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Title: Leaves from My Journal - Third Book of the Faith-Promoting Series
Author: Woodruff, Wilford
Language: English
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By President W. Woodruff



Salt Lake City, Utah.


About nine months have elapsed since the first edition of this work
was published, and now the whole number issued--over 4,000 copies--are
exhausted, and there is a demand for more.

We, therefore, have much pleasure in offering the Second Edition of
LEAVES FROM MY JOURNAL for public consideration, and trust that the
young people who pursue it will be inspired to emulate in their lives
the faith, perseverance and integrity that so distinguish its author.

Brother Woodruff is a remarkable man. Few men now living, who have
followed the quiet and peaceful pursuits of life, have had such an
interesting and eventful experience as he has. Few, if any in this
age, have spent a more active and useful life. Certainly no man living
has been more particular about recording with his own hand, in a daily
journal, during half a century, the events of his own career and the
things that have come under his observation. His elaborate journal has
always been one of the principal sources from which the Church history
has been compiled.

Possessed of wonderful energy and determination, and mighty faith,
Brother Woodruff has labored long and with great success in the Church.
He has ever had a definite object in view--to know the will of the
Almighty and to do it. No amount of self-denial has been too great for
him to cheerfully endure for the advancement of the cause of God. No
labor required of the Saints has been considered by him too onerous to
engage in with his own hands.

Satan, knowing the power for good that Brother Woodruff would be, if
permitted to live, has often sought to effect his destruction.

The adventures, accidents and hair-breath escapes that he has met with,
are scarcely equalled by the record that the former apostle, Paul, has
left us of his life.

The power of God has been manifested in a most remarkable manner in
preserving Brother Woodruff's life. Considering the number of bones
he has had broken, and the other bodily injuries he has received, it
is certainly wonderful that now, at the age of seventy-five years, he
is such a sound, well-preserved man. God grant that his health and
usefulness may continue for many years to come.

Of course, this volume contains but a small portion of the interesting
experience of Brother Woodruff's life, but very many profitable lessons
may be learned from it, and we trust at some future time to be favored
with other sketches from his pen.




Strictness of the "Blue Laws" of Connecticut--The Old Prophet
Mason--His Vision--His Prophecy--Hear the Gospel, and Embrace it--Visit
Kirtland, and see Joseph Smith--A Work for the Old Prophet.


Preparing to go up to Zion--First Meeting with President Young-Camp of
Zion Starts--Numbers Magnified in the Eyes of Beholders--Remarkable
Deliverance-Selfishness, and its Reward.


Advised to Remain in Missouri--A Desire to Preach--Pray to the Lord for
a Mission--Prayer Answered--Sent on a Mission to Arkansas--Dangerous
Journey through Jackson County--Living on Raw Corn, and Sleeping on the
Ground--My First Sermon--Refused Food and Shelter by a Presbyterian
Preacher--Wander through Swamps--Entertained by Indians.


A Journey of Sixty Miles without Food--Confronted by a Bear--Pass by
Unharmed--Surrounded by Wolves--Lost in Darkness--Reach a Cabin--Its
Inmates--No Supper--Sleep on the Floor--The Hardest Day's Work of my
Life--Twelve Miles more without Breakfast--Breakfast and Abuse Together.


Our Anxiety to Meet a Saint--Journey to Akeman's--A Dream--Find Mr.
Akeman a Rank Apostate--He Raises a Mob--Threatened with Tar, Feathers,
etc.--I Warn Mr. Akeman to Repent--He Falls Down Dead at my Feet--I
Preach his Funeral Sermon.


Make a Canoe--Voyage down the Arkansas River--Sleep in a Deserted
Tavern--One Hundred and Seventy Miles through Swamps--Forty Miles a
Day in Mud Knee-deep--A Sudden Lameness--Left alone in an Alligator
Swamp--Healed, in Answer to Prayer--Arrival an Memphis--An Odd-looking
Preacher--Compelled to Preach--Powerful Aid from the Spirit--Not what
the Audience Expected.


Curious Worship--Meet Elder Parrish--Labor Together in
Tenessee--Adventure in Bloody River--A Night of Peril--Providential
Light--Menaced by a Mob--Good Advice of a Baptist Preacher--Summary of
my Labors during the Year.


Studying Grammar--Meet Elder Patten--Glorious News--Labor with A. O.
Smoot--Turned out of a Meeting House by a Baptist Preacher--Preach in
the Open Air--Good Result--Adventure on the Tennesse River--A Novel
Charge to Arrest and Condemn Men upon--Mob Poison Our Horses.


Attending School--Marriage--Impressed to take a Mission to Fox
Islands--Advised to go--Journey to Canada--Cases of Healing--Journey
to Connecticut--My Birthplace--My Mother's Grave--Baptize some
Relatives--Joined by my Wife--Journey on Foot to Maine--Arrival at Fox


Description of Vinal Haven--Population and Pursuit of the People--Great
Variety of Fish--The Introduction of the Gospel.


Mr. Newton, the Baptist Preacher, Wrestling with out Testimony--Rejects
it, and Begins to Oppose--Sends for a Methodist Minister to Help
Him--Mr. Douglass' Speech--Our Great Success on the North Island--Go
to the South Island, and baptise Mr. Douglass' Flock--Great Number of
Islands--Boiled Clams--Day of Prayer--Codfish Flakes.


Return to Mainland--Parting with Brother Hale--My Second Visit to
the Islands--Visit to the Isle of Holt--A Sign Demanded by Mr.
Douglass--A Prediction about him--It's Subsequent Fulfillment--Spirit
of Opposition--Firing of Cannons and Guns to Disturb my Meeting.


Meeting with James Townsend--Decide to go to Bangor--Long Journey
through Deep Snow--Curious Phenomenon--Refused Lodging at Eight
Houses--Entertained by Mr. Teppley--Curious Coincidence--Mr Teppley's
Despondence--Arrival at Bangor--Return to the Islands--Adventure with
the Tide.


Counseled to Gather with the Saints--Remarkable Manifestation--Case of
Healing--Efforts of Apostates--Visit from Elders--A Conference--Closing
my Labors on the Islands for a Season.


Return to Scarboro--Journey South--Visit to A. P. Rockwood in
Prison--Incidents of Prison Life--Journey to Connecticut--Baptize my
Father's Household.


Taking Leave of my Old Home--Return to Maine--Birth of my
First Child--Appointment to the Apostleship and to a Foreign
Mission--Preparations for the Journey to Zion.


Start upon out Journey. A Hazardous Undertaking--Sickness--Severe
Weather--My wife and Child Stricken--A Trying Experience--My Wife
Continues to Fail--Her Spirit Leaves her Body--Restored by the Power of
God--Her Spirit's Experience while Separated from the Body--Death of my
Brother--Arrival at Rochester--Removal to Quincy.


A Peculiar Revelation--Determination of Enemies to Prevent its
Fulfillment--Start to Far West to Fulfill Revelation--Our Arrival
There--Hold a Council--Fulfill the Revelation--Corner Stone of the
Temple Laid--Ordained to the Apostleship--Leave Far West--Meet the
Prophet Joseph--Conference Held--Settle Our Families in Nauvoo.


A Day of God's Power with the Prophet Joseph Smith--A Great Number of
Sick Persons Healed--The Mob becomes Alarmed--They try to Interfere
with the Healing of the Sick--The Mob Sent Out of the House--Twin
Children Healed.


Preparing for our Journey and Mission--The Blessing of the Prophet
Joseph upon our Heads, and his Promises unto us--The Power of the Devil
manifested to Hinder us in the Performance of our Journey.


Leaving my Family--Start Upon my Mission--Our Condition--Elder Taylor
the only One not Sick--Reproof from the Prophet--Incidents upon the
Journey--Elder Taylor Stricken--I Leave him Sick.


Continue my Journey--Leave Elder Taylor in Germantown--Arrival in
Cleveland--Take Steamer from There to Buffalo--Delayed by a Storm--Go
to Farmington, my Father's Home--Death of my Grandmother--My Uncle
Dies--I Preach his Funeral Sermon--Arrive in New York--Sail for
Liverpool--Encounter Storms and Rough Weather--Arrive in Liverpool.


Our visit to Preston--Our First Council in England, in 1840--We Take
Different Fields of Labor--A Women Possessed of the Devil--Attempt to
Cast it Out and Fail--Turn Out the Unbelievers, and then Succeed--The
Evil Spirit Enters her Child--Commence Baptizing--The Lord Makes Known
His Will to me.


My Journey to Herefordshire--Interview with John Benbow--The Word of
the Lord Fulfilled to me--The Greatest Gathering into the Church Known
among the Gentiles since its organisation in this Dispensation--A
Constable Sent to Arrest me--I Convert and Baptize Him--Two Clerks Sent
as Detectives to Hear me Preach, and both Embrace the Truth--Rectors
Petition to have out Preaching Prohibited--The Archbishop's Reply--Book
of Mormon and Hymn Book Printed--Case of healing.


Closing Testimony--Good and Evil Spirits.


How to Obtain Revelation from God--Joseph Smith's Course--Saved
from Death by a falling Tree, by Obeying the Voice of the Spirit--A
Company of Saints Saved from a Steam-boat Disaster by the Spirit's
Warning--Plot to Waylay Elder C. C. Rich and Party Foiled by the same


Result of not Obeying the Voice of the Spirit--Lost in a
Snowstorm--Saved, in answer to Prayer--Revelation to Missionaries
Necessary--Revelation in the St. George Temple.


Patriarchal Blessings and their Fulfillment--Predictions in my own
Blessing--Gold-dust from California--Taught by an Angel--Struggle with
Evil Spirits--Administered to by Angels--What Angels are sent to the
Earth for.




For the benefit of the young Latter-day Saints, for whom the
Faith-Promoting Series is especially designed, I will relate some
incidents from my experience. I will commence by giving a short account
of some events of my childhood and youth.

I spent the first years of my life under the influence of what history
has called the "Blue Laws" of Connecticut.

No man, boy, or child of any age was permitted to play, or do any work
from sunset Saturday night, until Sunday night. After sunset on Sunday
evening, men might work, and boys might jump, shout, and play as much
as they pleased.

Our parents were very strict with us on Saturday night, and all day
Sunday we had to sit very still and say over the Presbyterian catechism
and some passages in the Bible.

The people of Connecticut in those days thought it wicked to believe
in any religion, or belong to any church, except the Presbyterian.
They did not believe in having any prophets, apostles, or revelations,
as they had in the days of Jesus, and as we now have in the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There was an aged man in Connecticut, however, by the name of Robert
Mason, who did not believe like the rest of the people. He believed
it was necessary to have prophets, apostles, dreams, visions and
revelations in the church of Christ, the same as they had who lived in
ancient days; and he believed the Lord would raise up a people and a
church, in the last days, with prophets, apostles and all the gifts,
powers and blessings, which it ever contained in any age of the world.

The people called this man, the old prophet Mason.

He frequently came to my father's house when I was a boy, and taught me
and my brothers those principles; and I believed him.

This prophet prayed a great deal, and he had dreams and visions, and
the Lord showed him many things, by visions, which were to come to pass
in the last days.

I will here relate one vision, which he related to me. The last time I
ever saw him, he said: "I was laboring in my field at mid-day when I
was enwrapped in a vision. I was placed in the midst of a vast forest
of fruit trees: I was very hungry, and walked a long way through the
orchard, searching for fruit to eat; but I could not find any in the
whole orchard, and I wept because I could find no fruit. While I stood
gazing at the orchard, and wondering why there was no fruit, the trees
began to fall to the ground upon every side of me, until there was not
one tree standing in the whole orchard; and while I was marveling at
the scene, I saw young sprouts start up from the roots of the trees
which had fallen, and they opened into young, thrifty trees before
my eyes. They budded, blossomed, and bore fruit until the trees were
loaded with the finest fruit I ever beheld, and I rejoiced to see so
much fine fruit. I stepped up to a tree and picked my hands full of
fruit, and marveled at its beauty, and as I was about to taste of it
the vision closed, and I found myself in the field in the same place I
was at the commencement of the vision.

"I then knelt upon the ground, and prayed unto the Lord, and asked Him,
in the name of Jesus Christ, to show me the meaning of the vision.
The Lord said unto me: 'This is the interpretation of the vision: the
great trees of the forest represented the generation of men in which
you live. There is no church of Christ, or kingdom of God upon the
earth in your generation. There is no fruit of the church of Christ
upon the earth. There is no man ordained of God to administer in any of
the ordinances of the gospel of salvation upon the earth in this day
and generation. But, in the next generation, I the Lord will set up my
kingdom and my church upon the earth, and the fruits of the kingdom
and church of Christ, such as have followed the prophets, apostles
and saints in every dispensation, shall again be found in all their
fullness upon the earth. You will live to see the day, and handle the
fruit; but will never partake of it in the flesh.'"

When the old prophet had finished relating the vision and
interpretation, he said to me, calling me by my christian name: "I
shall never partake of this fruit in the flesh; but you will, and you
will become a conspicuous actor in that kingdom." He then turned and
left me. These were the last words he ever spoke to me upon the earth.

This was a very striking circumstance, as I had spent many hours and
days, during twenty years, with this old Father Mason, and he had never
named this vision to me before. But at the beginning of this last
conversation, he told me that he felt impelled by the Spirit of the
Lord to relate it to me.

He had the vision about the year 1800, and he related it to me in
1830--the same spring that the Church was organized.

This vision, with his other teachings to me, made a great impression
upon my mind, and I prayed a great deal to the Lord to lead me by His
Spirit, and prepare me for His church when it did come.

In 1832, I left Connecticut, and traveled with my eldest brother to
Oswego County, New York; and in the winter of 1833, I saw, for the
first time in my life, an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. He preached in a school-house near where I lived. I
attended the meeting, and the Spirit of the Lord bore record to me that
what I heard was true. I invited the Elder to my house, and next day I,
with my eldest brother, went down into the water and was baptized. We
were the first two baptized in Oswego County, New York.

When I was baptized I thought of what the old prophet had said to me.

In the spring of 1834, I went to Kirtland, saw the Prophet Joseph
Smith, and went with him, and with more than two hundred others in
Zion's Camp, up to Missouri. When I arrived, at my journey's end, I
took the first opportunity and wrote a long letter to Father Mason, and
told him I had found the church of Christ that he had told me about.
I told him about its organization and the coming forth of the Book of
Mormon; that the Church had Prophets, Apostles, and all the gifts and
blessings in it, and that the true fruit of the kingdom and church of
Christ were manifest among the Saints as the Lord had shown him in the
vision. He received my letter and read it over many times, and handled
it as he had handled the fruit in the vision; but he was very aged,
and soon died. He did not live to see any Elder to administer the
ordinances of the gospel unto him.

The first opportunity I had, after the doctrine of baptism for the dead
was revealed, I went forth and was baptized for him. He was a good man
and a true prophet, for his prophecies have been fulfilled.



I arrived at Kirtland on the 25th of April, 1834, and for the first
time saw the Prophet Joseph Smith. He invited me to his house. I spent
about a week with him, and became acquainted with him and his family,
also with many of the Elders and Saints living in Kirtland, quite a
number of whom were preparing to go up to Zion.

On Sunday, the 27th of April, I attended a meeting in a school-house
in Kirtland, and for the first time heard Elders Sidney Rigdon, Orson
Hyde, Orson Pratt and others speak and bear testimony to the work of
God, and much of the Spirit of God was poured out upon the Saints.

It was the 26th of April, 1834, that I was first introduced to Elders
Brigham Young and H. C. Kimball. When I met Brother Brigham, he had his
hands full of butcher knives; he gave me one, and told me to go and
put a good handle on it, which I did. I also had a good sword, which
Brother Joseph wanted, and I gave it to him. He carried it all the way
in Zion's camp to Missouri, and when he returned home he gave it back
to me.

When I was called to go on a mission to the South I left the sword and
knife with Lyman Wight. When he was taken prisoner at Far West, with
Joseph and Hyrum, he had both the sword and the knife with him. All
their weapons were taken from them, so were the arms of many of the
Saints at Far West, under promise that they should be returned to them
when they were prepared to leave the State. When the brethren went to
get their arms, Father James Allred saw my sword, which Lyman Wight had
laid down, and took it and left his own, and afterwards gave it to me
and I still have it. I prize it because the Prophet Joseph carried it
in Zion's Camp. The knife I never regained.

The first day of May, 1834, was appointed for the Camp of Zion to
start from Kirtland to go up to Missouri for the redemption of their
brethren. Only a small portion of the Camp was ready. The Prophet told
those who were ready, to go to New Portage and wait for the remainder.
I left, in company with about twenty men, with the baggage wagons. At
night we pitched our tents. I went to the top of the hill and looked
down upon the camp of Israel. I knelt upon the ground and prayed. I
rejoiced and praised the Lord that I had lived to see some of the tents
of Israel pitched, and a company gathered by the commandment of God to
go up and help redeem Zion.

We tarried at New Portage until the 6th, when we were joined by the
Prophet and eighty-five more men. The day before they arrived, while
passing through the village of Middlebury, the people tried to count
them; but the Lord multiplied them in the eyes of the people, so that
those who numbered them said there were four hundred of them.

On the 7th, Brother Joseph organized the camp, which consisted of
about one hundred and thirty men. On the following day we continued
our journey. We pitched our tents at night and had prayers night and
morning. The Prophet told us every day what we should do.

We were nearly all young men, gathered from all parts of the country,
and strangers to each other; but we got acquainted very soon, and had a
happy time together.

It was a great school for us to be led by a Prophet of God a thousand
miles, through cities, towns, villages, and through the wilderness.

When persons stood by to count us they could not tell how many we
numbered; some said five hundred, others one thousand.

Many were astonished as we passed through their towns. One lady ran
to her door, pushed her spectacles to the top of her head, raised her
hands, and exclaimed: "What under heavens has broken loose?" She stood
in that position the last I saw of her.

The published history of Zion's Camp gives an account of the bones of
a man which we dug out of a mound. His name was Zelph. The Lord showed
the Prophet the history of the man in a vision. The arrow, by which
he was killed, was found among his bones. One of his thigh bones was
broken by a stone slung in battle. The bone was put into my wagon, and
I carried it to Clay County, Missouri, and buried it in the earth.

The Lord delivered Israel in the days of Moses by dividing the Red Sea,
so they went over dry shod. When their enemies tried to do the same,
the water closed upon them and they were drowned. The Lord delivered
Zion's Camp from their enemies on the 19th of June, 1834, by piling up
the waters in Fishing River forty feet in one night, so our enemies
could not cross. He also sent a great hail-storm which broke them up
and sent them seeking for shelter.

The camp of Zion arrived at Brother Burk's, in Clay County, Missouri,
on the 24th of June, 1834, and we pitched our tents on the premises. He
told some of the brethren of my company that he had a spare room that
some of us might occupy if we would clean it. Our company accepted the
offer, and, fearing some other company would get it first, left all
other business and went to work, cleaning out the room, and immediately
spread down our blankets, so as to hold a right to the room. It was
but a short time afterwards that our brethren, who were attacked by
cholera, were brought in and laid upon our beds. None of us ever used
those blankets again, for they were buried with the dead. So we gained
nothing but experience by being selfish, and we lost our bedding.

I will exhort all my young friends to not cherish selfishness; but
if you have any, get rid of it as soon as possible. Be generous and
noble-hearted, kind to your parents, brothers, sisters and play-mates.
Never contend with them; but try to make peace whenever you can.
Whenever you are blessed with any good thing, be willing to share it
with others. By cultivating these principles while you are young, you
will lay a foundation to do much good through your lives, and you will
be beloved and respected of the Lord and all good men.



After Joseph, the Prophet, had led Zion's Camp to Missouri, and we had
passed through all the trials of that journey, and had buried a number
of our brethren, as recorded in history, the Prophet called the Camp
together, and organized the Church in Zion, and gave much good counsel
to all.

He advised all the young men, who had no families, to stay in Missouri
and not return to Kirtland. Not having any family, I stopped with
Lyman Wight, as did Milton Holmes and Heman Hyde. We spent the summer
together, laboring hard, cutting wheat, quarrying rock, making brick,
or anything else we could find to do.

In the fall I had a desire to go and preach the gospel. I knew the
gospel which the Lord had revealed to Joseph Smith was true, and of
such great value that I wanted to tell it to the people who had not
heard it. It was so good and plain, it seemed to me I could make the
people believe it.

I was but a Teacher, and it is not a Teacher's office to go abroad and
preach. I dared not tell any of the authorities of the Church that I
wanted to preach, lest they might think I was seeking for an office.

I went into the woods where no one could see me, and I prayed to the
Lord to open my way so that I could go and preach the gospel. While I
was praying, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and told me my prayer
was heard and that my request should be granted.

I felt very happy, and got up and walked out of the woods into the
traveled road, and there I met a High Priest who had lived in the same
house with me some six months.

He had not said a word to me about preaching the gospel; but now, as
soon as I met him, he said, "The Lord has revealed to me that it is
your privilege to be ordained, and to go and preach the gospel."

I told him I was willing to do whatever the Lord required of me. I did
not tell him I had just asked the Lord to let me go and preach.

In a few days a council was called at Lyman Wight's, and I was ordained
a Priest and sent on a mission into Arkansas and Tennessee, in company
with an Elder. This mission was given us by Elder Edward Partridge, who
was the first Bishop ordained in the Church.

The law of God to us in those days was to go without purse or scrip.
Our journey lay through Jackson County, from which the Saints had just
been driven, and it was dangerous for a "Mormon" to be found in that
part of the State.

We put some Books of Mormon and some clothing into our valises,
strapped them on our backs, and started on foot. We crossed the ferry
into Jackson County, and went through it.

In some instances the Lord preserved us, as it were by miracle, from
the mob.

We dared not go to houses and get food, so we picked and ate raw corn,
and slept on the ground, and did any way we could until we got out of
the county.

We dared not preach while in that county, and we did but little
preaching in the State of Missouri. The first time I attempted to
preach was on Sunday, in a tavern, in the early part of December, 1834.
It was snowing at the time, and the room was full of people. As I
commenced to speak the landlord opened the door, and the snow blew on
the people; and when I inquired the object of having the door opened in
a snowstorm, he informed me that he wanted some light on the subject. I
found that it was the custom of the country.

How much good I did in that sermon I never knew, and probably never
shall know until I meet that congregation in judgment.

In the southern portion of Missouri and the northern part of Arkansas,
in 1834, there were but very few inhabitants.

We visited a place called Harmony Mission, on the Osage river, one
of the most crooked rivers in the west. This mission was kept by a
Presbyterian minister and his family.

We arrived there on Sunday night at sunset. We had walked all day with
nothing to eat, and were very hungry and tired. Neither the minister
nor his wife would give us anything to eat, nor let us stay over night,
because we were "Mormons," and the only chance we had was to go twelve
miles farther down the river, to an Osage Indian trading post, kept by
a Frenchman named Jereu. And this wicked priest, who would not give us
a piece of bread, lied to us about the road, and sent us across the
swamp, and we wallowed knee deep in mud and water till ten o'clock at
night in trying to follow this crooked river. We then left the swamp,
and put out into the prairie, to lie in the grass for the night.

When we came out of the swamp, we heard an Indian drumming on a tin
pail and singing. It was very dark, but we traveled towards the noise,
and when we drew near the Indian camp quite a number of large Indian
dogs came out to meet us. They smelt us, but did not bark nor bite.

We were soon surrounded by Osage Indians, and kindly received by Mr.
Jereu and his wife, who was an Indian. She gave us an excellent supper
and a good bed, which we were thankful for after the fatigue of the day.

As I laid my head on the pillow I felt to thank God, from the bottom of
my heart, for the exchange of the barbarous treatment of a civilized
Presbyterian priest, for the humane, kind and generous treatment of the
savage Osage Indians.

May God reward them both according to their deserts.



We arose in the morning, after a good night's rest. I was somewhat
lame, from wading in the swamp the night before. We had a good
breakfast. Mr. Jereu sent an Indian to see us across the river, and
informed us that it was sixty miles to the nearest settlement of either
white or red men.

We were too bashful to ask for anything to take with us to eat; so
we crossed the river and started on our day's journey of sixty miles
without a morsel of food of any kind. What for? To preach the gospel of
Jesus Christ, to save this generation.

Think of this, children; think of what the Presidency, the Apostles, and
the Elders of this Church have passed through to give you the homes and
comforts you now enjoy.

Think of this, ye statesmen and judges of this American nation; ye who
are now seeking to destroy God's people in the wilderness, who have
gone hungry and naked and have labored for fifty years to save this
nation and generation. Cease your exertions to destroy this people,
or God will bring you to judgment and destroy your nation, and cast
you into outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of
teeth; for the Lord God has spoken it. I must pause; I almost forgot I
was writing a narrative.

We started about sunrise and crossed a thirty-mile prairie, apparently
as level as a house floor, without shrub or water. We arrived at timber
about two o'clock in the afternoon. As we approached the timber a large
black bear came out towards us. We were not afraid of him, for we were
on the Lord's business, and had not mocked God's prophets as did the
forty-two wicked children who said to Elisha, "Go up thou bald head,"
for which they were torn by bears.

When the bear got within eight rods of us he sat on his haunches and
looked at us a moment, and then ran away; and we went on our way
rejoicing. We had to travel in the night, which was cloudy and very
dark, so we had great difficulty to keep the road. Soon a large drove
of wolves gathered around, and followed us. They came very close, and
at times it seemed as though they would eat us up.

We had materials for striking a light, and at ten o'clock, not knowing
where we were, and the wolves becoming so bold, we thought it wisdom to
make a fire; so we stopped and gathered a lot of oak limbs that lay on
the ground, and lit them, and as our fire began to burn the wolves left

As we were about to lay down on the ground--for we had no blankets--we
heard a dog bark.

My companion said it was a wolf; I said it was a dog: but soon we heard
a cow bell. Then we each took a firebrand and went about a quarter of a
mile, and found the house, which was sixty miles from where we started
that morning.

It was an old log cabin, about twelve feet square, with no door, but
an old blanket was hung up in the door-way. There was no furniture
except one bedstead, upon which lay a woman, several children and
several small dogs. A man lay on the bare floor with his feet to the
fire-place, and all were asleep. I went in and spoke to the man, but
did not wake him. I stepped to him, and laid my hand on his shoulder.
The moment he felt the weight of my hand he jumped to his feet, and ran
around the room as though he was frightened; but he was quieted when we
informed him we were friends.

The cause of his fright was, he had shot a panther a few nights before,
and he thought its mate had jumped upon him.

He asked us what we wanted; we told him we wished to stop with him all
night, and would like something to eat. He informed us we might lay
on the floor as he did, but that he had not a mouthful for us to eat,
as he had to depend on his gun to get breakfast for his family in the
morning. So we lay on the bare floor, and slept through a long, rainy
night, which was pretty hard after walking sixty miles without anything
to eat. That was the hardest day's work of my life.

The man's name was Williams. He was in the mob in Jackson County; and
after the Saints were driven out, he, with many others, went south.

We got up in the morning and walked in the rain twelve miles to the
house of a man named Bemon, who was also one of the mob from Jackson
County. They were about sitting down to breakfast as we came in.

In those days it was the custom of the Missourians to ask you to eat
even if they intended to cut your throat as soon as you got through; so
he asked us to take breakfast, and we were very glad of the invitation.

He knew we were "Mormons;" and as soon as we began to eat he began to
swear about the "Mormons." He had a large platter of bacon and eggs,
and plenty of bread on the table, and his swearing did not hinder our
eating, for the harder he swore the harder we ate, until we got our
stomachs full; then we arose from the table, took our hats, thanked him
for our breakfast, and the last we heard of him he was still swearing.

I trust the Lord will reward him for our breakfast.



In the early days of the Church, it was a great treat to an Elder in
his travels through the country to find a "Mormon;" it was so with us.
We were hardly in Arkansas when we heard of a family named Akeman. They
were in Jackson County in the persecutions. Some of the sons had been
tied up there and whipped on their bare backs with hickory switches by
the mob. We heard of their living on Petit Jean River, in the Arkansas
Territory, and we went a long way to visit them.

There had recently been heavy rains, and a creek that we had to cross
was swollen to a rapid stream of eight rods in width. There was no
person living nearer than two miles from the crossing, and no boat. The
people living at the last house on the road, some three miles from the
crossing, said we would have to tarry till the water fell before we
could cross. We did not stop, feeling to trust in God.

Just as we arrived at the rolling flood a negro, on a powerful horse,
entered the stream on the opposite side and rode through it. On our
making our wants known to him, he took us, one at a time, behind him
and carried us safely over, and we went on our way rejoicing.

We arrived that night within five miles of Mr. Akeman's, and were
kindly entertained by a stranger. During the night I had the following

I thought an angel came to us, and told us we were commanded of the
Lord to follow a certain straight path, which was pointed out to us,
let it lead us wherever it might. After we had walked in it awhile
we came to the door of a house, which was in the line of a high wall
running north and south, so that we could not go around. I opened the
door and saw the room was filled with large serpents, and I shuddered
at the sight. My companion said he would not go into the room for fear
of the serpents. I told him I should try to go through the room though
they killed me, for the Lord had commanded it. As I stepped into the
room the serpents coiled themselves up, and raised their heads some two
feet from the floor, to spring at me. There was one much larger than
the rest in the center of the room, which raised its head nearly as
high as mine and made a spring at me. At that instant I felt as though
nothing but the power of God could save me, and I stood still. Just
before the serpent reached me he dropped dead at my feet; all the rest
dropped dead, swelled up, turned black, burst open, took fire and were
consumed before my eyes, and we went through the room unharmed, and
thanked God for our deliverance.

I awoke in the morning and pondered upon the dream. We took breakfast,
and started on our journey on Sunday morning, to visit Mr. Akeman. I
related to my companion my dream, and told him we should see something
strange. We had great anticipations of meeting Mr. Akeman, supposing
him to be a member of the Church. When we arrived at his house he
received us very coldly, and we soon found that he had apostatized.
He brought railing accusations against the Book of Mormon and the
authorities of the Church.

Word was sent through all the settlements on the river for twenty miles
that two "Mormon" preachers were in the place. A mob was soon raised,
and warning sent to us to leave immediately or we would be tarred and
feathered, ridden on a rail and hanged. I soon saw where the serpents
were. My companion wanted to leave; I told him no, I would stay and see
my dream fulfilled.

There was an old gentleman and lady, named Hubbel, who had read the
Book of Mormon and believed. Father Hubbel came to see us, and invited
us to make our home with him while we stayed in the place. We did so,
and labored for him some three weeks with our axes, clearing land,
while we were waiting to see the salvation of God.

I was commanded of the Lord by the Holy Ghost to go and warn Mr. Akeman
to repent of his wickedness. I did so, and each time he railed against
me, and the last time he ordered me out of his house. When I went out
he followed me and was very angry. When he came up to me, about eight
rods from the house, he fell dead at my feet, turned black and swelled
up, as I saw the serpents do in my dream.

His family, as well as ourselves, felt it was the judgment of God upon
him. I preached his funeral sermon. Many of the mob died suddenly. We
stayed about two weeks after Akeman's death and preached, baptized Mr.
Hubbel and his wife, and then continued on our journey.



We concluded to go down the Arkansas river and cross into Tennessee. We
could not get passage on the boat, because of the low water, so we went
on the bank of the river and cut down a sound cottonwood tree, three
feet through, and cut off a twelve-foot length from the butt end; and
in two days we dug out a canoe. We made a pair of oars and a rudder,
and on the 11th of March, 1835, we launched our canoe, and commenced
our voyage down the Arkansas river, without provisions.

The first day we sailed twenty-five miles, and stopped at night with a
poor family who lived on the bank of the river. These kind folks gave
us supper and breakfast, and, in the morning, gave us a johnny-cake and
piece of pork to take with us on our journey.

We traveled about fifty miles that day, and at night stopped at an old
tavern, in a village called Cadron, which was deserted because it was
believed to be haunted by evil spirits.

We made a fire in the tavern, roasted a piece of our pork, ate our
supper, said our prayers, went into a chamber, lay down on the bare
floor, and were soon asleep.

I dreamed I was at my father's house in a good feather bed, and I had
a good night's rest. When I awoke the bed vanished, and found myself
on the bare floor and well rested, not having been troubled with evil
spirits or anything else.

We thanked the Lord for His goodness to us, ate the remainder of our
provisions and continued our journey down the river to Little Rock, the
capital of Arkansas, which then consisted of only a few cabins.

After visiting the place, we crossed the river and tied up our canoe,
which had carried us safely one hundred and fifty miles.

We then took the old military road, leading from Little Rock to
Memphis, Tennessee. This road lay through swamps, and was covered with
mud and water most of the way, for one hundred and seventy miles. We
walked forty miles in a day through mud and water knee-deep.

On the 24th of March, after traveling some ten miles through mud, I was
taken lame with a sharp pain in my knee. I sat down on a log.

My companion, who was anxious to get to his home in Kirtland, left me
sitting in an alligator swamp. I did not see him again for two years. I
knelt down in the mud and prayed, and the Lord healed me, and I went on
my way rejoicing.

On the 27th of March, I arrived at Memphis, weary and hungry. I went to
the best tavern in the place, kept by Mr. Josiah Jackson. I told him I
was a stranger, and had no money. I asked him if he would keep me over

He inquired of me what my business was.

I told him I was a preacher of the gospel.

He laughed, and said that I did not look much like a preacher.

I did not blame him, as all the preachers he had ever been acquainted
with rode on fine horses or in fine carriages, clothed in broadcloth,
and had large salaries, and would see this whole world sink to
perdition before they would wade through one hundred and seventy miles
of mud to save the people.

The landlord wanted a little fun, so he said he would keep me if I
would preach. He wanted to see if I could preach.

I must confess that by this time I became a little mischievous, and
pleaded with him not to set me preaching.

The more I plead to be excused, the more determined Mr. Jackson was
that I should preach. He took my valise, and the landlady got me a good

I sat down in a large hall to eat supper. Before I got through, the
room began to be filled with some of the rich and fashionable of
Memphis, dressed in their broadcloth and silk, while my appearance was
such as you can imagine, after traveling through the mud as I had been.

When I had finished eating, the table was carried out of the room over
the heads of the people. I was placed in the corner of the room, with a
stand having a Bible, hymn book and candle on it, hemmed in by a dozen
men, with the landlord in the center.

There were present some five hundred persons who had come together, not
to hear a gospel sermon, but to have some fun.

Now, boys, how would you like this position? On your first mission,
without a companion or friend, and to be called upon to preach to such
a congregation? With me it was one of the most pleasing hours of my
life, although I felt as though I should like company.

I read a hymn, and asked them to sing. Not a soul would sing a word.

I told them had not the gift of singing; but with the help of the Lord,
I would both pray and preach. I knelt down to pray, and the men around
me dropped on their knees. I prayed to the Lord to give me His Spirit
and to show me the hearts of the people. I promised the Lord in my
prayer I would deliver to that congregation whatever He would give to
me. I arose and spoke one hour and a half and it was one of the best
sermons of my life.

The lives of the congregation were opened to the vision of my mind, and
I told them of their wicked deeds and the reward they would obtain. The
men who surrounded me dropped their heads. Three minutes after I closed
I was the only person in the room.

Soon I was shown to a bed, in a room adjoining a large one in which
were assembled many of the men whom I had been preaching to. I could
hear their conversation.

One man said he would like to know how that "Mormon" boy knew of their
past lives.

In a little while they got to disputing about some doctrinal point. One
suggested calling me to decide the point. The landlord said, "no; we
have had enough for once."

In the morning, I had a good breakfast. The landlord said if I came
that way again to stop at his house, and stay as long as I might choose.



After leaving Memphis, I traveled through the country to Benton County,
and preached on the way as I had opportunity.

I stopped one night with a Squire Hardman, an Episcopalian.

Most of the night was spent by the family in music and dancing.

In the morning, at the breakfast table, Mr. Hardman asked me if we
believed in music and dancing.

I told him we did not really consider them essential to salvation.

He said he did, and therefore should not join our Church.

On the 4th of April, 1835, I had the happy privilege of meeting Elder
Warren Parrish at the house of Brother Frys. He had been preaching
in that part of Tennessee, in company with David W. Patten, and had
baptized a number and organized several small branches.

Brother Patten had returned home, and Brother Parish was laboring
alone. I joined him in the ministry, and we labored together three
months and nineteen days, when he was called to Kirtland.

During the time we were together we traveled through several counties
in Tennessee for the distance of seven hundred and sixty miles, and
preached the gospel daily, as we had opportunity. We baptized some
twenty persons.

By the counsel of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, Elder
Parrish ordained me an Elder, and left me to take charge of the
branches that had been raised up in that neighborhood.

As soon as I was left alone I extended my circuit and labors. For
a season I had large congregations; many seemed to believe, and I
baptized a number.

On the 15th of August I had an appointment at the house of Brother
Taylor, the step-father of Abraham O. Smoot.

I had to cross Bloody River, which I had to swim in consequence of
heavy rains. While crossing, my horse became entangled in a tree top,
and almost drowned; but I succeeded in getting him loose.

We swam to the shore separately. He reached the shore first, and waited
till I came out. I got into the saddle, and went on my way in good
spirits, and had a good meeting.

On the 20th of October I baptized three Campbellites, one of whom was
a deacon. I then rode twelve miles to Mr. Greenwood's, who was eighty
years old, and had been a soldier under General Washington. His wife,
who was ninety-three years old, I found quite smart, and busy carding
wool. I preached at their house and baptized both of them.

On the following day I preached at the house of Benjamin L. Clapp and
baptized seven Campbellites and one Baptist.

On the 16th of November I preached at Brother Camp's and baptized
three. On the day following, it being Sunday, I preached again at
Brother Clapp's and baptized five. At the close of the meeting I
mounted my horse to ride to Clark's River, in company with Seth Utley,
four other brethren and two sisters. The distance was twenty miles.

We came to a stream, which was so swollen by rains, that we could not
cross without swimming our horses. To swim would not be safe for the
females, so we went up the stream to find a ford. In the attempt we
were overtaken by a severe storm of wind and rain, and lost our way in
the darkness, and wandered through creeks and mud. But the Lord does
not forsake His Saints in any of their troubles. While we were in the
woods suffering under the blast of the storm, groping like the blind
for the wall, a bright light suddenly shone around us and revealed to
us our dangerous situation on the edge of a gulf. The light continued
with us until we found the road; we then went on our way rejoicing,
though the darkness returned and the rain continued.

We reached Brother Henry Thomas' in safety about nine o'clock at night,
having been five hours in the storm and forded streams many times. None
of us felt to complain, but were thankful to God for His preserving

On the following day I preached in Damon Creek and organized a branch
called the Damon Creek Branch, and ordained Daniel Thomas a Teacher.

On the 19th of December I again preached at the house of Brother Clapp,
and baptized five persons; one was a Campbellite preacher.

On the following day I preached at the house of Brother Henry Thomas,
when a mob of about fifty persons collected, headed by a Baptist
preacher, who, after asking one question, advised the mob to not lay
hands on any man on account of his principles.

The advice was good and well taken.

At the close of the meeting I baptized three persons, one seventy-eight
years old.

This brings the year 1835 to a close--the first year of my
mission--during which time I had traveled three thousand two hundred
and forty-eight miles, held one hundred and seventy meetings, baptized
forty-three persons--three of whom were Campbellite preachers--assisted
Elder Parish to baptize twenty more, confirmed thirty-five, organized
three branches, ordained two Teachers and one Deacon, procured
thirty subscribers for the _Messenger and Advocate_, one hundred and
seventy-three signers to the petition to the governor of Missouri for
redress of wrongs done the Saints in Jackson County, had three mobs
rise against me--but was not harmed, wrote eighteen letters, received
ten, and, finally, closed the labors of the year 1835, by eating
johnny-cake, butter and honey, at Brother A. O. Smoot's.



I spent the fore part of January, 1836, (the weather being very cold)
at the house of A. O. Smoot, in Kentucky, studying Kirkham's English
Grammar. I continued to travel and preach in Kentucky and Tennessee and
baptized all that would believe my testimony.

On the 26th of February we held a conference at the house of Brother
Lewis Clapp (father of B. L. Clapp). There were represented one hundred
and three members in that mission. I ordained A. O. Smoot and Benjamin
Boyston Elders, and Daniel Thomas and Benjamin L. Clapp Priests. I also
ordained one Teacher and two Deacons.

After conference I took Brothers Smoot and Clapp with me to preach.
The former traveled with me constantly till the 21st of April, when
we had the privilege of meeting with Elder David W. Patten, who had
come direct from Kirtland, and who had been ordained one of the Twelve

It was a happy meeting. He gave us an account of the endowments at
Kirtland, the glorious blessings received, the ministration of angels,
the organization of the Twelve Apostles and Seventies, and informed me
that I was appointed a member of the second quorum of Seventies. All of
this was glorious news to me, and caused my heart to rejoice.

On the 27th of May we were joined by Elder Warren Parrish, direct from
Kirtland. We had a happy time together.

On the 28th, we held a conference at Brother Seth Utley's, where were
represented all the branches of the Church in the South.

I was ordained on the 31st of May a member of the second quorum of
Seventies under the hands of David W. Patten and Warren Parrish.

At the close of the conference we separated for a short time. Elders
Patten and Parrish labored in Tennessee, Brother Smoot and myself in
Kentucky. On the 9th of June we all met at Damon Creek branch, where
Brother Patten baptized two. One was Father Henry Thomas, who had been
a revolutionary soldier under General Washington, and father of Daniel
and Henry Thomas.

A warrant was issued, on the oath of a priest, against D. W. Patten, W.
Parrish and myself. We were accused in the warrant of the great "crime"
of testifying that Christ would come in this generation, and that we
promised the Holy Ghost to those whom we baptized. Brothers Patten and
Parrish were taken on the 19th of June. I being in another county,
escaped being arrested. The brethren were put under two thousand
dollars bond to appear at court. Albert Petty and Seth Utley were their

They were tried on the 22nd of June. They pleaded their own cause.
Although men came forward and testified they did receive the Holy Ghost
after they were baptized, the brethren were condemned; but were finally
released by paying the expense of the mob court.

There was one peculiar circumstance connected with this trial by a mob
court, which was armed to the teeth. When the trial was through with,
the people were not willing to permit more than one to speak. Warren
Parrish had said but few words, and they were not willing to let David
Patten speak. But he, feeling the injustice of the court, and being
filled with the power of God, arose to his feet and delivered a speech
of about twenty minutes, holding them spell-bound while he told them of
their wickedness and the abominations that they were guilty of, also of
the curse of God that awaited them, if they did not repent, for taking
up two harmless, inoffensive men for preaching the gospel of Christ.

When he got through his speech the judge said, "You must be armed with
secret weapons, or you would not talk in this fearless manner to an
armed court."

Brother Patten replied: "I have weapons that you know not of, and they
are given me of God, for He gives me all the power I have."

The judge seemed willing to get rid of them almost upon any terms, and
offered to dismiss them if their friends would pay the costs, which the
brethren present freely offered to do.

When the two were released, they mounted their horses and rode a mile
to Seth Utley's; but, as soon as they had left, the court became
ashamed that they had been let go so easily and the whole mob mounted
their horses to follow them to Utley's.

One of the Saints, seeing the state of affairs, went on before the mob
to notify the brethren, so that they had time to ride into the woods
near by.

They traveled along about three miles to Brother Albert Petty's, and
went to bed. The night was dark, and they went to sleep.

But Brother Patten was warned in a dream to get up and flee, as the mob
would soon be there. They both arose, saddled their animals, and rode
into the adjoining county.

The house they had just left was soon surrounded by the mob, but the
brethren had escaped through the mercy of God.

I was invited to hold a meeting at a Baptist meeting-house on the 27th
of June. On my arrival I met a large congregation; but, on commencing
meeting, Parson Browning ordered the meeting to be closed. I told the
people I had come ten miles to preach the gospel to them, and was
willing to stand in a cart, on a pile of wood, on a fence, or any other
place they would appoint, to have that privilege.

One man said he owned the fence and land in front of the meeting-house,
and we might use both, for he did not believe "Mormonism" would hurt

So the congregation crossed the road, took down the fence and made
seats of it, and I preached to them one hour and a half. At the close
Mr. Randolph Alexander bore testimony to the truth of what had been
said. He invited me home with him, bought a Book of Mormon, and was
baptized, and I organized a branch in that place.

On the 18th of July, Brother A. O. Smoot and I arrived at a ferry on
the Tennessee river, and, as the ferryman was not at home, the woman
kindly gave us permission to use the ferryboat. We led our horses on
board, and took the oars to cross the river. Brother Smoot had never
used an oar, and I had not for some years, so we made awkward work of
it. Soon he broke one oar, and I let another fall overboard, which
left us only one broken oar to get to shore with. We narrowly escaped
running into a steamboat. We struck shore half a mile below the landing
place, tied up the boat, jumped on the bank with our horses, and went
on our way with blistered hands, thankful to get off so well.

On Sunday, the 31st of July, A. O. Smoot and I preached at Mr. David
Crider's, Weakly County, Tennessee. After the meeting Mr. Crider was
baptized. A mob gathered and threatened us, and poisoned our horses so
that the one I rode, belonging to Samuel West, died a few days after.
This horse had carried me thousands of miles while preaching the gospel.

I continued to travel with Brothers Smoot, Patten and Parrish in
Tennessee and Kentucky, and we baptized all who would receive our

On the 2nd day of September we held a general conference at the Damon
Creek Branch. Elder Thomas B. Marsh President of the Twelve Apostles,
presided. All the branches in Tennessee and Kentucky were represented.

Brothers Randolph Alexander, Benjamin L. Clapp and Johnson F. Lane
were ordained Elders and Lindsay Bradey was ordained to the lesser

I assisted President Marsh to obtain fifteen hundred dollars from
the Southern brethren, to enter land in Missouri for the Church. The
brethren made me a present of fifty dollars, which I sent by President
Marsh to enter forty acres of land for me. Elder Smoot and I were
released from the Southern mission with permission to go to Kirtland.



Having returned from my Southern mission in the autumn of 1836, in
company with Elders A. O. Smoot and Jesse Turpin, I spent the following
winter in Kirtland. During this time I received my endowments and
attended the school of Professor Haws, who taught Greek, Latin and
English grammar. I confined my studies mostly to Latin and English

This winter and the following spring, in some respects, may be regarded
as one of the most interesting periods of the history of the Church,
when we consider the endowments and teachings given in the temple, and
the great apostasy which followed.

I was married to Miss Phoebe Whitmore Carter, on the 13th of April,
1837, and received my patriarchal blessing under the hands of Father
Joseph Smith, the Patriarch, two days after.

I felt impressed by the Spirit of God to take a mission to the Fox
Islands, situated east of the Maine shore, a country I knew nothing
about. I made my feelings known to the Apostles, and they advised me to

Feeling that it was my duty to go upon this mission, I did not tarry at
home one year after having married a wife, as the law of Moses would
have allowed. On the contrary, I started just one month and one day
after that important event, leaving my wife with Sister Hale, with whom
she expected to stay for a season.

I left Kirtland in good spirits, in company with Elder Jonathan H.
Hale, and walked twelve miles to Fairport, where we were joined by
Elder Milton Holmes. There we went aboard the steamer _Sandusky_, and
made our way to Buffalo, and proceeded thence to Syracuse, by way of
the Erie Canal. We then walked to Richland, Oswego Co., N. Y., where I
met my two brothers, whom I had not seen for several years.

After spending one night there, we continued our journey to Sackett's
Harbor, and crossed Lake Ontario on the steamer _Oneida_, to Kingston,
Upper Canada, and from there also by steamer along the canal to Jones'
Falls, whence we walked to a place called Bastard, Leeds County.

Here we found a branch of the Church, presided over by John E. Page
and James Blakesly. We accompanied them to their place of meeting, and
attended a conference with them, at which three hundred members of the
Church were represented.

Thirty-two persons presented themselves for ordination, whom I was
requested to ordain, in company with Elder Wm. Draper. We ordained
seven Elders, nine Priests, eleven Teachers and five Deacons.

We spoke to the people several times during this conference, and at its
close we were called upon to administer to a woman who was possessed
of the devil. At times she was dumb, and greatly afflicted with the
evil spirits that dwelt in her. She believed in Jesus and in us as His
servants, and wished us to administer to her. Four of us laid our hands
upon her head and commanded the devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, to
depart out of her. It was immediately done, and the woman arose with
great joy, and gave thanks and praise unto God; for, according to her
faith, she was made whole from that hour.

A child, also, that was sick, was healed by the laying on of hands,
according to the word of God.

We walked thirty miles to visit another branch of the Saints at Leeds,
where we met with John Gordon and John Snider. Here we held a meeting
and bore our testimony to the people.

A Sister Carns here came to us and requested to have the ordinance for
the healing of the sick performed for two of her children who were
afflicted. One was a suckling child, which was lying at the point of
death. I took it in my arms and presented it before the Elders, who
laid their hands upon it, and it was made whole immediately, and I
handed it back to the mother entirely healed.

We afterwards laid hands upon the other, when it was also healed. It
was done by the power of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, and the
parents praised God for His goodness.

After leaving the Saints in this place, we returned to Kingston, and
crossed Lake Ontario in company with Isaac Russell, John Goodson and
John Snider.

Brother Russell seemed to be constantly troubled with evil spirits,
which followed him when he subsequently went upon a mission to England,
where Apostles Orson Hyde and Heber C. Kimball, when administering to
him, had a severe contest with them, as Brother Kimball has related in
his history.

Brothers Russell, Goodson and Snider continued with us to Schenectady,
where they left us to proceed to New York, to join Elders Kimball and
Hyde to go upon their mission to England.

After leaving these brethren we traveled by rail to Albany, and walked
from there to Canaan, Conn., where we found a branch of the Church,
including Jesse and Julian Moses and Francis K. Benedict.

We held a two-days' meeting with the Saints in Canaan, and I ordained
Julian Moses and Francis K. Benedict Elders.

After holding several meetings in the town of Colebrook, and visiting
my half sister, Eunice Woodruff, who was teaching school there, I
proceeded to Avon, the place of my birth. There I visited many of my
former neighbors and relatives, and the grave of my mother, Bulah
Woodruff, who died June 11th, 1808, when twenty-six years of age. The
following verse was upon her tombstone:

  "A pleasing form, a generous heart,
  A good companion, just without art;
  Just in her dealings, faithful to her friend,
  Beloved through life, lamented in the end."

At the close of the day I walked six miles to Farmington, where my
father, Aphek Woodruff, was living, and I had the happy privilege of
once more meeting with him and my step-mother, whom I had not seen for
seven years. They greeted me with great kindness, and it was a happy

After visiting with my father a day or two, I returned to Avon, where
most of my relatives lived, and held meetings with them, and on the
12th of June, 1837, I baptized my uncle, Ozem Woodruff, his wife
Hannah, and his son John, and we rejoiced together, for this was in
fulfillment of a dream I had in 1818, when I was eleven years of age.

On the 15th of July I had an appointment to preach at the house of my
uncle, Adna Hart. While there I had the happy privilege of meeting with
my wife, Phoebe W. Woodruff, who had come from Kirtland to meet me and
accompany me to her father's home in Scarboro, Maine.

Those who had assembled to hear me preach were relatives, neighbors and
former friends. After meeting, we returned to Farmington to my father's
home, where I spent the night with my father, step-mother, sister and
wife. Elder Hale was also with us.

On the 19th of July, Elder Hale left us to go to his friends in
New Rowley, Mass., and on the same evening I held a meeting in the
Methodist meeting-house in the town of Farmington. I had a large
congregation of citizens, with whom I had been acquainted from
my youth. My parents, wife and sister attended the meeting. The
congregation seemed satisfied with the doctrines I taught, and they
requested me to hold another meeting; but I felt anxious to continue my
journey, and on the 20th of July I parted with my father, step-mother
and sister, and took stage for Hartford with my wife.

On my arrival at Hartford, not having money to pay the fare of both of
us, I paid my wife's fare to Rowley, Mass., where there was a branch
of the Church, presided over by Brother Nathaniel Holmes, father of
Jonathan and Milton Holmes, and I journeyed on foot.

The first day I walked fifty-two miles, the second forty-eight, and
the third day thirty-six miles, and arrived at Rowley at two o'clock,
making 136 miles in a little over two and a half days.

I spent eight days at New Rowley, holding meetings and visiting the
Saints, including the Holmes family, and left there on the 1st of

On the 8th of August, in company with my wife and Elder Hale, I visited
my wife's father, Ezra Carter, and his family in Scarboro, Maine, it
being the first time I had ever seen any of her relatives. We were very
kindly received. My wife had been absent from her father's home about
one year.

I spent eight days with Father Carter and household, and one day I went
to sea with Fabian and Ezra Carter, my brothers-in-law, in a boat, to
fish with hooks. We caught 250 cod, haddock and hake, and we saw four
whales, two at a time, it being the first time in my life I had ever
seen the kind of a fish which is said to have swallowed Jonah.

On the 18th of August, 1837, I parted with my wife and her father's
household, leaving her with them, and, in company with Jonathan H.
Hale, started upon the mission that I had in view when I left Kirtland.

We walked ten miles to Portland, and took passage on the steamboat
_Bangor_, which carried us to Owl's Head, where we went on board of a
sloop which landed us on North Fox Island at 2 o'clock, a.m., on the



The town of Vinal Haven includes both North and South Fox Islands, in
lat. 44° north, and long. 69° 10' east. The population numbered, at the
time of my visit, about 1,800. The inhabitants were intelligent and
industrious, and hospitable to strangers. They got most of their wealth
and living by fishing. The town fitted out over one hundred licensed
sailing vessels, besides smaller craft.

North Fox Island is nine miles long by two miles in width and had a
population of 800. They had a post office, one store, a Baptist church
and meeting-house, four school-houses, and a tide grist mill.

The land was rather poor, yet there were some good farms. The products
were wheat, barley, oats, potatoes and grass. The principal timber
was fir, spruce, hemlock and birch. Raspberries and gooseberries grew
in great abundance, and some up-land cranberries were raised. The
principal stock of the island were sheep.

South Fox Island comes as near being without any definite form as any
spot on earth I ever saw. It would be difficult for any person to
describe it. It is about ten miles in length by five in width, and is
one universal mass of rocks, formed into shelves, hills, and valleys,
and cut up into necks and points to make room for the coves and harbors
that run through and through the island.

The population was 1,000. The inhabitants got their living entirely by
fishing. There is no chance for farming upon the island, and but a few
garden patches, which are cultivated at great expense. Some few sheep
are raised there.

Many of the inhabitants fish in the region of Newfoundland, and bring
their fish home and cure them on flakes and prepare them for the
market. They supply the market with great quantities of cod, mackerel
and boxed herring.

Upon this island there were two stores, three tide saw mills, six
school houses and a small branch of the Methodist church, presided over
by a priest.

What timber there is upon this island, such as pine, fir, spruce,
hemlock and birch, and the whortleberries, raspberries and
gooseberries, mostly grows out of the cracks of the rocks.

Great quantities of fish, and in almost endless variety, inhabit the
coves and harbors around the island. The whale, blackfish, shark,
ground shark, pilot-fish, horse mackerel, sturgeon, salmon, halibut,
cod, pollock, tom cod, hake, haddock, mackerel, shad bass, alewife,
herring, pohagen, dolphin, whiting, frost-fish, flounders, smelt,
skate, shrimp, skid, cusk, blueback, scollop, dogfish, muttonfish,
lumpfish, squid, five-fingers, monkfish, horsefish, sunfish, swordfish,
thresher, cat, scuppog, tootog, eyefish, cunner, ling, also the eel,
lobster, clam, muscle, periwinkle, porpoise, seal, etc., are found

Thus I have given a brief description of Vinal Haven. It was quite dark
when we landed there, without a farthing in money. We made our way over
the rocks and through the cedars the best way we could, until we found
a house, when we rapped at the door. A woman put her head out of the
window and asked who was there and what was wanted.

I told her we were two strangers, and wanted a bed to lie down upon
until morning.

She let us in and gave us a bed, and we slept until quite late, it
being Sunday morning. When we came out and took breakfast it was nearly
noon. I asked what she charged for our entertainment, and she replied
that we were welcome.

I then asked her if there was any religion or minister or church on the

She informed me there was a Baptist minister, by the name of Newton,
who had a congregation and a meeting-house about five miles from there.

We thanked her for her kindness, walked to the meeting-house and
stepped inside the doorway. We stood there until a deacon came to
the door, when I asked him to go and tell the minister in the pulpit
that there were two servants of God at the door, who had a message to
deliver to that people and wished the privilege of delivering it.

He sent for us to come to the pulpit, so we walked through the
congregation with our valises under our arms, and took a seat by the
side of the minister, who was about to speak as we came to the door.

He arose and delivered his discourse to the people, occupying about
half an hour. When he closed he asked me what was my wish.

I told him we wished to speak to the people at any hour that would
suit his or their convenience; so he gave notice that there were two
strangers present who would speak to the people at five o'clock that

We were quite a source of wonderment to the people, as they had no idea
who we were.

Mr. Newton asked us to go home to tea with him, and we gladly accepted
the invitation. When we arrived at his house I opened my valise and
took out the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, laid
them upon the table, and took my seat.

Mr. Newton took up the books and looked at them, but said nothing. I
then asked him if there were any school houses upon the island, and if
so, whether they were free to preach in.

He answered that there were four, numbered respectively from one to
four, and that they were free.

Mr. Newton and family accompanied us to the meeting-house, where we met
a large congregation, none of whom knew who we were or anything about
our profession, except the minister.

Elder Hale and I went to the stand, and I arose with peculiar feelings,
and addressed the congregation for one hour, taking for my text
_Galatians_ i. 8-9.

This was the first time that I or any other Elder of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had (to my knowledge) attempted
to preach the fullness of the gospel and the Book of Mormon to the
inhabitants of any island of the sea.

I had much liberty in speaking, and informed the people that the Lord
had raised up a prophet and organized His Church as in the days of
Christ and the ancient apostles, with prophets, apostles and the gifts
as anciently, and that He had brought forth the Book of Mormon.

At the close of my remarks Elder Hale bore testimony.

I gave liberty for any one to speak that might wish to. As no one
responded, I announced that we would hold meetings the next four
evenings in the school-houses, beginning at No. 1.



During the first thirteen days of our sojourn upon the island we
preached seventeen discourses, being invited by the people to tarry
with them. I left a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants with Mr. Newton
for his perusal.

He read it, and the Spirit of God bore testimony to him of its truth.
He pondered over it for days, and he walked his room until midnight
trying to decide whether to receive or reject it.

He and his family attended about a dozen of my first meetings, and then
he made up his mind, contrary to the dictation of the Spirit of God
to him, to reject the testimony, and come out against me. However, we
commenced baptizing his flock.

The first two we baptized were a sea captain, by the name of Justin
Eames, and his wife. Brother Jonathan H. Hale went down into the sea
and baptized them on the 3rd of September, and these were the first
baptisms performed by proper authority upon any of the islands of the
sea (to my knowledge) in this dispensation.

Before we left Kirtland some of the leading apostates there had tried
to discourage Brother Hale about going upon his mission, telling him
he would never baptize any one, and he had better remain at home. When
Captain Eames offered himself for baptism, I told Brother Hale to go
and baptize him, and prove those men false prophets, and he did so.

On the following Sabbath I baptized his brother, Ebenezer Eames,
another sea captain, and a young lady.

Mr. Newton, the Baptist minister, now commenced a war against us, and
sent to the South Island for a Mr. Douglass, a Methodist minister (with
whom he had been at variance for years) to come over and help him put
down "Mormonism."

Mr. Douglass came over, and they got as many people together as they
could and held a conference. He railed against Joseph, the prophet,
and the Book of Mormon, and, taking that book in his hand, with
out-stretched arm, declared that he feared none of the judgments of God
that would come upon him for rejecting it as the word of God. (I never
heard what his sentiments upon this subject were at the end of his term
of fourteen years' imprisonment in the Thomaston Penitentiary, for an
outrage upon his daughter, the judgment of which was given upon the
testimony of his wife and daughter.)

I was present and heard Mr. Douglass' speech upon this occasion, and
took minutes of the same. When he closed I arose and informed the
people that I would meet with them next Sunday in the meeting-house,
and answer Mr. Douglass, and wished him as well as the people to be

I informed the people that Mr. Douglass had made false statements
against Joseph Smith and the Latter-day Saints, with whom he had no
acquaintance, and he had misquoted much scripture, all of which I could

We continued to baptize the people of the North Island until we
had baptized every person who owned an interest in the Baptist
meeting-house. I then followed Mr. Douglass home to the South Island
and preached the gospel to and baptized nearly all the members of his

The excitement became great upon both islands, and on Sunday, the 17th
of September, I met a large assembly from both Islands, and took the
same subject that Mr. Douglass had dwelt upon in his remarks against
the Book of Mormon and our principles.

I spoke two-and-a-half hours, and answered every objection against the
Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith or our principles.

I had good attention, and the people seemed satisfied. At the close of
the meeting Elder Hale administered the ordinance of baptism.

Mr. Newton, in order to save his cause, went to the mainland and
brought over several ministers with him and held a protracted meeting.
They hoped by this to stop the work of God, but all to no avail, for
the whole people would attend our meeting and receive the word of God,
and we continued to baptize.

We visited the dwellings of most of the inhabitants during our sojourn

Upon one occasion, while standing upon Mr. Carver's farm on the east
end of the North Island, we counted fifty-five islands in that region,
the majority of which were not inhabited. We also saw twenty ships
under sail at the same time.

We had no lack for food while upon the island, for if we did not wish
to trouble our friends for a dinner, we only had to borrow a spade
or a hoe and a kettle and go to the beach and dig a peck of clams.
These, when boiled, would make a delicious meal, which we often availed
ourselves of.

One day, Elder Hale and I ascended to the top of a high granite rock
upon the South Island, for prayer and supplication. We sat down under
the shade of a pine tree which grew out of a fissure in a rock, and
Elder Hale read the 16th chapter of Jeremiah, where mention is made of
the hunters and fishers that God would send in the last days to gather

Of a truth here we were upon an Island of the sea, standing upon a
rock where we could survey the gallant ships and also the islands,
which were as full of rocks, ledges and caves as any part of the earth.
And what had brought us here? To search out the blood of Ephraim, the
honest and meek of the earth, and gather them from those islands,
rocks, holes and caves of the earth unto Zion.

We prayed, and rejoiced together. The Spirit of God rested upon us; we
spoke of Christ and the ancient prophets and apostles in Jerusalem;
of Nephi, Alma, Mormon and Moroni in America; Joseph, Hyrum, Oliver
and the apostles in our own day, and we rejoiced that we were upon the
islands of the sea searching out the blood of Israel.

While being filled with these meditations and the Spirit of God, we
fell upon our knees and gave thanks to the God of heaven, and felt to
pray for all Israel.

After spending most of the day in praise and thanksgiving, we descended
to the settlement and held a meeting with the people.

On the 6th of September we called upon Captain Benjamin Coombs, and
visited his flakes, where he had one thousand quintals of codfish
drying for the market. They had mostly been caught in the region of
Newfoundland. While we were passing Carvey's Wharf our attention was
called to a large school of mackerel playing by the side of the wharf.
Several men were pitching them out with hooks. We also flung in a hook
and caught all we wanted, then went on our way.



We continued to labor, preaching and baptizing, and organized a branch
of the Church upon each island, and, finally, on the 2nd of October, we
parted from the Saints on the North Island to return to Scarboro for a
short time.

We walked from Thomaston to Bath, a distance of forty-six miles, in
one day, and at the latter place attended a Baptist convention. I also
preached there to a large congregation in the evening, and the people
gave good attention and wished to learn more about our doctrines.

On the following day we walked thirty-six miles to Portland, and the
next day to Scarboro. Here I again met with my wife and her father's

The time had come for me to give the parting hand to Brother Jonathan
H. Hale. We had traveled during the season over two thousand miles
together, with our hearts and spirits well united.

He felt it his duty to return to his family in Kirtland, but duty
called me to return to my field of labor upon the islands.

On the 9th of October I accompanied Brother Hale one mile upon his
journey. We retired to a grove and knelt down and prayed together, and
had a good time, and, after commending each other to God, we parted, he
to return to Kirtland and I to Fox Islands.

I spent fourteen days visiting the Saints and friends, and holding
meetings among them, and on the 28th of October I took leave of Father
Carter and family, and in company with my wife rode to Portland, and
spent the night with my brother-in-law, Ezra Carter.

A severe storm arose, so we could not go to sea until November 1st,
when we took steamer to Owl's Head, carriage to Thomaston and sloop to
Fox Islands.

My second visit to these islands was made under very different
circumstances to the first. On my first visit I was an entire stranger
to the people, and they were strangers to the gospel, but upon my
second I met many Saints who had received the gospel, and who hailed
me, and my companion also, with glad hearts.

On Sunday, the 5th of November, I met with a large assembly of Saints
and friends, and again commenced baptizing such as would receive my

After visiting the North Island and holding meetings with the Saints
there, and baptizing two after meeting, I embarked on board a sloop,
with Captain Coombs, for another island called the Isle of Holt.
We arrived at noon, and I preached to the people at night in their
school-house, and had an attentive audience. I spent the night with
John Turner, Esq., who purchased a copy of the Book of Mormon.

On the following day we returned to Fox Islands, and as St. Paul once
had to row hard to make the land in a storm, we had to row hard to make
it in a calm.

After preaching on the North Island again and baptizing two persons at
the close of the meeting, I returned again to the mainland in company
with Mrs. Woodruff and others, where I spent fifteen days, during which
time I visited among the people, held twelve meetings and baptized
several persons.

On the 13th of December I returned again to the North Island, where I
held several meetings, and then crossed over to South Island.

On the 20th of December I spent an hour with Mr. Isaac Crockett in
clearing away large blocks of ice from the water in a cove, in order
to baptize him, which I did when the tide came in. I also baptized two
more in the same place on the 26th, and again two others on the 27th.

On the 28th I held a meeting at a school-house, when William Douglass,
the Methodist minister, came and wanted me to work a miracle, that he
might believe, and otherwise railed against me.

I told him what class of men asked for signs, and that he was a wicked
and adulterous man, and predicted that the curse of God would rest upon
him, and that his wickedness would be made manifest in the eyes of
the people. (While visiting these islands several years afterwards I
learned that the prediction had really been fulfilled, and that he was
serving out a fourteen years' term of imprisonment for a beastly crime.)

Mrs. Woodruff crossed the thoroughfare in a boat and walked ten miles,
the length of the island, to meet me, on the last day of the year. I
held a meeting the same day in the school-house, and at the close of
the meeting baptized two persons in the sea, at full tide before a
large assembly.

January 1st, 1838, found me standing upon one of the islands of the
sea, a minister of the gospel of life and salvation unto the people,
laboring alone, though blessed with the society of Mrs. Woodruff,
my companion. I had been declaring the word of the Lord through the
islands many days, the Spirit of God was working among the people,
prejudice was giving way, and the power of God was manifest by signs
following those who believed.

I spent this New Year's Day visiting the Saints and their neighbors,
and met a congregation at Captain Chas. Brown's, where I spoke to them
for awhile, and at the close of my remarks led three persons down into
the sea and baptized them. Two of these were sea captains, namely,
Charles Brown, and Jesse Coombs, and the third was the wife of Captain
Coombs. After confirming them we spent the evening in preaching,
singing and praying.

I held meetings almost daily with the Saints up to the 13th, when I
crossed to the North Island. Here I found that the seed I had sown was
bringing forth fruit. Six persons were ready for baptism.

But my mission upon these islands was not an exception to the
general rule; success did not come without many obstacles presenting
themselves. Those who rejected the word were frequently inspired by the
evil one to make an attempt at persecution.

Some of those who felt to oppose me went down to the harbor and got a
swivel and small arms, and planted them close by the school-house, near
the seashore, and while I was speaking, they commenced firing their
cannon and guns. I continued speaking in great plainness, but my voice
was mingled with the report of musketry.

I told the people my garments were clear of the blood of the
inhabitants of that island, and asked if any wished to embrace the
gospel. Two persons came forward and wished to be baptized, and I
baptized them.

On the following day when I went down to the seaside to baptize a man,
the rabble commenced firing guns again, as on the previous night. I
afterwards learned that notices were posted up, warning me to leave the
town, but I thought it was better to obey God than man, and, therefore,
did not go.

The next day I baptized three persons, and two days subsequently a
couple of others.

I had ample evidence of the fact that lying spirits had gone out into
the world, for three persons whom I had baptized had been visited by
Mr. Douglass, who told them that I denied the Bible and could not be
depended upon; and they yielded to his insinuations until the devil
took possession of them, and they were in a disaffected condition. and
sent for me.

When I met them they were in great affliction, but when I instructed
them in regard to the principles of the gospel, and administered to
them, they were delivered from the evil influence and rejoiced.



On the 15th of February I again crossed to the North Island, and after
remaining there seven days visiting, we returned to Camden. Here I met
Brother James Townsend, who had just arrived from Scarboro.

I ordained Brother Townsend to the office of an Elder, and we concluded
to take a journey to Bangor, and offer the gospel to the inhabitants of
that city.

We undertook the journey on foot in the dead of winter, when the snow
was very deep, and the first day broke the road for seven miles to
Scarsmont. The day following, it being Sunday, we held two meetings,
preached the gospel to the people, and were kindly entertained.

On the evening of the next day we wallowed through snowdrifts for a
mile, to meet an appointment to preach in a school-house, and I got one
of my ears frozen on the way; but notwithstanding the severity of the
weather, we had quite a large and attentive audience. We also spent the
next two days with the people there and held meetings.

On the evening of the 21st of February, as we came out of the
school-house, a light appeared in the north-eastern horizon, and spread
to the west and soon rolled over our heads. It had the appearance of
fire, blood and smoke, and at times resembled contending armies. The
heavens were illuminated for the space of half an hour. It seemed at
times as though the veil was about to rend in twain and the elements
were contending with each other.

We looked upon it as one of the signs in the heavens predicted by the
prophets of old, as to appear in the last days. We were wading through
deep snowdrifts most of the time while witnessing this remarkable scene.

The following day we walked fifteen miles through deep snow to Belfast,
and, after being refused lodging for the night by eight families, we
were kindly entertained by Mr. Thomas Teppley.

There was an interesting incident connected with our stay at his house.
After eating supper, it being late in the evening, Mr. Teppley placed a
stand before me with a Bible upon it, asking me to read a chapter and
have prayers with them, he being a religious man.

I opened the Bible mechanically, when, the 25th chapter of Matthew
being the first to catch my eye, I read it, and, as I closed the book
Mr. Teppley turned to his wife and said, "Is not this a strange thing?"
Then he explained to us that he had just read that chapter and closed
the book when we rapped at the door, and he felt impressed to say,
"Walk in, gentlemen."

There is probably no other chapter in the whole book that would have
the same influence in causing any one to feed a person who professed to
be a servant of God, and asked for bread.

After becoming acquainted with his circumstances I thought it
providential that we were led to his house, for although he was a
professor of religion and a Methodist, he was in a state of despair,
believing he had committed the unpardonable sin.

However, I told him what the unpardonable sin was, and that he had not
committed it; but that it was a trick of the devil to make him think
so, in order to torment him. He then acknowledged that he went down
to the wharf a few evenings before, with the intention of drowning
himself, but when he looked into the cold, dark water he desisted and
returned home, and had said nothing previous to anyone about it.

I taught him the principles of the gospel, which proved a comfort to

We spent the following day in visiting the people of Belfast, and in
the evening preached in a brick school-house, provided by Mr. Teppley,
and many wished to hear more from us.

We next visited Northport and Frankfort, holding meetings at both
places, and on the 1st of March, 1838, we entered Bangor, which at that
time had a population of ten thousand. This was my birthday, I being
thirty-one years of age.

I visited some of the leading men of Bangor, and they granted me the
use of the City Hall, where I preached to good audiences for two
successive evenings. This was the first time a Latter-day Saint Elder
had preached in that town. Many were anxious to learn more about our
principles, but our visits through all the towns from Thompaston to
Bangor were necessarily brief, owing to our appointments upon the
islands. It was like casting our bread upon the waters and trusting in
God for the result.

On the 5th of March we sailed from Penobscot for the Isle of Holt,
where I held a meeting on the following evening.

The next day I took passage on the mail boat for the North Island,
where I again had the privilege of meeting with the Saints for prayer
and praise before the Lord.

On my arrival I received a package of letters from friends abroad. One
was from Kirtland, and gave an account of the apostasy and tribulations
which the Saints were passing through. Joseph the Prophet and others,
with their families, had gone to Far West, and the Saints were
following them.

Brother Townsend returned home, and I was again left alone in the

On the afternoon of the 22nd of March, Brother Sterrett and I,
accompanied by our wives, went several hundred yards from shore to a
sand bar (it being low tide), to dig clams. The ground near the shore
was very much lower than the bar we were on, and while we were all busy
digging clams and talking "Mormonism," the dashing of the waves of the
incoming tide against the shore suddenly made us conscious that we had
fifty yards of water between us and the shore.

The surf waves also added to our difficulty, and as we had no boat,
our only alternative was to cross our four arms, thus forming a kind
of arm-chair for our wives to sit upon, and carry them in turn to the
shore, wading through two-and-a-half feet of water.

By the time we got our wives and clams safely landed, the truth of the
maxim was firmly impressed upon our minds, that "Time and tide wait for
no man," not even for a preacher of the gospel.



On the 28th of March I received a letter from Zion, requesting me to
counsel the Saints I had baptized to sell their property and gather up
to Zion.

About this time the Lord was manifesting Himself upon the islands in
various ways, by dreams, visions, healings, signs and wonders. I will
relate one peculiar circumstance of this kind that occurred.

Mr. Ebenezer Carver had been investigating our doctrines for quite a
length of time, and, having a great desire to know the truth of our
religion, he walked to the sea shore, wishing that he might have some
manifestation in proof of its truth.

The passage of scripture came to his mind that there would be no sign
given "but the sign of the prophet Jonas," and while this thought was
in his mind a large fish arose to the top of the water, a distance from
him in the sea, and suddenly sank out of sight. He much desired to see
it again, and soon it arose to the top of the water, accompanied by
another fish of about the same size, and one of them swam on the water
in a straight line towards Mr. Carver as he stood upon the shore. It
came as near to him as the water would permit, and then stopped and
gazed at him with a penetrating eye, as though it had a message for
him. It then returned to its mate in the ocean and swam out of sight.

Mr. Carver retraced his steps homeward, meditating upon the scene and
the wonderful condescension of the Lord.

It is proper to remark that this was at a season of the year when fish
of that size are never known upon those shores or seas, and they are
never, at any season, known to come ashore as in the case mentioned.

Mr. Carver was convinced that it was intended by the Lord as a sign to

Two days after the event I visited Mr. Carver at his house, and found
his wife confined to her bed with a fever, and she requested me to
administer to her. I placed my hands upon her head, the power of God
rested upon me, and I commanded her in the name of Jesus Christ to
arise and walk.

She arose and was healed from that instant, and she walked down to the
sea and I baptized her in the same place where the fish visited her
husband. I confirmed her there, and she was filled with the Holy Ghost
and returned to her home rejoicing.

I now called the people together and exhorted them to sell their
property and prepare to accompany me to the land of Zion. I had labored
hard for many days for the temporal and spiritual welfare of the
inhabitants of those islands, and the Lord had blessed my labors and
given me many souls as seals of my ministry, for which I felt to praise
Him; and now I felt to labor quite as zealously to gather out those who
had embraced the gospel, and lead them to Zion.

The worst difficulty which the Saints had to contend with in that day
was from false brethren. Warren Parrish, who had been a prominent Elder
in the Church, and had labored with me as a missionary, had apostatized
and been cut off from the Church. Learning that I was building up
branches of the Church upon the island, he and other apostates
conspired to block up my way by writing lies to the people and stirring
up a spirit of mobocracy upon the islands.

They succeeded in exerting a strong influence with the wicked, but I
knew they could not hinder the work of God.

On the 6th of April I held a meeting at Brother Ebenezer Carver's, and,
though the hearts of the wicked were stirred up in bitterness against
me, the Spirit of God was with me, and at the close of the meeting
I baptized three persons. One of these was Mrs. Abigail Carver, the
mother of Ebenezer Carver, who was seventy years of age and in poor
health. She had not so much as visited a neighbor's house for six
years, but upon this occasion she walked with boldness to the sea shore
and I baptized her, and she returned rejoicing.

On the 11th of April I had the happy privilege of again meeting with
Elders Milton Holmes, James Townsend and Abner Rogers, who had come to
the islands to attend conference with me.

We held our conference on the 13th of April, on North Fox Island, and
had a representation of the different branches on the islands. We also
preached and bore our testimony, ordained several and baptized one
person at the close of the meeting.

On the 17th of April Mrs. Woodruff left the islands to return to
her father's home in Scarboro, Maine, and a few days afterwards I
called the Saints of the North Island together and communed with and
instructed them. I also informed them that the Spirit of God bore
record to me that it was our duty to leave the islands for a season and
take a western mission. They had been faithfully warned and the Saints
were established in the truth, while the wicked were contending against
us, and some were disposed to take our lives if they had the power.



On the 28th of April we left the island in an open sail-boat and made
our way to Owl's Head, and then walked twenty miles. The following day
we walked forty miles and suffered some with weary limbs and blistered
feet, but we felt that it was for the gospel's sake and did not
choose to complain. The next day a walk of thirty miles brought us to
Scarboro, where we spent the night at Father Carter's.

On the 8th of May I parted with Mrs. Woodruff and Father Carter and
family, and in company with Milton Holmes walked thirty-three miles
towards Portsmouth, which city we reached the following day and
spent several hours there, visiting the navy yard. We then walked
to Georgetown, formerly New Rowley, and spent the night with Father
Nathaniel Holmes.

On the 11th of May I visited Charleston and Bunker Hill monument, and
also spent several hours in the city of Boston, which then contained
a population of one hundred thousand. I ascended to the cupola of
the court-house, from which I had a fine view of the city. I visited
several of the Saints in the city, and walked over the long bridge to
Cambridge and Cambridgeport.

I visited the jail there in order to have an interview with Brother
A. P. Rockwood, who had been cast into prison on the plea of debt, in
order to trouble and distress him, because he was a "Mormon." This was
the first time we had ever met. The jailor permitted me to enter the
room where he was. It was the first time in my life I had ever entered
a prison. The jailor turned the key upon us and locked us both in.

I found Brother Rockwood strong in the faith of the gospel. He had the
Bible, Book of Mormon, Voice of Warning, and _Evening and Morning Star_
as his companions, which he read daily.

We conversed together for three hours in this solitary abode. He
informed me of many things which had transpired while he was confined
there as a prisoner. Among other things, he mentioned that the jail
had taken fire a few days previous to my visit. He said it looked a
little like a dark hour. The fire was roaring over his head, while
uproar and confusion were upon every hand. Fire engines were rapidly
playing around the building, with water pouring into every room. The
people were hallooing in the streets. Prisoners were begging for
mercy's sake to be let out, or they would be consumed in the fire. One
was struggling in the agonies of death, while others were cursing and
swearing. Brother Rockwood said he felt composed in the midst of it
until the fire was extinguished.

At eight o'clock the jailor unlocked the prison door to let me out, and
I gave the parting hand to the prisoner of hope.

We had spent a pleasant time together, and he rejoiced at my visit; and
who would not, to meet with a friend in a lonely prison? I left him in
good spirits, and wended my way back to Boston.

I spent several days in Boston, holding meetings with the Saints there,
and then walked to Providence, Rhode Island, preaching by the way.

I there took steamer and arrived in New York on the 18th of May, where
I met with Elder Orson Pratt and his family, and Elijah Fordham and
near one hundred Saints who had been baptized in the city of New York.

I spent three days in New York visiting the Saints and holding
meetings. Several new converts were baptized while I was there.

Leaving New York, I traveled through New Jersey, and returned to
Farmington, Connecticut, the residence of my father. I arrived at his
house on the 12th of June.

It was with peculiar sensations that I walked over my native land,
where I spent my youth, and cast my eyes over the Farmington meadows
and the hills and dales where I had roamed in my boyhood with my
father, stepmother, brothers and half-sister.

On my arrival at my father's home I had the happy privilege of once
more taking my parents and sisters by the hand, also my uncle, Ozem
Woodruff, who was among the number I had baptized the year before.

After spending an hour in conversation, we sat down around our father's
table and supped together and were refreshed. Then we bowed upon our
knees together in the family circle and offered up the gratitude of our
hearts to God for preserving our lives and reuniting us.

I spent the next eighteen days in Farmington and Avon, visiting my
father's household, my uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbors and friends,
preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ unto them and striving to bring
them into the kingdom of God.

On the 1st of July, 1838, one of the most interesting events transpired
of my whole life in the ministry.

When Father Joseph Smith gave me my patriarchal blessing, among the
many wonderful things of my life, he promised me that I should bring my
father's household into the kingdom of God, and I felt that if I ever
obtained the blessing, the time had come for me to perform it.

By the help of God, I preached the gospel faithfully to my father's
household and to all that were with him, as well as to my other
relatives, and I had appointed a meeting on Sunday, the 1st of July, at
my father's home.

My father was believing my testimony, as were all in his household, but
upon this occasion the devil was determined to hinder the fulfillment
of the promise of the patriarch unto me.

It seemed as though Lucifer, the son of the morning, had gathered
together the hosts of hell and exerted his powers upon us all. Distress
overwhelmed the whole household, and all were tempted to reject the
work. And it seemed as though the same power would devour me. I had to
take to my bed for an hour before the time of meeting. I there prayed
unto the Lord with my whole soul for deliverance, for I knew the power
of the devil was exercised to hinder me from accomplishing what God had
promised me.

The Lord heard my prayer and answered my petition, and when the hour of
meeting had come I arose from my bed, and could sing and shout for joy
to think I had been delivered from the power of the evil one.

Filled with the power of God, I stood up in the midst of the
congregation and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ unto the people in
great plainness.

At the close of the meeting we assembled on the banks of the Farmington
river, "because there was much water there," and I led six of my
friends into the river and baptized them for the remission of their

All of my father's household were included in this number, according
to the promise of the Patriarch. They were all relatives except Dwight
Webster, who was a Methodist class-leader and was boarding with my
father's family.

I organized the small number of nine persons, eight of whom were my
relatives, into a branch of the Church, and ordained Dwight Webster to
the office of a Priest and administered the sacrament unto them.

It was truly a day of joy to my soul. My father, stepmother and
sister were among the number baptized. I afterwards added a number of
relatives. I felt that this day's work alone amply repaid me for all my
labor in the ministry.

Who can comprehend the joy, the glory, the happiness and consolation
that an Elder of Israel feels in being an instrument in the hands of
God of bringing his father, mother, sister, brother, or any of the
posterity of Adam through the door that enters into life and salvation?
No man can, unless he has experienced these things, and possesses the
testimony of Jesus Christ and the inspiration of Almighty God.



Now, as my mission to my native land was accomplished, which I felt
impressed to take while upon the islands, I felt it my duty to return

Monday, July 2nd, 1838, was the last day and night I spent at my
father's home while upon this mission. At the setting of the sun I took
the last walk with my sister I ever had with her while in my native
State. We walked by the canal and viewed the river and fields, and
conversed upon our future destiny.

After evening prayer with the family, my father retired to rest, and I
spent a season with my step-mother who had reared me from my infancy.
In conversation we felt sensibly the weight of the power of temptation,
out of which the Lord had delivered us.

I also spent a short time with my sister Eunice, the only sister I was
ever blessed with in my father's family. I had baptized her into the
Church and Kingdom of God, and we mingled our sympathies, prayers and
tears together before the throne of grace.

How truly are the bonds of consanguinity and of the blood of Christ
united in binding the hearts of the Saints of God together, and "how
blessings brighten as they take their flight!"

This being the last night I was to spend beneath my father's roof while
upon this mission, I felt the weight of it, and my prayer was, "O,
Lord, protect my father's house, and bring him to Zion!" (which prayer
was granted.)

On the morning of July 3rd, I took leave of my relatives and my native
land, and started on my return to Maine.

I arrived in Scarboro on the 6th, and on the 14th my first child--a
daughter--was born, at Father Carter's house. We named her Sarah Emma.

On the 30th of July, I left my wife and child at Father Carter's and
started once more to visit Fox Islands.

While holding meeting with the Saints at North Vinal Haven on the 9th
of August, I received a letter from Thomas B. Marsh, who was then
President of the Twelve Apostles, informing me that Joseph Smith, the
Prophet, had received a revelation, naming as persons to be chosen to
fill the places of those who had fallen; John E. Page, John Taylor,
Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards.

President Marsh added, in his letter, "Know then, Brother Woodruff, by
this, that you are appointed to fill the place of one of the Twelve
Apostles, and that it is agreeable to the word of the Lord, given very
lately, that you should come speedily to Far West, and, on the 26th of
April next, take your leave of the Saints here and depart for other
climes across the mighty deep."

The substance of this letter had been revealed to me several weeks
before, but I had not named it to any person.

The time having now come for me to prepare for leaving the islands,
I had a desire to take with me all the Saints I could get to go to
Zion. There had already been a line drawn upon the islands between the
Saints and those who had rejected the gospel, and the enemies were very
bitter against me and the work of God I had labored to establish. They
threatened my life, but the Saints were willing to stand by me.

I spent four days with the Saints visiting them, holding meetings and
encouraging them, while the devil was raging upon every hand.

I had baptized and organized into the Church nearly one hundred persons
while upon the islands, and there seemed a prospect of gathering about
half of them with me, but the devil raged to such an extent that quite
a number were terrified.

The inhabitants of the islands had but little acquaintance with the
management of horses or wagons; in fact, most of them knew more about
handling a shark than a horse. However, in company with Nathaniel
Thomas, who had sold his property and had money, I went to the mainland
and purchased ten new wagons, ten sets of harness and twenty horses.
When I got everything prepared for the company to start, I left the
affairs with Brother Thomas, and went on ahead of the company to
Scarboro, to prepare my own family for the journey.

The outfit which I purchased for the company cost about $2,000.00.

Before leaving Brother Thomas, I counselled him in regard to the course
to pursue, and charged him not to be later than the 1st of September in
starting for the mainland.

I arrived at Father Carter's on the 19th of August, and waited with
great anxiety for the arrival of the company from the islands, but
instead of reaching there by the 1st of September they did not arrive
till the 3rd of October; and when they did arrive the wagon covers were
all flying in the breeze. It took a good day's work to nail down the
covers, paint the wagons and get prepared for the journey.



On the afternoon of the 9th of October, we took leave of Father Carter
and family, and started upon our journey of 2,000 miles at this late
season of the year, taking my wife with a suckling babe at her breast
with me, to lead a company of fifty-three souls from Maine to Illinois,
and to spend nearly three months in traveling in wagons, through
rain, mud, snow and frost. It was such a trial as I never before had
attempted during my experience as a minister of the gospel.

On our arrival at Georgetown we were joined by Elder Milton Holmes.
We traveled each day as far as we could go, and camped wherever night
overtook us.

On the 13th of October, while crossing the Green Mountains, I was
attacked with something resembling the cholera. I was very sick. I
stopped at a house for about two hours, but the Elders administered to
me, and I revived.

On the 24th I was again taken sick, and my wife and child were also
stricken down. We also had several others sick in the company, through
the exposure of the journey.

On the 31st we had our first snow storm, and the horses dragged our
wagons all day through mud, snow and water.

On the 2nd of November Elder Milton Holmes left us, and took steamer
for Fairport; and two days afterwards a little boy of Nathaniel
Holmes', about six years of age, died, and we had to bury him at

The roads finally became so bad and the cold so severe that Nathaniel
Thomas and James Townsend concluded to stop for the winter. We parted
with them on the 21st of November, near New Portage, Ohio.

On the 23rd of November my wife, Phoebe, was attacked with a severe
headache, which terminated in brain fever. She grew more and more
distressed daily as we continued our journey. It was a terrible ordeal
for a woman to travel in a wagon over rough roads, afflicted as she
was. At the same time our child was also very sick.

The 1st of December, was a trying day to my soul. My wife continued to
fail, and in the afternoon, about 4 o'clock, she appeared to be struck
with death. I stopped my team, and it seemed as though she would breath
her last lying in the wagon. Two of the sisters sat beside her, to see
if they could do anything for her in her last moments.

I stood upon the ground, in deep affliction, and meditated. I cried
unto the Lord, and prayed that she might live and not be taken from me.
I claimed the promises the Lord had made unto me through the prophets
and patriarchs, and soon her spirit revived, and I drove a short
distance to a tavern, and got her into a room and worked over her and
her babe all night, and prayed to the Lord to preserve her life.

In the morning the circumstances were such that I was under the
necessity of removing my wife from the inn, as there was so much noise
and confusion at the place that she could not endure it. I carried her
out to her bed in the wagon and drove two miles, when I alighted at a
house and carried my wife and her bed into it, with a determination to
tarry there until she either recovered her health or passed away. This
was on Sunday morning, December 2nd.

After getting my wife and things into the house and wood provided to
keep up a fire, I employed my time in taking care of her. It looked as
though she had but a short time to live.

She called me to her bedside in the evening and said she felt as though
a few moments more would end her existence in this life. She manifested
great confidence in the cause she had embraced, and exhorted me to have
confidence in God and to keep His commandments.

To all appearances, she was dying. I laid hands upon her and prayed for
her, and she soon revived and slept some during the night.

December 3rd found my wife very low. I spent the day in taking care of
her, and the following day I returned to Eaton to get some things for
her. She seemed to be gradually sinking and in the evening her spirit
apparently left her body, and she was dead.

The sisters gathered around her body, weeping, while I stood looking at
her in sorrow. The spirit and power of God began to rest upon me until,
for the first time during her sickness faith filled my soul, although
she lay before me as one dead.

I had some oil that was consecrated for my anointing while in Kirtland.
I took it and consecrated it again before the Lord for anointing the
sick. I then bowed down before the Lord and prayed for the life of my
companion, and I anointed her body with the oil in the name of the
Lord. I laid my hands upon her, and in the name of Jesus Christ I
rebuked the power of death and the destroyer, and commanded the same to
depart from her, and the spirit of life to enter her body.

Her spirit returned to her body, and from that hour she was made whole;
and we all felt to praise the name of God, and to trust in Him and to
keep His commandments.

While this operation was going on with me (as my wife related
afterwards) her spirit left her body, and she saw it lying upon the
bed, and the sisters weeping. She looked at them and at me, and upon
her babe, and, while gazing upon this scene, two personages came into
the room carrying a coffin and told her they had come for her body. One
of these messengers informed her that she could have her choice: she
might go to rest in the spirit world, or, on one condition she could
have the privilege of returning to her tabernacle and continuing her
labors upon the earth. The condition was, if she felt that she could
stand by her husband, and with him pass through all the cares, trials,
tribulation and afflictions of life which he would be called to pass
through for the gospel's sake unto the end. When she looked at the
situation of her husband and child she said: "Yes, I will do it!"

At the moment that decision was made the power of faith rested upon me,
and when I administered unto her, her spirit entered her tabernacle,
and she saw the messengers carry the coffin out at the door.

On the morning of the 6th of December, the Spirit said to me: "Arise,
and continue thy journey!" and through the mercy of God my wife was
enabled to arise and dress herself and walked to the wagon, and we went
on our way rejoicing.

On the night of the 11th I stopped for the night at an inn, the weather
being very cold. I there learned of the sudden death of my brother,
Asahel H. Woodruff, a merchant of Terre Haute, Ind.

I had anticipated a joyful meeting with this brother on the following
day. Instead of this, I only had the privilege of visiting his grave,
in company with my wife, and examining a little into his business.

I was offered the position of administrator of his affairs, but I was
leading a company of Saints to Zion, and could not stop to attend
to his temporal business. Strangers settled his affairs, and took
possession of his property. His relatives obtained nothing from his
effects except a few trifling mementos.

I left this place and crossed into Illinois on the 13th of December,
and arrived at Rochester on the 19th, and, getting information of the
severe persecutions of the Saints in Missouri and the unsettled state
of the Church at that time, we concluded to stop at Rochester and spend
the winter.

Thus ended my journey of two months and sixteen days, leading the Fox
Island Saints to the west, through all the perils of a journey of
nearly two thousand miles, in the midst of sickness and great severity
of weather.

I took my family in the spring and removed to Quincy, Illinois, where
I could mingle with my brethren, and I felt to praise God for His
protecting care over me and my family in all our afflictions.



Joseph Smith, the Prophet, asked the Lord what His will was concerning
the Twelve, and the Lord answered in a revelation, given July 8th,
1838, in which He says: "Let them take leave of my Saints in the city
Far West, on the 26th day of April next, on the building spot of my
house, saith the Lord. Let my servant John Taylor, and also my servant
John E. Page, and also my servant Wilford Woodruff, and also my servant
Willard Richards, be appointed to fill the places of those who have
fallen, and be officially notified of their appointment."

It will be observed that this differs from nearly all other revelations
in this respect: a fixed day and a stated place were given for the
commencement of the mission. When the revelation was given, all was
peace and quietude in Far West, Missouri, the city where most of the
Latter-day Saints dwelt; but before the time came for its fulfillment,
the Saints of God had been driven out of the State of Missouri into
the State of Illinois, under the edict of Governor Boggs; and the
Missourians had sworn that if all the other revelations of Joseph
Smith were fulfilled, that should not be. It stated that the day and
the place where the Twelve Apostles should take leave of the Saints,
to go on their missions across the great waters, and the mobocrats
of Missouri had declared that they would see that it should not be

It seemed as though the Lord, having a foreknowledge of what would
take place, had given the revelation in this manner to see whether the
Apostles would obey it at the risk of their lives.

When the time drew near for the fulfillment of this commandment of the
Lord, Brigham Young was the President of the Twelve Apostles; Thos. B.
Marsh, who was the senior Apostle, had fallen. Brother Brigham called
together those of the Twelve who were then at Quincy, Illinois, to
see what their minds would be about going to Far West, to fulfill the
revelation. The Prophet Joseph and his brother Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon,
Lyman Wight and Parley P. Pratt were in prison in Missouri, at the
time; but Father Joseph Smith, the Patriarch, was at Quincy, Illinois.
He and others who were present did not think it wisdom for us to
attempt the journey, as our lives would be in great jeopardy. They
thought the Lord would take the will for the deed. But when President
Young asked the Twelve what our feelings were upon the subject, we
all of us, as the voice of one man, said the Lord God had spoken, and
it was for us to obey. It was the Lord's business to take care of His
servants, and we would fulfill the commandment, or die trying.

To fully understand the risk the Twelve Apostles ran in making this
journey, my readers should remember that Lilburn W. Boggs, governor
of the State of Missouri, had issued a proclamation, in which all the
Latter-day Saints were required to leave that State or be exterminated.
Far West had been captured by the militia, who were really only an
organized mob; the citizens had been compelled to give up their arms;
all the leading men who could be got hold of had been taken prisoners;
the rest of the Saints--men women and children--had to flee as best
they could out of the State to save their lives, leaving all their
houses, lands and other property which they could not carry with them
to be taken by the mob. In fact they shot down the cattle and hogs of
the Saints wherever they could find them, and robbed them of nearly
everything they could lay their hands upon. Latter-day Saints were
treated with merciless cruelty and had to endure the most outrageous
abuses. It was with the greatest difficulty that many of them got out
of the State, especially the prominent men; for there were many men of
that State at that time, who acted as though they thought it no more
harm to shoot a "Mormon" than a mad dog. From this brief explanation
you will be able to understand why some of the brethren thought we
were not required to go back to Far West to start from there upon our
mission across the ocean to Europe.

Having determined to carry out the requirement of the revelation, on
the 18th of April, 1839, I took into my wagon Brigham Young and Orson
Pratt; and Father Cutler took into his wagon John Taylor and George A.
Smith, and we started for Far West.

On the way we met John E. Page, who was going with his family, to
Quincy, Illinois. His wagon had turned over, and when we met him he was
trying to gather up a barrel of soft soap with his hands. We helped him
get up his wagon. He drove down into the valley below, left his wagon,
and accompanied us on our way.

On the night of the 25th of April, we arrived at Far West, and spent
the night at the home of Morris Phelps, who was not there, however,
himself; he, having been taken prisoner by the mob, was still in prison.

On the morning of the 26th of April, 1839, notwithstanding the threats
of our enemies that the revelation which was to be fulfilled this day
should not be, and notwithstanding that ten thousand of the Saints had
been driven out of the State by the edict of the governor, and though
the Prophet Joseph and his brother, Hyrum Smith, with other leading men
were in the hands of our enemies, in chains and in prison, we moved
on to the temple grounds in the city of Far West, and held a council,
and fulfilled the revelation and commandment given unto us, and we
performed many other things at this council.

We excommunicated from the Church thirty-one persons, who had
apostatized and become its enemies.

The "Mission of the Twelve" was sung, and we then repaired to the
south-east corner of the temple ground, and, with the assistance of
Elder Alpheus Cutler, the master workman of the building committee,
laid the south-east chief corner stone of the temple, according to

There were present of the Twelve Apostles: Brigham Young, Heber C.
Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page and John Taylor, who proceeded to
ordain Wilford Woodruff and Geo. A. Smith, to the apostleship, and as
members of the quorum of the Twelve, in the places of those who had
fallen, as they had been called by revelation.

Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer, who had just been liberated from
Richmond prison, were also ordained to the office of Seventies.
The Twelve then offered up vocal prayer in the following order:
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, John
Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith, after which we sang

The Twelve then took their leave of, and gave the parting hand to, the
following Saints, agreeable to revelation: A. Butler, Elias Smith,
Norman Shearer, Wm. Burton, Stephen Markham, Shadrach Roundy, Wm. O.
Clark, John W. Clark, Hezekiah Peck, Darwin Chase, Richard Howard,
Mary Ann Peck, Artimesia Granger, Martha Peck, Sarah Granger, Theodore
Turley, Hiram Clark, and Daniel Shearer.

Bidding good-by to the small remnant of the Saints who remained on the
temple ground to see us fulfill the revelation and commandments of God,
we turned our backs on Far West and Missouri, and returned to Illinois.
We had accomplished the mission without a dog moving his tongue at us,
or any man saying, "Why do you do so?"

We crossed the Mississippi river on the steam ferry, entered Quincy on
the 2nd of May, and all had the joy of reaching our families once more
in peace and safety.

There was an incident connected with our journey that is worthy of
record. While we were on our way to fulfill the revelation, Joseph, the
Prophet, and his companions in chains had been liberated, through the
blessings of God, from their enemies and prison, and they passed us.
We were not far distant from each other, but neither party knew it.
They were making their way to their families in Illinois, while we were
traveling to Far West into the midst of our enemies. So they came home
to their families and friends before our return.

May the 3rd was a very interesting day to me, as well as to others. In
company with five others of the quorum of the Twelve, I rode four miles
out of town to Mr. Cleveland's, to visit Brother Joseph Smith and his

Once more I had the happy privilege of taking Brother Joseph by the
hand. Two years had rolled away since I had seen his face. He greeted
us with great joy, as did Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wight, all of whom had
escaped from their imprisonment together. They had been confined in
prison six months, and had been under sentence of death three times;
yet their lives were in the hands of God, and He had delivered them,
and they were now mingling with their wives, children and friends, and
out of the reach of the mob. Joseph was frank, open and familiar as
usual, and our rejoicing was great.

No man can understand the joyful sensations created by such a meeting,
except those who have been in tribulation for the gospel's sake.

After spending the day together, we returned to our families at night.

On the day following, May 4th, we met in conference at Quincy, the
Prophet Joseph presiding, which caused great joy and rejoicing to all
the Saints.

On Sunday, May 5th, Joseph Smith addressed the assembly, followed by
Sidney Rigdon and the Twelve Apostles. The Spirit of the Lord was
poured out upon us, and we had a glorious day.

On May 6th, I met with the Seventies, and we ordained sixty men into
the quorums of Elders and Seventies. Brother Joseph met with the
Twelve, Bishops and Elders, at Bishop Partridge's house; and there were
a number with us who were wounded at Haun's Mill. Among them was Isaac
Laney, who had been, in company with about twenty others, at the mill,
when a large armed mob fired among them with rifles and other weapons,
and shot down seventeen of the brethren, and wounded more. Brother
Laney fled from the scene, but they poured a shower of lead after him,
which pierced his body through and through. He showed me eleven bullet
holes in his body. There were twenty-seven in his shirt, seven in his
pantaloons, and his coat was literally cut to pieces. One ball entered
one arm-pit and came out at the other.

Another entered his back and came out at the breast. A ball passed
through each hip, each leg and each arm. All these shots were received
while he was running for life, and, strange as it may appear, though he
had also one of his ribs broken, he was able to outrun his enemies, and
his life was saved. We can only acknowledge this deliverance to be by
the power and mercy of God.

President Joseph Young was also among the number. He also fled, and
although the balls flew around him like hail, he was not wounded. How
mysterious are the ways of the Lord!

Before starting on our missions to England, we were under the necessity
of settling our families. A place called Commerce, afterwards named
Nauvoo, was selected as the place at which our people should settle.

I left Quincy, in company with Brother Brigham Young and our families
on the 15th of May, and arrived in Commerce on the 18th. After an
interview with Joseph we crossed the river at Montrose, Iowa. President
Brigham Young and myself, with our families, occupied one room about
fourteen feet square. Finally Brother Young obtained another room and
moved into it by himself. Then Brother Orson Pratt and family moved
into the same room with myself and family.



While I was living in this cabin in the old barracks, we experienced a
day of God's power with the Prophet Joseph. It was a very sickly time
and Joseph had given up his home in Commerce to the sick, and had a
tent pitched in his door-yard and was living in that himself. The large
number of Saints who had been driven out of Missouri, were flocking
into Commerce; but had no homes to go into, and were living in wagons,
in tents, and on the ground. Many, therefore, were sick through the
exposure they were subjected to. Brother Joseph had waited on the sick,
until he was worn out and nearly sick himself.

On the morning of the 22nd of July, 1839, he arose, reflecting upon the
situation of the Saints of God in their persecutions and afflictions,
and he called upon the Lord in prayer, and the power of God rested upon
him mightily, and as Jesus healed all the sick around Him in His day,
so Joseph, the Prophet of God, healed all around on this occasion. He
healed all in his house and door-yard, then, in company with Sidney
Rigdon and several of the Twelve, he went through among the sick lying
on the bank of the river, and he commanded them in a loud voice, in
the name of Jesus Christ, to come up and be made whole, and they were
all healed. When he healed all that were sick on the east side of
the river, they crossed the Mississippi river in a ferry-boat to the
west side, to Montrose, where we were. The first house they went into
was President Brigham Young's. He was sick on his bed at the time.
The Prophet went into his house and healed him, and they all came
out together. As they were passing by my door, Brother Joseph said:
"Brother Woodruff, follow me." These were the only words spoken by any
of the company from the time they left Brother Brigham's house till we
crossed the public square, and entered Brother Fordham's house. Brother
Fordham had been dying for an hour, and we expected each minute would
be his last.

I felt the power of God that was overwhelming His Prophet.

When we entered the house, Brother Joseph walked up to Brother Fordham,
and took him by the right hand; in his left hand he held his hat.

He saw that Brother Fordham's eyes were glazed, and that he was
speechless and unconscious.

After taking hold of his hand, he looked down into the dying man's face
and said: "Brother Fordham, do you not know me?" At first he made no
reply; but we could all see the effect of the Spirit of God resting
upon him.

He again said: "Elijah, do you not know me?"

With a low whisper, Brother Fordham answered, "Yes!"

The Prophet then said, "Have you not faith to be healed?"

The answer, which was a little plainer than before, was: "I am afraid
it is too late. If you had come sooner, I think I might have been."

He had the appearance of a man waking from sleep. It was the sleep of

Joseph then said: "Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ?"

"I do, Brother Joseph," was the response.

Then the Prophet of God spoke with a loud voice, as in the majesty of
the Godhead: "Elijah, I command you, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth,
to arise and be made whole!"

The words of the Prophet were not like the words of man, but like the
voice of God. It seemed to me that the house shook from its foundation.

Elijah Fordham leaped from his bed like a man raised from the dead. A
healthy color came to his face, and life was manifested in every act.

His feet were done up in Indian meal poultices. He kicked them off his
feet, scattered the contents, and then called for his clothes and put
them on. He asked for a bowl of bread and milk, and ate it; then put on
his hat and followed us into the street, to visit others who were sick.

The unbeliever may ask: "Was there not deception in this?"

If there is any deception in the mind of the unbeliever, there was
certainly none with Elijah Fordham, the dying man, nor with those who
were present with him, for in a few minutes more he would have been in
the spirit world, had he not been rescued. Through the blessing of God,
he lived up till 1880, in which year he died in Utah, while all who
were with him on that occasion, with the exception of one, are in the
spirit world.

Among the number, were Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Brigham
Young, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, Parley P. Pratt and Orson
Pratt. Wilford Woodruff is the only one living who was present at the
time, and he will soon mingle with those who have gone.

As soon as we left Brother Fordham's house, we went into the house of
Joseph B. Noble, who was very low and dangerously sick.

When we entered the house, Brother Joseph took him by the hand, and
commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and be made whole.
He did arise and was immediately healed.

While this was going on, the wicked mob in the place, led by one
Kilburn, had become alarmed, and followed us into Brother Noble's house.

Before they arrived there, Brother Joseph had called upon Brother
Fordham to offer prayer.

While he was praying, the mob entered, with all the evil spirits
accompanying them.

As soon as they entered, Brother Fordham, who was praying, fainted and
sank to the floor.

When Joseph saw the mob in the house, he arose and had the room cleared
of both that class of men and their attendant devils. Then Brother
Fordham immediately revived and finished his prayer.

This shows what power evil spirits have upon the tabernacles of men.
The Saints are only saved from the power of the devil by the power of

This case of Brother Noble's was the last one of healing upon that
day. It was the greatest day for the manifestation of the power of God
through the gift of healing since the organization of the Church.

When we left Brother Noble, the Prophet Joseph went, with those who
accompanied him from the other side, to the banks of the river, to
return home.

While waiting for the ferry-boat, a man of the world, knowing of the
miracles which had been performed, came to him and asked him if he
would not go and heal two twin children of his, about five months old,
who were both lying sick nigh unto death.

They were some two miles from Montrose.

The Prophet said he could not go; but, after pausing some time, he said
he would send some one to heal them; and he turned to me and said: "You
go with the man and heal his children."

He took a red silk handkerchief out of his pocket and gave it to
me, and told me to wipe their faces with the handkerchief when I
administered to them, and they should be healed. He also said unto me:
"As long as you will keep that handkerchief, it shall remain a league
between you and me."

I went with the man, and did as the Prophet commanded me, and the
children were healed.

I have possession of the handkerchief unto this day.



On the first of July, 1839, Joseph Smith and his counselors, Sidney
Rigdon and Hyrum Smith, crossed the river to Montrose, to spend the day
with the Twelve, and set them apart and bless them, before they started
upon their missions. There were twelve of us who met there, and we all
dined in my house.

After dinner, we assembled at Brother Brigham Young's house for our

Brother Hyrum Smith opened by prayer; after which the Presidency laid
their hands upon our heads and gave each of us a blessing.

President Rigdon was mouth in blessing me, and also blessed Sisters
Young, Taylor and Woodruff.

The Prophet Joseph promised us if we would be faithful, we should be
blessed upon our mission, have many souls as seals of our ministry, and
return again in peace and safety to our families and friends; all of
which was fulfilled.

Brother Hyrum advised me to preach the first principles of the gospel;
he thought that was about as much as this generation could endure.

Then Joseph arose and preached some precious things of the Kingdom of
God unto us, in the power of the Holy Ghost; some of which I here copy
from my journal:

"Ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy, and be ready to forgive
our brethren on the first intimation of their repentance and desire
for forgiveness; for our Heavenly Father will be equally as merciful
unto us. We also ought to be willing to repent of and confess our sins,
and keep nothing back. Let the Twelve be humble and not be exalted,
and beware of pride and not seek to excel one another, but act for
each other's good, and honorably make mention of each other's names in
prayer before the Lord and before your fellow-men. Do not backbite or
devour a brother. The Elders of Israel should seek to learn by precept
and example in this late age of the world and not be obliged to learn
everything we know by sad experience. I trust the remainder of the
Twelve will learn wisdom and not follow the example of those who have
fallen. When the Twelve, or any other witnesses of Jesus Christ, stand
before the congregations of the earth, and they preach in the power
and demonstration of the Holy Ghost, and the people are astonished and
confounded at the doctrine, and say, 'That man has preached a powerful
sermon,' then let that man or those men take care that they do not
ascribe the glory unto themselves, but be careful that they are humble,
and ascribe the glory to God and the Lamb; for it is by the power of
the Holy Priesthood and the Holy Ghost that they have power thus to

"Who art thou, O man, but dust! and from whom dost thou receive thy
power and blessings, but from God?

"Then let the Twelve Apostles and Elders of Israel observe this key,
and be wise: _Ye are not sent out to be taught, but to teach_.

"Let every man be sober, be vigilant, and let all his words be seasoned
with grace, and keep in mind it is a day of warning, and not of many

"Act honestly before God and man; beware of sophistry, such as bowing
and scraping unto men in whom you have no confidence. Be honest, open,
and frank in all your intercourse with mankind.

"I wish to say to the Twelve and all the Saints, to profit by this
important key, that in all your trials, troubles, temptations,
afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and deaths, see to it that you do not
betray Jesus Christ, that you do not betray the revelations of God,
whether in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any
of the words of God.

"Yea, in all your troubles, see that you do not this thing, lest
innocent blood be found upon your skirts, and ye go down to hell.

"We may ever know by this sign that there is danger of our being led to
a fall and apostasy when we give way to the devil, so as to neglect the
first known duty; but whatever you do, do not betray your friend."

The foregoing are some of the instructions given to the Twelve by the
Prophet Joseph, before they started upon their missions.

Inasmuch as the devil had been in a measure thwarted by the Twelve
going to Far West, and returning without harm, it seemed as though the
destroyer was determined to make some other attempt upon us to hinder
us from performing our missions; for it seemed that as soon as any one
of the Apostles began to prepare for starting, he was smitten with
chills and fever or sickness of some kind.

Nearly all of the quorum of the Twelve or their families began to be
sick, so it still required the exercise of a good deal of faith and
perseverance to start off on a mission.

On the 25th of July, for the first time in my life, I was attacked
with chills and fever; and this I had every other day, and, whenever
attacked, I was laid prostrate.

My wife, Phoebe, was also soon taken down with the chills and fever, as
were quite a number of the Twelve.

I passed thirteen days in Montrose with my family, after I was taken
sick, before I started on my mission.

The 7th of August was the last day I spent at home in Montrose, and
although sick with the chills and fever the most of the day, I made
what preparations I could to start on the morrow on a mission of four
thousand miles, to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and
this, too, without purse or scrip, with disease resting upon me, and a
stroke of fever and ague once every two days.

Yet I did this freely, for Christ's sake, trusting in Him for the
recompense or reward. My prayer was: "May the Lord give me grace
according to my day and souls for my hire, and a safe return to my
family and friends, which favor I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.



Early upon the morning of the 8th of August, 1839, I arose from my bed
of sickness, laid my hands upon the head of my sick wife, Phoebe, and
blessed her. I then departed from the embrace of my companion, and left
her almost without food or the necessaries of life.

She parted from me with the fortitude that becomes a Saint, realizing
the responsibilities of her companion. I quote from my journal:

"Phoebe, farewell! Be of good cheer; remember me in your prayers. I
leave these pages for your perusal when I am gone. I shall see thy face
again in the flesh. I go to obey the commands of Jesus Christ."

Although feeble, I walked to the banks of the Mississippi river. There
President Brigham Young took me in a canoe (having no other conveyance)
and paddled me across the river.

When we landed, I lay down on a side of sole leather, by the post
office, to rest.

Brother Joseph, the Prophet of God, came along and looked at me.

"Well, Brother Woodruff," said he, "you have started upon your mission."

"Yes," said I, "but I feel and look more like a subject for the
dissecting room than a missionary."

Joseph replied: "What did you say that for? Get up, and go along; all
will be right with you!"

I name these incidents that the reader may know how the brethren of the
Twelve Apostles started upon their missions to England, in 1839.

Elder John Taylor was going with me, and we were the first two of the
quorum of the Twelve who started on their mission.

Brother Taylor was about the only man in the quorum that was not sick.

Soon a brother came along with a wagon, and took us in. As we were
driving through the place, we came to Parley P. Pratt, who was stripped
to the shirt and pants with his head and feet bare. He was hewing a
log, preparing to build a cabin.

He said: "Brother Woodruff, I have no money, but I have an empty purse,
which I will give you." He brought it to me, and I thanked him for it.

We went a few rods further, and met Brother Heber C. Kimball, in the
same condition, also hewing a log, towards building a cabin.

He said: "As Parley has given you a purse, I have got a dollar I will
give you to put in it."

He gave me both a dollar and a blessing.

We drove sixteen miles across a prairie, and spent the night with a
Brother Merrill. The day following we rode ten miles, to a Brother
Perkins', and he took us in his wagon to Macomb, and from thence to
Brother Don Carlos Smith's.

I rode four hours during the day over a very rough road of stones and
stumps, lying on my back in the bottom of the wagon, shaking with the
ague, and I suffered much.

We held a meeting in a grove near Don Carlos Smith's and here Elder
Taylor baptized George Miller, who afterwards was ordained a Bishop.

At the meeting the Saints gave us nine dollars, and George Miller gave
us a horse to help us on our journey.

I rode to Rochester with Father Coltrin, where I had an interview with
several families of the Fox Island Saints, whom I had brought up with
me from Fox Islands, in 1838. I spent several days with them and at
Springfield, where Elder Taylor published fifteen hundred copies, in
pamphlet form, of a brief sketch of the persecutions and sufferings of
the Latter-day Saints, inflicted by the inhabitants of Missouri.

We sold our horse, and in company with Father Coltrin, Brother Taylor
and myself left Springfield, and continued our journey.

I had the chills and fever nearly every other day, which made riding in
a lumber wagon very distressing to me, especially when I shook with the

On the 24th of August, we rode to Terre Haute, and spent the night with
Dr. Modisett. I suffered much with the chills and fever.

Elder John Taylor up to this time had appeared to enjoy excellent
health, but the destroyer did not intend to make him an exception to
the rest of the Apostles. On the 28th of August, he fell to the ground
as though he had been knocked down. He fainted away, but soon revived.
On the following day, however, the enemy made a powerful attack upon
his life. He fainted away several times, and it seemed as though he
would die. We stopped several hours with him at a house by the wayside.
We then took him into the wagon and drove to Horace S. Eldredge's, and
spent the remainder of the day and night doctoring him.

In the morning Brother Taylor was so far recovered that he thought he
would be able to ride. So we started on our journey on the morning of
the 30th, and we traveled forty miles, to Louisville, and spent the
night with the family of Brother James Townsend.

We felt terribly shaken up, being in such a weak state. Brother
Townsend was away from home, but we were kindly entertained by Sister

In the morning, Elder Taylor, though very weak, felt disposed to
continue his journey. We traveled fourteen miles to Germantown. He was
quite sick at night, and the bilious fever seemed to settle upon him. I
was also very feeble, myself.

On the day following, September 1st, being Sunday, Brother Taylor
concluded to remain there for the day, and hold a meeting.

It was a German settlement. He wished me to speak, and I spoke upon the
first principles of the gospel. He followed me, and spoke until he was

After we returned to the inn where we were stopping, I was taken with a
chill and fever, and had a very bad night. Brother Taylor was also very

The following day, September 2nd, was a painful day to my feelings. It
was evident that Brother Taylor had a settled fever upon him, and would
not be able to travel.

Father Coltrin was resolved to continue his journey, and, in conversing
with Brother Taylor, he thought it better for one sick man to be left
than for two, as I was so sick with the chills and fever that I was not
able to render him any assistance, nor, indeed, to take care of myself.
Under these circumstances, Brother Taylor advised me to continue my
journey with Brother Coltrin, and make the best of my way to New York.



After committing Elder Taylor into the hands of the Lord, though
painful to me, I gave him the parting hand, and started. I left him in
Germantown, Wayne County, Indiana, in the hands of a merciful God and
a kind and benevolent family, who promised to do everything in their
power to make him comfortable until his recovery.

This they did, though he passed through a severe course of the bilious
fever, and was sick nigh unto death. Through the mercy of God, however,
he recovered from his sickness, and continued his journey. We next met
in the city of New York.

I continued my journey with Father Coltrin, and we reached Cleveland
on the 18th of September. We there took steamer for Buffalo, but were
three days and a night in a storm before we made the harbor. We landed
at midnight, and in doing so we ran into a schooner, and stove it in.

From Buffalo I traveled to Albany in a canal boat, and had a stroke of
the ague daily.

While on my journey, at Albany, I took a stage in the night, and rode
to my father's home in Farmington, on the 21st of September.

I was glad to meet with my father's family and the other members of the
small branch of the Church which existed there upon this occasion, as I
found them all strong in the faith of the gospel, and glad to meet with

I was still suffering with the ague daily.

On the 27th of September, my grandmother (on my mother's side), Anna
Thompson, died at Avon. She was eighty-four years of age.

It was a singular coincidence that she, with her husband, Lot Thompson,
also Mercy Thompson and Samuel Thompson, all of one family, died
when they were eighty-four years of age. I was not able to attend my
grandmother's funeral.

On the 4th of October, 1839, my uncle, Adna Hart, died, aged
forty-three years. I had visited him in his sickness, and preached the
gospel to him, and he was believing. I had also been associated with
him from my youth up.

On his death-bed he sent me a request that I would preach his funeral

I was having the chills and fever daily at the time, attended with a
very severe cough, so much so, that my father thought that I would
never leave his home alive. But when they brought me the request of my
dying uncle, and the day came for his burial, I told my father to get
his horse and buggy ready, for I was going to attend the funeral.

He thought I was very reckless in regard to my own life, as I had
suffered with the chills and fever some fifteen days, and to attempt to
speak in my weak state, and to begin at the same hour that my chill was
to come on, seemed to him foolhardy.

My parents were quite alarmed, yet according to my request my father
got up his team, and I rode with him and my step-mother five miles,
through a cold, chilly wind, and I commenced speaking to a large
congregation, at the same hour that my chill had been in the habit of
coming on.

I spoke over an hour with great freedom, and my chill left me from that
hour, and I had no more attacks for many days.

On the Monday following, October 17th, I felt sufficiently restored to
health to continue my journey. I took leave of my father and sister,
and left for New York, where I arrived on the morning of the 8th of

I spent two months and seven days after my arrival in New York, in
traveling and preaching in that city, New Jersey and Long Island, a
portion of the time with Parley and Orson Pratt. I had frequent attacks
during this time of the chills and fever, but I preached almost daily.

On the 13th of December I attended our conference in New York City,
with Parley P. Pratt, and on this day Elder John Taylor arrived in our
midst, and it was a happy meeting.

He had passed through a severe siege of sickness after we parted, but
through the mercy of God had been preserved, and was able to continue
his journey. He also informed us that others of the quorum of the
Twelve had suffered a great deal of sickness, and that it was with
difficulty that they could travel.

After spending six days in New York, Elder John Taylor, in company with
Elder Theodore Turley and myself sailed out of New York Harbor for
Liverpool, on board the packet ship _Oxford_, on the 19th of December,

We took the steerage passage, which cost fifteen dollars each. We had
storms and rough weather, but most of the winds were favorable for a
quick passage.

While on the ship a Methodist minister got into a discussion with some
Catholics who were in the company, and the arguments of the minister
ran rather more into abuse than sound argument.

Elder Taylor told the Methodist minister that he did not think it was
becoming in a daughter to find so much fault with the mother as they
did, for as the Methodists came out of the Catholics, Elder Taylor
thought the mother had as much right to enjoy her religion unmolested
as the daughter had. That ended the argument.

Our company consisted of 109 souls, composed of Americans, English,
Scotch, Irish, Welsh and Dutch.

We arrived in Liverpool dock on the 11th day of January, 1840, having
made the voyage from New York in twenty-three days.



On January 13th, 1840, after visiting Mr. George Cannon, the father
of President George Q. Cannon, and his family, we took cars in the
evening, and arrived in the midst of the Preston branch of the Saints,
built up in 1837, by Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde and Willard

We very soon had a pleasant interview with Elder Willard Richards, who
had remained in Preston to take care of the Church, while the rest had
returned home to America.

We spent three days at Preston in visiting the Saints, and on the 17th
we held a council at Elder Richards' home in that place.

After consulting upon the best course for us to pursue, it was finally
resolved that Elder John Taylor and Joseph Fielding go to Liverpool,
Elder Woodruff to Staffordshire Potteries, Theodore Turley to
Birmingham, Elder Richards wherever the Spirit might direct him, and
that Wm. Clayton preside over the branch in Manchester.

After various principles of the Church had been expounded by the
Apostles present, the council adjourned.

Elder Willard Richards had been called to be one of the quorum of the
Twelve Apostles, but had not yet received his ordination.

On the day following I parted with Elders Taylor and Fielding, who went
to Liverpool, and with Elder Richards, who tarried in Preston. Elder
Turley and I went to Manchester.

It was the first time I ever visited that city. I here first met with
Elder Wm. Clayton. As soon as I had an introduction to him, he informed
me that one of the sisters in that place was possessed of the devil,
and he asked me to go and cast it out of her, thinking that one of the
Twelve Apostles could do anything in this line he might wish to.

However, I went with him to the house where the woman lay, in the hands
of three men, in a terrible rage, and trying to tear her clothing from

I also found quite a number of Saints present, and some unbelievers,
who had come to see the devil cast out and a miracle wrought.

If I had acted upon my own judgment I should not have attempted to
administer to her with the company present, but as I was a stranger
there, and Brother Clayton presided over the branch, I joined him in
administering to the woman. But the unbelief of the wicked present was
so great, we could not cast the devil out of her, and she raged worse
than ever.

I then ordered the room to be cleared, and when the company left the
house, except the few attending to her, we laid hands upon her, and I
commanded the devil to come out of her, in the name of Jesus Christ.
The devil left her, and she was entirely cured and fell asleep.

The next day being the Sabbath, she came before a large congregation of
people, and bore testimony to what the Lord had done for her. We had a
large assemblage through the day and evening, to whom I preached the

On Monday morning, the devil, not being satisfied with being cast out
of the woman, entered into her little child, which was but a few months

I was called upon to visit the child. I found it in great distress,
writhing in its mother's arms. We laid hands upon it and cast the
devil out of it, and the evil spirits had no power over the household

This was done by the power of God, and not of man. We laid hands upon
twenty in Manchester who were sick, and they were mostly healed.

On the 21st, I arrived in Burslem by coach, and met, for the first
time, with Elder Alfred Cordon. This being my field of labor, I stopped
and commenced work.

Elder Turley stopped in the pottery district some eight days, then went
to Birmingham, his field of labor.

I received a letter on the 10th of February, from Elder John Taylor,
who was at Liverpool, saying they had commenced there and baptized ten

I labored in the Staffordshire Potteries, in Burslem, Hanley, Stoke,
Lane End, and several other villages, from the 22nd of January until
the 2nd of March, preaching every night in the week and two or three
times on the Sabbath.

I baptized, confirmed and blessed many, and we had a good field open
for labor. Many were believing, and it appeared as though we had a door
open to bring many into the Church in that part of the vineyard.

March 1st, 1840, was my birthday, when I was thirty-three years of age.
It being Sunday, I preached twice through the day to a large assembly
in the City Hall, in the town of Hanley, and administered the sacrament
unto the Saints.

In the evening I again met with a large assembly of the Saints and
strangers, and while singing the first hymn the Spirit of the Lord
rested upon me, and the voice of God said to me, "This is the last
meeting that you will hold with this people for many days."

I was astonished at this, as I had many appointments out in that

When I arose to speak to the people, I told them that it was the last
meeting I should hold with them for many days. They were as much
astonished as I was.

At the close of the meeting four persons came forward for baptism, and
we went down into the water and baptized them.

In the morning I went in secret before the Lord, and asked Him what His
will was concerning me.

The answer I got was, that I should go to the south, for the Lord had a
great work for me to perform there, as many souls were waiting for the
word of the Lord.



On the 3rd of March, 1840, in fulfillment of the word of the Lord to
me, I took coach and rode to Wolverhampton, twenty-six miles, and spent
the night there.

On the morning of the 4th I again took coach, and rode through Dudley,
Stourbridge, Stourport and Worcester, and then walked a number of miles
to Mr. John Benbow's, Hill Farm, Castle Frome, Ledbury, Herefordshire.
This was a farming country in the south of England, a region where no
Elder of the Latter-day Saints had visited.

I found Mr. Benbow to be a wealthy farmer, cultivating three hundred
acres of land, occupying a good mansion, and having plenty of means.
His wife, Jane, had no children.

I presented myself to him as a missionary from America, an Elder of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who had been sent to him
by the commandment of God as a messenger of salvation, to preach the
gospel of life unto him and his household, and the inhabitants of the

Mr. Benbow and his wife received me with glad hearts and thanksgiving.
It was in the evening when I arrived, having traveled forty-eight miles
by coach and on foot during the day, but after receiving refreshments
we sat down together, and conversed until two o'clock in the morning.

Mr. Benbow and his wife rejoiced greatly at the glad tidings which I
brought unto them of the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, which God
had revealed through the mouth of His Prophet, Joseph Smith, in these
last days.

I rejoiced greatly at the news that Mr. Benbow gave me, that there
was a company of men and women--over six hundred in number--who had
broken off from the Wesleyan Methodists, and taken the name of United
Brethren. They had forty-five preachers among them, and had chapels and
many houses that were licensed according to the law of the land for
preaching in.

This body of United Brethren were searching for light and truth, but
had gone as far as they could, and were continually calling upon the
Lord to open the way before them, and send them light and knowledge
that they might know the true way to be saved.

When I heard these things I could clearly see why the Lord had
commanded me, while in the town of Hanley, to leave that place of
labor and go to the south, for in Herefordshire there was a great
harvest-field for gathering many Saints into the kingdom of God.

I retired to my bed with joy after offering my prayers and thanksgiving
to God, and slept sweetly until the rising of the sun.

I arose on the morning of the 5th, took breakfast, and told Mr. Benbow
I would like to commence my Master's business, by preaching the gospel
to the people.

He had a large hall in his mansion which was licensed for preaching,
and he sent word through the neighborhood that an American missionary
would preach at his house that evening.

As the time drew nigh many of the neighbors came in, and I preached
my first gospel sermon in the house. I also preached on the following
evening at the same place, and baptized six persons, including Mr. John
Benbow and his wife, and four preachers of the United Brethren.

I spent most of the following day in clearing out a pool of water, and
preparing it for baptizing in, as I saw many to be baptized there. I
afterwards baptized six hundred in that pool of water.

On Sunday, the 8th, I preached at Frome's Hill in the morning, at
Standley Hill in the afternoon, and at John Benbow's, Hill Farm, in the

The parish church that stood in the neighborhood of Brother Benbow's,
presided over by the rector of the parish, was attended during the day
by only fifteen persons, while I had a large congregation, estimated to
number a thousand, attend my meeting through the day and evening.

When I arose in the evening to speak at Brother Benbow's house, a man
entered the door and informed me that he was a constable, and had been
sent by the rector of the parish with a warrant to arrest me.

I asked him "For what crime?"

He said, "For preaching to the people."

I told him that I, as well as the rector, had a license for preaching
the gospel to the people, and that if he would take a chair I would
wait upon him after meeting.

He took my chair and sat beside me. I preached the first principles
of the everlasting gospel for an hour and a quarter. The power of
God rested upon me, the Spirit filled the house, and the people were

At the close of the meeting I opened a door for baptism, and seven
offered themselves. Among the number were four preachers and the

The latter arose and said, "Mr. Woodruff, I would like to be baptized."

I told him I would like to baptize him. I went down to the pool and
baptized the seven. We then met together and I confirmed thirteen, and
broke bread unto the Saints and we all rejoiced together.

The constable went to the rector and told him if he wanted Mr. Woodruff
taken up for preaching the gospel, he must go himself and serve the
writ, for he had heard him preach the only true gospel sermon he had
ever listened to in his life.

The rector did not know what to make of it, so he sent two clerks of
the Church of England as spies, to attend our meeting, and find out
what we did preach.

But they were both pricked in their hearts and received the word of the
Lord gladly, and were baptized and confirmed members of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The rector became alarmed and did not dare to send anybody else.

The ministers and rectors of the South of England called a convention
and sent a petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury, to request
Parliament to pass a law prohibiting the "Mormons" from preaching in
the British dominion.

In this petition the rector stated that one "Mormon" missionary had
baptized fifteen hundred persons, mostly members of the English church,
during the last seven months.

But the archbishop and council, knowing well that the laws of England
gave free toleration to all religions under the British flag, sent word
to the petitioners that if they had the worth of souls at heart as much
as they had the ground where hares, foxes and hounds ran, they would
not lose so many of their flock.

I continued to preach and baptize daily.

On the 21st day of March I baptized Elder Thomas Kingston. He was the
superintendent of both preachers and members of the United Brethren.

The first thirty days after my arrival in Herefordshire, I had baptized
forty-five preachers and one hundred and sixty members of the United
Brethren, who put into my hands one chapel and forty-five houses, which
were licensed according to law to preach in.

This opened a wide field of labor, and enabled me to bring into the
Church, through the blessing of God, over eight hundred souls during
eight months, including all of the six hundred United Brethren except
one person; also including some two hundred preachers of various

This field of labor embraced Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and
Worcestershire, and formed the conferences of Garway, Godfield Elm and
Frome's Hill.

I was visited by President Young and Dr. Richards.

Brother Benbow furnished us with £300 to print the first Book of Mormon
that was published in England: and on the 20th of May, 1840, Brigham
Young, Willard Richards and I held a council on the top of Malvern
Hill, and there decided that Brigham Young go direct to Manchester and
publish 3,000 copies of the Hymn Book and 3,000 copies of the Book of
Mormon, this being the first publication of these books in England.

The power of God rested upon us and upon the mission.

The sick were healed, devils were cast out, and the lame were made to

One case I will mention: Mary Pitt, who died in Nauvoo, sister of Wm.
Pitt, who died in Salt Lake City, had not walked upon her feet for
eleven years. We carried her into the water and I baptized her.

On the evening of the 18th of May, 1840, at Brother Kingston's house in
Dymock, Elders Brigham Young, Willard Richards and I laid hands upon
her head and confirmed her.

Brigham Young, being mouth, rebuked her lameness, and commanded her to
arise and walk, in the name of the Lord. The lameness then left her,
and she never afterwards used a staff or crutch.

She walked through the town of Dymock next day, which created a stir
among the people; but the wicked did not feel to give God the glory.

The whole history of this Herefordshire mission shows the importance
of listening to the still small voice of the Spirit of God and the
revelations of the Holy Ghost.

The Lord had a people there prepared for the gospel. They were praying
for light and truth, and the Lord sent me to them, and I declared the
gospel of life and salvation unto them, and some eighteen hundred souls
received it, and many of them have been gathered to Zion in these
mountains. Many of them have also been called to officiate in the
bishopric, and have done much good in Zion. But in all these things we
should ever acknowledge the hand of God, and give Him the honor, praise
and glory, forever and ever. Amen.



Before closing this little book, as a reader for our children, I wish
to bear my testimony upon several principles, to the Latter-day Saints,
especially to the rising generation, the young men of Israel.

First, I wish to speak of the spirits of good and evil. The Lord says,
whatever leads to good is of God, and whatever leads to do evil is of
the devil. This is a very important subject for us to understand.

The scriptures again tell us that there are many spirits gone out into
the world; and that we should try the spirits, to prove which are of
God and which are of the evil one. The New Testament says that every
spirit that confesses that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God; and
every spirit that denieth that Jesus is the Christ is anti-Christ,
and is not of God. I will also add that every spirit that confesses
that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and that the _Book of Mormon_,
_Bible_ and _Doctrine and Covenants_ are true, is of God; and every
spirit that denieth this is not of God, but is of the evil one.

I wish here to ask our young friends as well as the older ones, the
question: Do you ever consider or contemplate anything about the number
of evil spirits that occupy the earth, who are at war against God and
against all good, and who seek to destroy all the children of men in
every age of the world?

Let us reason together a moment upon this subject. It may be impossible
for any man, without direct revelation from God, to get to know the
exact number, but we may approximate towards it.

The Lord has said by revelation that Lucifer, an angel in authority,
rebelled against God, and drew away one-third part of the hosts of
heaven; and he was cast down to the earth and the heavens wept over him.

How many were cast out of heaven down to the earth? We suppose that
the inhabitants of heaven here referred to were the spirits begotten
of our Father in heaven who were to come dawn to the earth and take
tabernacles. How many were there to come down and take tabernacles?
This, again, may be difficult to tell, yet perhaps we may come near
enough for the purpose. It has generally been conceded that there are
about 1,000,000,000 persons on the earth at a time, though the late
statistics make out 1,400,000,000 at the present time. But we will say
1,000,000,000. It is also said that a generation passes off the earth
every thirty-three and one-third years, making three generations in a
century, which would be 3,000,000,000 in one hundred years. Multiply
this by ten and it will make 30,000,000,000 in 1,000 years. Multiply
again by seven and it will make 210,000,000,000 in 7,000 years.

The argument might be used that when our earth was first peopled there
were but two persons on the earth, and after the flood but eight souls
were left alive, but the probability is that during the millennium the
inhabitants will increase very fast as the age of children will be as
the age of a tree, and the inhabitants of the earth will not die off as
they do now.

But we will suppose that there were 100,000,000,000 of fallen spirits
sent down from heaven to earth, and that there are, 1,000,000,000 of
inhabitants upon the face of the earth to-day, that would make one
hundred evil spirits to every man, woman and child living on the earth;
and the whole mission and labor of these spirits is to lead all the
children of men to do evil and to effect their destruction.

Now, I want all our boys and girls to reflect upon this, and to see
what danger they are in, and the warfare they have to pass through.

These one hundred evil spirits to each one of the children of men seek
to lead them into every temptation possible, to use tobacco, smoke,
drink whisky, get drunk, curse, swear, lie, steal, and commit adultery
and murder, and do every evil to cut them off from exaltation as far as

On the other hand, the Spirit of God labors and strives to preserve all
the children of men from these evils; and the Lord has given His angels
charge concerning us, and they do all they can for our salvation.

But yet we all have our agency, to choose the good and refuse the evil,
or choose the evil and refuse the good. The Lord forces no man to
heaven; neither does the Lord tempt any man to do evil. When a man is
tempted to do evil, it is by the power of the devil, who is an enemy to
all righteousness.

I feel very anxious to have our boys and girls, our young men and
maidens, seek for that which is good.

Whenever you are tempted to do evil, turn from it. Never make light of
any of the commandments or ordinances of the gospel of Christ, and when
you meet with any persons who do it, shun their society.

Avoid the use of tobacco and strong drink, for they lead to evil.

You are laying the foundation while in the days of your youth, for
a character which will decide your destiny through all time and
throughout all eternity, either for good or evil.

The Lord has told us by revelation (See _Doc. and Cov. Sec._ 130)
that whatever knowledge or principle of intelligence we attain to in
this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection, and any person
who gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his
diligence and obedience than another, will have so much the advantage
in the world to come.

Therefore, we should all strive to be diligent in obtaining
intelligence, and bringing to pass righteousness upon our agency, and
not wait to be commanded in all things, and great will be our reward in
so doing.



In order to obtain revelation from God, and in order to know, when we
do obtain revelation, whether it is from God or not, we must follow the
teachings of the revelations of God unto us. St. James says: "If any
man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." Again, it is said,
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you."

It was upon this promise that Joseph Smith went before the Lord and
prayed in the name of Jesus Christ, and asked for knowledge, wisdom and
understanding, in order to know what to do to be saved; and he proved
the promise of St. James before the Lord, and the heavens were opened
to his view, and the Father and Son were revealed unto him, and the
voice of the great Eloheim unto him was: "This is my beloved Son, hear
ye Him."

This was the first revelation of God to him. He did hearken to the
voice of Jesus Christ all his life afterwards, and received a code of
revelations and the word of the Lord unto him as long as he dwelt in
the flesh.

Joseph Smith left as strong a testimony as was ever given to the human
family, and sealed that testament with his own life and blood.

We all have to pursue the very same course in order to obtain
revelations from God. But I wish to impress this truth upon the rising
generation and all who read this testimony, that the Lord does not give
revelations or send angels to men or work miracles to accommodate the
notions of any man who is seeking for a sign.

When we have the principles of the gospel revealed to us through the
mouth of the Savior, or by inspired prophets or apostles, we have no
need to ask the Lord to reveal that unto us again. While the priesthood
is restored to the earth, and the revelations of God are revealed to us
through the mouths of prophets and apostles concerning the fullness of
the gospel--doctrine, ordinances and principles, we should study them,
and treasure up knowledge by faith. We should study out of the best
books, and the Holy Ghost will bring to our remembrance those things
which we stand in need of, in the self-same hour that we are called to
teach the people.

But when any priest, elder, prophet, apostle, or messenger is sent of
God to preach the gospel, gather the Saints, work in temples or perform
any work for the Lord, and that man is faithful and humble before the
Lord, in his prayers and duty, and there is any snare or evil in his
path, or the righteous to be sought out, or danger to the emigration of
the Saints either by sea or land, or knowledge needed in a temple, then
the Lord will reveal to him all that is necessary to meet the emergency.

The teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith to President John Taylor and
the rest of us was to obtain the Holy Spirit, get acquainted with it
and its operations, and listen to the whisperings of that Spirit and
obey its voice, and it soon will become a principle of revelation unto

We have found this true in our experience, and in order to prove
whether a revelation is from God or not we follow out the principles
revealed to us, and if we find that which was manifested to us proves
true, we know it is from God; for truth is one of His attributes, and
the Holy Ghost deceiveth no man. When a man becomes acquainted with the
whisperings of the Holy Ghost, which is revelation, he should be very
careful to obey it, for his life may depend upon it.

Revelation is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and for the benefit
of my young friends who may read this work, I will give an account of a
few instances from my own experience of listening to the revelations of
the Holy Ghost to me.

In 1848, after my return to Winter Quarters from our pioneer journey, I
was appointed by the Presidency of the Church to take my family and go
to Boston, to gather up the remnant of the Latter-day Saints and lead
them to the valleys of the mountains.

While on my way east I put my carriage into the yard of one of the
brethren in Indiana, and Brother Orson Hyde set his wagon by the side
of mine, and not more than two feet from it.

Dominicus Carter, of Provo, and my wife and four children were with me.
My wife, one child and I went to bed in the carriage, the rest sleeping
in the house.

I had been in bed but a short time when a voice said to me: "Get up,
and move your carriage."

It was not thunder, lightning or an earthquake, but the still, small
voice of the Spirit of God--the Holy Ghost.

I told my wife I must get up and move my carriage. She asked: "What

I told her I did not know, only the Spirit told me to do it.

I got up and moved my carriage several rods, and set it by the side of
the house.

As I was returning to bed, the same Spirit said to me, "Go and move
your mules away from that oak tree," which was about one hundred yards
north of our carriage.

I moved them to a young hickory grove and tied them up. I then went to

In thirty minutes a whirlwind caught the tree to which my mules had
been fastened, broke it off near the ground and carried it one hundred
yards, sweeping away two fences in its course, and laid it prostrate
through that yard where my carriage stood, and the top limbs hit my
carriage as it was.

In the morning I measured the trunk of the tree which fell where my
carriage had stood, and I found it to be five feet in circumference. It
came within a foot of Brother Hyde's wagon, but did not touch it.

Thus by obeying the revelation of the Spirit of God to me I saved my
life and the lives of my wife and child, as well as my animals.

In the morning I went on my way rejoicing.

While returning to Utah in 1850 with a large company of Saints from
Boston and the east, on my arrival at Pittsburg I engaged a passage
for myself and company on a steamer to St. Louis. But no sooner had I
engaged the passage than the Spirit said to me, "Go not on board of
that steamer, neither you nor your company."

I obeyed the revelation to me, and I did not go on board, but took
another steamer.

The first steamer started at dark, with two hundred passengers on
board. When five miles down the Ohio river it took fire and burned the
tiller ropes, so that the vessel could not reach the shore, and the
lives of nearly all on board were lost either by fire or water. We
arrived in safety at our destination, by obeying the revelation of the
Spirit of God to us.

In another instance, after attending a large annual conference in Salt
Lake City, and, having a good deal of business to attend to, I was
somewhat weary, and at the close of the conference I thought I would
repair to my home and have a rest.

As I went into the yard the Spirit said to me, "Take your team and go
to the farm," which is some three miles south of the Tabernacle.

As I was hitching the horse to the wagon Mrs. Woodruff asked where I
was going.

I said, "To the farm."

"What for?" she asked.

"I do not know," I replied; but when I arrived there I found out.

The creek had overflowed, broken through my ditch, surrounded my home
and filled my barn-yard and pig pen. My wife was wading in the water,
trying to turn it from the lot to save the home and family.

Through my own exertions I soon turned it, and prevented much damage
that might have occurred had I not obeyed the voice of the Spirit.

This same Spirit of revelation has been manifested to many of my
brethren in their labors in the kingdom of God, one of which I will
here name.

Elder Chas. C. Rich was going from Sacramento to San Bernardino with
a company of brethren. He had in his possession a large amount of
money to make payment on their land purchase. This was known to some
road agents in the vicinity, who gathered a company of robbers and
went on ahead of Brother Rich and lay in ambush, intending to kill the
"Mormons" and rob them of their money.

Before reaching the company of robbers Brother Rich came to a by-path
or trail. The Spirit then told him to take that path.

The brethren with him marveled at his course, not knowing that enemies
awaited them, but they arrived in safety at San Bernardino with their
lives and their money, while the robbers wondered why their prey did
not come.



I will now give an example from my own experience of the result of not
obeying the voice of the Spirit.

Some years since I had part of my family living in Randolph, Rich
County. I was there on a visit, with my team in the month of December.

One Monday morning my monitor, the Spirit watching over me, said: "Take
your team and go home to Salt Lake City."

When I named it to my family who were at Randolph they urged me
strongly to stop longer.

Through their persuasion I stayed until Saturday morning, with the
Spirit continually prompting me to go home. I then began to feel
ashamed to think that I had not obeyed the whisperings of the Spirit to
me before.

I took my team and started early on Saturday morning. When I arrived at
Woodruff, the Bishop urged me to stop until Monday and he would go with

I told him, "No, I had tarried too long already."

I drove on sprightly, and when within fifteen miles of Wasatch, a
furious snow storm overtook me, the wind blowing heavily in my face.

In fifteen minutes I could not see any road whatever, and knew not how
or where to guide my horses.

I left my lines loosely on my animals, went inside my wagon, tied down
the cover, and committed my life and guidance into the hands of the
Lord, trusting to my horses to find the way, as they had twice before
passed over that road.

I prayed to the Lord to forgive my sin in not obeying the voice of the
Spirit to me, and implored Him to preserve my life.

My horses brought me into the Wasatch station at 9 o'clock in the
evening, with the hubs of my wagon dragging in the snow.

I got my horses under cover and had to remain there until next Monday
night, with the snow six feet deep on the level, and still snowing.

It was with great difficulty at last that I saved the lives of my
horses by getting them into a box car and taking them to Ogden; while,
if I had obeyed the revelation of the Spirit of God to me, I should
have traveled to Salt Lake City over a good road without any storm.

As I have received the good and the evil, the fruits of obedience and
disobedience, I think I am justified in exhorting all my young friends
to always obey the whisperings of the Spirit of God, and they will
always be safe.

The Spirit of God will rule over and guide all men who will permit it
and seek for it, and this is especially necessary for young Elders who
are laboring in the vineyard of the Lord. For the Lord knows where the
righteous, honest and meek of the earth are, and will lead the Elders
to them.

I have already related a remarkable instance of this in my own
experience, when the voice of the Lord came to me in the town of
Hanley, England, in 1840.

In that case it dictated me quite contrary to my expectations, for I
had appointments out for a week ahead. But I obeyed the voice of the
Spirit, went south as I was directed to, and my readers know the result.

I will refer to one more instance in my experience upon the subject of

All the Latter-day Saints understand that we build temples for the
purpose of administering ordinances for the dead as well as for the

The Lord has opened the way in a remarkable manner for many of the
members of the Church to obtain records of the names of their dead for
several generations.

I had also obtained a record of somewhat over three thousand of my
father and mother's families.

After the dedication of the temple at St. George, President Young
appointed me to preside over it. When we commenced work in the temple
I began to reflect: "How can I redeem my dead? I have some three
thousand names of the dead who have been baptized for, and how can I
get endowments for them?"

I had none of my family there, and if any had been there they would not
have been able to get endowments for so many.

While praying to the Lord to show me how to redeem my dead, the Spirit
of God rested upon me, and the voice of the Spirit said to me, "Go and
call upon the sons and daughters of Zion in St. George, to come into
the temple of the Lord and get endowments for your dead; and it shall
be acceptable unto me, saith the Lord."

This filled my soul with joy, and I saw that it opened a field as wide
as eternity for the salvation of our dead and the redemption of man,
that we might magnify our calling as saviors upon Mount Zion.

On my birthday, March 1, 1877, the day that I was seventy years old,
one hundred and fifty-four sisters at St. George went into the temple
to get endowments for the same number of the female portion of my dead.

This principle was received by President Young and adopted from that
hour, and through the kindness of friends I have had nearly two
thousand of my friends receive endowments in the temple of the Lord;
and thousands of others have received the same blessings in the same

President Young received revelations in the temple, and there are
yet many revelations to be received in the last days, concerning the
redemption of the dead and many other subjects, but they will all be
manifest in due time through the proper authority unto the Church and
Kingdom of God.

There are many other manifestations of the power of God and the
revelations of Jesus Christ to us in our lives. We have been called
by revelation to give endowments for many persons now dead, who, when
living, were honorable men of the earth, and some who were prominent in
our nation, but who were not members of our family.

But I have said sufficient upon this branch of the subject.



The duty of a Patriarch is to bestow blessings upon his posterity and
the children of men.

In a revelation (_Doc. and Cov_., sec. 107) the Lord says that "Three
years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan,
Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch and Methuselah, who were all High Priests,
with the residue of his posterity who were righteous into the valley of
Adam-ondi-Ahman, and there bestowed upon them his last blessings. * *
And Adam * * predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the
last generation. These things are all written in the book of Enoch, and
are to be testified of in due time."

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were patriarchs, and blessed their posterity.
All that Jacob said and sealed upon the heads of his twelve sons has
been fulfilled to the very letter, so far as time has permitted.

We also have patriarchs in our day. Father Joseph Smith, the father
of the Prophet Joseph Smith, was the first Patriarch of the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He gave a great many blessings
unto the Saints, which are recorded, and many of them have seen their

When he put his hands on the head of a person to bless him, it seemed
as though the heavens were opened, and he could reveal the whole life
of that person.

He gave me my patriarchal blessing in the Temple of the Lord at
Kirtland, on the 15th day of April, 1837.

Many marvelous things which he sealed upon my head, for which I could
then see no earthly chance of fulfillment, have already been fulfilled
to the very letter.

One or two instances I will name. He said I should have access to the
treasures hid in the ground to assist me in getting myself and others
to Zion.

When in Cambridgeport gathering up the Saints, in 1850, Alexander
Badlam went to California on business, and the Saints who were digging
gold filled a little sack with gold dust and sent it to me to assist me
on my mission.

By the sale of this treasure from California I was enabled to emigrate
myself, family and a number of others to Zion in the mountains.

He also said I should have power to bring my father and his family into
the Church. This was fulfilled when I visited them during my mission to
the Fox Islands, as previously related.

My father gathered to Salt Lake City with the Saints, and he died
there, aged 83 years.

The Patriarch also said that I should be wrapt in the visions of
heaven, and an angel of God should teach me many things. This was
literally fulfilled.

Again, he told me I should be delivered from my enemies (who would seek
my destruction) by the mighty power of God and the administrations of
angels. This was marvelously fulfilled while in the city of London
in 1840. Brothers Heber C. Kimball, Geo. A. Smith and I went to
London together in the winter of 1840, being the first Elders who had
attempted to establish the gospel in that great and mighty city.

As soon as we commenced we found the devil was manifest; the evil
spirits gathered for our destruction, and at times they had great power.

They would destroy all the Saints if they were not restrained by the
power of God.

Brother Smith and myself, were together, and had retired to our rest,
each occupying a cot, and but three feet apart.

We had only just lain down, when it seemed as if a legion of devils
made war upon us, to destroy us, and we were struggling for our lives
in the midst of this warfare of evil spirits until we were nearly
choked to death.

I began to pray the best that I could in the midst of this struggle and
asked the Father in the name of Jesus Christ to spare our lives.

While thus praying three personages entered the room, clothed in white
and encircled with light.

They walked to our bedside, laid hands upon our heads and we were
instantly delivered; and from that time forth we were no more troubled
with evil spirits while in the city of London.

As soon as they administered unto us they withdrew from the room, the
lights withdrew with them and darkness returned.

Many other sayings of the Patriarch Joseph Smith in my blessing have
been fulfilled in my experience, but I have said sufficient on this
subject. All the blessings that are sealed upon our heads will be
fulfilled, and many more, if we are faithful and live for them.

In closing my testimony I wish to say that I do not think that the Lord
ever sends an angel to the earth to visit the children of men, unless
it is necessary to introduce a dispensation of the gospel, or deliver a
message, or perform a work that cannot be done otherwise.

It required an angel of God to deliver the gospel to Joseph Smith
because it was not then upon the earth, and that was in fulfillment of
the word of the Lord through John the Revelator (_Revelations xiv_.
6). And so in regard to the administrations of angels in all ages of
the world; it is to deliver a message and perform a work which cannot
otherwise be accomplished.

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