This thesis operates under the assumption that the earliest form of mass communication is the religious sermon as recorded in the Bible. This thesis looks to Bormann, who used a sacred to secular approach and found similarities between Puritan sermons and the rhetoric of political speeches. This research reverses that order and moves from secular to sacred by looking first at well-known American speeches and then at landmark addresses to Seminary and Institutes of Religion teachers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—and specifically at Clark's The Charted Course of the Church in Education. This single sermon, delivered in 1938, continues to shape the Seminary and Institutes program after more than seven decades. With the opening of the first LDS Seminary in 1912, the foundations of the program were laid. Yet, each generation seemed to drift away from those foundations enough that a realignment was needed. In 1938, the constitution of Church education was given in the form of the Charted Course and it has served as the realigning document ever since. Subsequent realignments occurred in 1954, and 1963. Since 1976, the Charted Course has been referenced regularly, particularly during the annual Evening with a General Authority address to Seminary and Institute teachers and, consequently, since that time, no great drift has occurred that required another major realignment. Instead, the Charted Course is now used consistently to prevent drift, not only to correct it.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Communications



Date Submitted


Document Type





LDS Church Educational System, The Charted Course, Symbolic Convergence, LDS Seminaries and Institutes of Religion



Included in

Communication Commons