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Mary Jane Woodger

Professor
Church History and Doctrine

275E JSB
Provo, UT 84602

Biography

Bio: Dr. Mary Jane Woodger is a Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. Born and raised in American Fork and Salt Lake City, Utah, Dr. Woodger has always had a great love for teaching. After obtaining a B.S. in Home Economics Education, Dr. Woodger taught Home Economics and American History in Salt Lake City where she received the Vocational Teacher of the Year Award from Jordan School District. In 1992, she completed her M.Ed. at Utah State University. In 1997, she received from Brigham Young University an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, with a minor in Church History and Doctrine.

In 1998 Dr. Woodger was honored by Kappa Omicron Nu, with an Award of Excellence for her dissertation research, entitled "The Educational Ideals of David O. McKay." Since then she has had three books published about the life and teachings of David O. McKay. She has also authored numerous articles on doctrinal, historical, and educational subjects. These articles have appeared in various academic journals, as well as venues for the LDS audience including the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Deseret News Church News, and The Religious Educator. She was recently honored with the best article of the year award from the Utah Historical Society. Her current research interests include twentieth century Church history, Latter-day Saint women's history, and Church education.

Courses Taught: Teachings of the Living Prophets, Twentieth Century Church History, Doctrine and Covenants

Areas of Expertise: Her current research interests include twentieth-century Church history, Latter-day Saint women's history, and Church education.

Research Interests

Twentieth-Century Church History, Latter-day Saint women's history, and Church education.

Teaching Interests

Teachings of the Living Prophets, Twentieth Century CHurch History

Honors and Awards

  • The Harvey B. Black and Susan Easton Black Outstanding Publication

Professional Citizenship

  • Committee/Council Member, Mormon Women's History Initiative, 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31 - 2013-12-01 - 2013-12-31
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Dept of Church History and Doctrine, 2013-09-01 - 2013-09-30 - 2013-11-01 - 2013-11-30
  • Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, BYU Religious Studies Center, 2012-04-01 - 2012-04-30 - 2012-05-01 - 2012-05-31
  • Committee/Council Member, Mormon Women's History Initiative, 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31 - 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31

Courses Taught

2020

  • REL C 333 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 008
  • REL C 333 : Section 016
  • REL C 333 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 007

2019

  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 009
  • REL C 333 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 010

2018

  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 007
  • REL C 333 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 007

2017

  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 007
  • REL C 333 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 002

2016

  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 007
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 010
  • REL C 333 : Section 012

2015

  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 008
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 008
  • REL C 333 : Section 011
  • REL C 333 : Section 014

2014

  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 010
  • REL C 333 : Section 014
  • REL C 333 : Section 016
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 010
  • REL C 333 : Section 013
  • REL C 333 : Section 016

2013

  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 007
  • REL C 333 : Section 011
  • REL C 333 : Section 014
  • REL C 333 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 008
  • REL C 333 : Section 011
  • REL C 333 : Section 013

2012

  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 009
  • REL C 333 : Section 013
  • REL C 333 : Section 016
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 009
  • REL C 333 : Section 012
  • REL C 333 : Section 014

2011

  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 009
  • REL C 333 : Section 013
  • REL C 333 : Section 018
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 003
  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 009
  • REL C 333 : Section 012
  • REL C 333 : Section 014

2010

  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 011
  • REL C 333 : Section 013
  • REL C 333 : Section 018
  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 010

2009

  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 012
  • REL C 333 : Section 021
  • REL C 333 : Section 001
  • REL C 333 : Section 003
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 010

2008

  • REL C 343 : Section 002
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 012
  • REL C 333 : Section 021
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 008
  • REL C 333 : Section 012

2007

  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 343 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 012
  • REL C 333 : Section 021
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 003
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 008

2006

  • REL C 343 : Section 004
  • REL C 343 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 012
  • REL C 333 : Section 021
  • REL C 333 : Section 002
  • REL C 333 : Section 005
  • REL C 343 : Section 002
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 004
  • REL C 333 : Section 008

2005

  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 343 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 009
  • REL C 333 : Section 011
  • REL C 343 : Section 001
  • REL C 343 : Section 002
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 022

2004

  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 343 : Section 005
  • REL C 333 : Section 006
  • REL C 333 : Section 009
  • REL C 333 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 658
  • REL C 343 : Section 003
  • REL C 333 : Section 018
  • REL C 333 : Section 021

Publications

  • Woodger MJ. April (2nd Quarter/Spring), 2019. This Great Cause: The Economics Behind Construction of the General Relief Society Building. Michael H. McKay and Matthew Godfrey, editors. Salt lake City: Deseret Book.
  • Jessica C, Woodger MJ. January (1st Quarter/Winter), 2011. Ardeth Greene Kapp’s Influence on the Young Women Organization. Arnold K. Garr and David Whittaker, editors. Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center.
  • Woodger MJ, Groberg JI. October (4th Quarter/Autumn), 2010. From the Muddy River to the Ivory Tower: the Journey of George H Brimhall . Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University.
  • Woodger MJ, White WV. October (4th Quarter/Autumn), 2010. The Sangamo Journal’s ‘Rebecca’ and the ‘Democratic Pets’: Abraham Lincoln’s Interaction with Mormonism. 36th ed. Lavina Fielding Anderson, editor.
  • Woodger MJ. July (3rd Quarter/Summer), 2010. A Weekly Funeral of Sanctification. Kathryn Jenkins, editor. American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications.
  • Woodger MJ, Jessica C. January (1st Quarter/Winter), 2010. Lincoln and the Brethren: Abraham Lincoln as Presented by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint Leadership. 2010th ed. Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, editor. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center.

Presentations

  • Woodger MJ. Joseph Smith and the Restoration of Dreams as Revelation. Church History Symposium: Visions and Visionaries, Joseph Smith in Comparative Contexts. March, 2020.
  • Woodger MJ. A Temple for Every Corner of the World: Hong Kong. Mormon Pacific History Conference. November, 2019.
  • Woodger MJ. Beverly Campbell and the Church’s Washington DC Public Relations. BYU Church History Symposium. July, 2019.
  • Woodger MJ. Dreams as Revelation as defined by the Leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon History Association Conference. June, 2019.
  • Woodger MJ, Robertson K. This Great Cause: The Economics Behind the Construction of the General Relief Society Building. Finding Faith, The Intersection of Business and Religion, Church History Symposium. March, 2018.
  • Woodger MJ, Alford KL, Manscill CK. Understanding Dreams as Revelation. 2017 Religious Education Faculty Forum. November, 2017.
  • Woodger MJ. David O McKay: Innovator of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sunday School. Mormon History Association Annual Conference. The idea of Sunday School originated in Great Britain; however, this organization "achieved its greatest growth and development in America" Likewise, the organization grew in the LDS Church under the leadership of David O McKay As head of the Sunday School organization McKay brought innovations that transformed it Among his accomplishments were: 1 establishing uniform courses of study, 2 bringing order to teaching by clarifying objectives, and 3 training teachers by using the professional methods he had learned as a professional educator himself Seven decades later the question arises as to whether his accomplishments are still felt in the LDS Sunday School program One might speculate what McKay would think about the present LDS Sunday School program Individuals must experience the history of the LDS Sunday School and decide whether it has improved or diminished A more important aspect of the study of McKay and his influence on the Sunday School is gleaned from the truths he taught All teachers can improve their performance by implementing McKay’s principles of teaching As, President Boyd K Packer said, when asked these same questions, "It is a different Church It is a worldwide Church President McKay died in 1970 and much of the Church expansion has taken place since then, so it is a different world" One must agree that since McKay's death both the world and the LDS Church have changed However, it is evident that the remarkable success McKay experienced with the LDS Sunday School program was due to his grasp and knowledge of teaching and organization Hopefully, present educators will also benefit by implementing various aspects of his planning in their teaching practices . June, 2017.
  • Woodger MJ. The Restoration of the Perpetual Covenant to Hallow the Sabbath Day. Foundations of the Restoration, The Forty-Fifth Annual Sidney B Sperry Symposium. The commandment to keep the Sabbath Day Holy is as ancient as the earth itself The purpose of the Sabbath dates back to the Creation of the world, when after six days of labor the Lord rested from the work of creation (Genesis 2:2–3) God commanded Moses on Mt Sinai to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8) Most importantly, as Elder Russell M Nelson recently reminded us, “The Sabbath was given as a perpetual covenant, a constant reminder that the Lord may sanctify His people” This covenant was made once again as part of the Restoration As Elder Nelson instructs “it has been renewed in these latter days as part of a new covenant with a promise (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9–10, 13, 15–16) The consistency with which this commandment has been repeated has become commonplace among Latter-day Saints from August 1831when Section 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants was revealed However, the interpretation, counsel and instruction concerning the Sabbath Day has not been constant throughout the history of the Church As in all things with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there seems to be a “line upon line, precept upon precept” development (2 Nephi 28:30) The introduction and indoctrination of this scriptural commandment to Latter-day Saints has been progressive We will discover how this profound theme of “Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,” has been used, its role, prevalence, and central participation in the addresses of General Authorities has evolved This paper will trace that development and usage by prophets from Joseph Smith to Thomas S Monson Our research will center on the usage of this theme in general conferences We will see who uses the text, in what context it is used, and if any interpretation or doctrinal insights are shared A review of literature will show when and how the commandment to keep the Sabbath Day Holy within the larger context of Church history and how the inclusion of this counsel has influenced lay members for generations We will also explore the various meanings and interpretations associated with these renderings of counsel This paper will then systematically share the careful study of this restoration commandment within Latter-day Saint genre . October, 2016.
  • Woodger MJ. The Vital Apostolic Visits of Elder David O McKay and Elder George Albert Smith for Tonga. Mormon Pacific Historical Association Annual Conference. In 1839, King George Tupou I of Tonga committed his country, people, and posterity to God’s protection, and the king’s proclamation “God and Tonga are my inheritance” became Tonga’s motto” Part of God’s protection for the people of Tonga included the vital apostolic visits of Elder David O McKay (1921, 1955) and Elder George Albert Smith (1938) These visits were not merely to provide social interaction, but rather they were the impetus for the Church’s foundation in the nation of Tonga As part of his world tour Elder David O McKay of the Quorum of the Twelve visited Tonga in 1921, but was quarantined for eleven days This was actually the result of anti-Mormon influences on Tongan officials, which would eventually culminate in the passage of the Exclusion Law of 1922, which prohibited all Latter-day Saints from entering Tonga Despite such setbacks, Elder McKay was able,” to have a profitable interview with the Prince Consort, Uiliamo Tugi, upon whom he made an excellent impression Though Elder McKay was excluded from entering Tonga, it did not exclude his desire to bring education to these Pacific Islands In Tonga, Elder McKay was instrumental in the founding of LDS schools, which eventually became satellite schools for students in other countries to attend where there was no opportunity for higher forms (equivalent to high school in the United States) The first of these was established in 1926, as the Makeke School that became the foundation for an enlarged school system later These Tongan schools eventually served as feeder schools for students to attend the Church College of Hawaii, which is now Brigham Young University—Hawaii As Tongan students came to BYUH, it created a global Pacific educational setting, where those students returned to Tonga and eventually became government, education and business leaders in Tonga Elder George Albert Smith of the Quorum of the Twelve visited Tonga 10 May -8 June 1938 His words of encouragement and teachings were vital in inspiring missionaries and members alike, and by the end of 1938, his visit had resulted in 117 baptisms The Tongan Mission would not have 100 convert baptisms again during a single year until 1954 Just as important as the messages and programs these members of the Quorum of the Twelve inspired, was personal contact with the Tongan Saints These interactions fortified the Tongan Saints and supplied needed foundational testimony building that blessed the tiny church for years to come For instance, in 1957, when a chapel was being built in ‘Uiha, an elderly woman over one hundred years old insisted on helping with the construction She would tell “the workers just where the classrooms would be, where the pulpit would stand, and just how the chapel would look when it was finished” It was later revealed that she had received a blessing from President George Albert Smith, where “he told her that if she would be faithful, she would live to see a beautiful chapel erected on her island—and she envisioned it perfectly while he spoke” Moreover, when President David O McKay visited Vava‘u, in 1955, he likewise revealed that he had seen a vision of “a temple on one of these islands, where the members of the Church may go and receive the blessings of the temple of God” One member recorded the Tongans’ response: “The entire congregation burst into tears” Without the personal contact of these apostles, the Church would not have flourished in the same way in Tonga . October, 2016.
  • Woodger MJ. David O McKay: Educational Model for Mormon Schools in the Pacific 1906-1940. Pacific History Conference. This paper is a systematic study of David O McKay's teachings and his influence on the development of policy and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Schools in the Pacific This paper supports the premise that McKay's ideas were revelatory in nature and prepared a rising generation of Latter-day Saints living in the Pacific for parenthood and Church leadership McKay was able to teach virtues that "contributed to the dignity of man without teaching any religious dogma" and his concepts for keeping the "home intact" contributed greatly to the training of future Church leaders today (McKay 1961; McKay 1935) One educator stated, "It would be a great tragedy if the writings of David O McKay, with their sense of urgency as it relates to the family as the vehicle by which personalities and attitudes can be changed, were to end up as 'dust collectors' in our libraries" (Muren 1969) This work is an attempt to avoid this tragedy and to show that his influence permeated every aspect of LDS Church educational activity in the Pacific from 1906-1940, including missionary activity, political issues, internationalization of the Church, ethnic and moral challenges, Church education, and gospel topics and provided a successful outcome Procedures This study investigates the extent to which McKay was an innovator in Church education Research includes analysis of speeches, addresses, and sermons that McKay gave during this time period in the Pacific Included is the analysis of 215 notebooks kept by McKay’s secretary Claire Middlemiss which catalogue and record every McKay engagement from 1906-1940 Findings This paper is not a mere recitation of facts Instead, it synthesizes and interprets data so that readers are provided with a better understanding and perspective of McKay’s teachings and activities in the South Seas within a historical context (Borg, 1983) This research can also guide historians and educators in achieving a better comprehension of contemporary institutions, practices and issues that evolved during McKay’s ministry (Gay 1992) Implications A new generation can glean from McKay's experience, knowledge, and impact on the transformation of Church schools in this area of the world during the early twentieth century Keeping "a proper balance between fact and interpretation," this paper searches the development and implementation of McKay’s ideas (Borg, 1983 p 199) As we explore McKay's ideas about values, the home, and family, we will be better understand McKay’s influence in promoting more productive schools and individuals within the LDS Church in the Pacific . May, 2016.
  • Woodger MJ. Too Broad, Too Vague, and Too Non-Definitive, Blanket Approach” to Finding Solutions for Women’s Issues: The Essential Barbara B Smith and the Equal Rights Amendment. Church History Symposium: Beyond Biography: Sources in Context for Mormon Women’s History. In March of 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was brought to the floor of Congress with the prerogative to establish that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not escape the tumult as a wide spectrum of opinions and stances surfaced in the wake of the ERA Barbara B Smith became the General Relief Society president in early 1974 and not only came to the forefront of defending womanhood both in and out of the Church but also took a central place in discussions about the ERA Though times were difficult and wrought with social complexities, Smith was essential in leading women and men of the LDS Church to rectify gender-related inequalities and injustices addressed by The Equal Rights Movement, while simultaneously helping to preserve traditional family ideals that were being challenged by supporters of that same amendment Whether it was in Church magazines, general conference addresses, or on national television, Smith was vital in preserving and clarifying the Mormon woman identity on ERA-related issues and foundational doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ Despite an environment of reproach, disparagement, and censure, Smith used her unique background, congeniality, and persistence to oppose the non-gender philosophy of the ERA while championing the prophetically appointed roles of women and men and the ideals of a Christ-centered family . March, 2016.
  • Woodger MJ. Sacred and Historical Sites of Hawaii. Mormon Pacific Historical Association Annual Conference. Through the ages, the locations at which sacred historical events occurred have traditionally become holy How holy or sacred a site is depends on the understanding of those beholding it The Lord revealed His acknowledgement of the sacredness of certain locations to Joseph Smith in 1838: “Let the city, Far West, be a holy and consecrated land unto me; and it shall be called most holy, for the ground upon which thou standest is holy” (D&C 115:7) Since these early times, places and events central to the Church’s struggles and successes have been sanctified and recorded This paper “Sacred Places of Laie” will chronical the history and geography of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the community of Laie This study will include interesting narratives in its effort to document the many places made sacred by the faith and testimonies of past generations of Polynesian Saints Conscious of the admirable strength of Mormon pioneers from all over the world, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has a long tradition of recognizing and recording the many sacred places and events of its history “Each country where Mormonism has established itself has its own separate history of pioneers, leaders, persecution, and response to challenge” This research will serve as a guide to sacred spots in the community of Laie The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always sought to preserve sacred places and to record sacred events As Latter-day Saints, we are a people who commemorate and celebrate important events in our history, and as we do so our collective memory is enlarged (Alma 37:8) Sacred or holy places are an important part of our history This paper will bring the history and geography of the specific sacred places of Church history in Laie to life, and by bringing that history and geography to life; we will increase the understanding and appreciation of Laie’s sacred places We will not identify every location but instead will identify those sites that are significant to the history of the Church at Laie The comprehensive nature of this paper will encourage readers to follow in the footsteps of early Hawaiian Saints and missionaries and to seek out the paths of their own ancestors It also enables armchair tourists to vicariously visit the many magnificent places related to Church history in this significant community . October, 2015.
  • Woodger MJ. Finding the People there Ready and Waiting and Praying for the Elders to Come: Beginnings of Mormon Missionary Work on Hawai’i the Big Island. Hawaii International Conference on the Humanities and Arts. In 1853, Latter-day Saint missionary Nathan Tanner set sail from Honolulu for the Big Island of Hawai’i The voyage was treacherous and Elder Tanner found himself “Nigh unto death,” with sickness As the ship tried to land at Hilo as planned it was impossible When Elder Tanner told the captain of the ship to land instead wherever he could the group of missionaries ended up at Kohala They soon decided that this was where the Lord wanted them to work for they “found the people there ready and waiting and praying for the elders to come” This paper traces the presence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Hawai’i the Big Island from its beginnings in October of 1850 to the building of the LDS Kona Temple in 2000 The work of early missionaries is highlighted in detail along including the early pairing of local missionaries with full time elders which brought success Interaction of the elders with local protestant ministry is analyzed The proselyting activities of such notables as George Q Cannon, Jonathan Napala, and Joseph F Smith are stressed in this research Readers will see that as the number of LDS continued to grow on the Big Island so did the programs of the Church, most especially Relief Society Along with the programs of the Church growing the construction of chapels to serve congregations is discussed culminating in the creation of the Kona Stake on December 15, 1968 which at the time demonstrated that the LDS on the Big Island were prepared to handle all of their own administrative responsibilities and lead the Church on this island The impact of various visits by General Authorities that strengthened the Saints on this island is also described in detail . January, 2015.
  • Woodger MJ. Barbara B Smith’s Media Presence: Shaping the LDS Women Identity during the ERA Movement. Mormon Media Studies Conference. In March of 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was brought to the floor of Congress with the prerogative to establish that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not escape this tumult as a wide spectrum of opinions and stances surfaced among the general membership in the wake of the ERA Barbara B Smith became the General Relief Society president in early 1974 and not only came to the forefront of defending womanhood both in and out of the Church but also took a central place in media discussions about the ERA Whether it was in Church magazines, broadcasts across the nation, or on public television, Smith was vital in preserving and clarifying the Mormon woman identity on ERA-related issues and foundational doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ Despite an environment of reproach, disparagement, and censure, Smith used her unique background, congeniality, and persistence to oppose the non-gender philosophy of the ERA while championing the prophetically appointed roles of women and men and the ideals of a Christ-centered family in media sources Smith used her outlets in the media to lead the members of the Relief Society through the challenging and perplexing time of the ERA . October, 2014.
  • Woodger MJ. Moses of Czechoslovakia: Wallace F Toronto, The Thirty-two Year Mission President. The World Wide Church: The Global Reach of Mormonism, BYU Church History Symposium. The purpose of this research is to trace Wallace Felt Toronto became a pioneering missionary leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among the Slavic people He served three missions among the Czechs and continued as their mission president in absentia for another 25 years Born December 9, 1907 in Salt Lake City Utah, Wallace was called to the German Mission In 1929 he joined the first elders transferred to open the Czechoslovak Mission under Arthur Gaeth Two years after marrying, in 1936 Toronto was called to preside over the Czech Mission New cities were opened, and conversions continued The Nazi occupation of Czech lands in 1938 and 1939 led to the evacuation of all missionaries including President Toronto In 1946 Wallace and his family returned to Prague With a larger missionary force, the Church expanded even after the February 1948 Communist coup At the time Wallace was considered one of the top wanted spies by the Communists and both he and his wife were under 24 hour surveillance By 1950 the missionaries were expelled, and the registration of the Church was cancelled Faithful Saints were now left without the opportunity even to hold branch meetings After returning home, through cryptic letters, he kept in touch with the Saints in Czechoslovakia In 1964 President McKay assigned the Torontos to visit the Czech Saints as tourists In 1965 he was asked to return alone to meet with the ministry officials He did so, but only after he was arrested following his interview on television during the huge national sports festival His request for Church recognition was rejected, and he was deported at the German border Wallace Toronto remained president of the Czech Mission until his death from cancer on January 10, 1968 in Salt Lake City . March, 2014.
  • Woodger MJ, Anguiano C. President Spencer W Kimball's Influence in Overcoming Gender Barriers through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Relief Soceity Organization. Oxford Symposium of Religious Studies. President Kimball applied his unique leadership skills and prophetic vision to generate one of the most dynamic periods of defining gender roles A potential influence of Relief Society upon women, families, and gender roles provides findings that encouraged, and still encourage women to evaluate their own priorities, values and understanding of gender Likewise, understanding President Kimball’s teachings provides insight into the principles that guided the programs of Relief Society and how general Church leaders used the organization to strengthen women and families Advocates for the Women’s Liberation Movement (1960s-1970s) were vigorous in their attempts to free women from what they called constrictions of gender By re-defining the traditional roles of womanhood, supporters for the movement also re-defined and de-valued the importance of the family Recognizing this ideology, President Kimball sought ways to fortify women in their gender role . December, 2013.
  • Woodger MJ. The Innovations, Inspiration, and Implementation of Elaine Anderson Cannon on Young Women. Mormon History Association Annual Conference. As individuals are called to lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ auxiliaries their unique personalities and skills make indelible footprints upon Church organizations Often the education, personalities and attributes of individuals has a great influence in the development and programs of these Church organizations None have left a more indelible mark than Elaine Anderson Cannon, Eighth President of the Young Women’s Organization who served from 1978 to 1984 Cannon’s skills and gifts such as her ability to work with priesthood leadership, organize, and communicate, greatly affected the development of this organization making a lasting impact Under her direction the first worldwide Young Women’s meeting was held and various programs were established including the first Sunday instruction for Young Women In this role Cannon’s footprint is still seen in this organization and the individual lives of young women who participated under her leadership . June, 2013.
  • Woodger MJ. An Example of Lay Leadership: Elaine Cannon's Role in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Religion in the Rockies Conference. This paper is a systematic study of Cannon’s influence on the development of policy and practices of this organization supporting the premise that Cannon's ideas were revelatory in nature and prepared a rising generation of Latter-day Saints for parenthood and Church leadership This research shows that Cannon’s teachings permeated every aspect of the Young Women’s Organization for many years but more importantly those innovations still are being used today Church wide This study investigates the extent to which Cannon was a prophetic innovator Research includes analysis of every speech, address, and sermon that Cannon gave during her tenure as a general officer of the Church . June, 2013.
  • Woodger MJ. Mormonism and Abraham Lincoln. Academie Royale de Bruxelles. May, 2013.
  • Woodger MJ. From Obscurity to Scripture: “The Historical . You Shall Have My Word: Exploring the Text of the Doctrine and Covenants, Sidney B Sperry Symposium. October, 2012.
  • Woodger MJ. Abraham Lincoln and the Mormons. Utah State History Conference. September, 2012.
  • Woodger MJ. Frontier Prophetesses: The Gift of Tongues as Manifest by Latter-Day Saint Women in Southern Alberta 1894-1930. Mormon History Association Annual Conference. June, 2012.
  • Woodger MJ. George Albert Smith’s Illness 1909-1912. Alice Louise Reynolds Women-In-Scholarship Lecture. March, 2012.
  • Woodger MJ, Black SE. Profiles of 100 Amazing Women. Brigham Young University Women’s Services Women's History Month. March, 2012.
  • Woodger MJ, Black SE. Women of Character. Mormon Women’s History Initiative Annual Meeting. October, 2011.
  • Woodger MJ. Lehi's Dream and Nephi's Vision as Used by Church Leaders. Sidney B Sperry Symposium. October, 2011.
  • Woodger MJ. The Innovations, Inspirations, and Implementations of Ardeth Greene Kapp. Mormon History Association Annual Conference. May, 2011.
  • Woodger MJ. The Ten Pioneering Missionaries to the Sandwich Islands. Go Ye Into All the World: The Growth and Development of LDS Missionary Work. March, 2011.
  • Woodger MJ. Abraham Lincoln’s Interaction with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Abraham Lincoln Sesquicentennial Symposium. March, 2011.
  • Woodger MJ. Douglas, Lincoln and the Mormons in Illinois. Conference of Illinois History. September, 2010.
  • Woodger MJ, Christensen J. The Innovations, Inspirations, and Implementations of Ardeth Greene Kapp on the Young Women’s Organization. A Firm Foundation: A Symposium on the Organization and Administration of the LDS Church, Church History and Doctrine Symposium,. February, 2010.
  • Woodger MJ. Sangamo Journal?s Rebecca and the Democratic Pets: Abraham Lincoln?s Interaction with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormon History Association. 2009.
  • Woodger MJ, Perkins E. Hiding in the 'DO': John Taylor's Administration from the Underground. Church History and Doctrine John Taylor Symposium. 2008.
  • Woodger MJ, Laird K. Yes! We are a Visionary House: Joseph Smith's Restoration of Dreams as Revelation. John Whitmer Society Restoration Studies First Annual Symposium. 2008.
  • Woodger MJ, Perkins M. Behold I have Dreamed a Dream. Society for the Scientific Study of ReligionReligion. 2008.
  • Woodger MJ. George Albert Smith's Struggle with Emotional and Physical Limitations. Mormon History Association. September, 2008.
  • Woodger MJ. Heart Petals: The Personal Correspondence of David Oman McKay to Emma Ray McKay. Friends of the Marriott, Library Book and Authors Series,. 2006.
  • Woodger MJ. The Doctrine and Covenants: A Pattern for Revelation. Brigham Young University Women's Conference. 2005.
  • Woodger MJ. David O McKay: Founding Father of LDS Pacific Education. Brigham Young Unviersity Hawaii College of Arts and Sciences. 2005.
  • Woodger MJ. David O McKay: Paul of the Pacific. Mormon Pacific Historical Society. 2005.
  • Woodger MJ, Cowan RO, Bennett G. A New England Test Case of Religious Freedom:The Boston LDS Temple. Mormon History Association. July, 2005.
  • Woodger MJ. Be One, Be Mine, Through Spiritual Gifts. Brigham Young University Annual Office Professional's Conference. 2004.
  • Woodger MJ. Women of Faith in the New Testament. Brigham Young University Education Week Broadcast. 2004.
  • Woodger MJ. How Great is the Joy of the Soul that Repenteth. Brigham Young University Women's Conference. 2004.
  • Woodger MJ. Amy Brown Lyman, Mother of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Child Placement Agency. Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History: New Scholarship on Latter-day Saint Women in the Twentieth Century. 2004.
Mary Jane Woodger