Evaluation scholars argue that evaluation as a discipline has traditionally rested on the assumption that knowledge should and can be evaluated objectively. As a result, evaluation has focused too much on techniques and methods, becoming paramountly an objective and technical enterprise that disregards any personal or moral responsibility that evaluators have.

How would a Latter-day Saint perspective of evaluation reframe evaluation as a moral rather than technical enterprise? The doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides powerful insights for evaluation that place moral responsibility in the forefront of evaluation. Knowledge in an LDS perspective is not obtained or evaluated merely objectively; it is inextricably linked with our identity. The purposes and methods of evaluating in an LDS perspective are understood first within the context of who we are and how we live practically in the world. Because who we are and how we live subsequently founds how we go about practically and continuously evaluating in our daily lives, we are morally responsible for our evaluations.

We are God's children, given the ability and responsibility to evaluate. We evaluate our progress to see how we are doing in our journey of becoming like God, in order to learn what more we can do. We learn how to improve through the Spirit, the means by which God evaluates us. We have the responsibility to be worthy in order to evaluate well. We are therefore first responsible for evaluating ourselves, which includes learning to be evaluated by God. When we evaluate others we have the responsibility to properly prepare and help them learn how to evaluate themselves and to seek God's evaluations of them. Although we may use traditional methods of evaluation, any thing we evaluate is secondary to the goal of improving the lives of the people we hope to serve. When performed in the proper spirit, with an understanding of our moral responsibility, evaluation essentially becomes an act of charity for the improvement and growth of God's children. In reframing evaluation as a moral rather than merely technical endeavor evaluation becomes genuinely helpful and desired.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Evaluation, Moral, ethical aspects, Behavioral assessment, Psychology, Methodology, Religious aspects, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints