Wilford Woodruff's Witness: The Development of Temple Doctrine

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9780615835327: Wilford Woodruff's Witness: The Development of Temple Doctrine
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The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' temple doctrine begins in 1823, when Joseph Smith is taught of the ancient prophet Elijah's mission to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers." Following the restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods in 1829 and the conferral of priesthood keys in 1836, temple ordinances were introduced through Joseph Smith. After Smith's death in 1844, his successor Brigham Young refined the rituals according to Smith's instructions, administered new ordinances, and suspended others as the Church and circumstances evolved. In 1894, the prophet Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that would resolve unsettled issues and establish modern temple worship. Over the course of the nineteenth century, Woodruff was a witness to and catalyst in the implementation of temple ordinances and practices. Through the years he continued the pattern of seeking revelation in order to clarify rites and effect changes based on practical experience. Jennifer Mackley's meticulously researched biographical narrative chronicles the development of temple doctrine through the examination of Wilford Woodruff's personal life. The account unfolds in Woodruff's own words, drawn from primary sources including journals, discourses, and letters. It follows Woodruff's experiences and perspectives on decisions made by Smith, Young, and John Taylor in relation to the temple ceremonies and ordinances during their tenures as leaders of the LDS Church. The book explores how Woodruff came to firmly believe in revelation and the role of prophets but not expect perfection in either. Ultimately, the narrative emphasizes the personal side of Woodruff's historically significant life, conveying the depth of his sacrifices for his beliefs, the importance he placed on the redemption of his extended family--both living and dead--and the impact this level of focus had on his daily pursuits. Mackley elucidates the doctrine's sixty-year progression from Old Testament practices of washings and anointings in the 1830s, to the endowment, sealings, and priesthood adoptions in the 1840s, through all of the vicarious ordinances for the dead in the 1870s, to the sealing of multigenerational families in the 1890s--all in an understandable reference work for members of the LDS church and anyone else interested in its history and development. Her narrative is enhanced by 120 archival images (some previously unpublished), as well as extensive footnotes and citations for the reader's further study. Many existing books discuss specific temple ordinances, but the complete history of all temple ordinances has never been included in a single volume--until now.

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From the Inside Flap:

At the age of 26, Wilford Woodruff joined a church that had existed for only three years. The church was led by Joseph Smith, a 28-year-old who declared to the world that he had been chosen by God to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ and establish God's kingdom on the earth. Wilford enthusiastically participated in the ordinances Joseph introduced in Kirtland in the 1830s and in Nauvoo in the 1840s. However, Joseph was murdered before the implications of the "higher ordinances" could be fully understood, and before their administration in the temple could begin.

In Wilford Woodruff's Witness author Jennifer Mackley details the emergence of temple rituals--from washings and anointings to proxy baptisms; the endowment to plural marriage sealings; from the first rebaptism to the last priesthood adoption. Learn why Wilford Woodruff believed that if revelation had ceased with the death of Joseph Smith and the temple ordinances had remained as Joseph introduced them, the mission of Elijah would have failed. In Wilford's own words--as preserved in his letters, discourses, and journals--find out what led him to seek additional revelation, make changes to some ordinances, and suspend or discontinue others.

What did Wilford announce in 1894 that rewrote the nature of temple work? Why was he, not Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, or John Taylor, finally able to determine how to "do exactly what God said"?

Why were the temples and temple ordinances so important to him?  Are they still important today?

From the Back Cover:

Author Jennifer Mackley is a native of Seattle, Washington. She and her husband Carter are partners in their own law firm and the parents of three children.

Jennifer's curiosity about Wilford Woodruff's vision of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence led to her 15-year odyssey researching his life within the context of LDS Church history. Jennifer has presented her discoveries in many forums and to a variety of audiences, and other historians have relied on her research and historical analyses in their publications.

Wilford Woodruff's Witness: The Development of Temple Doctrine is the first in a series. Wilford Woodruff's Wives: The Sacrifices of Saints and Wilford Woodruff's Wisdom: Letters to His Children are forthcoming. 

Cover image: Wilford Woodruff circa 1880s by Hatch and Hatch Photography, Salt Lake City, Utah. Courtesy of the Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All rights reserved.

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Book Description High Desert Publishing, LLC, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. 0615835325 Brand new softcover book! ; For the first time in a single volume, Jennifer Mackley chronicles the development of temple doctrine and practices over the course of the nineteenth century: from washings and anointings to proxy baptisms, the endowment to plural marriage sealings, the first rebaptism to the last priesthood adoption.After Wilford Woodruff's conversion in 1833, he enthusiastically participated in the ordinances Joseph Smith introduced in Kirtland and Nauvoo. However, Joseph was murdered before the implications of the "higher ordinances" could be fully understood, and before their administration in the temple could begin. Learn why Wiliford believed that if revelation had ceased with Joseph Smith's death, the mission of Elijah would have failed. Through Wilford's own words?as preserved in his letters, discourses, and journals?find out what led him to seek additional revelation, make changes to some ordinances, and suspend or discontinue other. What did Wilford announce in 1894 that rewrote the nature of temple work?The temple ordinances were central to Wilford Woodruff's faith in the restored Church. Are they still important today? ; 6" x 9"; 454 pages; Seller Inventory # 56925

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