Things in Heaven and Earth: The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff



Things in Heaven and Earth: The Life and Times of Wilford WoodruffWilford Woodruff Converted To The LDS Church In , He Joined A Millenarian Group Of A Few Thousand Persecuted Believers Clustered Around Kirtland, Ohio When He Died Sixty Five Years Later In , He Was The Leader Of Than A Quarter Of A Million Followers Worldwide Who Were On The Verge Of Entering The Mainstream Of American CultureBefore Attaining That Status Of Senior Church Apostle At The Death Of John Taylor In , Woodruff Had Been One Of The Fiercest Opponents Of United States Hegemony He Spent Years Evading Territorial Marshals On The Mormon Underground, Escaping Prosecution For Polygamy, Unable Even To Attend His First Wife S Funeral As Church President, Faced With Disfranchisement And Federal Confiscation Of Mormon Property, Including Temples, Woodruff Reached His Monumental Decision In To Accept US Law And To Petition For Utah StatehoodAs Church Doctrines And Practices Evolved, Woodruff Himself Changed The Author Examines The Secular And Religious Development Of Woodruff S World View From Apocalyptic Mystic To Pragmatic Conciliator He Also Reveals The Gentle, Solitary Farmer The Fisherman And Horticulturalist The Family Man With Seven Wives The Charismatic Preacher Of The Mormon Reformation The Astute Businessman The Urbane, Savvy Politician Who Courted The Favor Of Prominent Republicans In California And Oregon Leland Stanford And Isaac Trumbo And The Vulnerable Romantic Who Pursued The Affections Of Lydia Mountford, An International Lecturer And Jewish Rights Advocate He Traces A Faithful Polygamist Who Ultimately Embraced The Christian Home Movement And Settled Comfortably Into A Monogamous Relationship In An Otherwise Typically Victorian Setting

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  • Paperback
  • 504 pages
  • Things in Heaven and Earth: The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff
  • Thomas G. Alexander
  • English
  • 04 June 2018
  • 1560850450

10 thoughts on “Things in Heaven and Earth: The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff

  1. Brette says:

    This biography revolves around its subtitle, Things in Heaven and Earth Alexander argues that in the early years of the Restoration, temporal and spiritual matters were completely intertwined Woodruff himself consecrated all his earthly possessions and his time and energy completely to the kingdom, believing that Christ s millennial reign was imminent Starting in the 1850s, the mundane and the spiritual in some ways began to diverge Although the United Order was reinstituted in Utah, it wa This biography revolves around its subtitle, Things in Heaven and Earth Alexander argues that in the early years of the Restoration, temporal and spiritual matters were completely intertwined Woodruff himself consecrated all his earthly possessions and his time and energy completely to the kingdom, believing that Christ s millennial reign was imminent Starting in the 1850s, the mundane and the spiritual in some ways began to diverge Although the United Order was reinstituted in Utah, it was never successful or lasting Despite being as fervent as ever spiritually, even Church leaders such as Woodruff began to pursue personal economic and political interests This slow separation, Alexander argues, paved the way for the two most radical events of Woodruff s presidency the manifesto and establishment of political parties in Utah The climax of the biography, and certainly the most intriguing and well written section of the book, comes at the end, covering these two developments As Alexander demonstrates, these two events moved the Church into the modern era, away from a sequestered and persecuted sect and toward what it is today, a global religion.Alexander summarizes Woodruff s place in this revolution Fundamentally, he was both the last of Mormondom s early prophets and the first of its modern prophets As he abandoned the role of Mormonism as separated from and in contention with American society, he considered the church an organized body of Saints infused with personal piety and doing Christ s work, while awaiting the approach of Christ s temporally distant millennial kingdom The biography was well organized and researched However, at times it felt as if I were reading an extended essay, as most of the material revolves around supporting Alexander s thesis I felt as if many aspects of his personal life weren t given in much detail I would be interested in reading Woodruff s history in his own words from articles he wrote in Church periodicals or from his extensive journals.In addition to gaining a better understanding of this volatile period in my religion s history, I also learnedabout Woodruff himself He was an avid horticulturist, even corresponding with gardeners for England s royals to exchange seeds I d also consider him the father of family history driven from the time of his own conversion to bring his own family into the kingdom, at the end of his life, Woodruff clarified the way sealing ordinances were performed Instead of being sealed to a righteous priesthood holder and family, a person should be sealed to his own father, and he to his, Woodruff taught Altogether, a fascinating read about one of the heroes of the Restoration I d recommend it

  2. D Crook says:

    This biography of Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, was teeming with detail about the events and people surrounding Wilford Woodruff After reading this book and placing Wilford Woodruff in context of overall church history, I agree with the author s conclusion that o n balance he is arguably the third most important figure in all of LDS church history after Joseph Smith, who began Mormonism, and Brigham Young, who led the Saints to Utah and This biography of Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, was teeming with detail about the events and people surrounding Wilford Woodruff After reading this book and placing Wilford Woodruff in context of overall church history, I agree with the author s conclusion that o n balance he is arguably the third most important figure in all of LDS church history after Joseph Smith, who began Mormonism, and Brigham Young, who led the Saints to Utah and supervised the arly colonization of the intermountain west The book s discussion of the post Manifesto workings of the church s general leadership and shift in political philosophy was fascinating.Although I generally found this to be an excellent book, I had two minor issues with it First, the very detailed description of Woodruff s surroundings, at times, dwarfed the story of Woodruff himself In other words, while the author paid significant attention to things surrounding Woodruff, he sometimes seemed to befocused on those issues rather than on Woodruff himself Second, although Thomas Alexander is a first rate scholar and historian, on a couple of occasions I believe that he declared as historical, facts that many scholars find to be in doubt For instance, his rather casual declaration that the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants explicated a doctrine of a godhead composed of the Father, who was an incorporeal spirit gives short shrift to the significant disagreement among many historians and scholars about that very issue While I certainly would have no problem with the author making such a declaration with some explanation, the statement itself seems to be a rather bold pronouncement of historical fact when historians and scholars disagree about 1 the particular passage at issue and 2 the Latter Day Saint belief regarding that issue prior to 1835 Similar statements are made throughout the text regarding other disputed issues However, recognizing that those facts were neither particular important or relevant to the overall story, this is a minor criticism of a fine piece of work.Overall, I quite enjoyed this book, particularly the later chapters

  3. Aaron says:

    I went into this book expecting it to be a review of events from church history that I already knew, but I actually learned quite a bit What I thought I knew about Utah s participation in political parties and how the church changed from predominately Democrat to predominately Republican was completely wrong And I never knew about the contention within the quorum of the 12 regarding politics I had never even heard of Moses Thatcher, whose story is a tragic one I knew about Pres Woodruff s c I went into this book expecting it to be a review of events from church history that I already knew, but I actually learned quite a bit What I thought I knew about Utah s participation in political parties and how the church changed from predominately Democrat to predominately Republican was completely wrong And I never knew about the contention within the quorum of the 12 regarding politics I had never even heard of Moses Thatcher, whose story is a tragic one I knew about Pres Woodruff s change of the practice of adoptive sealings, but I did not know it occurred so late in his life These are just a few of the things that I learned from this book My only complaint is that the book is rather repetitive probably because some of the chapters appear to have appeared first in scholarly journals I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about the Mormon church s social, political, and theological transition from the late 1800 s to the early 1900 s

  4. Rick says:

    The bottom line on this book is the structure of the book seemed too often convoluted and the narrative was bordering on unreadable I had some freinds that had Thomas Alexander as a college professer but this book does not do Wilford Woodruff s interesting life story justice.

  5. Jake says:

    Pretty interesting contentbut tough to read Amazing man with an amazing life.

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