Were the founding fathers of the United States wise men raised up by God to bring the principles of freedom to the world or were they in many cases immoral money-seeking schemers whose ideas are obsolete in our modern age? What is the true history and how can we be sure?
In 1877, the Founding Fathers of the United States and other eminent men and women appeared in vision to Wilford Woodruff, president of the St. George Temple, for the purpose of completing their temple work. President Woodruff, assisted by others, immediately went forth and had the ordinances performed for these men and women. Among these individuals were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, but who were the others?
The Joseph Smith Foundation has received special permission to use the book, "The Other Eminent Men of Wilford Woodruff" by Vicki Jo Anderson in the online Joseph Smith Academy InspiraWiki. We have also added many of them to the InspiraTimz (see the Eminent Spirits of Wilford Woodruff timeline). Written in a simple, yet scholarly approach, these articles are filled with exciting, staggering and faith-building stories and miracles.
Through these wiki articles you will learn astonishing facts and inspiring stories about those who came to Wilford Woodruff. These men and women were foundational in forming the basis of literature, chemistry, electronics, math, language, government and other arts and sciences.
Children today can be greatly benefited by the true story of these men and women who were among the choice spirits granted permission by God to claim their temple work. In our day, many of them have been maligned, their character polluted. For instance, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson are said to have been adulterous and immoral; but why then were they considered worthy to be included among the eminent spirits spoken of by Wilford Woodruff as "choice spirits, not wicked men?" Was Christopher Columbus really hunting for money when he discovered America? Did you know that Edmund Burke was one of the leaders repealing the Stamp Act in 1766? What about Louis Agassiz, one of the primary opponents of Darwinian Evolution? Learn all the answers to these questions and more!
"The temple work for the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence and other Founding Fathers has been done. All these appeared to Wilford Woodruff when he was President of the St. George Temple. President George Washington was ordained a high priest at that time. You will also be interested to know that according to Wilford Woodruff's journal, John Wesley, Benjamin Franklin, and Christopher Columbus were also ordained high priests at that time.
When one casts doubt about the character of these noble sons of God, I believe he or she will have to answer to the God of heaven for it. Yes, with Lincoln I say: 'To add brightness to the sun or glory to the name of Washington is . . . impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name and in its deathless splendor, leave it shining on.'" (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 604; and This Nation Shall Endure, p. 18)
As part of a new documentary by ZionVision detailing the parallels between the Book of Mormon and our day, a section will be devoted to the similarities between the Laws of Mosiah and the United States Constitution. Further information will be released in the future. Work is also continuing on the biographies of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence who also appeared to President Wilford Woodruff.
Tomorrow, we encourage you to gather your children and tell them the stories of the 56 men who gave their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" to fulfill their duty to God. Their legacy and sacrifice must not be forgotten. Below are several free resources for this memorable day:
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