Quote mining/Journal of Discourses/JoD 19:229:Analysis

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Quote mining analysis

The quote and its use by the critic(s):

List Actual quote Critical use

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...two weeks before I left St. George, 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 never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God." These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. I thought it very singular, that notwithstanding so much work had been done, and yet nothing had been done for them. The thought never entered my heart, from the fact, I suppose, that heretofore our minds were reaching after our more immediate friends and relatives. I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon brother McCallister 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; I then baptized him for every President of the United States, except three; and when their cause is just, somebody will do the work for them.

I have felt to rejoice exceedingly in this work of redeeming the dead.

Wilford Woodruff "felt he had saved" all of the presidents of the United States, except for three.

Analysis

  • Note that Woodruff says nothing about "saving" these people—he indicates only that he had a vision in which the work was requested by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Woodruff also did the work for every U.S. president except three—he does not express an opinion about whether they have even accepted the gospel.