Visions of Freedom: Wilford Woodruff and the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

by Michael De Groote, Ronald L. Fox

Visions cover

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In 1877, among the red rocks of Southern Utah, the signers of the Declaration of Independence twice visited a sleeping Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Wilford Woodruff recounted these vivid visions a number of times during his lifetime — because they were more than forgettable dreams. The men gathered around him demanded action. They knew that Woodruff had just helped inaugurate proxy temple ordinance for faithful family members who had died, and now they wanted those same ordinances — they wanted spiritual freedom.

But who were these men who came to Woodruff? Some stand like titans &mdash ;Franklin, Jefferson, Hancock, John Adams, and Samuel Adams. Others are lesser known yet had a huge influence on the passage of the Declaration and the founding of the United States of America. These noble men who came to Woodruff by night brought resounding justification to a church rejected by the nation; the founders of freedom were coming to the Mormons for what only those people could give them — spiritual freedom. the requests in Woodruff's dreams were quickly fulfilled, and each signer of the Declaration of Independence had his temple work completed.

Visions of Freedomwill bring readers face to face with the signers of the Declaration of Independence, where they can look at the lives of the eminent men and remember not just the things they achieved in life but also their final request for true freedom as they came to a sleeping Apostle in a white temple among red rocks.

Unabridged audio book

About the Authors

Michael De Groote

Michael De Groote was born and raised in the Midwest until his family decided to move away from the cold to Arizona during his senior year of high school. He served a mission in Belgium and Holland. He has a BA in Secondary Education, with an emphasis in history from Arizona State University and a law degree from J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. In addition to being a recovering attorney, his work experience includes being the director of communication and marketing for the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and an award-winning journalist for the Deseret News. He currently lives in the Salt Lake Valley with his wife and daughters.

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Ronald L. Fox

Ronald L. Fox is an author and historian and owns a public affairs firm in Salt Lake City. His firm specializes in marketing, public relations, and government advocacy. Fox has also provided collectors, antique dealers, the LDS Church, and the Utah State Historical Society with historical research and information on various photographs, artifacts, paintings, and books. He has at times been likened to a modern-day Indiana Jones in his ability to find lost treasures. In his career, he has worked for the California Senate, FHP Health Care, and American Medical International.

For three years, beginning in 2008, he was a contributor to the Deseret News, providing a weekly article on Utah photographic history. In 2011 he coauthor his first book with Mike Winder, When the White House Comes to Zion. Currently he is working on three additional books, John Bernhisel: Utah’s first Congressional Delegate, Marsena Cannon: Utah’s first photographer, and Famous Visitors to the Salt Lake Tabernacle. He has also produced or appeared in four commercial video presentations for television.

Fox has managed large ceremonies, such as the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in 2002 at Utah’s Capitol, Utah Inaugurations in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, and 2013. He has traveled with and for five U. S. presidents: Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and both Bushes, as well as their first ladies; six vice presidents; and members of the Cabinet. He also served on the Dole, McCain, and Romney campaigns in one capacity or another. Attended eight Republican National Conventions since 1972, several times as a delegate. He has assisted with the planning and execution of numerous visits of foreign heads of state, including the presidents of China, Ecuador, Brazil, and the Philippines; the king of Sweden; the queen of England; the secretary general of the United Nations; the Dali Lama; and the Pope for the State Department. He has been tasked to work the NATO Summit in Prague and the Czech Republic and the G-8 Summit in Sea Island, Georgia, were he was responsible for the visit of the president of Iraq and president of Uganda.

His efforts have been recognized by resolutions from the Senate of California, the House and Senate of Utah, and several city and counties governments. He has served on the board of the Fort Douglas Military Museum, was the chairman and member of the Salt Lake County Library Board, the Legacy Film Foundation, and the Colonial Flag Foundation. He assisted his wife in founding Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, with Candy Lightner in 1980. Fox attended El Camino College and California State University at Fullerton and currently resides in Salt Lake City. He has been married to his wife, Linda, for thirty-nine years. They have three daughters: Jennifer, Elizabeth, and Kari, who, with their husbands, have given Fox and his wife grandchildren Oliver, Kiera, and Gwen, with one more to be added this year.

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