Orson Hyde’s Dedicatory Prayer in Palestine

This is the letter containing Orson Hyde’s Dedicatory Prayer over the land of Palestine. It was printed in chapter 26 of volume 4 of History of the Church, under the subtitle "Elder Orson Hyde’s Letter — His Prayer of Dedication on the Mount of Olives."


ALEXANDRIA, Nov. 22, 1841

DEAR BROTHER PRATT:

— A few minutes now offer for me to write, and I improve them in writing to you.

I have only time to say that I have seen Jerusalem precisely according to the vision which I had. I saw no one with me in the vision; and although Elder Page was appointed to accompany me there, yet I found myself there alone.

The Lord knows that I have had a hard time, and suffered much, but I have great reason to thank Him that I enjoy good health at present, and have a prospect before me of soon going to a civilized country, where I shall see no more turbans or camels. The heat is most oppressive, and has been all through Syria. (more…)

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American Founding Fathers Try Communism

From The Naked Communist by W. Cleon Skousen

One of the forgotten lessons of U.S. history is the fact that the American founding fathers tried Communism before they tried capitalistic free enterprise.

In 1620 when the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth, they had already determined to establish a Communist colony. In many ways this communal society was set up under the most favorable circumstances. First of all, they were isolated from outside help and were desperately motivated to make the plan work in order to survive. Secondly, they had a select group of religious men and women who enjoyed a cooperative, fraternal feeling toward one another. The Pilgrims launched their Communist community with the most hopeful expectations. Governor William Bradford has left us a remarkable account of what happened. The Governor reports: (more…)

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What is Liberal? What is Conservative?

I began studying this issue because my heart breaks when I see relationships fall apart because of political beliefs or wild accusations made about people without even knowing who they really are. I am a conservative who has learned to really appreciate the talents and strengths liberals have. Please consider what I have learned.

What is liberal?

"Liberal" is a term that conservatives throw around loosely to describe anyone who disagrees with or opposes "conservative" ideals. I believe this term is used incorrectly and falls short of truly describing what it means to be liberal.

The word liberal comes from a 14th century word meaning "generous, selfless, magnanimous, admirable, willing, zealous, munificent, or gracious." From the 12th century, it also has a slight negative connotation: "extravagant, unrestrained." Also, "of freedom, pertaining to or befitting a free person" and "free, unrestricted, unimpeded; unbridled, unchecked, licentious." (more…)

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Laie Hawaii Temple Dedicatory Prayer

Dedicated 27–30 November 1919

by Heber J. Grant

O God, the Eternal Father, we, Thy servants and handmaidens, thank Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy well-beloved Son, with all the power of our being, that we are privileged this day to be present in this beautiful land, to dedicate into Thy Most Holy Name, a temple of the Living God.

We thank Thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that Thou and Thy Son, Jesus Christ, didst visit the boy, Joseph Smith, Jr., and that he was instructed by Thee, and Thy beloved Son.

We thank Thee that Thou didst send Thy servant, John the Baptist, and that he did lay his hands upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and ordain them to the Aaronic, or Lesser Priesthood. (more…)

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Current Event Summary: Douglas High School Shooting – 02/14/2018

Core Details

  • Wednesday February 14th, 2018
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 3,000 students
  • Parkland, Florida
  • Shooter: Nikolas Cruz, 19, former student
  • Purchased AR-15 style gun legally after passing background checks
  • 4 deputies remained outside behind their cars with guns drawn for 4 minutes during the shooting and would not go inside the school
  • 17 killed, at least 14 more injured, (2 LDS killed)
  • Claimed to hear voices of demons that told him to do this
  • His adoptive mother died in the fall
  • Deadliest school shooting since 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary (26 died)
  • FBI notified in 2017 about a comment on a YouTube video by user with same name saying “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI could not identify the person.
  • Local police had not been warned about him
  • Member of a white supremacist group called “Republic of Florida”
  • School authorities had emailed teachers about Cruz’s behavior. Expelled (from threatening students? not officially stated) and wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack. He had been found with bullets in his backpack.
  • BBC: “It was the third shooting incident at a school in 48 hours and the 11th in the three weeks since the start of the year.”
  • Aaron Feis, assistant football coach, shielded students with his body, "died a hero"

(more…)

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Ordinances Performed by Wilford Woodruff in the St. George Temple, August 21-22 1877 (Visitations on the 19th & 20th)

The occasion is described by LDSLiving.com:

… In August 1877, Woodruff had what he called two “night visions,” a scriptural way of describing dreams. But these were more than just ordinary dreams—he recognized them as inspired visions. The experience was so vivid that he spoke about them as if they were visits. In them, he said, the Signers of the Declaration of Independence gathered around him and “demanded” and “argued” that he get their temple work completed. He later said George Washington was also present in that request.

“You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years,” the Signers said to him, “and yet nothing has ever been done for us.”

In other words, the sticking point in this accusation wasn’t baptisms for the dead, but endowments—the higher temple ordinances.

In fact, the proxy baptisms for the Signers had been completed in stages by various people starting in Nauvoo and ending in 1876. John D. T. McAllister, who helped Woodruff in the temple, had even participated in doing some of the Signers’ work six years earlier.

Even though there were no temples in Utah until the 1877 dedication of the St. George Temple, members of the Church were able to have their own, live endowments in the temporary “Endowment House” on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Endowments for the dead were only first performed in St. George beginning on Jan. 11, 1877.

By August 1877, endowments for the dead had been going on for months, yet nothing had been done to complete the Signers’ temple work. Woodruff determined to do it himself.

Woodruff discovered that all of the temple work for Signers John Hancock and William Floyd had already been performed in the St. George Temple prior to the vision. This left 54 Signers who still needed to have their temple endowments completed.

He decided he would inaugurate their temple work by redoing their baptisms. (It was standard practice at the time for people to be re-baptized before they went through the temple for their endowments.) He also decided that he would choose 46 other men to make it an even 100.

The plan was to have McAllister baptize Woodruff for the 100 men. Then Woodruff would baptize McAllister for Washington, Washington’s relatives, and other deceased presidents of the United States. McAllister then would baptize Lucy Bigelow Young for 70 eminent women.

Woodruff was very clear in his accounts of the vision that only the Signers and Washington appeared to him. To find the extra 46 men, Woodruff turned to a set of books titled Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women of Europe and America by Evert A. Duyckinck. The popular two-volume set was a compilation of biographies of famous people.

With only a few exceptions, Woodruff took the names of the 46 from these books. The biographies are in the same non-alphabetical order in the books as they are in his listing of names in his journal. Most of the eminent women are also either in the books under their own biographies or are wives of those men he copied from the books. Christopher Columbus and John Wesley are two examples, however, of the few names that he chose not from these books.

Scholars have scratched their heads over Woodruff saying he was baptized for 100 men, because his journal listed only 99. Some have searched the St. George Temple records to see if there was another famous man baptized around that same time. Others saw that he had crossed out one name he had written twice, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and assumed he had just counted Lee twice. Others thought he just miscounted.

And even though a whole book was written on the eminent men and other researchers and historians have looked closely at Woodruff’s journal, the mystery of the 99 eminent men and the missing man remained.

The solution, however, was quite simple. The popular published version of Woodruff’s journal made a transcription error—missing one person.

The result was that the man who ran the first commercially successful steamboat, Robert Fulton, was omitted from the journal transcript. Woodruff didn’t make a mistake. The 100 men he was baptized for were all written and accounted for in his own handwriting in his original journal.

Woodruff most likely knew when he was browsing through the biographies that he had more than 46 eminent people to choose from. As he skimmed the names, he had to make choices. Inevitably, he had to skip some names.

Some of the names he skipped over, for whatever reason, were Edmund Burke, Napoleon Bonaparte, William Wilberforce, Thomas Moore, Samuel Morse, Charles Dickens, and Robert E. Lee. Other names he skipped, such as Benjamin Disraeli, Florence Nightingale, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were logical to pass over since they were still alive in 1877.

Woodruff’s vision of the Signers and his own inauguration of the temple work for them and the other eminent men has also overshadowed the fact that he prepared a list of eminent women as well, including people such as Marie Antoinette, Jane Austen, Dolley Madison, and Charlotte Bronte.

However, one of the eminent women Woodruff compiled was a mistake. After he chose Benito Juárez for one of the 100 men, he skimmed Juárez’s biography for his wife’s name. On page 125, he saw the phrase, “He had been for some years married to the Princess Charlotte, daughter of King Leopold of Belgium” and assumed this was Juárez’s wife. She was not. The paragraph was about Juárez’s enemy, Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico. Princess Charlotte was Maximilian’s wife and went by the name “Carlota of Mexico.” Princess Charlotte died in 1927, and since she was alive in 1877, she was a poor candidate for proxy temple work. Juárez’s real wife was Margarita Maza Juárez, whose temple work was done correctly in the Salt Lake Temple in 1921.

The visit of the Signers to Woodruff began a process of changing the way Latter-day Saints thought about the scope of temple work. Not only did they begin to understand the necessity of performing all ordinances of the gospel for those who were dead, but also they began to see that the temple and its ordinances were meant for all people.

Today, the Church strongly discourages Mormons from doing similar "celebrity" baptisms, but the legacy of Woodruff’s experiences shows the importance of reaching out to all God’s children.

(more…)

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In Memoriam of W. Cleon Skousen

February 17, 2006 by Earl Taylor

Original Post

On Monday, January 9th, 2006 at 1:50 in the afternoon, our good friend and founder of NCCS, W. Cleon Skousen, passed away peacefully at his home. In just 11 days from then, he would have turned 93 years old.

How does one write about the life of such an accomplished and beloved man? We present below an edited transcript of the eulogy delivered by Dr. Skousen’s son, Eric, at his funeral service on January 14, 2006.

Dr. W. Cleon Skousen was born on a kitchen table in a small home in Raymond, Alberta, Canada on the night of January 20, 1913. His first name is Willard, after his paternal grandfather, but his mother called him Cleon which means “one to take the place of” as his parents had lost their first child, a boy named Ezra, the preceding year. (more…)

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The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society

(Cleon Skousen, 1963.)

I am not a member of the John Birch Society.

I have simply observed an avalanche of blistering propaganda which has totally confused millions of Americans.

Even a personal check among neighbors and friends will reveal that a vast quantity of well-educated, rational, religious people count it a shining virtue to hate the John Birch Society. Yet they admit knowing practically nothing about it.

The strange thing about the John Birch Society is that practically nobody paid any attention to it until the Communist Party officially ordered its annihilation.

Immediately the withering blast of scathing denunciation began pouring down upon this organization. And it came from all directions. For one solid year the press, radio and TV saturated the American mind with a continuous attack on the “terrible Birchers.”

It seems to me the history of this attack contains a terribly sobering lesson for the American people. (more…)

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About Jacob Householder

Jacob is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints. He is the senior intern over Development and External Relations at the Madison Liberty Institute, the Director of Outreach for the Columbus Center for Constitutional Studies, and a senior at BYU-Idaho studying Financial Economics.

Copyright © 2019 | Jacob Householder — All Rights Reserved.

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