus on what he was really trying to teach us. What's really amazing is that he didn't have to give us a grade to get us to
study, instead he gave us more. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." In this analogy, Brother
Bott has not only taught us how to fish, but he has given us the desire to want
to fish. Bro. Bott has given us the tools we need in knowledge as well as the
desire to study and the love of it. My testimony and my excitement for life has
grown since his class.
None of these comments are going to retract this award from brother Bott. Just
stop being obnoxious and accept the fact that he is an amazing man who changes
I have had Brother Bott as a Teacher and as a neighbor....He is 100% real, down
to earth, encouraging and inspiratinal. Does he deserve this honor???
Absolutely! He instructs, educates, and inspires others to make their lives
here upon this Earth better. Do people respect him and remember him?
Absolutely! Do they remember his lessons years later and pass on his wisdom???
Absolutely! He is a great teacher! In this over analyzed, pessimistic,
depressing world....thank goodness there is a Randy Bott!
Bott is a great. I have great respect for him. however, the reason why
students love him so much is because he;s very easy. I took from him. All his
tests are take home. There are many professors at BYU that are equal in
teaching skills, just not willing to give out A's.
People who are posting about the university/academic value of BYU Religion
courses don't understand the system. Before you can critique and judge a class
as unworthy in some way (ie. not a valid university class because of lack of
difficulty), you have to figure out what the standard is.These courses
aren't there to validate my engineering degree...they are there in addition to
my normal course load. BYU, as a private religious university, has added
religion course requirements, beyond the standard accredited coursework for
general education and whatever degree you're in. As such, it doesn't make sense
to hold them up to some perceived standard for university courses...academic
rigor doesn't have to exist here (although it definitely does for some religion
teachers) and that's just fine. It can still be fulfilling, achieve the school's
aims in providing the class, and provide what the student wants from the
course.Heaven forbid we learn something in college that useful in everyday
My love for Brother Randy Bott goes back 26 years to 1981 at Sky View High
School in Smithfield, Utah where I was fortunate to be in his seminary class.
He was phenomenal then too and impacted my life. That was my junior year and
Brother Bott's classes were so in demand that the seminary had to limit
enrollment. They made a rule that students could only take his class once so
that others could have a turn. However, my senior year came and I tried another
teacher -- all of 2 days -- and just couldn't take it anymore. I HAD to get back
into Brother Bott's class. I couldn't imagine my senior year without him in it.
I was fortunate -- they let me switch back to his class. Now fast forward 26
years. I teach high school and university classes, and I quoted Brother Bott
just the other day in my Economics class (if you're wondering how that fit, it's
a story for another time), but I have to tell you, I love Randy Bott! Brother
Bott, if you are reading this, you may not remember me, but there are plenty of
us who remember you.
Bro. Bott is a wonderful man! I agree with many of you that he deserves the
recognition he has received. What in inspirational teacher, and among the very
best at BYU. I was prepared for my mission to Washington D.C. because of the
things he taught in his missionary prep course. What a great man!
This is an honor but it really doesnt matter a hill of beans. Brother bott is a
great teacher, however, it says in the article that he knows he is not the best
in the country. He isnt arguing or saying he is the best. So what is everybody
getting all huffy about? Its hilarious to see so many get upset about it. and to
come on this board and start arguing about the validity of the recognition of
this man. Is it really that important to you that we prove he doesnt deserve it?
What a waste of effort. Go do something good with your time.
I took three classes from Brother Bott. They were the BEST classes I have ever
taken...EVER! He is an amazing professor and has so much wonderful advice, I
would consider his Mission Prep. class more of a "Life prep. class," because
what he teaches you can be applied to all the different stages of your life. He
The truths I ingested through professor Bott's mission prep lectures were
indispensable to me throughout my entire mission. I found myself quoting him,
and quoting his quotations, to countless Elders and members of the churches
where I served. Truth is carried to and planted in the heart. Professor Bott
knows this and shares the down-to-earth truth in a way in which it speaks for
itself. Never do I recall even feeling the notion that he wanted to "sell" a
concept or idea, nor, on the other hand, did I ever doubt that 100% of his heart
was behind everything he taught. I love the man.
i took mission prep from brother Bott in the summer, that was the most amazing
class i have ever had the opportunity to experience. if you knew what the class
was like and what you can learn from it you wouldn't question it.
Putting Alfred E Newman in the same sentence with Joseph Smith or Brigham Young
was a statement on your own personal character and biases. While your questions
may have merit, your manner leaves much to be desired!
As one who served in the Fresno Mission after President Bott's tenure, let me
say how grateful I am for his service. By all accounts, he did a great deal in
really turning the mission around in terms of work and obedience, which really
began to pay off in later years as mission stats steadily climbed.
My worst fear for the future of this nation and it's future leaders is the
continued cynicism that we portray in life. Brother Bott teaches a class that
inspires students to live a better life and help others in their own lives. It
might not be a vigorous course and it might be an easy A, but I no means does it
mean that it is not important. So don't put down those that try to lift up. And
be nice, on the both sides. 1,000+ people cannot be wrong, but one cynical
person can bring the spirits of thousands down within minutes. Which is worse?
What's a real subject...American History? Maybe physical education? They teach a
class about Tupac Shakur at Harvard...but Harvard isn't known for teaching real
classes, huh. Trust me, George. His class is far more important than
most classes taught in universities. In fact, if you go back to the earliest
ancestors of the modern university (apparently you didn't pay attention in your
GE history or philosophy classes), you would see that they taught subjects
closer to Bott's classes than to our modern obsession with reading, writing, and
arithmatic. They taught to enrich the individual, and not the pocketbook.
A phenomenal teacher with a phenomenal testimony, and phenomenal knowledge of
the gospel. His intimate knowledge of the particular trials that trip up young
missionaries, coupled with his profound mastery of finding quick scripture
references ensures his class is always relevant and "researchable". What a
Come on, he doesn't teach a real subject and is therefore not a real professor
A lot of people knock the idea of getting course credit for religion classes at
BYU. First of all, it's a private religion school, of course religion classes
will be required. Secondly, they're definitely NOT fluff classes. Even if they
are easier than other classes, they're still challenging and require a lot
whether it be through testing and homework or otherwise. There's really no such
thing as an "easy" class at BYU. Don't believe the silly BYU stereotypes; it's a
very difficult university. The idea of the easy professors always
being the most popular is also wrong. Some of my hardest professors have ended
up being my favorite. It's the teaching quality of the person, not the
difficulty of the class.
Bro. Bott is the man!Hey was a great instrument in a great transformation in my
life!He deserves this honor...man of real Christlike character!I loved his
class,my best class by far!!!
It's all true! I'm in the Monday night class, and Brother Bott is incredible. I
go to great extremes to be in his class every week! I plan on taking his
Doctrine and Covenants class. He really is an amazing guy!
As a convert, I took a weekly CES class on the Pearl of Great Price from Bro.
Bott 30 years ago. No one every taught me as much as he did about the gospel as
I learned in that one class. Years of study and experience confirm all he
taught. I sent him an email after being excommunicated after not communicating
for years. He took a lot of time to write a long, well documented response that
has more positive influence than any other thing pertaining to a difficult
situation than that said by any others including General Authorities. Now with
baptism and blessings restored, that email is still a beacon of hope and light.
I know why he is ranked #1. He truly knows how to always teach by the spirit
and desires to share his testimony in a way that will lead his students to have
the blessings of the gospel. He may or may not be "the best" in normal terms but
the power of his love for Heavenly Father and each individual student eternally
changes their lives in a profound way and leaves each one closer to Jesus
I regret not taking a class from him. I loved his books. He even found my wallet
once and called me up to return it. A real honest decent guy.
The best teacher I have ever had period! He cares so much about the success of
his students not in his class but in life. He is willing to do anything for
your. I have a great love for this man and everything he has done.
Congratulations Brother Bott. Keep it up!
I've personally taken a class from Brother Bott (note: religion professors are
usually called Brother/Sister at BYU while other professors are more often
called Professor) and I loved it. I would agree with the rating that he is one
of the best because he makes his students WANT to learn. For me, that is what
makes a great professor. A great teacher not only teaches the material well,
but makes the student love it. Some of my favorite teachers from High School
and earlier years were those kinds who have also continued to influence me
today. It didn't matter what grade I got in the class, what mattered was that I
WANTED to go to class, I ENJOYED being there, and because of that, I actually
LEARNED. That's what Brother Bott does. His enthusiasm and love of his subject
is passed on to the students. That is why he consistently gets high scores. It
is not just the ease of his class or the material, it is the way he presents it
and influences a person even years after taking the class.
In the article it clarifies where the rating came from. It is from a website
called ratemyprofessors.com. At that website, the students rate their
professors so that other students can decided who they would want to take a
I personally don't equate "easy teacher" with my "favorite" or even "well-liked"
teacher. My favorite teachers are the ones who have a passion for their subject,
genuinely care about the student's learning and progression, and do all they can
to make sure everyone has a positive and productive learning experience. A sense
of humor doesn't hurt, either. I've had easy teachers that I've hated because
they were too easy!My favorite teacher by far is one in the physics
department here at BYU. There aren't many classes that I've taken in which I've
had more work assigned, but the way she has her class structured, I was able to
go over all of the material numerous times, and enjoyed every minute of it, even
though I am not a strong math or physics person. I know I will remember what I
learned in that class because she is a _great teacher_, not because she was
"easy" or "hard" or because the subject itself was any "easier" or "harder"
comparatively. I say kudos to Professor Bott for being able to encorporate
learning with life, and wish that I could take a class from him. He sounds
To the Article entitlied "For My Friendly Professor"written Dec. 11th at
4:38 p.m. I think that you have to much time on your hands, You must have alot
of time tho sit and think things up if you can do a whol article when it all
rhymes, Get a Life.
I just finished taking Bro. Bott's class this semester. All I can say is what a
great man he is. Not only does he give you incredibly useful information, he is
more than willing to help anyone who needs it. His support and care is what has
impressed me most about Bro. Bott.
I know Randy Bott doesn't like to be bragged about... but I have since graduated
and moved away and still send him emails and questions about things I wonder
about or struggle with. He has really helped me find my way through life and I
hope others can benefit from his counsel and wisdom. Some may think the "class"
is easy which is why he gets the high ratings but the lessons learned from Randy
go so far beyond the classroom. I personally gave him high ratings because I
loved learning in his class and hoped that others would experience the same.
I think that some people here are missing the meaning of this article..... This
teacher has not been voted the highest teacher at BYU but Of AMERICA!
BRO BOTT IS THE BEEEEESSSSSTTT!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that man!! I'm in his class
now and I have learned more in that class than in my whole life!! Seriously!!
My question is what criteria, standards, requirements, qualifications, and
methodology was used to place Brother Bott in this position? How was this poll
run and conducted? Was it based off of who got the most votes? I remember
several years ago when church members wanted to have President Hinckley voted in
as the Time Magazine Man of the Year and encouraged all church members to vote
for him. I am sure Brother Bott is a great and well liked Teacher,
but where did all of these votes come from? Were they just from his students
alone? Was any type of credible national survey and questionnaire conducted and
performed? Or was his nomination based on all of his students deciding to vote
him in as the best teacher at BYU? How many of them voted several times for the
same person? How do we know that the survey was conducted fairly, and what
standards and measurements were used? I bet these same students could have also
voted for Alfred E. Newman as the best teacher, or Joseph Smith, or Brigham
Young. Again was this a popularity contest on a website and whoever got the
most votes won? Please clarify!
Do we go to a university or college or any school just for a grade? (whether
hard or easy?) I would hope that we all are trying to gain an education so that
we can apply the things we learn to better the quality of our life in some way
or another. Bro. Botts influence has done that for me. He has improved my
knowledge about things secular and spiritual, and has been of much greater worth
than the tuition I paid the university to give me an education. In fact a price
cannot be put on it. I realize that maybe it didn't do that for all, not saying
it has to, but it did it for me and I am grateful.
Ironically, Brother Wood and Brother Bott are in the same home ward (my home
ward), along with several other great professors (including my mother who
teaches at UVU). I've had the privilege of taking courses from both Randy and
Steve. They were two of the best courses I've taken at BYU.
What sets professor Bott apart from other professors is his love for his
students. His love for his students far surpasses any desire he has to be the
"best teacher". Ironically, this is what makes him the best Professor. I know. I had him.
I have been to one of Bott's class and as far as entertainment goes, he is sure
the best! His style makes you cry, makes you laugh, makes you think. Too sad for
me, I attended his class after my mission; so his teachings made me also
uncomfortable! He teaches a lot of doctrine that is not evidenced any where in
the scriptures or G.A.'s talk and articles -just like every religion professor
that did not get a graduate degree in Religion-related topic. No wonder kids
like him - easy "A", first time exposure to thought-religion, and the need of
get prepared to serve a mission. No merits taken away from Bott, but
I do think there are many other quality professors in any department at BYU that
will be at the same level than Bott (I would personnaly grade higher!)If you never read the Scriptures prior to this class, and due to this class
you now have a testimony, Kudos to you and Bott!
I have taken both mission prep and D&C from Brother Bott. He has the highest
rating because he teaches with energy, passion, and true devotion. He teaches
because he cares about the students and who they will become and influence in
their lives. He knows how to answer the most perplexing questions students have
in a way thats easy for them to understand. I believe that Brother Bott
realizes that the more As he gives, the more popular he will become. The more
popular he becomes, the more lives he will be able to influence. He has
influenced many lives for the better.
Not necessarily-- making your class a cakewalk and telling stories without
actually teaching anything could just as likely lose your students' respect.
I've known teachers that fall into that camp as well.Note how many
commenters emphasize what they have learned and how their lives have been
improved from Prof. Bott's classes. Have you been to one of his classes? Give
it a try, you might be surprised at what you see from the students.
I don't think one should be embarassed that student evaluations rated a religion
professor higher than any other professor on campus. This rating system is not
a competition between disciplines. I am confident that there were highly ranked
professors in Accounting (Norm Nemrow for example) and other disiciplines. The
fact that many hundreds of students thought that their religion professor had
done a terrific job does not diminish their appreciation for professors in other
disciplines. While some may be ashamed of such student ratings, I see them as a
ratification that BYU Provo is fulfilling one part of their mission with
excellence. I would be more embarassed if our religion teachers were being
rated as having done a poor job.
It never ceases to amaze me that regardless of how nice the comment there's
always some poor soul that wants to share his misery. Some articles should just
stand as they are without the ability to comment on them. This is one of
them.If you hate BYU, the church, the Desnews, just go away. Go find
some anti good news forum and gripe all you want elsewhere. Please?
We first met Randy and his family when they moved into our ward in Raleigh NC in
the early 1970's. What a dynamic loving caring sharing family! Randy fired up
the youth and as our High Priest's group leader livened them up too! He's been
a great role model to me and my family ever since. A great example of humble
Student rankings = popularity ratings. A lot of people are making a very big
deal about nothing. If all professors gave open book exams and spent class time
telling mission stories and other anecdotes their ratings would vastly improve,
He is my hero! I love his classes and have learned so much!
Okay, it's just weird to me that a university professor is "Brother Bott" and
not PROFESSOR Bott. Doesn't have anything really to do with whether he's a good
teacher or not, I know. But still...
I have never met anyone as inspirational as Brother Bott. He is an incrediblle
human being and a role model to everyone. I think aftr this semester i`ll drop
into all of his classes just to hear his stories again =)
I took a mission prep class from him and he was such a great teacher. I learned
so much from. He is my favorite religious professor thus far.
I just took a class from Brother Bott this past semester and he was DEFINITELY
one of my favorite teachers i have EVER had! As a recent convert, he taught me
SO much about the gospel and for that i am eternally grateful. you can ask this
man any question you want and his teachings by the spirit truly inspire you and
give you a completely different understanding on things!i think that it is
RIDICULOUS that people are on here bashing him and saying this and that about
popularity and all that and how its ridiculous we are recognizing him. i think
this article and the ratings are just students expressing their gratitude for
what he has done personally in their lives and the lessons he has taught them!!
What is wrong with an attitude of gratitude! isnt that a good thing?! Why should
a religion class have to be hard to be good? Brother Bott is more worried about
his students learning by the spirit each and everyday rather than having his
students stress about a grade. Remarkable! I have learned more from him than i
EVER have from any other teacher!CONGRATS!!!
The only A I have ever gotten in a religion course was in Bro. Bott's mission
prep class. And I honestly remember the most from his. I've had other religion
professors try to make it more academic, which translates into memorizing how
many miles Lehi's family's journey in the wilderness was, etc. Bro. Bott is not
necessarily my favorite professor I've ever had, but I do think he's a good
teacher and deserves some recognition. And who cares, anyways? It's the rankings
on ratemyprofessor.com--not Businessweek or something.
Ha! Ha! Nice poem up above. I've written poetry before and unless you're gifted
at it, it's work. Yep, even if everything rhymes with "ot". : - )
The absolute best teachers, regardless of subject matter are those who can creat
a 'thirst for more'. Does it matter if the instructor is enteraining if the
students master and internalize the subject matter?
President Bott is an outstanding teacher who has an amazing ability to apply the
Gospel to real world problems. I am forever grateful for the 2 years I spent
under his guidance and leadership. Congratulations to a great man. And if I
know him at all, I know that all of this media fuss is driving him crazy!
Brother Bott is amazing. period. Yes, an A is fairly attainable but
why should a religious course set you up for failure? I've learned more in his
classes than I have in any other class at BYU. He gets the vote
because he is a wonderful person. He spends 3-4 hours EVERY DAY answering emails
and meeting with students. He smiles and says hello to every student that walks
into his class, its little things like that that change people's lives. He goes
above and beyond the call of duty for a teacher.
I live in NC & have been able to attend Education Week for the last 3 years.
When I was at BYU in 2007 I ended up in one of Randy's classes (hadn't planned
on it) & was instantly hooked & attended all his other classes at Ed. Week. I
was so disappointed that he was not teaching this year. He was one of the best
instructors at Ed Week (I also love Mark Beecher). Brother Bott deserves all
the accolades he gets. BYU is so luck to have him!
Brother Bott knows more about his subject than any other professor I know. He
will quote scripture, journals, various talks and documents, and tell you the
page and where on the page you will find it, no matter which book it is in or
any question you ask. He never makes things up and if there is any uncertainty
in his mind he will let you know. If only science teachers were so knowledgeable
and full of useful information...and could teach you in a way that you would
remember it for the rest of your life.
Brother Bott is the best teacher I have ever had. I give Norm Nemrow a second
best and the classes are totally different. Norm's instruction is in Accounting
200 and 210 (acc210 is one of the hardest weed-out classes in the accounting
program at BYU...Which is rated #1 in the country right now). So comparing this,
I put the skill that someone presents information, how much you can learn in the
time put in, and how valuable the information is. I am not an accounting major,
but I have taken more than 180 credits for a major and 2 minors and that is how
it stands in my book. The hardest classes don't make them the best, its how much
useful information you take with you is how your education/educator is rated.
I graduated from BYU-Hawaii. I learned more from some professors than others,
including religion professors, and it was the same case for all other students
on campus. My learning process was not the same as everyone elses-that's what
makes it mine. Ranking one professor better than the other is relative to the
perspective of each evaluator. In this case, the majority of the students'
perspectives indicated Brother Bott as being the best professor. Perhaps, this
doesn't fit with others' perspectives, but it certainly fits with the majority.
To me, that says something special about the professor. Furthermore, to say
that a religion class is more likely to be considered a student's faviorite
class because of the subject matter makes no sense to me-at all. In fact,
although many students, includig myself, at BYUH learned important things from
their religion class, they didn't always enjoy them, often because of the
professor's teaching style and ability. They would much more prefer going to a
class to satisfy their major than a religion class. In other words, I don't
think the students were saying, I like Bro. Bott's class because it's easy, they
just learned more from him than other professors.
I think you kind of missed that whole promise from god about us "progressing
through life in much grander ways if we center our lives around the gospel."
Thats too bad that you cant see that.
Thank you, Brother Durrant! Every day is now my Best Day So Far.
I loved Bott, Baugh, Brinley, Ball, and many others at BYU in the religion
department. It is truly an allstar heterogenous group. I think people need to
understand that the purpose of religious classes at BYU is to build faith and
discipleship. It is to have a personal impact on individual lives. Secondly to
that purpose is to increase spiritual intelligence and inquisitiveness about
religion and to develop life long religious learners. If I taught religion, I
would measure my success by how much personal application my pupils were
deriving from my teachings. I teach residents about surgery. I am
not a good teacher but I think some of my successful "teaching" is when I have
been able to help one of my residents in their personal life with critical
issues. I have found that I have greater satisfaction from helping a resident
with difficult personal issues than in helping them be excellent surgeons. It
is easier to guide a resident into being an excellent surgeon than it is to help
guide or mentor a person with real life dihlemas into a better way of life.... I
am a little jealous of Bott; don't discount his real world teaching!
You are embarrassed that students have connected with this man and been inspired
by him enough to want to take the time to voice their opinion of him? Do you usually embarrass this easily, or are you just taking this whole thing
a bit too seriously? (said with a smile)Lisa
Wow Embarrassed for BYU missed to whole point of his educations. I am just
pretty sure you are bitter about something else in you life and you can fathom
why the rest of the world can see some thing you can't. BYU is not just a
glorified institute it is a school that aims its education at rounding
individuals so that they can go into the world and be not only up standing
citizens with a good education but go forth in there communities as religious
and civic leaders.Brother Bott does focus on a lot feel good subjects but
i can honestly say that as an individual i have developed through his classes
into a stronger person over all. Just because you got your two degree's
doesn't mean that you should be embarrassed for those of us who have gotten so
much more out of out education here at BYU.
As an alumnus with two degrees from BYU (engineering/MBA), I am embarrassed by
this. The most popular professors at other universities are in business,
mathematics and philosophy. Picking a religion professor as the best BYU has to
offer reinforces the opinion that some have of BYU as a glorified seminary
(which, in my experience, it was not). It seems that there is always
a touchy-feely religion professor at BYU will some type of following. Back in
the day, it was Pace and Benson. These professors are short on academics and
long on "feel good". They have no place in an institution of higher learning.
Good job to Brother Bott! For those of you who think this isn't a real class, it
is, with real life teachings. Sure, someone in physics or science might be a
better teacher of secular knowledge, but it truly is difficult to find someone
that has the ability to take gospel principles, and really teach you had to
apply them, and in turn, change your life. Stop diminishing his accomplishments,
because he has changed lives. If you don't agree, then just start giving your
physics and math teachers better ratings...
Are we voting?! On the Institute Teacher All Star Ballot, think about it?
Bro BottHas Taught!And GotUs Caughtin learning alot!We treasure what's sought.He says he's notattractively hot,but that's a tittle and jot,compared to his life's plot.For he has
foughtfor what he aught!And when he takes a trotback to his
youghtlies in his cot,he gives a thought:"Do I care to be
attractively hot?"He thinks for a second..."maybe.." "NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"for in the end its not how much you've
boughtor if you know exactly where to place the dotAll those things
they got to rotAnd are for naught,Cuz in the end it's the love
you've wrought!Thanks Brother Bott!!! :)
I loved Bro Bott's class! He knows so much and has a great way of teaching that
isn't showy of austere at all. His humility it truly admirable.
Some of you say that entertainment is the reason we took his classes... it is
true. There are other religion teachers whose teaching styles are dry and
uninviting. What's wrong with taking a class from a teacher who presents a
subject in such an endearing, meaningful, yet truthful way? I loved Brother
Bott's classes. I always wanted to be in class because it was interesting.
I am a junior at BYU right now. I have taken a large variety of classes, from
Political Science, Biology, to Acting and Music. I have put my all into every
class and, as a result, procured very good grades. However, grades don't really
matter unless the material stays with you. People say that the harder you work
the more the material is ingrained in your brain. I disagree. The class that I
had to work the least for (mission prep/religion 130) I remember the most
material for. I remember more from President Bott's class than from any other
class I have taken at BYU combined. I have been able to successfully apply the
material in my life because it was actually relevant to it. So those people who
think that students have to half kill in order to retain anything has either
never taught, or is not a good teacher.Congratulations President
Bott, you deserve this award and much much more.
I have Bro. Bott right now. While several have made good points about religion
classes not being as rigorous, I don't believe that is the reason Bro. Bott is
ranked as highly as he is. I will agree that it is easy to get an A in his
class, but I don't think that's a reflects negatively on his teaching abilities
at all because in order to earn an A, you must go to class, you must pay
attention, you must complete the reading assignments, and you must do the tests.
I've been through 5 semesters at BYU, and never have I learned more in a class
than I learned from Bro. Bott this semester. He is an inspiring man,
someone his students want to be like and enjoy learning from. I found it easy
to get an A because I ENJOYED going to class everyday, I took as many notes as I
could because he made me want to learn, and I contemplated his lessons often
because of the power and truth behind them. If making his students feel like I
do does not make him a legitimate candidate for the "best teacher", I don't know
Yeah! Brother Bott is the best. I was a transfer student from BYU-Hawaii who
thought about transfer back because I couldn't apply for my major. However,
after I took the first class from Brother Bott, I changed my mind and decided to
stay.He is AWESOME! I love him:]
I would have voted him tops too if I had the chance. He was my bishop and my
teacher while I was at BYU and I found his lectures and personal advice to be
life changing in all the best ways. Congrats!
Brother Bott is great. Loved taking his miss. prep class a few years ago.
re: Timj | 12:21 p.mMisplaced antecedent, my bad."10
years later I still remember his teachings" to me is the mark of a good teacher.
Agree about Dr. Wood -- phenomenal (his wife is also an outstanding humanities
teacher...they were 2 of the best 5 I had at BYU). I enjoyed Brother Bott a
lot, especially as it was right before my LDS mission, but I don't think I'd put
him in my personal top 5 best teachers...maybe most likeable, but not best.
"Congrats Bro. Bott | 7:10 a.m. Dec. 11, 2008Brother Bott really is
awesome! I took 2 classes from him at BYU, and learned so many things, that I
actually use in my every day like, unlike most of what I learned in college!"How funny!!! How TRUE!
WHy does BYU always make the nes for everything? their are other Universitys
that should make the news rather that BYU, I have heard him speak before at
Education Week, But why is that?
I had the opportunity to take one class from Brother Bott and sit in on another.
He has amazing insights and students are dumbfounded by his subject knowledge.
It is no wonder to me that this professor is top-ranked. Congratulations to
Brother Bott and Brigham Young University for this great honor.
I really enjoyed my class at BYU from Susan Easton Black. She loves her
material (Church History) and her enthusiasm is very contagious. I never worked
harder in a religion class at BYU, and yet I still didn't earn a top grade. She
is superb. Take a class from her if you can.
I wish that more teachers would catch on to the fact that memorizing for a test
is not learning. Life is open book and is way challenging. If a professor is
really interested in a student learning he will accomodate that learning by not
stressing the student out so much that it deletes his memory of the class
material within a short time of cramming for the final. Yay for Brother Bott
for allowing and promoting his students to succeed in the class and after!!
Susan Easton Black is arguably the WORST professor at BYU, not the best. Her
class was by far one of the most dry and tortuous experiences of my life. And I
will never get over how much she can't get over herself. If I heard one more
time how many words she personally wrote and published about Joseph Smith...
Brother Bott is a great teacher not only because his lessons are memorable but
because they are life changing. The things he teaches and in the ways he teaches
them change the very nature of many of his students. This is because at the
center of his teachings is an immense testimony of and love for the Atonement of
Jesus Christ. I have had Brother Bott for D&C and never has any study of the
scripture been more real and applicable to my life than it has after having been
taught by Randy Bott.
My only regret is that I waited until my senior year to take a class from Randy
Bott. He is an incredible human being. Words can't do him justice, but spend
five minutes with the man and you will feel the greatness that radiates from his
Can teaching Missionary Prep really be considered a university course? Do these
students actually get credit for that? HA!
If he wasn't as great as this article said, would he be the top ranked teacher?
Obviously his students like him.
I haven't actually taken any classes from Brother Bott but I would like to argue
that not all classes need to be difficult to be fulfilling. Although I would
say that my favorite classes are ones that stretch me academically, a schedule
full of those classes would take all fun away from the challenge. A bit of
balance is good. I try and format my schedule with some more rigorous classes
and some classes that are more "fluffy" so that I can do well in all of them.
That said - I think it's great that Brother Bott is doing so well, and
unfortunate that so many people would be quick to judge his success as cheap
because of the nature of the class. All topics of study have worth, no matter
their stigma for difficulty or ease.
A subject that lends itself to memorable lessons is the mark of a good
teacher?Am I missing something here? The subject one teaches is the mark
of a good teacher? I don't think so.I took other religion classes at BYU
that required a lot of deep thought and hard work. Those classes were deeper,
more meaningful, and more difficult than Bott's class.I took Bott's D&C
class one semester when I had a tough schedule and I needed a super easy
religion class so I could focus on the other classes.I'd taken his
Missionary Prep class and knew he was an easy teacher.With all the
quality, yet demanding, religion professors at BYU, I took the quality easy one.
I'm still a little bit ashamed of that decision.I'm glad so many seem to
get so much from his class. I'm doubtful, however, if students should really be
receiving credits for so little work. And I think we should be careful before
we equate the most popular professor with the best professor--I think those are
very different things.
I too had 2 semesters of Doc&Cov from Bro. Bott, about 10 years ago. Sure it
was an easy class. But you know what? 10 years later I still remember his
teachings on receiving revelation, personalized temptations, chastening and
correction, preparation, dealing with weakness, respect for other beliefs, and
of course missionary work.Perhaps the subject lends itself a little
better to memorable lessons more than your typical organic-chemistry (or
fill-in-your-least-favorite-subject) class, but that to me is the mark of a good
teacher. Which do you value more, that hard-earned B+, or the effect in your
life from what you've learned?
I'm not disagreeing that these type of religion courses provide a great deal of
worth to students. But it also tough to argue that they provide any kind of
academic rigor. They are honestly fluff courses that nonetheless provide a great
deal of life-long worth.
I agree that Brother Bott is an amazing man, and I also think he's right that he
isn't the best professor in the department, but he got the wrong one. Sister
Black is great, but Alex Baugh is the absolute best, and is the best-kept secret
I took three classes from Brother Bott during my years at BYU. All of them were
superb. His 10 page open-note open-book tests are not just an easy way to get an
"A" grade. They have a purpose.A great professor and a great man!
I'm sure Bro. Bott would agree that entertainment is not the purpose of higher
education. Having attended two semesters of his classes, I can attest that
entertainment is not the purpose of his classes, either. Sure, he has a sense
of humor, but that's not what he (nor his students) are there for. Sad that you
have nothing better to do than bash people who are legitimately trying to do
good things.As for grades, "hard class" does not always equal "good
class", and "easy" does not always equal "worthless." I've taken plenty of very
hard courses (advanced math, physics, computer science -- I'm working on a PhD)
that would surely rival the rigor of anything the MBA or Accounting programs can
dish out. Yet I still find great value in what I learn in many other "easy"
(but worthwhile) classes like Bro. Bott's. In fact, as a grad student I don't
get credit or grades for attending his class. Grades aren't what I'm at school
for anyway-- I proved I could get A's long before I ever came to BYU.
Regardless of whether he really is or isn't, this was fun to read, and I'm sure
he it is easy to get an A from someone you enjoy listening to and interacting
with. I always did worse in the classes the teacher was either boring or just
down right unpleasant in, and better in the classes with excited and animated
professors, regardless of the subject and how smart or stupid I personally was
in them. It's called engaging or not so much.
"As a footnote, I agree with Bro. Bott, Sister Black is an amazing teacher--I
was lucky enough to be in her classes when I was at BYU."I'm glad to
hear more than one person, including Bott, say Sister Black is a good teacher.
I know of her writings and researching, but I listened to a talk of hers on BYU
tv and while interested in the topic I was bored out of my head because of the
monotone, emotionless presentation. Must have been an off-day for her.
I had Brother Bott and loved taking his class; I recommended it to others. He
is one of many fantastic faculty I experienced across several disciplines at
BYU, and I think there may be a grain of truth in Timj's argument that he gets a
few extra votes here and there because people appreciate the ease of his class
as well as his abilities as a teacher (which, as I said, really are great!).
By the way, I also had Dr. Wood and thought he was one of the best
professors I've ever had--truly a gifted teacher as well. Although
I appreciated and enjoyed the variety of teaching methods I experienced at BYU,
I personally learned more from teachers who challenged me and made me earn my
grades. But different students respond to different teaching styles; what's
good for one student's learning may not be ideal for another's.
Back to the Future is right on. The purpose of higher education is NOT
entertainment! I took Bott's class years ago, and he strives for a particular
brand of entertainment: the LDS brand that is filled with all the speculation,
warm fuzzy myths and nonsense you can pack into a 50 minute class period! There
is absolutely NO rigor to the grading - you would actually have to WORK VERY
HARD to get anything lower than an A. And how competitive is a missionary prep
class anyway? Try the Accounting classes and Business Management classes at the
Marriott School and see how a REAL rigorous educational experience is supposed
to be!This is such a joke it is not even funny!
Taking a class and getting an education are 2 different things if you're the
student. Lecturing to students and teaching them are 2 different things if
you're the professor. Brother Bott clearly teaches and the students are clearly
learning and receiving an educaitn in something which pertains to their lives. I
wasn't fortunate enough to take a class from him by my son did and he was well
prepared for the realities of mission life.As a footnote, I agree
with Bro. Bott, Sister Black is an amazing teacher--I was lucky enough to be in
her classes when I was at BYU.
There are many wonderful, gifted teachers in the CES. My father taught for
seventeen years in this system. The best teacher is the one who teaches by the
spirit and helps us to learn by the Spirit. How do we really grade teachers? and
why is so important that we bring attention and "Praise the Man". Is praise and
recognition so important in the Gospel Plan? No. We have had many wonderful
teachers in our lives, from Primary teachers to Home teachers. Lets all be of
"One Heart and One Mind"? Brother Bott doesn't care about the recognition of
being one of the best teachers, so why is so important to others/students to
Praise the Man? Is this the attitude and general state of our members?
He was my favorite teacher, and that was 10 years ago.
Now the BIG SECRET for how the rest of you out there can go to a class taught by
the wonderful Brother Bott-----He almost always teaches classes at BYU Education
Week, held every August. This week is the BEST KEPT SECRET of the Church. The
BEST week of vacation you'll ever spend! Mary Ellen Edmunds, John Bytheway, S.
Michael Wilcox, Susan Easton Black, Doug Brinley, Paul Warner, Randle Wright,
Kathy Headlee, Robert Millet, and oh so many more. Plus an Apostle--ahhhhhh, how
am I going to wait til next August???!!!!
I'm afraid I'm not overly impressed. Being top-ranked as a teacher means a lot
when it's difficult concepts like math or statistics but when it's feel good
topics like religion people are bound to enjoy the class more just by virtue of
the topic. I think even Brother Bott would concede that.
Randy Bott is an even better person and priesthood leader. His testimony, along
with his keen sense of humor, have inspired thousands to become better men and
women (Bott's teachings in the mission field included the fact that you would
need a sense of humor to attain the Celestial Kingdom and to survive missionary
"He really is that good. I sat in on his class a few times and he knows the
gospel better than anyone. If there is ever an empty seat I'd be surprised. Glad
to see a BYU professor is #1!!! Let's try to see people knock BYU's education
now."RR must be a BYU grad. Did you read, RR, how the "best
teacher" was arrived at? What does that have to do with BYU's education? The
kids like him? Wow.
I have to disagree with you. I am a teacher now, and I see many very difficult
teachers in this school who are the most popular in the school. I remember my
high school days and the teachers that I remember most were the ones who touched
my life,helped me to learn, and taught a subject I was interested in. My BYU
days it was the same way, the best professors were the ones that taught a
subject I enjoyed and ones that I learned from. Some of my toughest teachers
were my favorites, and some of the easier ones were also favorites. I took
Randy Bott and the class is easy, but I learned more from that class than almost
any other, because he had a passion for teaching, and I enjoyed the material he
taught. I still use the things I learned in his class to this day and will
continue to the remainder of my life.
Popularity is a fickle thing. I'm sure Brother Bott is well-grounded enough to
know that. Here's hoping he doesn't write a book that an apostle will have to
quote in a devotional address and call it "plain sectarian nonsense," as Elder
McConkie had to do many years ago.
He was my grandfather's favorite professor at BYU.
I'm not saying he's not a great teacher.But an easy teacher that teaches a
subject students are already interested in will have a much easier time getting
high marks than a teacher who grades hard and teaches a difficult subject.I taught high school for a couple of years, and there were times I was much
too easy on the kids--and I was popular for that very reason. The teacher next
door was a better teacher, with more experience, and harder on the kids--and he
wasn't as popular. I changed my ways, but fact is: easier teachers will be more
popular, even if they don't deserve that popularity.Again, Bott's a fine
teacher. But the best teachers require more from their students.
As someone who attended both Utah and BYU (I received two degrees from BYU) I
can tell you that BYU is truly the EDUCATION OF THE WHOLE MAN. The academics
are superior, but the spiritual side is just as important. Most universities
neglect or even denegrate the spirituality of life. At BYU all aspects of life
are celebrated.I feel very blessed to have been able to attend my
religion classes at BYU and I am a true blue COUGAR.
He teaches Doctrine and Covenants, too. His class is easy, but I learned so
much in both classes. He maybe wasn't my all-time favorite teacher at BYU, but
I think that students just can't miss his enthusiasm. You can tell that he
loves the subject, teaching, and his students.
BTF . . . = knucklehead. How's that for a point ?
Though I didn't take classes from Bro. Bott nor did I go to BYU (USU grad), I
did go to college and had hard classes and easy classes. I wouldn't base my best
professors on whether they gave me an 'A' or not, nor would I rate them whether
they were tough or not. My take is that Bro. Bott is being rated highly because
of the influence he had on so many people. We should all be that lucky.I love to see that it's a religion class that everyone loves to go to. Many
believe, as do I, that the most important things in life have God as their
center. You may feel that a chemistry class and/or professor deserves a greater
mark, but the fact that it's an open book, open note religion professor who
promotes the most important aspects of life gives me hope. The ideas and
principles taught may not get you the house, car, etc., but by living these
principles will lead to a far greater happiness. The true 'test'
will be how they live their life after leaving BYU...Hopefully they all get A's.
to Wondering | 5:45 a.m. Dec. 11, 2008 It doesn't count toward any
major. At BYU, everuy undergraduate is required to take a religion class every
semester until graduation or the # of required hours is reached.
His class was certainly the easiest one I ever took at BYU. Easy easy A.
Easier than getting an A in an education course.Religion courses at BYU
are pretty much part of the GE courses. Most of them are actually fairly
rigorous (Botts classes being the exception).He is a good teacher. But
he's certainly not the best at BYU. The best teachers demand more from their
students.My nomination for best professor at BYU would be Professor Wood
in the chemistry department. A great guy, an amazing teacher, a fairly tough
class. Of course, he doesn't give out a gazillion A's, so he'll never get as
high of rankings as Bott does.
Brother Bott is the best. He made class interesting, fun, and useful. I feel
like his mission prep class really did help me substantially on my mission.
Congrats Br. Bott.
Blessings, even rich blessings are in store.
Brother Bott really is awesome! I took 2 classes from him at BYU, and learned
so many things, that I actually use in my every day like, unlike most of what I
learned in college!
Dear Back to the Future:Are you still eating those dill pickles for
You missed the point. Also you demonstrate that you do not have too analytical
of a mind if you are unable to understand the first comment you poke fun at. All
I can ask myself is "who are you?" If you don't understand the gist or bent of
an article please don't comment on it.
How pathetic does your life have to be that you are willing to take the time to
lambaste the work of a good person? Perhaps if you had been part of
"an academic enterprise" of any real worth you would spend your time reading the
classics and not breaking down that which you could never understand.
Brother Bott sounds like an incredible teacher! I had Brother Pace when I went
to BYU back in the 60's-70's, and he was a great religion teacher too! Most BYU
teacher's, if teaching by the Spirit, leave students with lasting impressions
which help guide there lives forever! To me, that is the BYU Blessing!
Sounds like grade inflation: Our religion professors get very high scores. If
you're not excellent, you're not average.
Good for Brother Bott! I had the privilege of being one of his seminary students
at Sky View High School when he taught there in the early 1980s. He made a major
impression on my life and I understand the gospel of Christ better because of
his influence. Thank you Brother Bott.
I never took a course from him, unfortunately--I couldn't get in, but I have
read one of his books that was a very useful resource on my mission. I'm
grateful for what he does.
I would very much like to take a course from this obviously wonderful professor.
It appears that he is a fantastic man and teacher. Having said that, I'm
wondering how this course can count for credit towards a degree for anything
other than a religion major.
Brother (err. President) Bott was my mission president when I first arrived on
my mission to Fresno. But he finished his mission when I was 3 weeks out, so I
never got to know him very well. But I was impressed with him none-the-less.Another person who taught fantastic mission prep classes 15 years ago was Ed
J. Pinegar, (Over at the old UVSC). I loved him so much! I still remember his
wonderful inspirational lesson's in class.
He really is that good. I sat in on his class a few times and he knows the
gospel better than anyone. If there is ever an empty seat I'd be surprised.
Glad to see a BYU professor is #1!!! Let's try to see people knock BYU's
Randy was my neighbor for years, then I became his home teacher. A pure spirit
who I grew to love. He lives his religion. He is deserving of this honor. Great
family, great man and a true Christian.