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Fred E. Woods

Fred E. Woods's picture

Department: Church History

Title: Professor

Office: 365E JSB

Phone number: (801) 422-3366

Contact: Send message

Curriculum Vitae: View Vitae

Bio: Fred E. Woods completed a B.S. degree in Psychology (1981) and a MS degree in International Relations (1985) from Brigham Young University. In 1991, he earned a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies from the University of Utah with an emphasis in Hebrew Bible. He has been a BYU professor in the department of Church History & Doctrine since 1998. From 2005 to 2010, he held a Richard L. Evans Professorship of Religious Understanding. Dr. Woods has lectured at numerous universities in the United States and internationally. He is the author of over one hundred academic articles treating a variety of topics and has written books. His most recent publication is The Saints of Tonga: A Century of Island Faith, a co-authored work. The past decade he has also produced several documentaries with filmmaker, Martin Andersen. Their films include Mormon Yankees: Giants on and off the Court (2011), Finding Refuge in El Paso (2012) and Divine Providence: The Wreck and Rescue of the Julia Ann (2014), Laie: Refuge from the Storm (2015), Melting the Ice: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Alaska (2018) and his most recent film is The Saints of Tonga: A Century of Island Faith, a companion to the book. 

Professor Woods is best known for his general works on the globalization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which includes his specialized research  on the maritime segment of the story of the Latter-day Saint gathering to an American Zion; the sailing before the trail portion of Mormon immigration to the United States. Dr. Woods has authored scores of articles on this topic and has many publications dealing with international studies on the Latter-day SaintsHis website https://saintsbysea.lib.byu.edu/about/ (of which he is the editor and compiler), is the chief source of information on this topic. From 2013-2014, Dr. Woods was a professor at the BYU Center for Near Eastern Studies in Jerusalem. In spring 2017 and spring 2018 he was a research fellow at the Harris Manchester College at Oxford University for the Trinity Trimesters where he was immersed in a study of THE LOOK OF MORMON: The Latter-day Saint Image in the British Mind. He was appointed in fall 2019 to a BYU endowed Moral Education Professorship. 

Recent Articles Published/or soon to be Published 

Fred E. Woods, “Orson Pratt’s Publishing of The Seer: A Mission to Washington, DC, for a Season,” Washington DC Regional Studies volume.

Fred E. Woods, “The Balance Between Church and State: A study in mutual respect between the Latter-day Saints and the Royal Family,” Journal of Mormon History, winter 2020).

Fred E. Woods and Kári Bjarnason, “Conversions, Arrests, and Friendships: A Story of Two Icelandic Police Officers,” vol. 20, no. 1, Religious Educator (Winter 2019).

Fred E. Woods and Jannalee Sandau, “The Gathering and Influence of the Scottish Saints,” LDS Living Magazine (January/February 2019).

Fred E. Woods, “The Sail before the Trail or Have we Missed the Boat? Latter-day Saint Maritime Immigration to America in the 19th Century, The Ephemera Journal, vol. 21, no. 3 (May, 2019), 1, 4-9.  

Fred E. Woods, ““From South Africa to Salt Lake City: Eli Wiggill, the Latter-day Saints, and the World of Religion, 1810-1883,” vol. 64, no. 2, Historia, (May 2019), 1-22.

Fred E. Woods, “Saints and the Transcontinental Railroad,” LDS Living (May/June 2019), 40-44, 47, 49.  

Fred E. Woods and Anita Manning, “AN EXTRAORDINARY TROOP: The Boy Scouts program at Kalaupapa,” Hawaiian Journal of History, November, 2019 

Fred E. Woods, shortened version of the DeMille/McKay BYU Studies article in LDS Living Magazine (July, 2019).

Fred E. Woods, “On the Way Home from the Mission Field: The Worldwide Travels of Ted Johnson and Ted Steck,” Mormon Historical Studies, Spring 2018. 

Tom L. Farmer and Fred E. Woods, “Sanctuary on the Mississippi: St. Louis as a Way Station for Mormon Emigration,” vol. 9, no. 2 Confluence: Lindenwood University Press  (Spring/Summer 2018): 42-55. 

Fred E. Woods and R. Devan Jensen, “We Rang the Bell”: The Launch of Mormonism in Tonga, Mormon Historical Studies vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 43-63.

Fred E. Woods and Jean Huysmans, “John W. F. Volker: vertaler van het Boek van Mormon en Nederlandse zendeling vol met ijver” Liahona, in Dutch language (September 2017): 5-8.

Fred E. Woods and R. Devan Jensen, with Katie Lambert, “The Church in Tonga,” in LDS Living magazine (March/April 2017): 59-62, 64. 

Fred E. Woods, “William Mark Waddoups And His Kalaupapa Connection,” October 2017 in The Hawaiian Journal of History, vol. 51 (2017): 143-169. 

Fred E. Woods, “More Precious Than Gold: Mormonism Comes to Nome, (1900–1913), Alaska History vol 31 #2 pages 28-45, Fall 2016. 

Fred E. Woods, “Mormon Missionaries and Mid-twentieth-century Basketball in Australia: Religion through Sport as a Vehicle to Reach Secular Society,” published in the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion (JASR) 29:1 (2016), 77-93. (Note: This is the leading peer-reviewed journal of the Pacific region for religious studies. 

Fred E. Woods, “A Vow Remembered: Lawrence Judd and His Pledge to Kalaupapa,” in the Journal of Hawaiian History, vol. 50 (2016), 1-31.  

Fred E. Woods and Jean Huysmans, “The Consecrated Service of Elder John W. F. Volker: The Netherlands Mission,” forthcoming in the Religious Educator, 17, no. 1 (2016):120-157. (This was the launch article to commence global Mormon studies in every subsequent issue of the Religious Educator

Fred E. Woods, “Is Truth Stranger than Fiction?” A conceptual look at the societies of Zion and Babylon and the search for a promised land," Acta Comparanda FVG vol. XXVI (2016): 65-78, Antwerp, Belgian journal. 

Fred E. Woods and Kári Bjarnason, “The First Three Icelanders to Settle in North America,” Mormon Historical Studies, 17, nos. 1-2 (2016): 291-313. 

Fred E. Woods and Jake Healey, “Early Beginnings of Icelandic Latter-day Saints,” LDS Living Magazine, (Jan./Feb. 2016): 59-64.

Fred E. Woods, “Launching Mormonism into Alaska (1913­‒1940),”submitted to Alaska History, November 2016. 

Fred E. Woods and Jannalee Rosner, “The Church in Alaska,” LDS Living Magazine, Nov./Dec. 2016, 59-65.

Forthcoming Articles

Fred E. Woods, “The Gathering and Influence of the Scottish Saints,” LDS Living Magazine, September/October 2018. 

Fred E. Woods and Kári Bjarnason, “Icelandic Conversion, Arrest, and Immigration to a Mormon West,” The Religious Educator, 2019. 

Recently Published Books:

Fred E. Woods, KALAUPAPA: The Mormon Experience in an Exiled Community (Provo: UT, BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book), 2017.

Fred E. Woods, Reflections of Kalaupapa (Laie: Hawaii, Polynesian Cultural Studies and the Jonathan Napela Institute for Hawaiian and Pacific Studies, BYU-Hawaii), 2017.

Mary Jane Woodger, Riley Moffat, Fred E. Woods, SACRED AND HISTORICAL PLACES Hawai‘i; A Guide to LDS Historic Sites in Hawai‘i (Laie: BYU Hawaii; Mormon Historic Sites Foundation), 2016. 

Forthcoming Books

Malcolm Adcock and Fred E. Woods, THE LOOK OF MORMON: The Latter-day Saint image in the British Mind( 2020) 

Fred E. Woods, Jay H. Buckley, Hunter T. Hallows, eds., "The Life and Adventures of Mr. Eli Wiggill." 

Recently Released Films

Martin Andersen and Fred E. Woods, co-producers, Saints of Tonga: A Century of Island Faith. 

Fred E. Woods, Melting the Ice, A History of Latter-day Saints in Alaska, 2018

Forthcoming Documentary Films

The Look of Mormon: The Latter-day Saint Image in the British Mind (2020)

Recent Awards/Appointments  2016-2020

Moral Education endowed professorship (2019-2020) 

Best book award for KALAUPAPA: The Mormon Experience in an Exiled Community (Provo: UT, BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book), 2017. (The 2018 Harvey B. and Susan Easton Black Outstanding Publication Award (Gospel Scholarship for LDS Audiences, Church History and Doctrine)

Summer Oxford Research fellow to the Oxford Harris Manchester College for the Trinity trimesters for 2017 and 2018. 

Icelandic Heritage award from the Icelandic Association of Utah (2016) for contributions in the preservation of Icelandic history.

Appointed in January 2016, Adjunct Professor in the School of Law, Sydney at The University of Notre Dame Australia 

Icelandic Heritage award from the Icelandic Association of Utah (2016) for contributions to Icelandic history the past year (2015) and beyond.

Areas of Expertise: Mormon migration, Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), 19th century LDS Church History, The Doctrine and Covenants, the LDS global/international church, Interfaith dialogue  

Areas of Research (2019): The Globalizaton of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.