Eminent Spirits Appear to Wilford Woodruff

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13 Responses

  1. John Jerdon says:

    How was he able to recognize them even if he had seen a painting or photo of them, since LDS Doctrine teaches when one dies they become spirit and resemble their eternal not earthly parents image, which is someone in the prime of their life not old age. The “Founding Fathers” certainly would not be wearing white wigs and clothing of the type worn at the signing of the Declaration of Independence! Wilford Woodruff claimed this incident was actual, not a vision or dream. Woodruff also declared that they were all men, yet when you look at the list of people for whom the work was done there are many female names! Considering how sacred Mormons hold the U.S. Constitution, how did Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863) an American Confederate General’s name make it on a list of “the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth.”, since he sought to overthrow the U.S. Government during the Civil War? From the number of English statesmen, authors and poets listed as “eminent”, it appears Woodruff made his list based upon the books in his library (Perhaps collected while serving as a missionary and Mission President in England). D&C 129 gives the three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God and exposes this story to be false.

  2. Ken Downs says:

    Thanks so much for this!

  3. Kenneth Reeves says:

    John, how can you reference latter-day scripture, accepting it as truth, yet claim the testimony of two latter-day prophets as false? If you read President Woodruff’s account in it’s entirety, he performed the ordinances for the men; there was a woman at the temple who was proxy for the “eminent women”. How did “Stonewall” Jackson make it on “the list”? That is between him and the Lord. Finally, it only makes sense that President Woodruff would load his personal library with the writings of “eminent men and women”, as judged by the Lord.

  4. J. Grant says:

    John,
    I can see that you are searching for truth. Read “The Message” by Lance Richardson. You may find answers to many of your questions there. Remember as you read that Lance isn’t a professional writer, just a man who is relating a wonderful experience!

  5. HR says:

    He could know who they were because they probably told him their names.

  6. HR says:

    Yes also those people may have gotten some things figured out after they died, because missionary work continues in the spirit world. It is entirely possible that as long as they meet the requirements, they can be baptized and receive all of their eternal blessings. Thus the need for temple work here on the earth of course, because those ordinances have to be done in the body, though they still have their spirit bodies there.

  7. Researcher says:

    Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal that he spent Sunday evening, August 19, 1877 preparing a list of some of the “noted men” of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He used Evert A. Duyckinck’s two-volume work entitled “Eminent Men and Women of Europe and America.” He added the names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States to those he had gathered from Duyckinck’s books. He waited until Tuesday, the day designated for baptismal work, to take his list to the temple, and asked John D. T. McAllister to baptize him for 54 of the 56 Signers and 45 other eminent men, including John Wesley, Columbus, Daniel Webster, Napoleon, and three generations of George Washington’s extended family. Wilford then baptized John for all the deceased U.S. Presidents, except Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan because of their actions against the Saints. That night he recorded the experience and listed the names of the eminent men in his journal.

    Along with the list of eminent men, Wilford also compiled, or directed the compilation of, a list of 68 eminent women. All but two of those women’s names were included in Evert Duyckinck’s books. Those two women are Euphroysne Parepa-Rosa and her mother Elizabeth. Her father was included on the list of other eminent men.He asked Lucy Bigelow Young, the supervisor over the female temple workers, to act as proxy and he baptized her on behalf of all the women on his list. The eminent men he listed in his journal are well-known and, for the most part, their lives are well documented. The eminent women, on the other hand, range from infamous to unknown. Some were admired figures, including the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and novelists Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Others, such as Charlotte de Corday and Marie Antoinette, were more controversial historical figures. Eleven of the women were members of George Washington’s extended family. Thirty-seven were wives of the eminent men Wilford had chosen. Although 24 of the other women he included on his list were also married, whether intentionally or by oversight, he did not include their husbands on the list of eminent men.

    Wilford Woodruff was very clear that the Founding Fathers appeared, not the other eminent men and not the eminent women. He didn’t need to recognize them, or ask for their individual names and birthdates. The Founding Fathers names were all on the Declaration of Independence and their information was widely published. The incredible impact of this experience is not diminished by the fact that he made a list of the other individuals using a book. The appearance of the Founding Fathers inspired him to turn his attention to those outside his immediate family … and has served as an inspiration for millions of other church members to do the same.

  8. Linda says:

    This is valuable information. Thank you for publishing it. I know what Wilford Woodruff said happened did in reality happen. The Holy Ghost will reveal the truth of it unto any who will pray with a sincere heart and real intent to know of this truth or any other truth. Heavenly Father knows what the truth is so just ask Him. It really is that simple.
    Linda

    • Leszek says:

      This is very valuable information, because these men were true heroes to the cause of Freedom. Today there are many who would like to discredit them as such and by doing so undermine the Constitution which they bore. The very document which laid foundation of the Last Bastion of Freedom on earth in our days.

  9. Where can I find the list of Native American Indian's that also had their Temple work done? says:

    Do you have a list of the Native American Indians that also had their work done in the Temple with all the others?

  10. Kim says:

    Hello.
    I love this!
    I have been inspired by how these great men and women appeared to Wilford Woodruff. Ever since I first heard about this, I always wondered why Emily Bronte was not there, but her sister Charlotte was. I have surmised such things as perhaps Emily wasn’t quite ready at the time, but of course, I don’t know. Sorry, just a thought. I just wanted to quickly type a little post.
    Thanks!

  11. Randy says:

    John Hancock and William Floyd did not have their work completed by Wilford Woodruff, as those founding fathers had already had their work taken care of earlier. Levi Ward Hancock is known to have done the work for his third cousin John Hancock. More info and sources at http://lds.about.com/od/historyfamilyhistory/fl/Founding-Fathers-Temple-Work-Complete.htm

  12. Sonya Ray says:

    This was so inspiring! I teach true history about the Founding Fathers in our little LDS-based private school, and this article is something I want to share with my students. I have always felt in my heart that the Founding Fathers were great men. So thank you for this!

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