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Visions in a Seer StoneJoseph Smith and the Making of the Book of Mormon$
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William L. Davis

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655666

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655666.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Laying Down Heads in Written and Oral Composition

Laying Down Heads in Written and Oral Composition

(p.14) Chapter Two Laying Down Heads in Written and Oral Composition
Visions in a Seer Stone

William L. Davis

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter Two explores Joseph Smith's personal style of composition in relation to contemporary print conventions, as well as early American education and popular preaching methods and techniques. The chapter focuses on the method of "laying down heads," or the use of preliminary outlines to compose and deliver sermons. The chapter begins with a brief look at John Walker's popular system of composition in early American education, followed by an exploration of the techniques in relation to Congregationalist preaching styles practiced in the Connecticut River Valley, where Smith spent much of his childhood. Smith's older brother, Hyrum Smith, attended Moor's Indian Charity School, an institution created by Congregationalist preacher Eleazar Wheelock in conjunction with the formation of Dartmouth College. The preaching style taught at the school reflected the semi-extemporaneous style of the famous preacher, George Whitefield, and provides evidence of a Smith family member receiving formal instruction in preaching styles, delivery, and rhetorical performance.

Keywords:   Composition, Congregationalist Preaching, Dartmouth College, Eleazar Wheelock, George Whitefield, Hyrum Smith, John Walker, Laying Down Heads, Moor's Indian Charity School, Preaching

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