Skip to comments.Lds Temple Haunted? Did Declaration of Independence signers appear as ghosts to leader? [Vanity]
Posted on 07/01/2011 6:09:25 AM PDT by Colofornian
Without saying his name, Mormon leaders and grassroots Mormons daily reference Wilford Woodruff when they interact with non-Mormons and the media.
Well, they like to tell others how polygamy is a supposed bygone of another era; how a certain Lds "prophet" in 1890 put the kabosh on it...or, at least, started a mainstream Mormon move toward monogamy.
Yet, there's a little-known episode that this same Wilford Woodruff said that occurred in the 1870s -- before becoming the head "prophet" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the last two weeks before he left the St. George, Utah temple, we have at least four accounts that claim that the spirits of the signers of the Declaration of Independence -- with George Washington -- having appeared to Woodruff.
Is the temple haunted? Were these indeed ghosts of the signers?
Could they have been demons in disguise as ghosts?
Or was the one even contemporary Mormons appeal to as the "authoritative" voice of God on polygamy vs. monogamy perhaps given to wild religious fantasies?
Furthermore, does the official Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints play down this occultic episode as being just a small event in the life of Woodruff?
Or are the sources questionable?
The answer to these last two questions is: Not at all.
In fact anybody can go to Lds.org and find Lesson 39 of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teachers Manual, where they would see a lesson plan that actually plays it up and highlights Woodruff's claims...giving credence that contemporary Mormons buy into it! -- The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers
Within the lesson plan detailing the account, Mormon church curricula writers then have their teachers ask the question:
What can we learn from these two stories? (Answers could include that those who are dead are anxious for us to perform ordinances for them and that we should be diligent in our efforts to redeem the dead.)
So official Mormon church teachings actually present the account of such occultic ghostly/potentially demonic encounters as anecdotal evidence of baptizing dead spirits!
Furthermore, Brigham Young University also includes the account as part of their curricula for incoming freshmen who have taken their "Religious Education Intro to LDS Family History (Genealogy)" course.
In the BYU version of the account, the comment includes how "those men who laid the foundation of this American Government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men."
Yet Lds doctrine is that ALL men and ALL church members of the 18th century were "apostates." Joseph Smith claimed that when entities appeared to him -- supposedly early in the 19th century -- that he was told not to join any of the churches...including any churches that the Founding Fathers of our country were part of...Plus Smith specifically said that these unnamed entities told him that "all" professors (professing believers) were "corrupt" (see Lds "scripture," Joseph Smith History, Pearl of Great Price, verses 18-20). How could the signers of the Declaration of Independence be both "choice spirits, not wicked" -- and "corrupt?"
Official Mormon doctrine emerged -- a doctrine that remains to this day -- that the historic Christian church went into complete apostasy well before the Founding Fathers came along and remained in apostasy in the 18th century. How can BYU label "apostates" the founding fathers? How can they "play it both ways" -- that the Founding Fathers were both apostates and "choice spirits, not wicked?"
Four accounts of The Haunting of St. George Temple:
1870s (Last two weeks before Woodruff left the temple):
Account #1 (BYU curricula): The following account of Wilford Woodruff helps demonstrate the importance of this work to those who are on the other side of the veil. I am going to bear my testimony to this assembly, if I never do it again in my life, that those men who laid the foundation of this American Government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. George Washington and all the men that labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord. Another thing I am going to say here, because I have a right to say it. Every one of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence with General Washington called upon me, as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the house of God for them. Men are here, I believe, that know of thisBrothers J. D. T. McAllister, David H. Cannon and James C. Bleak. Brother McAllister baptized me for all these men, and I then told these brethren that it was their duty to go into the Temple and labor until they got endowments for all of them. They did it. Would those spirits have called upon me, as an Elder in Israel, to perform that work if they had not been noble spirits before God? They would not. I bear this testimony because it is true. The spirit of God bore record to myself and the brethren while we were laboring in that way (Lundwall, 1947, p. 87). Source: Religious Education C261 Intro to LDS Family History (Genealogy)
Account #2 (personal journal of Chief Record of the St. George temple): Temple and witnessed the appearance of the Spirits of the Signers... .the spirits of the Presidents...And also others, such as Martin Luther and John Wesley...Who came to Wilford Woodruff and demanded that their baptism and endowments be done. Wilford Woodruff was baptized for all of them. While I and Brothers J.D.T. McAllister and David H Cannon (who were witnesses to the request) were endowed for them. These men.. ..laid the foundation of this American Gov., and signed the Declaration of Independence and were the best spirits the God of Heaven could find on the face of the earth to perform this work. Martin Luther and John Wesley helped to release the people from religious bondage that held them during the dark ages. They also prepared the peoples hearts so they would be ready to receive the restored gospel when the Lord sent it again to men on the earth. (Personal journal of James Godson Bleak-Chief Recorder of the St. George Temple) p. 2 of this pdf: http://chapmanresearch.org/PDF/Vision%20of%20Former%20Eminent%20Men%20in%20The%20St%20George%20Temple.pdf Glen W. Chapman, Jan, 2002, "Vision of Former Eminent Men in The St. George Temple"
Account #3 (Journal of Discourses): Every one of those men that signed the Declaration of Independence with General Washington, called upon me as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Temple at St. George, two consecutive nights, and demanded at my hands that I should go forth and attend to the ordinances of the House of God for them. Men are here, I believe, that know of this, Brother J. D. T. McAllister, David H. Cannon and James S. Bleak. Brother McAllister baptized me for all those men, and then I told these brethren that it was their duty to go into the temple and labor until they had got endowments for all of them. They did it. Would those spirits have called upon me as an elder of Israel, to perform that work, if they had not been noble spirits before God? They would not. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 19, pp. 229-231, Sept. 16, 1877)
Account #4 (Official Lds curricula): Explain that for a period of time, President Woodruff served as president of the temple in St. George, Utah. It was in that temple that endowments for the dead were performed for the first time in this dispensation (see Doctrines of Salvation, 2:171). While serving there, President Woodruff was visited by the spirits of many eminent men who had died. Invite a class member to share the following account by President Woodruff: The spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we
remained true to it and were faithful to God. These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence [of the United States of America], and they waited on me for two days and two nights.
I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon Brother McAllister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, sel. G. Homer Durham , 16061). What can we learn from these two stories? (Answers could include that those who are dead are anxious for us to perform ordinances for them and that we should be diligent in our efforts to redeem the dead.)
Source: Lesson 39 of the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teachers Manual, p. 3 -- The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers
Therefore, it cannot be written off as some mere obscure historical "tale of lore."
Ping to read later
Yes it can.
Seems like the story is drawn from Hebrews 12:1.
If you’ve been in St. George in July you’ve probably experienced the same thing that Woodruff experienced.
It’s called being “Crazy with the heat”.
You can take OUR word on it: they wasn't!!
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It seems COUNTER to the bible as told HERE:
1 Samuel 28:15-16
19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Cynical Apostate Ping
I call it Faith Promoting Propaganda and it does get hot over there in more ways than one.
I grew up in northern Utah and started hearing this ghost story on a regular basis by the time I was five years old. And the visitations in the Saint George Temple were not just those one hundred but every liar bearing testimony would give their own accounts of such.
Of course those poor unsuspecting true believers with their eyes glazed over and their bosom’s burning would be brought to tears at the mention of these farcical stories.
There is a lot of humor to be gained from this. Trouble is the faithful believers will find me to be an offensive apostate. I am a proud one.
Nice post. One of my favorite pictures
Who wrote that?
I really like it.
Careful what you ask for Saul, you just might get it.
This is the open kind of hypocrisy referenced in the vanity.
Hebrews 12:1 is referencing all of the people of faith from Old Testament times mentioned throughout Hebrews 11. You see, the people in the New Testament era didn't regard the Old Testament Jews who exercised faith as "apostates."
That can't be said of how "latter-day" Saints treat "former-day" saints -- including how they treat the Founding Fathers by lumping them en toto among the "apostate class."
Mormons claim that all...
...18th century people of faith...
...17th century people of faith...
...16th century people of faith...
...15th century people of faith...
...14th century people of faith...
...13th century people of faith...
...12th century people of faith...
...11th century people of faith...
...10th century people of faith...
...9th century people of faith...
...8th century people of faith...
...7th century people of faith...
...6th century people of faith...
...5th century people of faith...
...plus most -- if not all -- 4th century people of faith...
...perhaps the 3rd and 2nd century people of faith as well...
...were all of the "apostate" class of religious folks.
So which is it, Burkean? Are the Founding Fathers -- at least those who belonged to Christian denominations -- men of faith who are to be honored? Or are they "apostates" who are to be condemned? If you say the latter, then why was a "restoration" necessary if true Christians existed? Doesn't that mean the so-called "universal apostasy" wasn't "universal?"
(This is why we as historic Christians see Mormons & their allies who seemingly love to speak out of both sides of their mouths...depending on the audience...Glenn Beck is especially good at this in representing Mormons)
That notion of complete apostasy is interesting where Glenn Beck is concerned. He has sought to resurrect the Black robed brigade and has touted the founders as godly men and women led by the Spirit in working through the founding of this nation. All of that occurred decades before joe smith created the religion of Mormonism, so I wonder how Glenn reconciles that in his mind? ... No,I really do wonder how he does it!
Now its giraffe ghosts. Crazy I tells ya.
Of course, Mormon authorities never tell you that on the Sunday before he had the vision Wilford Woodruff went swimming ... with magnets in the pockets of his swimsuit.
This account of the ghosts of the Declaration of Independence signers is taught both to freshmen at BYU and regular church members as part of curricula.
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I can confirm that, this was often bragged about at BYU and in my LDS weekly services as well as their church published magazines and books.
There are many things that are taught and accepted and bragged about in Mormonism, which when mentioned by outsiders brings an automatic (and lying) response of ‘we don’t believe that’ or ‘that is just folk lore’. Every once in awhile you will find an honest Mormon who will say “yes, we teach that” but it is rare and, like me, they often end up leaving because they begin to see the disconnect.