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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 the administration in the temple could begin. In this book, Jennifer Mackley details the emergence of the temple rituals from washings and anointings to proxy baptisms; the endowment to plural sealings; from the first rebaptism to the last priesthood adoption. 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.
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Jennifer Ann 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 of researching Wilford s life within the context of LDS Church history. She has presented her discoveries in many forums and to a variety of audiences, and other historians have relied on her research.Review:
This book is well-written. Whereas other LDS book-writers sometimes show only a superficial grasp of the Gospel, the author displayed a depth of understanding deeper than what was in her text. As such, it was evident that she could have written more. And whereas other writers sometimes water-down points of doctrine to make it easier to appeal to a less conservative audience, it was especially refreshing to read a book that was true to the Spirit. I was impressed! --Jim F.
Mackley...organizes an immense amount of statistics, events, numbers, and peoples covering almost nine full decades. She then presents a compelling history, at times personally intense, of Wilford Woodruff and the Restoration with its myriad events and people....The large and inclusive body of end notes permits the discriminating reader and researcher and scholar to pursue issues of interest further.... Reading the work was pleasurable for me, not a remark that I can easily make for all those who write in our field.... Her narrative is easily delivered and easy to follow.... Mackley has done very well, and her work will fill the slot on the bookshelf. Buy one for yourself and give copies as gifts for your friends because this is a serious book for serious scholars of Mormonism. --Melvin J.
This is heavier reading than I usually do, with a lot to absorb. It's not a book to rush through. I learned a lot and the subject matter is thoroughly covered. A persistent theme runs the book's entirety but hopefully leaves readers inspired to share in Woodruff's vision of temple work. Many little-known facts keep the reader's interest. Also, I loved that there were photographs on every page or two. What amazed me the most was the author's ability to work quoted and footnoted material seamlessly into her narration. This historical, religious book reads like a narrative story with events and dialogue and interesting facts. The research and level of organization is astounding. How she kept track of everything and put it together so well leaves me impressed and amazed. --Renae
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