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Title: Wilford Woodruff - History of his Life and Labors as Recorded in his Daily Journals
Author: Cowley, Matthias F., Woodruff, Wilford
Language: English
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* * * *

History of His Life and Labors


* * * *

_"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his
throne."--Rev. 3:21._

* * * *



* * * *

Salt Lake City, Utah 1909





That which is perhaps best known about Wilford Woodruff is the fact
that he kept throughout his long and eventful life a careful record,
not only of his own life, but of the important affairs in the history
of the Church. In bringing that journal within the compass of one
volume, it has not always been easy to determine what was the most
important for the pages of this biography. All his journals, covering
thousands of pages, I have read with such discriminating judgment as I
could bring to the task. The reader, therefore, need not be reminded
that this biography contains only a small part, the most important part
it is hoped, of the things he wrote.

He was so careful and painstaking, and so completely devoted to the
task of keeping a journal, that his writings have been sought in
compiling much of the important data in Church history which has
already been given to the world. His work, therefore, is not unknown to
those familiar with Church history. Some of his life has been published
in the _Deseret News,_ and _"Leaves from My Journal"_ contains
important chapters. Magazines and Church publications have in them
reminiscences which he has given to the readers of those periodicals at
different times.

All missionaries will be interested in the marvelous experiences which
he had while working in the spread of the gospel message. Others will
read with peculiar interest the recital of events in the travels of
the pioneers from the Missouri River to Salt Lake Valley, and others
will read with satisfaction the words that fell from the lips of those
prophets with whom he was immediately associated--Joseph Smith, Brigham
Young, and John Taylor.

The life of Wilford Woodruff was full of marvels. It was a simple life
in which he revealed his heart and his purposes freely. The frankness
of his expressions, his care for details, and his conscientious regard
for the truth made him, perhaps, the best chronicler of events in all
the history of the Church. His journal reveals not so much what he
himself was thinking about the events concerning which he wrote as what
others thought about them. In that respect they reveal wonderfully the
spirit of the times in which he lived.

At the close of the year 1895 in writing of his life, he says: "For
twenty-one years I was a member of the legislative assembly of the
Territory of Utah.

"In 1875 I was appointed historian and general recorder of the Church
and held that position until 1889.

"On the completion of the Temple at St. George in 1877, I was appointed
its President by Brigham Young.

"Upon the accession of President Taylor, I became President of the
Twelve Apostles; and in April 1889, I was sustained at the general
conference as President of the Church.

"By my direction the General Church Board of Education was founded
in 1888 to direct the Church system of academies, high schools, and
colleges, which has resulted in a great perfection of the organization.

"From the beginning of my ministry in 1834 until the close of 1895
I have traveled in all 172,369 miles; held 7,655 meetings; preached
3,526 discourses; organized 51 branches of the Church and 77 preaching
places; my journeys cover England, Scotland, Wales, and 23 states and
5 territories of the Union. My life abounds in incidents which to me
surely indicate the direct interposition of God whom I firmly believe
has guided my every step. On 27 distinct occasions I have been saved
from dangers which threatened my life. I am the father of 17 sons and
16 daughters. I have a posterity of 100 grandchildren and 12 great
grandchildren." (At the present time, his grandchildren number at least
145, and his great grandchildren, about 60.)

The hand of God was so abundantly manifested in the life of Wilford
Woodruff, that those who read this book, it is sincerely believed, will
find it both faith-promoting and instructive. The book is given to the
world in the sincerest belief that its pages will greatly add a fresh
interest to the history of the Church, and reveal the subject of this
sketch in such a manner as to make his wonderful labors more highly
appreciated by those not intimately acquainted with him.


September, 1909.




Chosen Spirit.--Divine Guidance.--Genealogy.--A Miller by Trade.



Arms and Legs Broken.--Injury to Breast Bone and
Ribs.--Drowned.--Frozen.--Scalded.--Other Escapes.--Life Preserved by a
Merciful Providence.



"Coming Events."--Wilford Woodruff's Interest in Religion.--Existing
Religious Denominations.--Teachings of Scripture.--Father Mason, a
Prophet.--Peculiar Process of Preparation.


EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833.

A Fisherman.--Early Employment.--Noble Reflections.--Lessons
in Reading.--Interest in the Bible.--Philo Woodruff's Strange
Dream.--Mocking Deity.--Its Effects.--Peace of Mind.--Place of
Prayer.--Happy Experiences.--A Baptism.--Reads of Mormons.--Notable
Instance of Inspiration.--Removal to New York.--Azmon's Faith.


BAPTISM, 1833.

Elders Visit Richland, N. Y.--The New Message.--Wilford Woodruff's
Testimony.--The Book of Mormon,--Healing Power.--Baptism.--Ordained a


ZION'S CAMP, 1834.

His First Call.--Leaves for Kirtland.--His Neighbors' Warning.--First
Meeting with Prophet.--A Remarkable Prophetic Gift.--Zion's
Camp.--Zelph.--Escape Mob at Fishing River.--Epidemic of Cholera.--His
Residence in Missouri.--Consecrations.



A Prayerful Ambition to Preach.--Departure on Mission to
Southern States.--Traveling without Purse or Scrip.--Treatment
Received from Minister.--Tribulations.--A Remarkable Dream.--Its
Fulfillment.--Preaching in Memphis.--Ordained an Elder.--Successful
Labors.--Ordained a Seventy.--A Mob Court.--Return to Kirtland.



Wilford's First Attendance at Meeting in the Temple.--Called to
Speak.--Church's Attitude Toward the Use of Liquor.--Wilford in the
First Quorum of Seventy.--Receives Temple Endowments.--Troubles
in Kirtland.--Greatness of the Prophet Joseph.--Wilford's
Marriage.--Receives a Patriarchal Blessing.



Troubles at Kirtland.--Mission to Fox Islands.--Evil Spirits Cast
Out.--Healing the Sick.--Visits His Home Enroute.--From Connecticut to
Maine.--Description of Fox Islands.--Begins Ministry in Vinal Haven.--A
Minister Comes to Grief.--Baptisms.--Excitement.--Return to Scarboro.



Again on the Fox Islands.--Opposition Increases.--Manifestation of the
Gifts of the Holy Ghost.--Sign of the Prophet Jonas.--Wilford Visits A.
P. Rockwood in Prison.--Baptizes His Father and Other Relatives.--Birth
of His First Child.--Called To Be One of the Twelve Apostles, and To
Take a Foreign Mission.--Assists Fox Islands Saints in Migrating to the
West.--Mrs. Woodruff Miraculously Healed.--They Reach Quincy, Illinois.



Mobocrats Seek To Prevent the Fulfillment of a Revelation Given Through
the Prophet Joseph Smith, but Are Disappointed.--Temple Corner-stone
at Far West Laid.--Wilford Returns to Illinois.--The Prophet Joseph
Liberated from Prison in Missouri.--A Survivor of Haun's Mill
Massacre.--Selection of Nauvoo as a Place for the Settlement of the
Saints.--A Day of Gods' Power.--Many Sick Are Healed, and a Dying Man
Raised to Life.--Incident of Wilford Receiving a Handkerchief from
the Prophet Joseph.--Instructed as to What He Shall Preach on His
Mission.--Lesson in Humility.--Warning against Treachery.--Wilford
Starts on His Mission, Sick and without Money.--Experiences of His
Journey to New York.--Sails for Liverpool, England.



Wilford's Arrival in England.--Missionary Work Begun.--Casting
Out a Devil.--Directed by the Spirit of the Lord to Another Field
of Labor.--Meets with the United Brethren.--Many Conversions to
the Gospel.--Ministers Hold a Convention To Ask Parliament for
Legislation against the Mormons.--First Publication of the Book of
Mormon and the Hymn Book in England.--The Millennial Star.--In the
British Metropolis.--Unable to Secure a Hall To Preach in, the Elders
Hold Street Meetings.--First Baptism in London.--Opposition from
Preachers.--Work of God Makes Marvelous Progress.



Rapid Increase of the Church in Great Britain.--Mysterious Spirit
Personage Attempts to Strangle Wilford Woodruff, and Wounds Him
Severely.--He Is Relieved and Healed by Three Heavenly Visitors.--First
Placard of the Church Posted in London.--Death of Wilford's
Daughter.--Difficult Missionary Work in and around London.--Arrival
of Lorenzo Snow To Take Charge of the British Mission.--All of the
Twelve Called Home.--Attending Various Conferences.--Springing of
the Spaulding Story.--Wilford Bids Farewell to the Saints in Fields
Where He Had Labored.--General Conference of the British Mission, and
Only Occasion of the Twelve Apostles Acting as a Quorum in a Foreign
Land.--Wilford's Departure for Home, and Arrival at Nauvoo.--Made a
Member of the Nauvoo City Council.



Wilford Renders Aid to the Persecuted Saints.--His Care in Recording
the Events, also Sermons and Sayings of the Prophet Joseph
Smith.--Elder Woodruff's Humility, and Appreciation of the Work of
Others.--At a Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Convention.--Letter
from His Wife Announcing the Death of Their Daughter.--Revelation
Foreshadowing the Troubles of the Saints in the Expulsion from Illinois.


IN NAUVOO, 1841.

Prophetic Insight.--Teachings of the Prophet.--Baptism for the
Dead.--Hyrum Kimball.



Building of the Temple.--Book of Moses.--Words of the Prophet.--Nauvoo
Legion.--Business Trip to St. Louis.--Return of Orson Hyde.



Change in Governors of Missouri and Illinois.--Prophet's Release.
--Discourse on Authority.--Signs in the Heavens.--New Arrivals of
Saints.--Death of Lorenzo Barnes.--Discourse on Knowledge.--Great
Truths.--Prophet's Knowledge of Men.--Wilford Woodruff's Bond for
Temple Funds.--Opposition to Revealed Truth.--Hell Defined.--Prophet
Arrested.--His Release.



Address of the Prophet on Constitutional Rights.--Orson Hyde's
Call to Russia.--Prophet Explains His Position with Respect to
Missouri.--Origin of Nauvoo Legion.--Political Explanation.--Departure
of the Twelve for the East.--Brigham Young's Fidelity.--Phrenological
Chart by O. S. Fowler.--Return of the Twelve to Nauvoo.--W. W. Sealed
to Wife.--Adultery.--Governor of Missouri Again Issues Requisition for



Conduct of the Laws and Marks.--Discourse on Elijah by the
Prophet.--The Celestial Law.--Prophet's Candidacy for President of
U. S.--Exploring Expedition to California Planned.--Joseph, Mayor
of Nauvoo.--Hostility in Carthage.--Mischief-makers in Nauvoo.--The
Prophet Talks on Politics.



Mission of the Apostles to the East.--A Warning to W. W.--A Sad
Parting.--Political News of the Prophet Published.--W. W. Arrives in
Boston, June 26.--The Martyrdom.--Its Announcement Reaches W. W. in
Portland, Maine.--His Return to Boston.--An Epistle to the Elders
and Saints in the World.--W. W. Visits His Old Home.--Return to
Nauvoo.--Conditions in That City.



Sidney Rigdon's Claim to Guardianship.--Rigdon's Spiritual
Condition.--Comparison of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick
Williams.--Remarks of Brigham Young.--Meeting on Aug. 8, 1844.--Brigham
Young Follows Sidney Rigdon in Address to the People.--Members of the
Twelve Speak.--Vote on Question of Leadership.



The New Leadership.--Second Call to Great Britain.--Warning Against
Leading Companies from Nauvoo.--Instructions To Finish the Temple and
To Build up the City.--W. W. Visits Emma Smith and Others.--Parting
Address to the Saints.



Departure.--Route.--Visits Home of Solomon Mack.--A Peculiar
Dream.--On the Ocean.--Copyright of Doctrine and Covenants.--Visit
to Scotland.--Lemington.--Troubles in Nauvoo.--Condition of the
Mission.--Preparation for His Return.



Dedication of the Temple in Nauvoo.--The Exodus to Council
Bluffs.--Accident to His father.--Reaches Mt. Pisgah.--Meets Brigham
Young.--Recruiting of the Mormon Battalion.--Colonel Kane.--Departure
of the Battalion.--Organizations at Winter Quarters.--A Conference with
the Chiefs of the Leading Indian Tribes.--Explorations.--Remarks by
President Young.



Arrival of Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor at Winter
Quarters.--Organization of the Pioneers.--Manner of Forming
Camp.--Horse Feed Enroute.--Pawnee Indians.--A Practical
Joke.--Crossing Loup Fork.



Elijah Newman Healed.--Indians Attempt Theft.--Antelopes
Killed.--Encounter with Indians.--A Buffalo Hunt.--Meet Traders from
Laramie.--A Decision To Keep the North Bank of the Platte.--Immense
Herds of Buffaloes.--William Clayton's Mile Gage.--Letter Left for Next
Company.--Description of the Rodometer.



In the Red Man's Country.--Indian Customs.--Hunting Became
Excessive.--Description of the Bluffs.--Guide Board 409 Miles from
Winter Quarters.--Chimney Rock.--Brigham Young Rebukes Card Playing and
Frivolity.--Fasting and Prayer.--Arrive at Fort Laramie.--Ascending the
Plateaux.--Word from the Mormon Battalion.



Ferrying the Missourians over the River.--Construction of
Rafts.--Obtaining Provisions.--Ten Men Left at the Ferry.--Independence
Rock.--Devil's Gate.--175 Miles from Fort Laramie.--South Pass.--Meet
Major Harris, and Mr. Bridger.--Cross Green River.--Meet Samuel
Brannon.--Independence Day.--Meet a Detachment of the Battalion.--Fort
Bridger.--Report of the Missouri Company That Perished.--Reach Salt
Lake Valley, July 24, 1847.



In Retrospect.--First Crop of Potatoes Planted.--The Beginning of
Irrigation.--First Sunday.--Explorations South to Utah Lake.--Choice
of Temple Block.--Address by Brigham Young.--Return to Winter
Quarters.--Meet the Second Company of Pioneers.--Encounter with the
Indians.--Reach Winter Quarters, Oct. 31, 1847.--First Presidency
Organized, Dec. 27, 1847.



In Winter Quarters.--Battle of Nauvoo Commemorated.--Organization of
Pottowatamie County.--Bids President Young and Saints Good-by.--Journey
from Winter Quarters to Nauvoo.--From Nauvoo to Maine.--A Letter to His
Wife.--Healing the Sick.--Discovery of Gold in California.



Letter to Orson Pratt.--Baptism of His Father-in-law, Ezra
Carter.--Labors in New England.--Meets Dr. John M. Bernhisel.--Healing
the Sick.--Interview with Col. Kane.--Hears Indian Chief.--Release
from His Mission.--Return to the Valleys.--Conditions at the
Frontier.--Stampede on the Plains.--Brigham Young Appointed
Governor.--Salt Lake Temple Planned.--Salt Lake City Given a
Charter.--Visit to the Southern Settlements.--Fourth Celebrated
at Black Rock.--Celebrating of Twenty-fourth.--Death of His
Step-Mother.--Judge Brocchus Speaks in Conference.--Beautiful Words of
Patriarch John Smith.--A Vote To Discontinue Use of Tea and Coffee.


THE YEARS, 1852, '53, '54.

Discourse of Brigham Young on Sin.--The Descendants of Cain.--Edward
Hunter Chosen Presiding Bishop.--Parowan Stake Organized.--David
Patten.--Talk on Dancing.--Death of Willard Richards.--Jedediah M.
Grant Chosen Counselor to Brigham Young.--Journey South.--Walker, the
Indian Chief.--John Smith, Son of Hyrum Smith, Called To Be the Head
Patriarch of the Church.--Visit North.--Legislature.--Philosophical



Education Promoted.--Adventurers.--Endowment House.--President Young
Speaks of the Resurrection.--Death of Judge Schafer.--Provo.--Work
in Educational Societies.--In the Legislature at Fillmore.--Words of
Confidence from Kanosh, an Indian Chief.--Some Peculiarities of Wilford



Hard Times Were Difficult for Some To Endure.--Recording Church
History.--Dedication of Historian's Office.--First Hand-cart
Company.--The Reformation Inaugurated--Death of Jedediah M.
Grant.--Suffering of the Hand-cart Companies.--Heber C. Kimball's Dream.


CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857.

Words of Brigham Young.--Talk by the Indian Chief,
Aropene.--Assassination of Parley P. Pratt--Return of Thomas B. Marsh
to the Church.--Celebration of the Twenty-fourth in Big Cottonwood
Canyon.--News of the Army's Approach.


WAR TIMES, 1857.

Deposit of Church Records in Temple Foundation.--Approach of
the Army.--Present of a Team.--John D. Lee.--Visit of Captain
Van Vliet.--Lot Smith.--Col. Alexander Writes President
Young.--Communication from Governor Cumming to Governor
Young.--Miraculous Escapes.--High Price of Salt at Army
Headquarters.--Prediction of Calamity to the Nation.--A Poetic Tribute
by Eliza R. Snow.



President and Congress of the U. S. Memorialized.--Words of Brigham
Young.--Arrival of Col. Kane.--Governor Cumming Reaches Salt Lake
City.--Migration Southward.--Delegates from Nicaragua.--Want Mormons To
Move to Central America.--Proclamation from President Buchanan.--Peace
Commission.--President of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing
Society.--Indian War Threatened.--A Striking Dialogue.--The Mob
Element.--Mogo's Deception.--Attacks on President Young.--Greeley
Visits Utah.



Embarks in Sheep Industry.--Adventures of One Gibson.--Lectures to
Young Men in Police Court.--Counsel to Missionaries.--Visit to Cache
Valley.--Schools Investigated.--Celebration of the 24th.--Prophecies
of Civil War.--Little Children in the Resurrection.--Brigham Young on
Secession.--Death of Aphek Woodruff.--Governor Dawson.


THE YEARS 1862-'63.

Killing of Thieves.--John Baptiste, the Grave Digger.--Value of
a Daily Journal.--Erection of the Salt Lake Theatre.--State of
Deseret.--Foundation Stones of Temple Raised.--Indian Troubles on
Bear River.--Visit of the Moquitches to Salt Lake City.--Their
Customs.--Attempt To Arrest President Young.--Settlement of Bear Lake


THE YEARS, 1864-65.

Some Enjoyments.--He Visits a Condemned Man in Prison.--Troubles Made
by Gibson on Hawaiian Islands.--Lorenzo Snow's Escape from Watery
Grave.--Visit to Bear Lake Valley.--Remark of President Young in
Logan.--Ordination to Apostleship of Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow,
Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards.--Hot Springs at Midway.--Second
Inauguration of President Lincoln.--Treaty with Indians.--Colfax Visits
Utah.--Jane Blackhurst.


THE YEARS 1866, '67, '68.

New Year's Greetings.--Evil Spirits Rebuked.--Love for Little
Ones.--Drawings in His Journal.--Mrs. Godbe's Dream.--Brigham Young's
Remarks on the Atonement.--Sept. 5, 1867, Joseph F. Smith Selected
as One of the Twelve.--Amasa Lyman Dropped from Twelve.--School
of the Prophets.--Move to Provo.--Grasshopper War.--Advent of the
Railroad.--Remarkable Prophetic Utterances at Logan.--Visit to
Sanpete.--Call to First Presidency of Geo. A. Smith.--Accident to His
Son Ashael.--Summary of 1868.


THE YEARS, 1869, 70.

Co-operative Movement.--Cove Fort.--Pronouncement Against Use
of Wine.--Organization of Bear Lake Stake.--Visit of Schuyler
Colfax.--The Godbe Movement.--Descendants of Cain.--Utah Central
R. R. Completed.--Plural Marriage--Boston Board of Trade Visits
Utah.--Sayings of Brigham Young.--The Newman-Pratt Discussion.--Martin
Harris Re-baptized.



Arrest of President Young and Others.--Experiences in Randolph.--Caught
in a Snow-storm.--Reaches Salt Lake City.


THE YEARS, 1872-74.

Judge McKean.--Journalizing.--Early Church Historians.--Holy
Ghost.--Visit to San Francisco.--Funerals of Pitt and Player.--Thomas
L. Kane.--Garden of Eden.--Paralysis.--Earl Rosebury.--Fall from a Tree.



Visit to Randolph.--Governor Axtell.--Visit of President Grant.--Visit
of Dom Pedro, Emperor of Brazil.--Dedication of St. George Temple.--A
Grand Birthday Celebration.



Death of His Son, Brigham Young Woodruff.--Prophetic
Utterances.--Baptisms for the Signers of the Declaration
of Independence.--Death of Brigham Young Changes His
Plans.--Funeral.--Visit to Logan.--Visit to St. George.--A Vision.--Old
Folks' Excursion.--Zion's Board of Trade.



In Arizona.--An Epistle to the World.--Birthday Celebrated in St.
George.--Travels in Arizona.--Hunt with Pelone, the Apache Chief.--A
Visit to the Zunies.--Travels with Lot Smith.--Dream.--Letters.



In a Shepherd's Tent in Arizona.--A Revelation Given Jan. 26,
1880.--Organization of First Presidency.--Call to Apostleship of
Francis M. Lyman and John Henry Smith.



Leonard Hardy's Birthday Party.--Prophecy Concerning Joseph F.
Smith.--Death of Orson Pratt--Visit to St. George.--The Edmunds
Law.--Oscar Wilde.--Conditions at St. Johns, Arizona.--Call of
President George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant and Seymour B. Young.--Death
of Captain William H. Hooper.



Exemplary Deacons.--Adam-ondi-Ahman.--Visit to Colorado.--The
Patriarchal Order of Marriage.--Andrew Burt.--Farm Life.--The Crusade
Opens.--The Family Celebration of His Birthday.--Call of John W.
Taylor.--Call of Wm. B. Preston.--Land Troubles in Arizona.--Dedication
of the Logan Temple.--A Visit to Snake River. Country, Idaho.--Growth
of Children After the Resurrection.--Call of John Morgan.--In
Exile.--Conference at Fish Lake.



Arrest of George Q. Cannon.--Governor Murray's Dismissal.--Death
of President Taylor.--President Woodruff Appears in the
Tabernacle.--Change in Federal Officers.--April, 1889, Wilford Woodruff
Became President of the Church.--Visit to California.--M. W. Merrill,
A. H. Lund, and Abraham H. Cannon Called to Apostleship.--Senator
Morgan Visits President Woodruff.



The Political Situation.--Visit to California.--The Manifesto.--Its
Effects.--Sugar Industry.--Henry M. Stanley.--Deaths of Prominent
Men.--Earthquake in Southern Utah.--Address to Irrigation
Congress.--Interpretation of Manifesto.--Remarks at Brigham City on the



New Home.--Visit of President Eliot to Salt Lake City.--Completing
the Temple.--Amnesty.--Dedication of the Salt Lake Temple.--Visit
to the World's Fair, Chicago.--Liberal Party Disbands.



Electric Power Plant in Ogden Canyon.--Saltair,--Death of His Brother,
Thompson.--Temple Work for Benjamin Franklin.--An Optimist.--Death of
A. O. Smoot of Provo.--Utah Stake Organized.--Trip to Alaska.



Admission of Utah into the Union.--The Occasion Celebrated.--Political
Struggles.--Birthday of Geo. Q. Cannon Celebrated.--April Conference,
1896.--Pronunciamento Regarding Political Matters.--Death of Apostle
Abraham H. Cannon.--The Purity and Nobility of His Character Revealed
to Prest. Woodruff.--Change of the Fast Day.--Great Celebration
on His 90th Anniversary, 1897.--Visit from Judge Kinney.--Pioneer
Jubilee Celebration.--Letter to the King and Queen of Sweden.--Visits
the Coast.--His Son Owen Called to the Apostleship.--Attends April
Conference, 1898.--Goes to the Coast in August.--His Sickness.--Departs
this Life September 2, 1898. CHAPTER 56. Funeral Services.


Character Sketch.

Appendix A.

Sidney Rigdon.

Appendix B.

Address to the Saints of the British Isles.

Appendix C.

Storm on Lake Michigan.

Appendix D.

Rationality of the Atonement.

Wives of Wilford Woodruff.

Children of Wilford Woodruff.





A Chosen Spirit.--Divine Guidance.--Genealogy.--A Miller by Trade.

Wilford Woodruff was the fourth president of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints. He belonged to that class of men of whom the
Lord said to Abraham, "These will I make my rulers." Of our primeval
childhood that ancient Prophet informs us that the Lord stood among
those that were spirits and He saw that they were good. Of these
spirits the Lord said to Abraham, "Thou art one of them, thou wert
chosen before thou wast born." If the Lord knew Abraham and Jeremiah
before they were born in the flesh, He also must have known Wilford
Woodruff in the spirit world. The latter's integrity and unbounded
devotion to the worship and purposes of his God are not surpassed by
any prophet of either ancient or modern times. Like those of ancient
times, Wilford Woodruff was undoubtedly foreordained of God to a noble
mission in life, and to the great responsibilities which he filled
with honor and to the glory of God. To him there was a reality of the
spirit world rarely enjoyed by men, he constantly felt the influence of
spiritual associations which were above and beyond the ordinary affairs
of life. That he had an existence prior to this probation in life, he
never doubted. He felt that life was a mission to which he had been
called and which in the goodness of God he had been permitted to fill.
His own spiritual existence was never overshadowed by temporalities or
by constant misgivings that so frequently beset the lives of other men.

Wilford Woodruff looked upon the brotherhood of men as {2} a natural
sequence of his assurance that God was the Father of our spirits in
a former life. He understood that prayer of the Savior addressing
Himself to His Father in heaven. His own spirit was in harmony with the
revelations of Christ. In the light of scriptural declarations and of
his own spiritual nature, he was simply here in life in the performance
of great duties which had been assigned him before the world was. He
sincerely believed that in returning again to the God who had given him
life he would have to account for his talents and his time. Speaking
of the Athenians, Paul said: "God that made the world hath made of
one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and
hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their

In the life of Wilford Woodruff there was unfolded day by day the
duties and obligations that linked him with the chain of eternal life.
When the new revelation of God to men in this dispensation broke in
upon him he was happily prepared to enjoy the new light. To be a
Latter-day Saint from the outset seemed as natural as to breathe the
air of heaven. He marvelled at the purposes of God but did not wonder,
and doubt did not obscure from his vision the divine truth of this
dispensation while he sojourned in the flesh. The love of God had
always abounded in his heart, and the divine message found him eager
and willing.

He was not among those who sought divine assurance and spiritual
satisfaction in some one creed of the day. The Bible was his highest
authority and he believed implicitly in the divinity of its teachings.
He was a devoted student of Holy Writ and prayerfully sought the gifts
and blessings bestowed upon the Saints of old. He was waiting for
precisely that which came to him and he took up the new mission of life
with a strenuous desire to serve God and to be a witness that he was
the same God yesterday, to-day, and forever.

The story of Wilford Woodruff's life was consistent, faithful and in
harmony with scriptural examples. The dealings of God with His children
in other dispensations were always before his mind as illustrations
and evidences. If the Bible had been the chief consolation of his
youth and the best evidence of divine purposes, it became doubly so
when he became a Latter-day Saint. Nothing that God had done in former
dispensations {3} was too insignificant for his earnest consideration.
Henceforth he was to speak in the name of the Lord, and act by the
authority of divine command. He loved the memory of the ancient
Prophets and strove earnestly to emulate their example. His life,
therefore, is marked by spiritual growth and a devotion to God's will
that makes it an inspiration to all who knew him or who read the story
of his life and teachings. He honored and magnified every office and
calling conferred upon him from that of a teacher to the president of
the Church. In this high station he laid down his life at the ripe age
of ninety-one years.

Wilford Woodruff was born March 1st, 1807 in the town of Farmington,
Hartford County, Connecticut. He was the son of Aphek Woodruff. His
grandfather was Captain Eldad Woodruff who was the son of Josiah
Woodruff. Josiah was the son of Joseph whose father's name was John,
the son of Mathew Woodruff. This is as far back as Wilford Woodruff's
genealogy has been traced in America. It is claimed that John Woodruff
of South Hampton, Long Island, is the first person in American history
bearing the name of Woodruff. Whether he is related to Matthew
Woodruff, the earliest known ancestor of Wilford in this country, has
not been determined. President Woodruff says, that according to the
ancient Book of Heraldry, one of his ancestors was Lord Mayor of London
in 1579.

His mother's name was Beulah Thompson. The family on his mother's
side, for generations lived at Farmington, Connecticut. The Woodruff
family name is English and is derived from the occupation of its
bearers who in the days of William the Conqueror guarded the woods and
forests for the use of noblemen and who were considered among the most
honored officers in the land. From Wilford Woodruff's account of his
forefathers it appears that they were hardy and long-lived people. He
says: "My grandfather, Josiah Woodruff, lived nearly one hundred years.
He possessed an iron constitution and performed a great deal of manual
work up to the time of his death. His wife's name was Sarah. She bore
him nine children: Josiah, Appleton, Eldad, Elisha, Joseph, Rhoda,
and Phoebe. There were two of this family whose names are not given.
My grandfather, Eldad Woodruff, was the third son of Josiah. He was
born in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut in 1751. He likewise
possessed {4} a strong constitution and it was said of him that for
several years he performed more labor than any man in Hartford County.
From over exertion and hewing timber he was attacked with rheumatism in
his right hip which caused a severe lameness for several years before
his death. He married Dinah Woodford by whom he had seven children:
Eldad, Elizabeth, Samuel, Titus, Helen, Aphek, and Ozem. My grandfather
died in Farmington from spotted fever in 1806 at the age of fifty-five
years. My grandmother, Dinah, died in the same place in 1824 from the
effects of a cancer in her breast; her sufferings were very great.

"My father, Aphek Woodruff, was born in Farmington, November 11, 1778.
He married Beulah Thompson who bore him three sons: Azmon, born Nov.
29th, 1802; Thompson, born December 22nd, 1804; and myself, born March
1st, 1807. My mother died from spotted fever January 11th, 1808 at the
age of twenty-eight years, leaving me a babe of fifteen months. My
father married a second wife, Azubah Hart. She bore him six children.
He was a man of a strong constitution and did a great amount of labor.
At eighteen years of age he began work in a flour mill and saw mill and
continued at his occupation there for about fifty years. Most of that
time he labored eighteen hours a day. He never made any profession of
religion until I baptized him into the Church of Jesus Christ on the
first day of July, 1838. He was a man of great charity, honesty, and
integrity and made himself poor by giving to the poor. He was liberal
in accommodating his fellow men by lending money and by becoming surety
for his neighbors. He generally said yes to every man who asked a favor
at his hands."

"I assisted my father in the Farmington mills until I was twenty
years of age and continued in the occupation of a miller until I was




Arms and Legs Broken.--Injury to Breast Bone and
Ribs.--Drowned.--Frozen.--Scalded.--Other Escapes.--Life Preserved by a
Merciful Providence.

The journal of Wilford Woodruff contains a chapter which he designates
as a "chapter of accidents." It is given thus early in his biography as
it reveals the purposes of an overruling Providence whose mercies and
guiding powers are remarkably manifested throughout a long and arduous
career. He himself regarded his escapes from death as an evidence of a
destructive power that sought to thwart that special mission in life
so wonderfully revealed in the subsequent chapters of this biography.
His life throughout discloses a constant struggle against obstacles
which he had to overcome. They are manifested in every degree of
difficulty, and to less courageous natures many of them would have been

There are in his words which describe the misfortunes that overtook him
no traces of envy, discouragement or despair. That others were born to
an easier life did not awaken within him a spirit of envy or doubt. To
his mind the joys or sorrows of this world were all subordinate to the
will of an overruling Providence. While he did not complain, he did
not ascribe his difficulties or dangers to fate. He was never so much
concerned about the difficulty in surmounting an obstacle as he was
about his ability through the goodness of God to do so. "Evidently," he
says, "I have been numbered with those who are apparently the marked
victims of misfortunes. It has seemed to me at times as though some
invisible power were watching my footsteps in search of an opportunity
to destroy my life. I, therefore, ascribe my preservation on earth to
the watchcare of a merciful Providence, whose hand has been stretched
out to rescue me from death when I was in the presence of the most
threatening dangers. Some of these dangers from which I so narrowly
escaped I shall here briefly describe:

"When three years of age, I fell into a caldron of scalding water
and although instantly rescued, I was so badly burned {6} that it
was nine months before I was thought to be out of the danger of
fatal consequences. My fifth and sixth years were interwoven with
many accidents. On a certain day, in company with my elder brothers,
I entered the barn, and chose the top of a hay mow for a place of
diversion. We had not been there long before I fell from the great beam
upon my face on the bare floor. I was severely hurt, but recovered in a
short time, and was again at play.

"One Saturday evening, with my brothers Azmon and Thompson, while
playing in the chamber of my father's house, contrary to his
instructions, I made a misstep and fell to the bottom of the stairs,
breaking one of my arms in the fall. So much for disobedience. I
suffered intensely, but soon recovered, feeling that whatever I
suffered in the future, it would not be for disobedience to parents.
The Lord has commanded children to obey their parents; and Paul says,
'This is the first commandment with promise.'

"It was only a short time after this that I narrowly escaped with my
life. My father owned a number of horned cattle, among which was a
surly bull. One evening I was feeding pumpkins to the cattle, and the
bull leaving his own took the pumpkin I had given to a cow which I
called mine. I was incensed at the selfishness of this male beast, and
promptly picked up the pumpkin he had left, to give it to the cow. No
sooner had I got it in my arms than the bull came plunging toward me
with great fury. I ran down the hill with all my might, the bull at my
heels. My father, seeing the danger I was in, called to me to throw
down the pumpkin, but (forgetting to be obedient) I held on, and as
the bull was approaching me with the fierceness of a tiger, I made a
misstep and fell flat upon the ground. The pumpkin rolled out of my
arms, the bull leaped over me, ran his horns into the pumpkin and tore
it to pieces. Undoubtedly he would have done the same thing to me if I
had not fallen to the ground. This escape, like all others, I attribute
to the mercy and goodness of God.

"During the same year, while visiting at my Uncle Eldad Woodruff's, I
fell from a porch across some timber, and broke my other arm.

"Not many months passed by before I was called to endure {7} a still
greater misfortune. My father owned a saw mill in addition to his flour
mill, and one morning, in company with several other boys, I went into
the saw mill and got upon the headlock of the carriage to ride, not
anticipating any danger; but before I was aware of it my leg was caught
between the headlock and the fender post and broken in two. I was taken
to the house, and lay nine hours before my bones were replaced. That
time was spent in severe pain; but being young, my bones soon knitted
together, and in a few weeks I was upon my feet as usual, attending to
the sports of youth. During this confinement my brother Thompson was my
companion. He was suffering from typhus fever.

"Shortly after this, upon a dark night, I was kicked in the abdomen by
an ox; but being too close to the animal to receive the full force of
the blow, I was more frightened than hurt.

"It was not long before I made my first effort at loading hay. I was
very young, but thought I had loaded it all right. When on the way to
the barn, the wheel of the wagon struck a rock, and off went the hay. I
fell to the ground with the load on top of me; this was soon removed,
and aside from a little smothering I was unhurt.

"When eight years of age, I accompanied my father, with several others
in a one-horse wagon, about three miles from home, to attend to some
work. On the way the horse became frightened, ran down a hill, and
turned over the wagon, with us in it. We were in danger, but were again
saved by the hand of Providence. None of us were injured.

"One day I climbed an elm tree to procure some bark; while about
fifteen feet from the ground, the limb upon which I stood, being dry,
broke, and I fell to the ground upon my back. The accident apparently
knocked the breath out of my body. A cousin ran to the house and told
my parents that I was dead, but before my friends reached me I revived,
rose to my feet, and met them on the way.

"When twelve years old I was nearly drowned in Farmington River. I sank
in thirty feet of water, and was miraculously saved by a young man
named Bacon. The restoration to life caused me great suffering.

"At thirteen years of age, while passing through Farmington {8}
meadows, in the depths of winter, in a blinding snowstorm, I became
so chilled and overcome with cold that I could not travel. I crawled
into the hollow of a large apple tree. A man in the distance saw me,
and, realizing the danger I was in, hastened to where I was. Before he
arrived at the spot I had fallen asleep, and was almost unconscious. He
had much difficulty in arousing me to a sense of my critical condition,
and promptly had me conveyed to my father's house, where, through a
kind Providence, my life was again preserved.

"At fourteen years of age I split my left instep open with an ax which
went almost through my foot. I suffered intensely from this injury, and
my foot was nine months in getting well.

"When fifteen years old I was bitten in the hand by a mad dog in the
last stages of hydrophobia. However, he did not draw blood, and through
the mercy and power of God I was again preserved from an awful death.

"At the age of seventeen I met with an accident which caused me
much suffering, and came nearly ending my life. I was riding a very
ill-tempered horse, which, while going down a very steep, rocky hill,
suddenly leaped from the road and ran down the steepest part of the
hill, going at full speed amid the thickest of the rocks. At the same
time, he commenced kicking, and was about to land me over his head
among the rocks, but I lodged on the top of his head, and grabbed
each of his ears with my hands, expecting every moment to be dashed
to pieces against the rocks. While in this position, sitting astride
the horse's neck, with neither bridle nor other means of guiding him
except his ears, he plunged down the hill among the rocks with great
fury, until he struck a rock nearly breast high, which threw him to
the earth. I went over his head, landing squarely upon my feet almost
one rod in front of the horse. Alighting upon my feet was probably the
means of saving my life; for if I had struck the ground upon any other
part of my body, it would probably have killed me instantly. As it was,
one of my legs was broken in two places, and both my ankles put out
of place in a shocking manner. The horse almost rolled over me in his
struggles to get up. My uncle saw me, and came to my assistance. I was
carried to his house in an armchair. I lay from 2 o'clock {9} in the
afternoon until 10 o'clock at night without medical aid and in great
pain, when my father arrived with Dr. Swift, of Farmington. The doctor
set my bones, boxed up my limbs, and that night conveyed me eight
miles in his carriage to my father's house. I had good attention, and
although my sufferings were great, in eight weeks I was out upon my
crutches, and was soon restored to a sound condition.

"In 1827, while managing a flour mill for Aunt Wheeler, in Avon, Conn.,
I was standing upon one of the wheels, clearing away the ice. A man,
not knowing I was in that position, hoisted the gate and turned upon
the wheel a full head of water. The wheel started at once, my foot
slipped, and I was plunged head foremost over the rim of the wheel
into about three feet of water. My weight had drawn my legs out of the
wheel, or I would have been drawn under a shaft and crushed to death.

"In 1831, while in charge of a flour mill at Collinsville, Conn., I
was standing upon one of the arms inside of a breast-wheel twenty feet
in diameter, clearing off the ice. A full head of water was turned
on suddenly. The wheel started instantly. I dropped my ax and leaped
about twenty feet to the bottom of the wheel. As I struck the bottom,
I rolled out against a rugged stone, with only two feet of clearance
between the stone and the wheel. The latter caught me and rolled me
out into the water below, where I found myself, much frightened, but
thankful to Providence that no bones were broken.

"The day that I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints--December 31, 1833--my horse, with newly calked
shoes, kicked the hat off my head. If he had struck two inches lower,
doubtless he would have killed me instantly. Ten minutes later, while
driving the same horse and another hitched to a sled with loose boards
on the bottom and no box, the boards slipped forward under the pole
and struck the ground. This at once threw the boards up endwise, and
pitched me forward between the horses. I held on the lines; the horses,
frightened, ran down the hill, dragging me under the sled behind them.
The road, however, was smooth, and I escaped without injury.

"In 1834, while traveling in Zion's Camp to Missouri, a rifle was
discharged accidentally. The ball passed through three {10} tents with
a dozen men in each, and lodged in the axletree of a wagon, without
injury to anyone; it passed within a few inches of my breast. Many
others escaped quite as providentially as I did.

"A few months later a musket, heavily loaded with buckshot, and pointed
directly at my breast, was snapped accidentally; but it missed fire,
and again the Lord preserved my life.

"In April, 1839, in Rochester, Ills., I was riding upon the
running-gear of a wagon. I sat upon the front axletree. The bolt
came out of the coupling-pole, separating the wheels, the front from
the rear; and my weight upon the front bolster and tongue turned the
coupling-pole over on the horses' backs, turned the stakes upside down,
which shut me between the bolster and tongue, but in such a manner that
my head and shoulders dragged upon the ground. The horses took fright
and ran into an open prairie. They dragged me for about half a mile,
and notwithstanding my awkward position I managed to guide them so as
to run them into the corner of a high worm-fence, where we landed in
a pile together. I was considerable bruised, but escaped without any
broken bones, and after one day's rest was able to attend to my labors

"On the 15th day of October, 1846, while with the Camp of Israel
building up Winter Quarters, on the west side of the Missouri River
(then Indian country,) I passed through one of the most painful and
serious misfortunes of my life. I took my ax and went two and a half
miles upon the bluff to cut some shingle timber to cover my cabin. I
was accompanied by two men. While felling the third tree, I stepped
back of it some eight feet, where I thought I was entirely out of
danger. There was, however, a crook in the tree, which, when the
tree fell, struck a knoll and caused the tree to bound endwise back
of the stump. As it bounded backwards, the butt end of the tree hit
me in the breast, and knocked me back and above the ground several
feet, against a standing oak. The falling tree followed me in its
bounds and severely crushed me against the standing tree. I fell to
the ground, alighting upon my feet. My left thigh and hip were badly
bruised, also my left arm; my breastbone and three ribs on my left side
were broken. I was bruised about my lungs, vitals and left side in a
serious manner. After the accident {11} I sat upon a log while Mr. John
Garrison went a quarter of a mile and got my horse. Notwithstanding
I was so badly hurt, I had to mount my horse and ride two and a half
miles over an exceedingly rough road. On account of severe pain I had
to dismount twice on my way home. My breast and vitals were so badly
injured that at each step of the horse pain went through me like an
arrow. I continued on horseback until I arrived at Turkey Creek, on
the north side of Winter Quarters. I was then exhausted, and was taken
off the horse and carried in a chair to my wagon. I was met in the
street by Presidents Brigham Young. Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards,
and others, who assisted in carrying me to the wagon. Before placing
me upon my bed they laid hands upon me, and in the name of the Lord
rebuked the pain and distress, and said that I should live, and not
die. I was then laid upon my bed in the wagon, as my cabin was not yet
done. As the apostles prophesied upon my head, so it came to pass; I
did not die. I employed no physician, but was administered to by the
elders of Israel, and nursed by my wife. I lay upon my bed, unable to
move until my breast-bone began to knit together on the ninth day. In
about twenty days I began to walk, and in thirty days from the time I
was hurt. I returned to my laborious employment.

"I have not now a lame limb about me, notwithstanding it all. I have
been able to endure the hardest kind of manual labor, exposures,
hardships, and journeys. I have walked forty, fifty, and, on one
occasion, sixty miles in a single day. The only inconvenience I am
now conscious of is that if I overwork, or take a severe cold, I feel
it more sensibly in my breast and left side than I did before my last
injury. I have given considerable space in recounting the foregoing
peculiar circumstances which I have experienced in life. A summary of
what is here given may be briefly stated thus: I have broken both legs,
one of them in two places; both arms, both ankles, my breastbone, and
three ribs; I have been scalded, frozen, and drowned; I have been in
two water wheels while turning under a full head; I have passed through
a score of other hairbreadth escapes. The repeated deliverances from
all these remarkable dangers I ascribe to the mercies of my Heavenly
Father. In recalling them to mind I always feel impressed to render the
gratitude of my heart, with {12} thanksgiving and joy, to the Lord.
I pray that the remainder of my days may pass in His service, in the
building up of His kingdom."

When one stops to reflect upon the character of the accidents and the
manner of escape, he is impressed by the thought that they came along
as part of the remarkable incidents of his life. They are marvels
to be sure, but the whole life of Wilford Woodruff is a marvel. He
was on the spot when the danger arrived. He never seems to have been
disconcerted by it. He was so serene in his faith that he always had
an assurance that all would end well, and he, consequently, is never
found in a complainly mood, even when undergoing the severest pain. His
patience, therefore, was a powerful factor in bringing to his life a
large measure of confidence in the ultimate goodness of an overruling




"Coming Events."--Wilford Woodruff's Interest in Religion.--Existing
Religious Denominations.--Teachings of Scripture.--Father Mason, a
Prophet.--Peculiar Process of Preparation.

Wilford Woodruff belonged to a group of men whose advent into the world
characterized the first two decades of the nineteenth century. Though
in their own day, humble and obscure and held in contempt by mankind
generally, their importance and the work accomplished by them grow in
significance to the Latter-day Saints who are and have been for the
past half century the greatest history makers in the world. Such men
as Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo
Snow, and Joseph F. Smith, whose administration of the affairs of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given them a prominent
place in the world as well as in the Church, grow in historical
magnitude as time goes on. Their respective administrations constitute
distinguished landmarks in the history of a great people.

There has been a mysterious something about North America, and indeed
of the whole American continent, that has made it not only inviting to
discoverers and adventurers, but an asylum to those who sought enlarged
religious freedom and the development of institutions in harmony
with the ideals of progressive religious thought. What has been more
remarkable to the welfare of this nation than the character of the men,
who, standing upon foreign shores looked forward to it as a land of
grand opportunities, were the men, the early patriots who gave to its
government the highest wisdom of the age, and to social institution
a broad foundation upon which all classes could securely rest their
hopes, their ambitions, and their religious convictions.

The institutions of our country have nevertheless grown as time went
on, and little by little conditions derogatory to the well-being and
happiness of the people have given way to higher and better standards
of life. The opposition to slavery and its downfall enlarged the
conceptions of individual liberty and of {14} human rights. The
traditions of ages have given way before the progress of modern
enlightenment, and the country has afforded better opportunities for
progressive and changing institutions than any other nation of the
civilized world. The whole drift of American history has been in the
direction of religious enlightenment and political freedom. True, such
enlightenment and freedom have met with stubborn resistance and have
cost the best blood of the nation. The United States has been a country
peculiarly marked for the greatest human endeavor. It has not, however,
reached the acme of its possibilities nor has its work, however
progressive, reached a finished state. If the lessons of the past in
American history are important in any one respect, more than another,
it is in the great truth that it is to be the standard bearer, and the
first in religion and government.

In religion the nation is brought face to face daily more and more with
the great religious problem known to the civilized world as Mormonism.
The men who were instrumentalities of that new religion grow in
importance as it makes its way in religious and theological history.
The lives therefore of such men as Wilford Woodruff not only have a
distinct place in the lives and thoughts of their religious associates,
but will also have an important position in the future history and
development of religious thought.

How such men as Wilford Woodruff came upon the stage at the particular
time in the history of the Church, and what external influences brought
them into its folds are matter of peculiar interest to every student
of Church history. What he himself thought of the new movement and how
he was prepared to receive it is given here and there throughout his
private journals in a manner to make the story of his life one of the
most interesting in all the annals of the Church.

He says: "At an early age my mind began to be exercised upon religious
subjects, but I never made a profession of religion until 1830 when
I was twenty-three years of age. I did not then join any church for
the reason that I could not find a body of people, denomination,
or church that had for its doctrine, faith, and practices those
principles, ordinances, and gifts which constituted the gospel of
Jesus Christ as taught by Him and His apostles. Neither did I find
anywhere the manifestations of the {15} Holy Ghost with its attendant
gifts and graces. When I conversed with the ministers of the various
denominations or sects, they would always tell me that prophets,
apostles, revelations, healing, etc., were given to establish Jesus
Christ and His doctrine, but that they have ever since been done away
with because no longer needed in the Church and Kingdom of God. Such
a declaration I never could and never would believe. I did believe,
however, that revelation, the gifts and graces, and the faith once
delivered to the Saints--a faith which they have enjoyed in all ages
when God has had an acknowledged people on the earth--could be done
away with only through the disobedience and unbelief of the children
of men. I believed every gift, office, and blessing to be just as
necessary now to constitute the true Church of Christ and Kingdom of
God as in any age of the world.

"This belief was firmly fixed upon my mind for two reasons: first,
from the study of the Bible I found that the principle of cause and
effect was the same in all ages, and that the divine promises made
were to all generations. At the same time, I found no changes in the
gospel in the days of Christ and the apostles, or that there would be
any change in the plan of salvation in the last days. I learned also
from the Scriptures that many of the ancient prophets, that Christ and
His apostles foresaw by inspiration and revelation that the Gentile
nations would apostatize and turn away from the true faith and from the
Church and Kingdom of God as the Jews had anciently done; that there
would be a falling away from the apostolic faith, from its doctrines
and ordinances; that other systems would arise; that when these false
systems should reach their fullness, the God of heaven would set up His
Kingdom; that an angel would restore the gospel; and that it should be
preached in all the world for a witness before the Savior should come
to reign. I further believed that the gospel had been taken from the
Jews and given to the Gentiles; that the Gentiles had, as foretold by
the prophets, fallen into apostasy; and that in the last days Israel
should be restored and the promises concerning that people should be
fulfilled. All these things I learned from the Scriptures and they made
a lasting impression upon my mind.

"The second reason for my peculiar belief in such principles, {16}
teachings, and doctrines was that in the days of my youth I was
taught by an aged man named Robert Mason, who lived in Sainsbury,
Connecticut. By many he was called a prophet; to my knowledge, many of
his prophecies have been fulfilled. The sick were healed by him through
the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ, and devils were
cast out. His son was a raving maniac. After praying and fasting for
him nine days, he arose on the ninth day and commanded in the name of
Jesus Christ the devil to come out of him. The devil obeyed and the boy
was made whole from that very hour. This man instilled these principles
into my mind as well as into the mind of my oldest brother Azmon.

"Father Mason did not claim that he had any authority to officiate in
the ordinances of the gospel, nor did he believe that such authority
existed on the earth. He did believe, however, that it was the
privilege of any man who had faith in God to fast and pray for the
healing of the sick by the laying on of hands. He believed it his right
and the right of every honest-hearted man or woman to receive light and
knowledge, visions, and revelations by the prayer of faith. He told
me that the day was near when the Lord would establish His Church and
Kingdom upon the earth with all its ancient gifts and blessings. He
said that such a work would commence upon the earth before he died,
but that he would not live to partake of its blessings. He said that I
should live to do so, and that I should become a conspicuous actor in
that kingdom.

"The last time I ever saw him he related to me the following vision
which he had in his field in open day: 'I was carried away in a vision
and found myself in the midst of a vast orchard of fruit trees. I
became hungry and wandered through this vast orchard searching for
fruit to eat, but I found none. While I stood in amazement finding no
fruit in the midst of so many trees, they began to fall to the ground
as if torn up by a whirlwind. They continued to fall until there was
not a tree standing in the whole orchard. I immediately saw thereafter
shoots springing up from the roots and forming themselves into young
and beautiful trees. These budded, blossomed, and brought forth fruit
which ripened and was the most beautiful to look upon of anything my
eyes had ever beheld. I stretched forth {17} my hand and plucked some
of the fruit. I gazed upon it with delight; but when I was about to eat
of it, the vision closed and I did not taste the fruit.'

"'At the close of the vision I bowed down in humble prayer and asked
the Lord to show me the meaning of the vision. Then the voice of the
Lord came to me saying: "Son of man, thou hast sought me diligently to
know the truth concerning my Church and Kingdom among men. This is to
show you that my Church is not organized among men in the generation
to which you belong; but in the days of your children the Church and
Kingdom of God shall be made manifest with all the gifts and the
blessings enjoyed by the Saints in past ages. You shall live to be made
acquainted with it, but shall not partake of its blessings before you
depart this life. You will be blest of the Lord after death because you
have followed the dictation of my Spirit in this life."'

"When Father Mason had finished relating the vision and its
interpretation, he said, calling me by my Christian name: 'Wilford, I
shall never partake of this fruit in the flesh, but you will and you
will become a conspicuous actor in the new kingdom.' He then turned
and left me. These were the last words he ever spoke to me upon the
earth. To me this was a very striking circumstance. I had passed many
days during a period of twenty years with this old Father Mason. He had
never mentioned this vision to me before. On this occasion he said he
felt impelled by the Spirit of the Lord to relate it to me.

"The vision was given to him about the year 1800. He related it to me
in 1830, the spring in which the Church was organized. Three years
later when I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, almost the first person I thought of was this prophet, Robert
Mason. Upon my arrival in Missouri with Zion's Camp, I wrote him a
long letter in which I informed him that I had found the true gospel
with all its blessings; that the authority of the Church of Christ had
been restored to the earth as he had told me it would be; that I had
received the ordinances of baptism and the laying on of hands; that
I knew for myself that God had established through Joseph Smith, the
Prophet, the Church of Christ upon the earth.

"He received my letter with great joy and had it read over {18} to him
many times. He handled it as he had handled the fruit in the vision. He
was very aged and soon died without having the privilege of receiving
the ordinances of the gospel at the hands of an elder of the Church.

"The first opportunity I had after the truth of baptism for the dead
was revealed, I went forth and was baptized for him in the temple font
at Nauvoo. He was a good man, a true prophet; for his prophecies have
been fulfilled. There was so much reason in the teachings of this man,
and such harmony between them and the prophecies and teachings of
Christ and of the apostles and prophets of old, that I believed in them
with all my heart.

"I had given myself up to the reading of the Scriptures and to earnest
prayer before God day and night as far as I could years before I heard
the fullness of the gospel preached by a Latter-day Saint. I had
pleaded with the Lord many hours in the forest, among the rocks, and
in the fields, and in the mill--often at midnight for light and truth
and for His Spirit to guide me in the way of salvation. My prayers
were answered and many things were revealed to me. My mind was open to
the truth so much so that I was fully satisfied that I should live to
see the true Church of Christ established upon the earth and to see a
people raised up who would keep the commandments of the Lord."

This beautiful and inspiring story of Robert Mason reads very much
like that of Simeon of old, who, having received a divine response to
his steadfast supplications, exclaimed: "Lord, now lettest thy servant
depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy

In reading the history of the Church, one is constantly impressed by
the striking comparisons between the events recorded in Holy Writ and
those which have been forerunners as well as accompaniments of the
Church of Christ in this dispensation. The Spirit of God makes these
analogies impressive, and they in turn confirm the faith of those who
have received a testimony of the divine mission of Joseph Smith and of
the purposes of God to be fulfilled by the Church in these last days.
No wonder Wilford Woodruff's mind was open to the truth. No wonder
that doubt or misgiving never beclouded his mind {19} from the day
that the new light broke in upon his understanding to the day of his
death. His life is one of the most beautiful examples of a childlike
faith that has ever been given to the world. The story of it is both
faith-promoting and instructive. It reads like the stories of Holy Writ.



EARLY DAYS, 1816-1833.

A Fisherman.--Early Employment.--Noble Reflections.--Lessons
in Reading.--Interest in the Bible.--Philo Woodruff's Strange
Dream.--Mocking Deity.--Its Effects.--Peace of Mind.--Place of
Prayer.--Happy Experiences.--A Baptism.--Reads of Mormons.--Notable
Instance of Inspiration.--Removal to New York.--Azmon's Faith.

Much of the early life of Wilford Woodruff was passed in Farmington,
Connecticut. He was a boy of great vitality and given to the sports
incident to the community and the times in which he lived. He early
developed a marked aptitude for fishing. In the stream which fed his
father's mill there were spotted trout in abundance. These he learned
to catch with great dexterity; and his brother, being likewise an
adept with the hook, the two achieved the reputation of being the most
successful fishermen in the village. The sports of fishing and hunting
which he practiced in early boyhood were enjoyed by him throughout his
entire life.

One is reminded in the story of his life that there were apostles of
old who cast their nets for fish in the sea of Galilee. Like them, he
too became a fisher of men. He was equally prompt in responding to the
Master's call and equally ardent in promulgating the new word of life
he was authorized to publish. We are not told how many converts were
the result of their missionary efforts, but it is quite within the
bounds of truth to declare that no apostle of the last dispensation
succeeded better than Wilford Woodruff in planting the message of the
new dispensation in the hearts of his fellow-men.

He attended the village district school in his early boyhood, a school
located about two miles from his father's home. "In those days," he
writes, "parents did not feel the importance of urging upon their
children the advantages of education as they urge them today. In those
times they felt that matters of education were wholly confined to the
ideas and methods of the school teacher." Wilford was an industrious
boy. His mind was filled with lofty thoughts, and his education as time
went on took on a religious character. He was by nature a devoted son
and {21} observed carefully the divine command which enjoined obedience
to his parents.

Aphek Woodruff, father of Wilford, was a generous-hearted man. He
rarely refused to grant a favor even when it seemed probable that
the favor might prove a loss to him. The father by his industry and
frugality had acquired a respectable competency for those days. His
property, however, soon dwindled away when those for whom he became
security left him to meet their obligations. His possessions consisted
of a large farm well stocked with cattle, a flour mill, a saw mill, and
a carding machine. These had cost years of toil and self-denial. Their
loss to him saved his honor, but subjected his family to the hardships
which the changed financial conditions brought about. These experiences
of his father had much to do in the formation of his son's character,
for the latter avoided debts and was scrupulously careful to make his
word good in every business undertaking.

When Wilford was eight years of age, a strong religious revival took
place in the town of Farmington. It was conducted chiefly by the
Baptist Church; the elders of that Church, Brocket and Quishman,
preached in his father's home. They baptized his stepmother and several
other relatives. His brothers, Azmon and Thompson, made some profession
of religion. Wilford attended meetings, prayed, and tried to feel as
others felt, but all to no purpose. Whatever of enthusiasm worked
upon his feelings in the excitement of the meetings soon passed away
and left his soul unfed by the bread of life. The next elder brother,
Thompson, was in a similar condition. His eldest brother, Azmon,
continued his interest and devotion until several years later when he
embraced the fulness of the gospel.

His father, having sold his property at Northington, moved back to
Farmington where he was employed to run the flour mill owned by Cowles,
Deming & Camp. This employment he continued for twenty-eight years. Up
to the year 1816 Wilford remained with his father. He attended school
in Farmington until he was fourteen years of age.

On the first of May, 1821, he went to live with Col. George Cowles
with whom he remained two years. While there he attended school in the
winter and worked upon a farm during the {22} summer months. It was
while living with Mr. Cowles that Wilford again witnessed a religious
revival which was conducted by the Presbyterians, who were at that
time the only sect in Farmington. Of this second revival he writes: "I
attended the meetings, inquiry, Sunday schools, and prayer meetings.
I tried to get religion by effort and prayer, but my efforts created
darkness instead of light and I was not happy in the attempt. They
wanted us to give our hearts to God without telling us what to do or
explaining any principle in a comprehensive manner. There were many
young people at that time of my age who made a profession of religion.
I did not wish to make a mockery of sacred things by professing light
when I had received none, so I kept aloof from all professions."

At this time the Woodruff family was undergoing a severe struggle
for a livelihood. Young Wilford lived out, first with one and then
with another, working hard during the summer and fall and attending
school in the winter. In the year 1823 while making his abode with Mr.
Andrew Mills he underwent his first attack of homesickness. "Mr. Mills
was a proud and austere man," he writes, "I had never before lived
at a place where I did not feel free and sociable, and there was no
conversation between us except to ask or answer a question. I ate and
slept very little there for two weeks. Relief, however, came to me when
I started to school and made the acquaintance of my fellow students. My
homesickness left me and never came back.

"I returned home in 1825, soon after which my father made a contract
with Mr. Horace Todd that I should work one year with him." The year,
however, did not pass before the boy split his instep with an ax. This
ended his service there, but his brother Thompson took the place there
and worked the year out. "Thus we kept our contract." Wilford was
crippled for nine months. At the end of that time he left home on horse
back in search of work. Again misfortune overtook him. He was thrown
from his horse and compelled to return home where he remained for some
time. There was always a welcome in his home, because of the love and
respect every member of the family entertained for him.

Part of the time up to April, 1827, he remained at home, {23} and part
of the time he was engaged in working for other people. At that time he
was twenty years of age and left his home never to return except as a
visitor. He first went to live with his Aunt Helen Wheeler. He took her
flour mill at East Avon on shares and worked it for three years. During
that time he established himself in the trade of a miller.

Notwithstanding his youth at the time of leaving home, his soul
was full of deep and serious thoughts. They were ennobling in their
character and safeguarded the young man along the slippery paths of
youth. Here are some of the reflections of those days: "This is an
important period of my life. As I leave my father's home to enter upon
the stage of life to act for myself, to be my own counselor, and to
form my own character in the broad open world, my mind is filled with
serious reflections. I am full of anxiety--an anxiety which is painful
to me. Should I outlive my parents, how long will it be before I shall
follow them to the grave? It will be said of them: 'They have gone the
way of all flesh and their children will follow them into the same
eternal world.' My age is an important period in the life of every man;
for, generally speaking, at this period of life man forms much of his
character for time and eternity. How cautious I ought to be in passing
this landmark along the road of my early existence! I feel that I need
care, prudence, circumspection, and wisdom to guide my footsteps in the
path which leads to honor and eternal life."

Later on, referring to this same period of life, he says: "I reflected
further upon the days of my youth which were gone, and upon the
fleetness of time that had flown like an arrow to return no more. I
reasoned thus: while walking through a rapid stream, we cannot tread
twice in the same water, neither can we twice spend the same time.
Then how ought we to prize the golden moments and measure time by our
talents to the honor and glory of God and for the salvation of our
souls; so that when the Lord comes, He may receive His own with usury.

"In trying to comprehend the fleetness of time, I have asked myself
these questions. Where is the old world? Where are the millions of the
earth's inhabitants, including my own ancestors? And where are the days
of my youth? They are gone--all {24} gone into the boundless ocean of
eternity where I shall soon find myself."

This remarkable state of his mind at that youthful period of life is
so unusual in young men of that age that it is quite reasonable to
suppose that he was undergoing a mental struggle on questions of right
and wrong. It was not simply with him a question of good and bad;
has conscience told him what his conduct ought to be in the presence
of temptation. What he wanted to know, what he was yearning to learn
was some positive rule of life that would govern and guide him in the
formation of correct religious doctrines.

In those times it was thought no evil to indulge in card playing and
pastimes of a similar character. He occasionally took a hand in these
games, but soon withdrew from such recreation, since he believed card
playing to be a vice. His journal shows that he understood the dangers
that arise from the so-called respectability of companionship when
such companions are thoughtless, indifferent, and self-indulgent. "The
religious influence of such men," he writes, "where it is bad is most
to be dreaded. The vulgar and dissipated will not have much influence
over the man who intends to maintain a fair standing in society. On the
other hand, the respectable man may lead him step by step into such
evils that bring upon him, before he is aware of it, sorrow, disgrace,
misery, and shame.

"If I was ever led to stake anything at the card table, I had the
providential good fortune to lose. There was thus cut off the natural
encouragement to engage in such a vice. In all these recreations
there was a spirit working within me which drew my attention to inner
thoughts of a nobler sort until I lost all desire for cards and the
ball room and for the company of those who enjoyed that kind of
pleasure. So much was this the case, that I felt like a speckled bird
in the midst of my companions. Indeed, I learned by experience and by
the workings of the spirit of the Lord within my own soul that the
transitory pleasures of human life do not in any way constitute true
and lasting happiness."

Before launching out in business for himself, he says: "I had not
acquired much taste for reading. Having at my disposal each day several
leisure hours, I felt impressed that I must not {25} squander time
in idleness. I did not care for novel reading. I believed it to be
useless. Nor had I much taste for history, having read but little of
it. One day while reading a school book, I came across these remarkable
words: 'He that will spend his life in that manner which is most
exaltant will find that custom will render it most delightsome.'"

These words made a strong impression upon his mind. He at once began
to read history. At first he read too much at a time to remember, to
digest, and to profit by it. After a judicious regulation of this
mental pastime, he read carefully histories of the United States,
England, Scotland, Greece, and Rome. He read Rollin's Ancient History,
Josephus, and other books. They became to him a delight, and from them
he gained much that was helpful.

"By perusing history," he writes, "we hold converse with men of
judgment, wisdom, and knowledge. I finally took up the Bible as a
study of history and I never found any history equally interesting
until later on I read the Book of Mormon. While reading these books
we converse, as it were, with the Lord and with His holy prophets
and apostles. In studying the Word of the Lord we learn truths which
cannot be acquired from any other source. Those books which contain the
revelations of heaven are of far more interest than books containing
merely the opinions, theories, and doctrines of men."

During his further stay with his Aunt Helen, he encountered other
religious revivals without any benefit to him further than to emphasize
his convictions that the gospel in its purity was not among the people
at that time and place.

At that time he was called upon to mourn the demise of his beloved
brother, Philo. A few months prior to his death, Philo dreamed that an
angel from heaven was going through the streets of the town with a roll
containing a list of those who should die during the year in that town.
The angel approached Philo and unfolded to him the roll, at the same
time he informed him that on November 27th there would be a funeral at
his father's house. Philo recorded the dream in his journal. On the
very day named by the angel his own funeral occurred at his father's
home. The fulfillment of this strange dream made a lasting impression
on Wilford's mind.

{26} The year following, another very remarkable circumstance occurred
which was equally impressive to his thoughtful and spiritual mind.
He writes: "I was called to sit up for the night with the remains of
a young man named Henry Miller. He had been very wicked and profane.
The day before his death, he attended a celebration of the nation's
birthday, July 4th. The boy's father, who was a religious, God-fearing
man, reproved the son for his profanity and wickedness. Shortly after
this, he and his father were on the way to the field to get some hay
when there suddenly arose a heavy shower accompanied by thunder and
lightning. Henry made sport of the roaring elements and mocked God in
the thunder. The next moment, while standing by his father's side, he
was struck by a thunderbolt from heaven. I attended his funeral. The
circumstances of his death made a lasting impression on me."

Like many, for whom there is in store a remarkable religious future,
Wilford was called to suffer financial reverses that he might learn
how uncertain are the goods of this world and that he might feel the
full force of that divine fiat: "Cursed is he that trusteth in riches;
cursed is he that trusteth in man, or maketh flesh his arm." He had
earned considerable money while running the flour mill for his Aunt
Helen, but lost much of it by lending it to an unprincipled man,
and by helping others who were unable to repay him. These peculiar
experiences, temporal and spiritual, fortunes and misfortunes,
accidents and trials among people away from his own home filled his
soul with grave reflections and brought him to take a stand relative to
his own future course in life. He was high-minded, had no vices or bad
habits, and his standard of purity and excellence was so high that he
never indulged in light-mindedness or in trifling recreations. To him
they were grievous sins in the sight of God; and he believed with the
Prophet Joseph that they should be eschewed. He was constantly striving
for a higher plane upon which he might firmly plant his feet.

"I was twenty-three years of age; and in reflecting upon the past, I
became sincerely convinced that there was no real peace of mind or true
happiness except in the service of God and in doing those things which
would meet His approval. As far as my imagination would enable me, I
brought before my mind all the {27} honor, glory, and happiness of the
whole world. I thought of the gold and the wealth of the rich, of the
glory, grandeur, and power of kings, presidents, princes, and rulers. I
thought of the military renown of Alexander, Napoleon, and other great
generals. I cast my mind over the innumerable paths through which the
giddy world travels in search of pleasure and happiness. In summing
up the whole matter in the vision of my mind, I had to exclaim with
Solomon: 'All is vanity of vanities sayeth the preacher.'

"I could see that within a few years all would end alike in the grave.
I was convinced that no man could enjoy true happiness and obtain that
which would feed the immortal soul, except God was his friend and Jesus
Christ his advocate. I was convinced that man became their friend by
doing the will of the Father, and by keeping His commandments. I made
a firm resolution that from then I would seek the Lord to know His
will, to keep His commandments, and to follow the dictates of His Holy
Spirit. Upon this ground I was determined to stand and to spend my
future life in the maintenance of these convictions." It will be here
easily seen that determination which led him through all the subsequent
years of his life to do whatever he did for the glory of God.

In May, 1830, he was employed to run a flour mill for Mr. Samuel
Collins of Collinsville, Connecticut. At first he went to board with
about thirty young men. These being of a worldly turn of mind, he did
not enjoy their influence and therefore took up his residence in the
family of Mr. Dudley D. Sackett.

About this time, under the influence of a religious revival, his
brother Asahel made profession of religion and seemed very devoted.
Wilford became specially anxious to know the will of the Lord. "I
prayed night and day, and the Lord blest me with much of His spirit.
These began to be the happiest days of my life. I felt that the sun,
moon, and stars; the mountains, hills, and valleys; and that all
creation were united in the praise of the Lord."

"My work in the mill was very light and I passed much of my time in
reading, in meditation, and in prayer. I read the Bible and it was like
a new book to me. I received much light in perusing its sacred pages.
If I was cast down, tried, or {28} tempted, I found in it relief in
connection with the Spirit of God. The religious reformation continued
in Farmington and a number of my relatives were actively engaged in the
service of the Lord according to the best light they had. Among them
were my Uncle Ozem Woodruff and his wife Hannah. They were good people
and I was much attached to them, having lived with them a good deal in
my early life. I enjoyed their society very much.

"A short distance from the mill was a beautiful island upon the top of
which was a level field covered with flowers. The island was surrounded
by a rapid current of water dashing over the rocks. The banks of the
current were thickly studded by tall, waving pines. I chose this
pleasant retreat on the top of the island as my place of prayer and
supplication. I retired to it many times, both by day and by night and
offered up my soul in prayer to the Lord. I never shall forget the
happy hours I spent alone in mediation and prayer upon that solitary
island. When sitting there alone, there would come to my mind the words
of Robert Pollock:

  'In the wide desert where the view was large,
  Pleasant were many scenes, but most to me
  The solitude of vast extent untouched by hand
  Whose nature sowed herself and reaped her crop;
  Whose garments were the clouds; whose minstrels, brooks;
  Whose lamps, the moon and stars; whose organ choir,
  The voice of many waters; whose banquets,
  The falling leaves; whose heroes, storms; whose warriors,
  Mighty winds; whose lovers, flowers;
  Whose orators, the thunderbolt of God;
  Whose palaces, the everlasting hills;
  Whose ceilings, Heaven's unfathomable blue;
  And from whose rocky turrets battled high
  Prospects immense spread out on all sides in air,
  Lost now between the welkin and the main,
  Now walked with hills that slept above the storm.'

"The Lord blest me with joy and happiness such as I had never before
enjoyed, doubtless because I was living up to the best light I had. I
had no apostle or prophet to teach me the right way; so I had to do the
best I could. In my zeal to promote {29} good, I got up prayer meetings
in our village and prayed for light and knowledge. It was my desire
to receive the ordinances of the gospel, as I could plainly see by
reading the Bible that baptism by immersion was a sacred ordinance. In
my eagerness, yet being ignorant of the holy priesthood and of the true
authority to officiate in the ordinances of eternal life, I requested
the Baptist minister to baptize me. At first he refused because I
told him I would not join his church as it did not harmonize with the
apostolic church which our Savior established. Finally after several
conversations, he baptized me on the 5th of May, 1831. He also baptized
my brother Asahel. This was the first and only gospel ordinance I
sought for until I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

Wilford continued with Mr. Collins for less than a year, but left him
with the best feelings. The latter told Wilford that he would always
be welcome at his home, and that as an honorable young man, worthy of
trust, he would cheerfully give him any recommendations he desired.

Wilford held himself aloof from membership in any of the churches. He
visited their meetings and conversed with their ministers. He wanted
to know why there were no more apostles and prophets. He was told that
they were done away with, because they were no longer needed. Such a
statement only intensified his disbelief in sectarian churches.

On one occasion, after praying most earnestly to know about the people
of the Lord, if any such there were on earth, he says: "The Spirit of
the Lord said unto me: 'Go to my Word and I will there show thee my
will and answer thy prayer.' I opened the Bible promiscuously, praying
the Lord to direct me to that portion of his Word which would answer my
prayer. I opened to the 56th Chapter of Isaiah. I was satisfied it was
in response to my prayer. I felt that the salvation of God was about
to be revealed and His righteousness come forth. I was also satisfied
that I should live to see the people of God gathered. From this time
on until the gospel found me I was contented and felt that I should
trouble myself no more about the churches and the ministers. In our
zeal my brother Azmon and I adopted the worship of the Lord on Saturday
instead of Sunday. I felt that a change from the seventh to the first
day of the week was likely {30} a perversion made by man without
authority from heaven."

It was while staying with Mr. Cowles in the spring of 1832 that he saw
for the first time an account of the "Mormons." These were described in
a newspaper article as a new sect claiming to have new revelations and
to be built upon the foundation of prophets and apostles the same as
the ancient Saints. The editor of the newspaper ridiculed the Mormons,
but Wilford was favorably impressed. From that time on he desired to
see these new people; for if they enjoyed the gifts which were bestowed
upon the ancient Saints, they were the very people for whom he was

Soon after this he made a settlement with Mr. Cowles and arranged his
affairs with a view of moving to western New York. Of the circumstances
leading up to this change in his life, he writes: "The spirit that was
upon me day and night said, 'Go to Rhode Island.' My mind was greatly
exercised over the matter for I could not comprehend what it meant. I
went to live with my brother Azmon until our departure for New York.
After saluting him, I said: 'I wonder what the Lord wants of me in
Rhode Island! The spirit of the Lord has rested upon me for two weeks
and said, "Go to Rhode Island."' In about an hour after this my brother
Asahel arrived on a visit. After shaking hands with him, almost the
first words he spoke were: 'I wonder what the Lord wants of me in
Rhode Island! The spirit of the Lord has been upon me for two or three
weeks and has told me to go to Rhode Island.' This caused us to marvel
exceedingly. We had not seen each other for several months. My brother
Azmon thought that as we were ready to go to New York, we better not
go to Rhode Island. To this we consented with great reluctance. I
felt sure it was our duty to go there, although at that time it was a

Later on when the gospel came to them in New York, Wilford learned
that if they had gone to Rhode Island they would have met Elders Orson
Hyde and Samuel H. Smith and would have thus received the gospel at an
earlier date than they did by at least one year. Had they gone to Rhode
Island and received the gospel there, they would have undoubtedly gone
direct to Kirtland, Ohio. As it was, they stopped in New York where
they purchased a farm.

{31} This incident furnished an illustration of the safety of obeying
the spirit of the Lord, even when the reason at the time is not
apparent. The example of Adam is a further illustration of that same
beautiful truth. "Adam, why dost thou offer sacrifice?" asked the
angel. "I know not," was the reply, "save that God has commanded me."
Such illustrations show the folly of basing one's conduct wholly upon
experience, or upon the powers of human understanding. There are other
lamps to guide our feet than that of experience or the wisdom of man.
The incident is a striking illustration also of the untruth of that
sometime infidel dogma which says: "We doubt all things in order to
prove all things." It is better to hold with inspired men: "We believe
all things from God in order to know all things."

Wilford Woodruff and his brother Azmon bade their father good-bye. With
$800, and a tin trunk each, they journeyed to Richland, Oswego County,
New York. There they purchased a farm of 140 acres and a good dwelling
house at a cost of $1,800. They paid the amount they had with them, the
balance at a subsequent date.

During their residence in Richland, the cholera made its appearance
in the United States. Azmon was seized by the dread malady. Of this
circumstance and the faith of his brother, Wilford writes: "Azmon was a
very peculiar person from his childhood. He was very strict in reading
the Bible and in attending to his prayers. He enjoyed much of the
spirit of the Lord and had considerable light. I was greatly edified by
his teachings and conversations. When he was sick, he did not employ a
physician, but trusted in the Lord absolutely. In the fall of 1833 he
had a very severe attack of the cholera. His wife and I laid our hands
upon his head agreeable to his request and prayed for him. We asked the
Lord to rebuke the disease and commanded it to depart from him. From
that hour the cholera was checked. He was immediately healed. The next
morning he was able to arise from his bed and walk. Such was his faith.
He had passed through many ordeals of sickness and was always healed by
the power of God and without medical aid."

This recital brings us to the winter of 1833 when the full blaze of the
gospel light was about to shine in splendor upon the soul of Wilford



BAPTISM, 1833.

Elders Visit Richland, N. Y.--The New Message.--Wilford Woodruff's
Testimony.--The Book of Mormon.--Healing Power.--Baptism.--Ordained a

The movement westward when Wilford Woodruff located in Richland, New
York was in full accord with the restless energy and ambitious purposes
of a new and active generation. The movement called for the best talent
and most ardent workers of those times. In Richland this young man
gave his old time zeal to a new found occupation. What lay at hand to
do he did with all his might. The duties and occupations of his life
were with him never temporary, never makeshifts, and he never waited
for something to turn up. Nor did the frequent interruptions in his
occupations all through life ever give to him an unsteady aim, or a
waning enthusiasm. When he plowed in the earth, he saw God's will in
the furrows. There was divine harmony in the click of the mill, and
the song of heaven in the warblings of the birds. He "settled down" in
Richland with the fervent expectation that, God willing, it should be
to him a permanent home.

In the midst of the busy life he had taken up in his new home, there
came to him a message of joy, a warning voice, to whose accents his
soul had long been attuned. In the winter of 1833, and on the 29th day
of December, there came to his home two humble elders of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were Zera Pulsipher and Elijah
Cheney. At the time of their appearance, he and his brother Azmon
were away from the house engaged in their daily labors; but Azmon's
wife knew very well the frame of mind, both of her husband and his
brother Wilford. Their hopes and expectations had been the subject of
conversation in their humble home. She therefore received the elders
kindly and gave them to understand that her husband and his brother
would be anxious to hear them preach.

According to the custom of the Mormon elders then, as now, a meeting
was appointed at the schoolhouse and notices were circulated throughout
the village. The story of this new experience is told by Wilford
Woodruff in a simple and beautiful manner: {33} "Upon my arrival home
my sister-in-law informed me of the meeting. I immediately turned out
my horses and started for the schoolhouse without waiting for supper.
On my way I prayed most sincerely that the Lord would give me His
spirit, and that if these men were the servants of God I might know it,
and that my heart might be prepared to receive the divine message they
had to deliver.

"When I reached the place of meeting, I found the house already packed.
My brother Azmon was there before I arrived. He was equally eager to
hear what these men had to say. I crowded my way through the assembly
and seated myself upon one of the writing desks where I could see and
hear everything that took place.

"Elder Pulsipher opened with prayer. He knelt down and asked the Lord
in the name of Jesus Christ for what he wanted. His manner of prayer
and the influence which went with it impressed me greatly. The spirit
of the Lord rested upon me and bore witness that he was a servant
of God. After singing, he preached to the people for an hour and a
half. The spirit of God rested mightily upon him and he bore a strong
testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon and of the
mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I believed all that he said. The
spirit bore witness of its truth. Elder Cheney then arose and added his
testimony to the truth of the words of Elder Pulsipher.

"Liberty was then given by the elders to any one in the congregation
to arise and speak for or against what they had heard as they might
choose. Almost instantly I found myself upon my feet. The spirit of the
Lord urged me to bear testimony to the truth of the message delivered
by these elders. I exhorted my neighbors and friends not to oppose
these men; for they were the true servants of God. They had preached
to us that night the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. When I sat down, my
brother Azmon arose and bore a similar testimony. He was followed by
several others."

No more beautiful illustration of the manner in which this new message
found its way into the homes of thousands of people could be given than
that taken from the quotations herein given. The power of an elder's
testimony has borne down upon {34} the souls of men and women until
like the Saints of old they have exclaimed: "Men and brethren, what
shall we do." The spirit of this meeting was not only convincing, but
controlling in its power. No man arose to say nay. If there were present
in that meeting a spirit of dissent, opposition, or hatred, it was
quelled and silenced by the power of God manifested in the testimonies
of those humble men.

The Woodruff brothers were aroused to a spirit of investigation. They
were full of hope and of grand expectations. They wanted to harmonize
the new message with the word of God as pronounced in Holy Writ. They
had rested heretofore their faith upon its teachings. In all matters
religious, it had been their supreme guide. They were anxious to know
more, and therefore took the elders with them to their home and sat up
late that night conversing upon the principles of the gospel.

Wilford began at once to read the Book of Mormon. "As I did so," he
writes, "the spirit bore witness that the record which it contained
was true. I opened my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to
understand. I also opened my doors to entertain the servants of God."
He at once became a living witness to the truth of the promise made
in that book that whoso should read it with a prayerful heart should
have a witness of its truth, and whoso should receive the record and
not condemn it because of the imperfections which might appear in its
language should know greater things to come. The spirit of that book
brought divine harmony to his soul so wonderfully attuned to the spirit
and language of the Bible.

Those were days of grand opportunities for a soul that had been so long
in a state of hunger and thirst after righteousness. The new message
brought to him a new enthusiasm. On the 30th of the month, Wilford and
the elders called upon Noah Holton, a preacher of the Freewill Baptist
denomination, whose daughter was very ill. After listening to the
elders for some time, Mr. Holton made a solemn covenant to go forward
and be baptized if the Lord would heal his daughter. The elders laid
their hands upon her and she was healed by the power of God.

It was not a time for delay. These brothers had long waited for the
message which had now brought the glorious tidings of a divine call.
They would not delay obedience to those ordinances {35} which opened
the door to the enjoyment of greater light. They asked for baptism at
the hands of the elders. On December 31st, the last day of the year,
1833, there assembled at the water's edge about 11 o'clock in the
morning a large number of people who witnessed the baptism of Wilford
Woodruff by Zera Pulsipher. There were baptized at the same time his
brother Azmon, also two young ladies who had been healed the day
before. Of this circumstance he writes in his journal: "The snow was
about three feet deep, the day was cold, and the water was mixed with
ice and snow, yet I did not feel the cold."

There was a public meeting held that night by candle-light and a large
congregation assembled; but unlike the meeting that was first held,
there was a spirit of opposition. After explaining to the people the
ordinance of the laying on of hands, the elders confirmed Wilford and
his companions members of the Church by the laying on of hands for the
gift of the Holy Ghost. Speaking of this meeting he says: "There was a
good deal of darkness in the room; but when the congregation dispersed,
the people took away with them that darkness. The Holy Ghost fell
upon us and we had a time of great rejoicing. The next day, January
1st, 1834, my brother Azmon reproached Noah Holton for his tardiness
in receiving the gospel after he had made a covenant to obey it on
condition that his daughter be healed. Holton received the warning and
was baptized."

The story of Wilford Woodruff's conversion was simply a continuation of
the life carefully prepared to receive the new message, and to embrace
in all sincerity the truth which it contained. What a similarity of
experience is found in the lives of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber
C. Kimball, John Taylor, and indeed thousands of Latter-day Saints! It
was the same spirit of inquiry, the same profound and heartfelt desire
to know the whole truth of God's existence and His divine purpose
respecting the children of men. The truth is, the new spirit of a
coming dispensation was upon them. Their hearts were strongly inclined
to worship. They were eager to know how they should worship; for they
saw in the religious contentions of those days a spirit strange to the
teachings of the Bible. They were in very truth, "Sheep who knew the
shepherd's voice and a stranger they would not follow."

{36} There is something beautiful in the ambitions of Wilford Woodruff
throughout a long life of great service. He was ambitious to know the
will of God and to be worthy of Divine approbation. If he could only
be an active worker in the Church of Christ; if the Lord would only
receive him into Divine service, his ambitions would be realized.

On January 25th, 1834, Elder Pulsipher organized the Saints in Richland
into a branch of the Church. He ordained Wilford Woodruff to the
office of a teacher and gave him a written license which embodied the
certificate of his baptism and his ordination. "I felt," he writes,
"that I could truly exclaim with the prophet of God, 'I had rather be
a door-keeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of
wickedness.' The fulness of the everlasting gospel had come at last. It
filled my heart with great joy. It laid the foundation of a greater and
more glorious work than I ever expected to see in this life. I pray God
in the name of Jesus Christ to guide my future life, that I may live to
His honor and glory, and be a blessing to my fellowmen, and in the end
be saved in His celestial kingdom, even so, Amen."



ZION'S CAMP, 1834.

His First Call.--Leaves for Kirtland.--His Neighbors' Warning.--First
Meeting with Prophet.--A Remarkable Prophetic Gift.--Zion's
Camp.--Zelph.--Escape Mob at Fishing River.--Epidemic of Cholera.--His
Residence in Missouri.--Consecrations.

Perhaps no man in the Church ever felt more profoundly the truth of
the words, "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform,"
than Wilford Woodruff. He was so intensely spiritual, so completely
devoted to the service of God, that all through his life the miraculous
manifestations of God's purposes were abundantly given. He had never
based his faith upon miracles, they merely confirmed what he believed
with all his heart and supported his ideas of the teachings of Holy

Confirming the divine power which attended his baptism, the words of
the Prophet Joseph contained in George Q. Cannon's history are here
given: "In view of all that has since occurred, it is a remarkable
fact that the Prophet recorded in his journal of the 31st of December,
1833, the fact that 'Wilford Woodruff was baptized at Richland, Oswego
County, New York, by Zera Pulsipher,' and this was before the Prophet
and the future apostle and president had ever met in the flesh. This
is not the only mention of Wilford Woodruff in Joseph's diary prior
to their meeting. In one place the Prophet notices that Wilford had
been ordained a teacher. It was the 25th day of April, 1834, when
Wilford Woodruff visited the Prophet at Kirtland, and from that time
on until Joseph's death they were intimately associated. It was clear
that Joseph felt the staunch worthiness of his young brother, and in
relying upon him, the Prophet was leaning upon no weak or broken reed;
for Wilford Woodruff had then and has ever since shown the fidelity
of a Saint, and the integrity and prophetic power of an apostle of
Jesus Christ. He was one of the most faithful of all the men who were
gathered near to the Prophet's person, to share his trials and his
confidences. Wilford Woodruff never made any attempt to cultivate
showy qualities, and yet he was always marked among his fellows; his
characteristic humility and unswerving honesty being sufficient to
attract {38} the attention of all who have known him. His is another of
the names to be recorded with that of Joseph, and it is worthy to stand
side by side with the names of Brigham Young and John Taylor, for he
was as loyal to them as he and they were to Joseph, the first prophet
of this dispensation."

From the outset, the subject of this biography became a most ardent
worker in the cause he had espoused. He was ordained a teacher and
found immediate opportunity to give expression to his intense desire
to declare his belief in the purposes of his Maker. He and the Brother
Holton herein mentioned, shortly after their baptism, walked sixty-five
miles to Fabius to hold a meeting.

Events of far-reaching importance were rapidly closing in upon him.
On the 1st of April, Elders Parley P. Pratt and Harry Brown arrived
at Richland. They were there on an important mission. They were in
search of young and able-bodied men in the eastern branches of the
Church--young men whose services were needed in Zion's Camp, and
organization which at that time was being effected for the purpose of
assisting in the redemption of Zion, and of carrying supplies to the
suffering Saints who had been expelled by mob violence from their homes
in Jackson County, Missouri.

This was the first time Wilford Woodruff had met Parley P. Pratt, to
whose instructions he listened with great interest and attention, and
says he was greatly edified by what he had to say. Elder Pratt informed
him that it was his duty to prepare himself to go up to the land of
Zion. He accordingly settled up his business affairs, and bade good-bye
to his brother and kinsfolk in Richland.

On April 11th Wilford took Harry Brown and Warren Ingles in his wagon
and started with them for Kirtland, Ohio. On the way he met for the
first time Elders Orson Pratt and John Murdock. They all arrived in
Kirtland April 25th, 1834. Before he left Richland, many of his friends
and neighbors warned him not to go, and declared that if he did go, he
would be killed. He replied that the Lord had commanded him, and that
he would go; that he had no fears of any evil consequences as long as
he obeyed the Lord.

He gives an account of his first meeting with the Prophet {39} as
follows: "Here for the first time in my life I met and had an interview
with our beloved Prophet Joseph Smith, the man whom God had chosen to
bring forth His revelations in these last days. My first introduction
was not of a kind to satisfy the preconceived notions of the sectarian
mind as to what a prophet ought to be, and how he should appear. It
might have shocked the faith of some men. I found him and his brother
Hyrum out shooting at a mark with a brace of pistols. When they stopped
shooting, I was introduced to Brother Joseph, and he shook hands with
me most heartily. He invited me to make his habitation my home while I
tarried in Kirtland. This invitation I most eagerly accepted, and was
greatly edified and blest during my stay with him. He asked me to help
him tan a wolfskin which he said he wished to use upon the seat of his
wagon on the way to Missouri. I pulled off my coat, stretched the skin
across the back of a chair, and soon had it tanned--although I had to
smile at my first experience with the Prophet.

"That night we had a most enjoyable and profitable time in his home. In
conversation, he smote his hand upon his breast and said, 'I would to
God I could unbosom my feelings in the house of my friends.' He said
in relation to Zion's Camp, 'Brethren, don't be discouraged about our
not having means. The Lord will provide, and He will put it into the
heart of somebody to send me some money.' The very next day he received
a letter from Sister Vose, containing one hundred and fifty dollars.
When he opened the letter and took out the money, he held it up and
exclaimed: 'See here, did I not tell you the Lord would send me some
money to help us on our journey? Here it is.' I felt satisfied that
Joseph was a Prophet of God in very deed."

Prior to his departure with Zion's Camp, Wilford Woodruff became
acquainted with many leading men and private members of the Church,
some of whom were destined to be his co-laborers throughout subsequent
years of his life. Besides the Prophet, the patriarch and their
families, he became acquainted with Brigham Young, Orson Hyde, Milton
Holmes, Sidney Rigdon, and many others whose names occur in the early
history of the Church.

"I passed one Sabbath in Kirtland," he writes, "and heard many of the
elders speak. I rejoiced before God because of the light and knowledge
which were manifested to me during that {40} day. The first day of May,
1834, was appointed for the Camp of Zion to start from Kirtland. Only a
few of those composing the Camp were ready.

"The Prophet asked those who were ready, to go as far as New Portage
and there await the arrival of those who would follow later. I left in
company with about twenty men with baggage wagons. At night we pitched
our tents. Climbing to the top of the hill, I looked down upon the Camp
of Israel. There 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 to redeem Zion.

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

"On the 7th, the Prophet Joseph organized the Camp which consisted
of about one hundred and thirty men. The day following we continued
our journey. We pitched our tents at night and had prayers night and
morning. The Prophet gave us our instructions every day. We were nearly
all young men brought together from all parts of the country, and were
therefore strangers to each other. We soon became acquainted and had
a happy time in each others association. 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 up to count
us, they could not tell how many we numbered. Some said five hundred,
others, a thousand. Many were astonished as we passed through their
towns. One lady ran to the 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.

"During our travels we visited many mounds thrown up by the ancient
inhabitants, the Nephites and Lamanites. This morning, June 3rd, we
went on to a high mound near the river. From the summit we could
overlook the tops of the trees as far as we could see. The scenery was
truly beautiful. On the summit of {41} the mound were stones which
presented the appearance of three altars, they having been erected, one
above the other, according to the ancient order of things. Human bones
were seen upon the ground. Brother Joseph requested us to dig into the
mound; we did so; and in about one foot we came to the skeleton of
a man, almost entire, with an arrow sticking in his backbone. Elder
Milton Holmes picked it out, and brought it into the Camp, with one
of the leg bones, which had been broken. I brought the thigh bone to
Missouri. I desired to bury it in the Temple Block in Jackson County;
but not having this privilege, I buried it in Clay County, Missouri,
near the house owned by Col. Arthur and occupied by Lyman Wight."

The arrowhead referred to is now in the possession of President Joseph
F. Smith, Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Brother Joseph," continues Wilford, "feeling anxious to learn
something of this man, asked the Lord, and received an open vision.
The man's name was Zelph. He was a white Lamanite, the curse having
been removed because of his righteousness. He was a great warrior, and
fought for the Nephites under the direction of the Prophet Onandagus.
The latter had charge of the Nephite armies from the Eastern sea to
the Rocky Mountains. Although the Book of Mormon does not mention
Onandagus, he was a great warrior, leader, general, and prophet. Zelph
had his thigh bone broken by a stone thrown from a sling, but was
killed by the arrow found sticking in his backbone. There was a great
slaughter at that time. The bodies were heaped upon the earth, and
buried in the mound, which is nearly three hundred feet in height.

"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 the latter 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 hailstorm, which broke
them up and sent them seeking for shelter. James Campbell, who had
threatened the life of the Prophet and his brethren, was drowned, with
six others, the same night, after his threat. His body was washed down
the stream, and was eaten by eagles and turkey-buzzards."

{42} The people of Richmond, Missouri, declared the Camp should not
pass through that city; but on the morning of the 19th, before the
people were up, the brethren passed through unmolested. "We intended
to enter Clay County that day, but the Lord knew best what was for our
good," says Wilford, "and so began to hinder our progress. One wheel
broke down, another ran off, and one thing after another hindered us so
that we had to camp between two forks of Fishing River. Five armed men
soon rode up, and told us that large companies of men from Jackson and
Clay Counties, and other parts, would be upon us before morning, and
were sworn to encompass our destruction.

"Shortly after these five men left us, a small cloud arose, and spread
with great rapidity, until the whole heavens gathered blackness, and
a mighty storm burst forth with fury upon our enemies. If the Camp
had not been hindered, they would have crossed into Clay County, and
would have been at the mercy of the mob. Thus the Lord, in a marvelous
manner, preserved the lives of His servants. Colonel Sconce, who came
into the Camp the next day, with several leading men, said that surely
Jehovah fought the battles of Joseph and his followers."

The Prophet addressed the visitors at some length, and recounted the
wrongs heaped upon the Saints in Missouri. His address touched the
hearts of the visitors, bringing tears to their eyes. They promised to
do all they could to allay the prejudice of the people. It appears from
Wilford Woodruff's journal that they kept their word, and rode through
the country endeavoring to allay the excitement.

"Previous to this event," says Wilford, "Elders Hyrum Smith and Lyman
Wight had joined the Camp with a company of volunteers from Michigan.
The Camp now consisted of two hundred and five men and twenty-five
baggage wagons. Lyman Wight was made commander-in-chief. Joseph
appointed twenty men to be his body-guard; Hyrum Smith was captain, and
George A. Smith armor-bearer.

"The Camp of Zion arrived at Brother Burk's, in Clay County, Missouri
on the 24th of June, 1834. We pitched our tents on his premises. He
told some of the brethren of my company that he had a spare room which
some of us might occupy if we would clean it. Our company accepted the
offer; and, fearing {43} that some other company would get it first,
we left all other business and went to work, cleaned 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 our selfishness, and we lost our

"When the cholera broke out in Camp, Joseph attempted to rebuke it,
but was shown by the Lord that when He sends a judgment man must not
attempt to stay it. (Joseph returned to me the sword which I had given
him, and it still remains in my family as a relic of that expedition.)
Those who died in Zion's Camp were A. S. Gilbert, John S. Carter, Eber
Wilcox, Seth Hitchcock, Erastus Rudd, Alfred Frisk, Edward Jones, Noah
Johnson, Jesse B. Lawson, Robert McCord, Eliel Strong, Jesse Smith,
Betsey Parrish, and Warren Ingles.

"The Prophet called the brethren together at Lyman Wight's and told
them the cholera had been sent in fulfillment of his prediction. Nearly
all had suffered from it, and fourteen had died. Joseph said that if we
would now humble ourselves, the cholera would be stayed. We covenanted
with uplifted hands to keep the commandments of God, and the cholera
was stayed from that hour; not another case appeared among the Saints.

"The journey of Zion's Camp to Missouri was necessarily one of trial
and hardship. Several of the brethren murmured, and found fault. Joseph
prophesied that a scourge would come upon the Camp, and it came in the
form of cholera, thirteen of the brethren being stricken in death.
During the journey, when brethren would have killed the serpents which
at times came into the tents and coiled up near the beds, the Prophet
taught his brethren the beautiful principle that men themselves must
become harmless before they can expect the brute creation to be so.
When man shall lose his own vicious disposition and cease to destroy
the inferior animals, the lion and the lamb may dwell together, and the
suckling child play with the serpent in safety."

In all the trials incident to the journey, Wilford Woodruff never
murmured. He was a staunch supporter of the Prophet Joseph in all the
latter's counsels and desires, and was so wrapt {44} in the spirit of
his calling and labor that it is doubtful if a thought of trial or
hardship ever entered his mind. This was characteristic of his entire
life. He never undertook a labor assigned him by the Lord and wished
he had not undertaken it. When he put his hand to the plough, he never
turned back.

After the disbanding of Zion's Camp a great trial came to him. He was
a devoted lover of his parents, brothers, and sisters, and had a deep
interest in their salvation. Since he left New York, his brother Azmon
had become disaffected, and wrote a long letter finding fault with
the proceedings of the Church, endeavoring to turn Wilford from his
course. The effect upon Wilford, however, was a deep sorrow for his
brother, and a stronger determination on his own part to live the life
of a Latter-day Saint. He answered his brother's letter, explained the
fallacy of the latter's arguments and complaints, warned him against
opposing the Church, exhorted him to repent, and bore a solemn and
unswerving testimony to the divinity of the calling and the upright,
honorable course of life of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

The Prophet advised all the young men with Zion's Camp who had no
families to stay in Missouri, and not return to Kirtland. "Not having
any family," says Wilford, "I stopped with Lyman Wight, as did also
Milton Holmes and Heman Hyde. We spent the summer together, laboring
hard, cutting wheat, quarrying rock, making brick, or at anything else
we could find to do. The Prophet organized the Saints in Zion, with a
presidency of three, and a high council. On the 17th of July, 1834, he
met the authorities of the Church at Lyman Wight's, where he gave us
many glorious instructions, he being clothed with the power of God. He
ordained the presidency and the twelve high councilors. All present
voted, with uplifted hands, to sustain the Prophet and the authorities
of Zion. We had a glorious time. This was the last meeting I ever
attended with the Prophet Joseph Smith in the State of Missouri."

Wilford Woodruff continued to attend faithfully to all of his religious
duties. Illustrative of his zeal and earnestness is his action relative
to what property he possessed. Notwithstanding the Saints had been
dispossessed of their homes in their central city of Zion, where they
had endeavored to carry out the principle of consecration, and were now
in a broken and scattered {45} condition, Wilford desired to comply
with every law relative to Zion. On December 31, 1834, he consecrated
to the Lord all his earthly possessions. "Believing it to be the duty
of the Latter-day Saints," he writes, "to consecrate and dedicate all
their property, with themselves, unto God in order to become lawful
heirs to the celestial Kingdom of God, I therefore, with this view,
consecrated all I had (though but little) before Edward Partridge, the
Presiding Bishop of the Church, in Clay County, Missouri, in this form:
'Be it known that I, Wilford Woodruff, do freely covenant with my God,
that I freely consecrate and dedicate myself, together with all my
properties and effects, unto the Lord, for the purpose of assisting in
the building up of His Kingdom and His Zion upon the earth, that I may
keep His law. I lay all before the Bishop of His Church, that I may be
a lawful heir to the celestial Kingdom of God.'"

The whole life of Wilford Woodruff shows that he would have been
willing to do the same thing at any time, for the same purpose, even
though his possessions could have been counted by the millions. He was
whole-souled, and wholly given up to the service of his God and the
welfare of His people.




A Prayerful Ambition to Preach.--Departure on Mission to
Southern States.--Traveling without Purse or Scrip.--Treatment
Received from Minister.--Tribulations.--A remarkable Dream.--Its
Fulfillment.--Preaching in Memphis.--Ordained an Elder.--Successful
Labors.--Ordained a Seventy.--A Mob Court.--Return to Kirtland.

After Wilford Woodruff received the gospel, he felt an intense desire
to deliver in turn the same message that had brought him such joy, such
assurance, such satisfaction in the service of the Master. The message
that came to him was the most glorious event of his life, and it is
quite natural that he should wish to be a messenger of the same divine
truth to others. The talents with which he had been endowed by his
Maker awakened within him those hopes, aspirations, and ambitions that
were in harmony with those gifts which were peculiar to the man. His
talents made him pre-eminently a messenger of salvation to the world.
It is no wonder that he was prompted by a heartfelt desire to bestow
upon others that which had come with such joy and with such abundance
to him.

He wanted to go on a mission, but felt that he should be called, and
yet he sincerely believed that the Lord would prompt those whose duty
it was to bestow upon him such an honor, such a privilege. He retired
to the woods in prayer. There upon his knees in humility and childlike
simplicity, he told the Lord his wishes and his hopes. He asked Him,
if it was within His holy will, that the way might be opened for him
to preach the gospel in the world. "Before I arose from my knees," he
says, "the spirit of the Lord rested upon me and bore witness that my
prayer was heard and should be answered upon my head. I arose very
happy and walked through thick woods about forty rods into an open
road. As I entered the roadway, I met Judge Elias Higbee. Brother
Hibgee was a high priest and a very faithful man, one of the noblest
men of God in the last days. I had associated with him daily, but never
mentioned to him my desire to preach the gospel. To my surprise, as
soon as I approached {47} him he said: 'Brother Wilford, the spirit
of the Lord tells me that you should be ordained to go and preach the

A few days later, on the 5th of November, 1834, by vote of the branch
of the Church at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Wilford Woodruff was ordained a
priest by Simeon Carter who also ordained Stephen Winchester and Heman
Hyde at the same meeting. He received his license and by appointment
of Bishop Partridge was assigned to Arkansas and Tennessee. In eight
days he left to perform his mission, to be one of the very foremost in
introducing the gospel into the Southern States--a section of the Union
where, since then, so many thousands have received the gospel and have
been gathered to Zion. His faith had been great. The spirit of the Lord
rested upon him and his prayers were promptly answered.

His stay in Missouri after his arrival there with Zion's Camp was not
of long duration. The Saints had been driven from Jackson County and
were busily occupied in building up new communities in other counties.
He was then a young man without a family, and though actively engaged
in every kind of work peculiar to the conditions of those times, he was
free for almost any kind of service that might be required of him. The
spirit of the man, however, was that of the missionary; and the spirit
was so strong within him that he found satisfaction only when the
opportunity came to give expression to his fellow-men of the testimony
which had brought such consolation to his own life.

"The law of God to us in those days," says Wilford in his journal, "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 these 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, 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 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 {48} 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;
when I inquired the object of having the door opened in a snowstorm, he
informed me 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

"In the southern part of Missouri and the northern part of Arkansas,
in 1834, there were 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 without anything to eat, and were very hungry and tired. Neither
the minister nor his wife would give us anything to eat, or 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 the wicked priest who would
not give us a piece of bread lied to us about the road, and sent us
across the swamp, where we wallowed knee-deep in mud and water till ten
o'clock at night, in trying to follow the crooked river. We then left
the swamp and put out into the prairie, to lie in the grass for the

"When we got out of the swamp, we heard an Indian drumming on a tin
pail and singing. It was very dark, but we traveled toward the noise,
and when we drew near the Indian camp quite a number of large Indian
dogs came out to meet us. They smelled us, but did not bark or bite.
Soon we were surrounded by Osage Indians, and were 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 upon my pillow, I felt to thank God from the
bottom of my heart for the exchange from the barbarous treatment of
a civilized Presbyterian priest to 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. {49} 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. 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

"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,
looked at us a moment, and 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 us.

"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 cowbell. Then we each took a firebrand, 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 fireplace, and all
were asleep. I went in and spoke to the man, but did not wake him. I
stepped up 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 were {50} frightened; but he was quieted when we informed him
we were friends. The cause of his fright was that 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 lie
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. The family were about to sit down to breakfast as we came in.
In those days it was the custom of the Missourians to ask you to eat
even though they were hostile to you; 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, and thanked him for our breakfast. 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.

"Recently there had 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 {51} on the road, some three miles from
the crossing said we would have to tarry till the water fell before
we could cross. Feeling to trust in God, we did not stop. 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 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
dream: 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 would try to go through the room though
they killed me, for the Lord 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 his 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, bust open, took fire and
were consumed before my eyes, and we went through the room unharmed,
thanking 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 {52} 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 who 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.

"February 14th, 1835, was an important day to me. In company with
Brother Brown, I took my axe went into the woods to help Brother
Hubbel clear some land. We chopped till 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
The spirit of the Lord came upon me like a rushing of mighty wind.
The voice of the spirit said, 'Go up again and visit Mr. Akeman and
again bear testimony to him of the truth of the Book of Mormon and of
the work of God.' I marveled at this and told Brother Brown what the
spirit said to me. He replied that I might go if I wished to do so,
but that he would not go. I carried my ax to the house and walked up
to Mr. Akeman's about one and a half miles through a pleasant grove.
While on my way I reflected upon this strange operation of the spirit
within me. I was in a deep, gloomy frame of mind and thought. As I
approached the house I saw the door open and Mr. Akeman walking the
floor. I felt particularly impressed to ask if he was well. He said he
never felt better in health. I told him I had come to bear testimony
again to him of the truth of the Book of Mormon and of the work of God
and of the danger of opposing that work. He was soon filled with wrath
and indignation and he opposed me in the strongest terms and raged
against the leaders of the Church. My mouth was more closed up than
ever before. I felt that the house was filled with devils and with an
awful darkness. I felt horrible. I did not understand why the Lord
should send me into the midst of such spirits to bear testimony of his
work. I felt very strange. My tongue seemed glued to my mouth. I could
not {53} speak. I arose to my feet to leave the house. I felt as though
the floor moved under my feet and when I stepped upon the ground I felt
as though I was surrounded by evil spirits. I had a desire to flee
as Lot did when he went out of Sodom, without looking behind me. Mr.
Akeman followed me out of the door and kept within about four rods of
me. Neither of us spoke a word. I knew he was following, but when he
was about four rods from the house, the strange feeling left me. When
Mr. Akeman reached the place where my feelings so instantly changed, he
fell dead at my feet as though he had been struck with a thunderbolt
from heaven. I heard him fall to the earth, but I did not look behind
me. His daughter stood in the doorway and saw him fall. She fainted and
fell at about the same time. Neither of them spoke a word that I could
hear. I continued to walk down to Mr. Hubbel's as fast as I could,
meditating all the while upon the strange dealings of God with me. I
still did not know that Mr. Akeman was dead. I arrived at Mr. Hubbel's
just at dark in a peculiar state of mind. Supper was ready. We all sat
down to the table. The blessing was asked, and I took up my knife and
fork and began to eat, when I heard a horse coming up on the full ran.
I dropped my knife and fork and listened. A man rode up to our door and
cried out: 'Mr. Akeman is dead. I want you to go there immediately.' In
a moment my eyes were opened, so that I understood the whole matter.
I felt satisfied with the dealings of God with me in calling me to go
and warn him. As soon as his daughter, who fell to the ground about the
same time, came to her senses, she ran to her nearest brother and gave
the alarm.

"We walked up to Mr. Akeman's house as soon as we could. When we
arrived there, we found all his sons in the house around his body
wailing in an awful manner. He was naturally a large man, but his body
was swollen to a great extent. It appeared as though his skin were
ready to burst open. He was black as an African. We at once went to
work and made a large box in which to put him. I continued to think of
my dream, which I had had some time before the events here related took

"His family, as well as ourselves, felt it was the judgment of God upon
him. I preached his funeral sermon. Many of the {54} 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; in two days we dug out a canoe. We made a pair of oars and a
rudder, and on the 11th day 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 johnny-cake and a
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 I 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 made lame with a sharp pain in my knee, and sat down on a log. My
companion, who was anxious to get to his home in Kirtland, left me
sitting in an alligator swamp. {55} 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, and asked him if he would keep
me over night. He inquired what my business was, and 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 most of the preachers he ever
had been acquainted with rode on fine horses or in fine carriages,
dressed in broadcloth, had large salaries, and would likely 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 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 pleaded to be excused the more determined
Mr. Jackson was that I should preach. He took my valise, and the
landlady got me a good supper. I sat down in a large hall to eat.
Before I got through, the room began to be filled by some of the rich
and fashionable people 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 done. 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 hundreds persons, who had come together,
not to hear a gospel sermon, but to have some fun. I read a hymn, and
asked them to sing. Not a soul would sing a word. I told them I 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, that
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 {56} the best
sermons of my life. The lives of the congregation were open 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 Frye. He had been preaching
in that part of Tennessee, in company with David W. Patten, and had
baptized a number of persons and organized several small branches.
Brother Patten had returned home, and Brother Parrish 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 {57} 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, 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. Green wood'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 women, so we went up the
stream to find a ford. In the attempt we were overtaken by a severe
storm of wind and rain, 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 {58} God for His preserving care. On the following day I
preached at Damon Creek, and organized a branch called 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 not to 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 Parrish 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 {59} had been ordained one of
the Twelve Apostles. 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 seventy. All 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. On the 31st
of May I was ordained a member of the second quorum of seventy, 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 war
soldier under General Washington, and was father of Daniel and Henry

"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 arrest. The brethren were put under two thousand
dollars bonds to appear at court. Albert Petty and Seth Utley were
their bondsmen. They were tried on the 22nd of June. They pleaded
their own cause. Although men came forward and testified that they did
receive the Holy Ghost after they were baptized, the brethren were
condemned; but finally were released by paying the expenses of the mob

"One peculiar circumstance was connected with this trial by a mob
court, which was armed to the teeth. When the trial was through, the
people were not willing to permit more than one to speak. Warren
Parrish had said a few words, and they were not willing to let David
Patten say anything; but he, feeling the injustice of the court,
and being filled with the power of {60} 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 of the abominations they
were guilty of, also of the curse of God that awaited them, if they
did not repent, and for taking up two harmless, inoffensive men for
preaching the gospel of Christ. When he had 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 upon almost 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 fell asleep, but Brother Patten was warned in a dream
to get up and flee, as the mob soon would 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
escaped through the mercy of God.

"I was invited to hold a meeting at a Baptist meetinghouse; this was
on the 27th of June. On my arrival I met a large congregation, but, on
commencing services, 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 meetinghouse, and we
might use both, for he did not believe Mormonism would hurt either. 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 {61} 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 row across the river. Brother Smoot never
had used an oar, and I had not done so 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, Weakley 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
testimony. On the 2nd day of December we held a general conference at
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 priesthood. 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."

During his mission, Wilford Woodruff organized a company of Saints, and
went with them a short distance, starting them on the way to Zion--a
portion of the work of gathering in which he did so much subsequently,
both in the United States and Great Britain. Most of his travels for
over two years had been on {62} foot. Since leaving Richland, New York,
he had journeyed over six thousand miles. Under his administration the
sick were healed, mobacrats were destroyed by the power of God, light
from heaven had been sent in the darkness of the night to lead him from
a lost condition in the forest and to save him from being dashed to
pieces over a rocky precipice, other miracles were wrought, and Wilford
Woodruff, in his early youth and manhood, had become in a marked degree
a choice witness for God and for the divine mission of Joseph Smith,
the Prophet.

Let it be remembered, too, that to enjoy all this power it was not
necessary to be an apostle, a patriarch, a high priest, or a seventy.
For the greater part of his mission, Wilford Woodruff was only a
priest after the order of Aaron. Like John the Baptist, he magnified
his calling; his soul was in the work; he loved his fellowbeings, and
yearned for their salvation. His whole experience is a striking lesson
worthy of being learned, and an example to be followed profitably by
all the young men and elders of Israel. More than once, thousands of
the Saints have heard Wilford Woodruff say in assemblies of worship
that in all his life he never had enjoyed more of the spirit and power
of God than when he was a priest doing missionary work in the Southern

His first mission being completed, he approached the city of the
Saints--Kirtland--whence he had departed over two years previously.
"The Temple of the Lord," says he, "came in sight--first in importance
to our vision. I truly rejoiced when the House of the Lord rose into
view as we drew near to this Stake of Zion. It was the first time I
had seen the Temple of God--the first Temple built in this generation.
After my long absence, I rejoiced greatly to strike hands with the
Prophet Joseph, and with many others engaged in rolling on the mighty
work of the Lord in the last days.

"Two years and a half had elapsed," he writes further, "since I left
Kirtland with my brethren in poverty to go up to visit our brethren
in tribulation in Zion. The Saints at Kirtland were then poor,
despised, and looked upon by the pomp of Babylon with disdain, and
people watched with eager eyes to behold them sink into forgetfulness.
But what a change has come! Now I behold a cheerfulness beaming from
every countenance, {63} and the scenes around indicate prosperity. The
noise of the ax and the hammer, the stir of their bank and market, and
especially the presence of the House of God, speak in language loud
as thunder that the Saints will have a city in spite of all the false
prophets of Baal, and in spite of even earth and hell combined, because
God is with them, and His Temple stands in honor of His Kingdom, while
Babylon begins to wonder and soon will perish."




Wilford's First Attendance at Meeting in the Temple.--Called to
Speak.--Church's Attitude Toward the Use of Liquor.--Wilford in the
First Quorum of Seventy.--Receives Temple Endowments.--Troubles
in Kirtland.--Greatness of the Prophet Joseph.--Wilford's
Marriage.--Receives a Patriarchal Blessing.

The missionary experiences of Wilford Woodruff in the Southern States
gave to him a firmness and a comprehension that came from the testimony
of the spirit of God. From the day he joined the Church, he was in
active service. He was not among those who required special training
and who needed the constant guidance of the leaders to keep them within
the bounds of the Church. His first experience was in Zion's Camp. He
remained a short time in Missouri and then set out upon his mission.
His life was therefore governed by the workings of the spirit within
him. That spirit was his guide--the rock upon which his faith and
understanding were established. His return, therefore, to Kirtland did
not subject him to the temptations of evil, nor to the rebukes of the
Prophet. He knew that he was about his Father's business and was not
swerved by the sophistries of men, or the speculative spirit of those

When he entered the city, he beheld, to his great joy, the Temple of
the Lord. It contained for him grand opportunities. Its ordinances
which he so fervently revered gave comfort and consolation to his life.
On Sunday the 27th, 1836, he attended his first public meeting in the
Temple. He had visited the building previously and viewed with pleasure
its sacred apartments. On the forenoon of that day in company with
Elders Warren Parrish and A. O. Smoot, he listened with pleasure to
the words of Elder S. Carter, and to an impressive discourse from the
Prophet Joseph.

In the afternoon of the same day, Elders Woodruff and A. O. Smoot
were invited to address the congregation. Elder Woodruff first opened
by prayer and then turned at random to a page in the Bible. To his
surprise, he opened to the 56th chapter of Isaiah, the same chapter he
had turned to on the night of his {65} eventful prayer in Connecticut.
Here the memories of that night flashed upon his mind, and he told
the incidents thereof with impressive force and inspiration upon the
congregation. The people were greatly interested. Those who knew the
voice of the good shepherd recognized in him a man truly born of the
spirit of God, a fit companion of prophets and apostles.

On the 1st of December, 1836, he attended for the first time in his
life a meeting called for the purpose of giving certain persons their
patriarchal blessings. Father Joseph Smith was the patriarch of the
Church in those days. This new experience brought to him new evidences
that the God of the Bible, the God of the patriarchs of old,--Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob,--was truly the God of the new dispensation whose
spirit and purposes were kindred to those in ancient times when the
patriarchs of old blest the people.

The spiritual manifestations of those times in Kirtland brought with
them heartfelt desires to observe every rule of correct living. That
spirit was not at all in harmony with the use of intoxicating liquors;
and whatever became an obstacle to the spirit of worship must be
removed if the worship were to be enjoyed. It was important that the
use of liquor should be discontinued, and Elder Woodruff records in
his journal that on the 4th day of December, that year, Sidney Rigdon
called for a vote of the people on the discontinuance of the use of
liquor in the Church both in sickness and in health. An exception to
the rule was made in the case of the washing of the bodies; and under
proper regulations, wine might be used for the Sacrament. The vote was

On the 11th of December, the Prophet sharply rebuked the Kirtland
Saints for their sins and backsliding. He warned them to repent,
lest judgment should come upon them as it had come upon the Saints
in Jackson County, Missouri. Those were trying times. They were days
of separation when it became necessary to separate the unworthy from
those who were of the household of faith. Kirtland was not to be the
abiding place of the Saints. They must give up their possessions and
their love for the city they had striven so hard to adorn. Many had
placed themselves in opposition to a divine purpose whose wisdom they
could not comprehend. That opposition invited the {66} presence of the
evil one who both tempted and beguiled them. Wilford Woodruff, however,
was among those who could say then, as he ever after kept himself in a
condition to say, "Thy will, not mine be done."

Before the close of 1836, there came to Elder Woodruff one of those
choice blessings which he esteemed so highly. He was advanced in the
priesthood to a place in the first quorum of seventies. His faithful
friend and missionary companion, A. O. Smoot, was likewise ordained
to the office of a seventy. This ordination of his friend was in
fulfillment of a prophesy which he had pronounced upon the head of
Elder Smoot on the 30th day of June, that year, while they were
together in Tennessee. The call of Wilford Woodruff to take his place
in the first quorum of seventy took place on the 3rd day of January,
1837, though he had been ordained to his new calling in the priesthood
on the 20th of the preceeding December. His love for missionary service
made this calling one of special honor to him. To be a witness for
Jesus Christ to the nations was his soul's delight. The manner in which
he honored that calling is known to all who are at all familiar with
the early history of the Church.

The early part of April, 1837, Wilford Woodruff devoted himself to the
meetings which were held in the Temple during those days. Those who
were absent from Kirtland in the spring of 1836, and had not therefore
the privilege of receiving their endowments at that time were granted
the opportunity to do so in the following spring. This was another
blessing that he received with feelings of gratitude and praise to his
Maker. The influence of the Temple ordinances is, perhaps, the most
potent of any influence in the Church in the establishment of union, in
the perpetuity of brotherly love, and in the preservation of a God-like
purity. It is not too much to say that one, upon whom the spirit of
these ordinances has fastened itself, never escapes in his conscience
the sacred obligations they impose upon him.

Referring to the administration of the Temple ordinances on that
occasion, he writes in his journal: "The Prophet Joseph arose and
addressed the congregation for the space of three hours. He was
clothed with the power, spirit, and image of God. He presented many
things of great importance to the elders of Israel. O, that the record
could be written as with an iron pen, of the {67} light, principles,
and virtue that came from the mouth and heart of the Prophet Joseph,
whose soul, like that of Enoch, seemed as wide as eternity! That day
strikingly demonstrated that he was, indeed, a prophet of God raised
up for the deliverance of Israel. He presented to us a plan of the
city of Kirtland which was given him by vision. The future will prove
that the visions of Joseph concerning Jackson County and concerning
the various stakes of Zion will be fulfilled in the time appointed of
the Lord. After his remarks, the Sacrament was administered and all
were made glad at the table of the Lord in association with apostles,
prophets, patriarchs, evangelists, and teachers. In the evening a
meeting was held in which many took part by speaking in tongues, giving
the interpretations thereof, prophesying, etc.,--a veritable feast of

Temple work in Kirtland in the early part of 1837 afforded him that
spiritual satisfaction which was so helpful in those subsequent years
of his life when he was employed in missionary service and upon the
plains as a pioneer. He also learned during those days in Kirtland
that the more remarkable the spiritual manifestations, the greater the
opposition of the evil one. He was present at the Sunday services in
the Temple, April 9th, when Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, and Sidney
Rigdon laid before the Saints the condition of the Church respecting
temporal affairs.

A financial panic was on throughout the United States. Its depressing
influence was severely felt in Kirtland. Before it reached that
place, however, many of the leading brethren had given their time and
talent to speculation and were absorbed in schemes detrimental to
their religious standing, and quite contrary to the counsel of the
Prophet. Speculations brought on jealousies and hatreds, and those evil
attributes manifested themselves toward Joseph who sought so diligently
to suppress them. Prominent men--men who had shown the highest
degree of loyalty to the Prophet became disaffected. Their financial
speculations brought on a spirit of self-sufficiency, and that spirit
made them wise in their own conceit. The affairs of the Church were put
to the test of "wisdom"--wisdom as they understood it. Such wisdom,
however, was undermining their integrity to the Church. The meek and
humble maintained their fidelity and brought encouragement {68} and
solace to the Prophet, and the noble men who stood with him in the
hours of financial distress.

On one occasion he met Wilford Woodruff, and after scrutinizing him
very closely as though he were reading his inmost thoughts, said:
"Brother Woodruff, I am glad to see you. I hardly know when I meet
those who have been my brethren in the Lord, who of them are my
friends. They have become so scarce." Elder Woodruff felt throughout
all the subsequent years of his life a supreme satisfaction over the
loyalty he had manifested in those trying times to the Prophet of God.
Elder Woodruff was so faithful in the discharge of his duties, so
humble in his demeanor, so sincere and devoted that he was rewarded by
a discerning spirit which kept him in the path of safety when some of
his brethren were struggling in the meshes of misgivings and doubt.

The correctness of Wilford Woodruff's attitude in those days was
manifested in his ability to see in the Prophet the same spiritual
power that had been manifested to him on former occasions. Of a meeting
held on April 19th, when the Prophet spoke, he writes: "He seemed
a fountain of knowledge from whose mouth streams of eternal wisdom
flowed. As he stood before the people, he showed clearly that the
authority of God was upon him. When speaking of those who professed to
be his friends and the friends of humanity, but who had turned against
the people and opposed the prosperity of Kirtland, he declared the Lord
would deal severely with them. Joseph uttered the feelings of his soul
in pain, while reviewing the poverty and afflictions of his people,
and while finding false brethren whose course brought peril upon the
Saints. Joseph is a father to Ephraim and to all Israel in these last
days; and he mourned because of unbelief and treachery among many who
had embraced the gospel. He feared lest few in Kirtland should remain
worthy to receive an inheritance."

"There is not so great a man as Joseph standing in this generation,"
he wrote later on. "The Gentiles look upon him, and he is like a bed
of gold concealed from human view. They know not his principle, his
spirit, his wisdom, his virtue, his philanthropy, of his calling. His
mind, like Enoch's, expands as eternity, and God alone can comprehend
his soul."

Misfortune and affliction so often unsettle men's minds and {69} move
them from their moorings that they are prone to doubt the goodness of
God and His protecting care over them. The highest type of saintly life
and divine loyalty among men, alike in affliction and prosperity, was
Job. Job was one of those beautiful characters in Old Testament history
that appealed strongly to the mind and heart of Wilford Woodruff. His
reference to Job in public discourses shows how deeply that worthy
character of Holy Writ had influenced his life.

At the time herein mentioned, Wilford had reached his 30th year. He
now felt that it was his duty to assume the responsibility of husband
and father. He was, no doubt, strongly actuated in this feeling by an
inspiration which the new-found message brought to his soul. On the
13th day of April, 1837, he received in wedlock Miss Phoebe Whitmore
Carter, an estimable young lady from the state of Maine. She was the
daughter of Ezra Carter of Scarboro. With other members of her father's
household, she had been baptized some time previously by Elder John
F. Boynton. Like her husband, she belonged to that sturdy New England
race that gave strength and force to the new movement. They had been
acquainted only about two months when they joined hands in holy
wedlock. The ceremony was performed by President Frederick G. Williams.
The Prophet Joseph had intended to marry them, but owing to severe
persecution, he was compelled to be absent from home.

She had already received her patriarchal blessing from Father Joseph
Smith on November 10, 1836. It contained many glorious promises which,
so far as they related to this life, have been fulfilled. Some were
fulfilled in a remarkable manner.

On the 15th of April, two days subsequent to their marriage, Elder
Woodruff likewise received his patriarchal blessing. These blessings
gave hope and courage to the new life which they were hereafter to
experience together. Such a blessing brought joys and assurances
greatly in excess of those which came from wedding tours. They
therefore began life together in faith and in perfect reliance upon the
goodness of God. Elder Woodruff's blessing contained the promise that
he should bring all of his relatives into the Church. The fulfillment
of that promise was realized in a remarkable manner, and was one of
those evidences which gave him support and comfort throughout all the
subsequent years of life.




Troubles at Kirtland.--Mission to Fox Islands.--Evil Spirits Cast
Out.--Healing the Sick.--Visits his Home Enroute.--From Connecticut to
Maine.--Description of Fox Islands.--Begins Ministry in Vinal Haven.--A
Minister Comes to Grief.--Baptisms.--Excitement.--Return to Scarboro.

The condition of affairs in Kirtland during the winter of 1836-7 was
not at all to the liking of Elder Woodruff. To his mind there was no
place in the Church for contentions, misgivings, and opposition. The
work was of God--that was enough. There were the properly appointed
authorities. Upon them the responsibilities of the kingdom had been
placed. He was not therefore concerned about what others thought was a
lack of wisdom in them. He was not avaricious; and financial reverses,
to his mind, could never thwart the purposes of God; and he was not
troubled about how much of this world's goods came to his possession. A
glorious message had been given to the earth, and he wanted every one
to know its value to the human family and to understand the blessings
of salvation to those who yielded obedience.

Wilford Woodruff always felt out of place in the midst of contention.
He shunned it, and never cared for the association of those who were
given to fault-finding, criticisms, and personal griefs. He never saw
the necessity for them. It was never hard for him to agree with his
brethren. He was never unreasonable in his demands, never had private
ends to foster, and never hesitated when there was something important
to be done. He was loyal to the Prophet, true to his brethren; and as
he was now a seventy, he wanted to magnify his office by service in the
missionary field.

He felt impressed that he wanted to take a mission to Fox Islands,
off the coast of Maine, although he was not at all familiar with the
locality nor with the conditions there. To his impressions of the
spirit of God, he found a hearty response in the minds of the apostles.

"Feeling," he said, "that it was my duty to start at once upon {71}
this mission, I did not tarry at home one year after having taken a
wife as the law of Moses allowed. On the contrary, I started just one
month and one day after that important event. I left my wife with
a Sister Hale with whom she expected to stay for a season. I left
Kirtland in good spirits, in company with Elder Jonathan Hale, and
walked twelve miles to Fairport, where we were joined by Elder Milton
Holmes. There we went aboard the steamer Sandusky, made our way to
Buffalo, and proceeded thence to Syracuse by way of the Erie Canal. We
then walked to Richland, Oswego County, New York, where I met my two
brothers whom I had not seen for several years." The elder of these
brothers had become, through trial and temptation, indifferent to the
Church. This was a source of deep sorrow to Wilford, who warned him
against opposing the truth, and faithfully instructed him in his duty
to the gospel which he had embraced.

From Richland they proceeded to Sackett's Harbor, thence across Lake
Ontario by steamer, Oneida, to Kingston, Upper Canada, and along the
canal to Jones' Falls, whence they walked to a place called Bastard,
Leeds County. There they found a branch of the Church presided over
by John E. Page and James Blakesly. "We accompanied them to their
place of meeting," said Elder Woodruff, "and attended a conference,
at which three hundred members of the Church were present. Thirty-two
persons presented themselves for ordination. I was asked to officiate
in company with Elder William Draper. We ordained seven elders, nine
priests, eleven teachers, and five deacons.

"We addressed the people several times during this conference, and at
its close were called to administer to a woman who was possessed of
a 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 in the name of Jesus Christ commanded the devil to
depart from her. The evil spirits left immediately, 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 that was sick was
also healed by the laying on of hands, according to the word of God.

{72} "We walked thirty miles to visit another branch of the Saints
at Leeds, where we met with John Gordon and a John Snider. There we
held a meeting, and bore testimony to the people. A Sister Carns came
to us and asked that the ordinance for the healing of the sick be
performed for two of her children who were afflicted. One was a nursing
babe 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. I handed it back to the mother entirely
healed. We afterwards laid hands upon the other, and 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."

From Leeds they went to Schenectady, New York. On this journey they
were accompanied by Elders Isaac Russell, John Goodson, and John
Snider. In New York they expected to join Apostles Heber C. Kimball
and Orson Hyde who were soon to leave on a mission to England. Elder
Russell seemed to be troubled constantly by evil spirits. They were
also troublesome to him while in England, where Apostles Hyde and
Kimball had a severe contest with them, when administering to him.

After separating from the three brethren named, Elder Woodruff and his
companions went by rail to Albany, and walked from there to Canaan,
Connecticut, where they found a branch of the Church. Here they met
Jesse and Julian Moses and Francis K. Benedict. They held a two day's
meeting at Canaan, and Elder Woodruff ordained Julian Moses and Francis
K. Benedict to the office of an elder.

At Colebrook, Elder Woodruff visited his half-sister, Eunice Woodruff,
who taught school there. "I spent five hours," he wrote, "watching her
in the performance of her school duties. Five years before, when I last
beheld Eunice at our father's house, she was a child of only twelve
years; but now I beheld her an instructor of the youth. As I looked
upon her, my heart was filled with admiration for those accomplishments
in her which adorn the female sex. Her spirit was blithe, and her
step, as she moved among her pupils, showed the energy of youth. She
handed me a bundle of letters from her brother Asahel. The teachings
and instructions contained in those letters, if followed by the youth,
would lead them past a thousand snares. As I read, I {73} smiled and
wept, and prayed in my heart, 'O God, protect my brothers, my sisters,
my wife, and my parents.'" Wilford's affection for his family and
relatives was strong and beautiful.

From Colebrook he proceeded to Avon. "There I visited," he wrote, "many
of my former neighbors, and my relatives, also the grave of my mother,
Beulah Woodruff, who died June 11th, 1808, when she was 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 him and my stepmother, whom I had not seen for seven
years. They greeted me with great kindness. It was a happy meeting.
After visiting with my father for a day or two, I returned to Avon,
where most of my relatives lived, and held meetings with them. On the
12th of June, 1837, I baptized my uncle, Ozem Woodruff, his wife,
Hannah, and their 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, stepmother, 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, Massachusetts. The same evening I held a meeting in the
Methodist meetinghouse in the town of Farmington. I had a large
congregation of citizens with whom I {74} had been acquainted from
my youth. My parents, wife, and sister attended the meeting. The
congregation seemed satisfied with the doctrines I taught, and
requested me to hold another meeting; but I felt anxious to continue my
journey, and on the 20th of July I parted from father, stepmother, and
sister, and, with my wife, took stage for Hartford.

"On my arrival there, not having money to pay fare for both of us,
I paid my wife's fare to Rowley, Massachusetts, where there was a
branch of the Church presided over by Brother Nathaniel Holmes, father
of Jonathan and Milton Holmes. I journeyed on foot. The first day I
walked fifty-two miles, the second day forty-eight, and the third day
thirty-six miles, arriving at Rowley at 2 o'clock, having made the one
hundred and thirty-six miles in a little over two and a half days. On
the second day, when within a mile or two of my stopping place, I felt
so weary and worn-out that every step was made with painful effort.
Just then a gentleman came dashing along in his carriage. As he came
up I prayed to the Lord that he would invite me to ride. Instead of
doing this, he went by with great speed until about ten rods ahead,
when his horse, without being spoken to, or reined up, and for some
cause unknown to the driver, came to a sudden stop. It appeared as if
a barrier, unseen by others, stood in his way. Instantly the gentleman
turned and asked me to ride. The invitation I accepted gladly, and we
sped on our way.

"I spent eight days at New Rowley, holding meeting and visiting with
the Saints, including the Holmes family, and left there on the 1st of
August. 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 received very kindly. My wife had been absent from her father's
home about one year. I remained eight days with Father Carter, and
household, and one day I went out to sea with Fabian and Ezra Carter,
my brothers-in-law, in a boat to fish with hooks. We caught two hundred
and fifty cod, haddock, and hake, and we saw four whales, two at a
time. It was the first time I had ever seen the kind of animal which is
said to have swallowed Jonah.

{75} "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 a sloop which landed us on North Fox Island at 2 o'clock a. m. on
August 20th.

"The town of Vinal Haven includes both North and South Fox Islands,
in latitude 44 north longitude 69 10' west. The population numbered,
at the time of my visit, about eighteen hundred. The inhabitants were
intelligent and industrious, and hospitable to strangers. They got most
of their living and wealth 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 has
a population of eight hundred. They have a postoffice, one store,
a Baptist church and a meetinghouse, four schoolhouses, and a tide
grist-mill. The land is rather poor, yet there are some good farms. The
products are wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and grass. The principal
timber consists of fir, spruce, hemlock, and birch. Raspberries and
gooseberries grow in great abundance, and some upland cranberries are
raised. The principal stock are sheep.

"South Fox Island comes as near being without 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 a 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 into
the island. The population is one thousand. The inhabitants get their
living entirely by fishing. There is no chance for farming upon the
island. There are a few garden patches which are cultivated at great
expense. Some few sheep are raised there. Many of the inhabitants fish
in the vicinity of Newfoundland, and bring their fish home, where they
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 are two stores, three tide mills, six schoolhouses,
and a small branch of the Methodist church presided over by a priest.
What timber there is upon this {76} island, such as pine, fir, spruce,
hemlock, and birch, and likewise whortleberries, raspberries, and
gooseberries, grow mostly out of the cracks in the rocks.

"Great quantities of fish in almost endless variety inhabit the
coves and harbors around the islands. The whale, blackfish, shark,
ground-shark, pilot-fish, horse-mackerel, sturgeon, salmon, halibut,
cod, polleck, tom-cod, hake, haddock, mackerel, shad-bass, alewife,
herring, pohagen, dolphin, whiting, frost-fish, flounders, smelt,
skate, shrimp, skid, cusk, blueback, scallop, dog-fish, mutton-fish,
lumpfish, squid, five-fingers, monkfish, horse-fish, sun-fish,
sword-fish, thrasher, cat-fish, scuppog, tootog, eye-fish, cunner,
ling, also the eel, lobster, clam, mussel, periwinkle, porpoise, seal,
etc., are found.

"I have given a brief description of Vinal Haven. It was quite dark
when we landed, without a farthing of money. We made our way over the
rocks and through the cedars the best we could until we found a house.
We rapped at the door. A woman put her head out of the window and asked
who we were and what was wanted. I told her we were two strangers, and
wanted a bed to lie down upon till morning. She let us in and gave us a
bed. We slept until quite late, it being Sunday morning.

"When we came out and took breakfast it was nearly noon. I asked
her what she charged for our accomodation. She replied that we were
welcome. I then asked her if there were any minister or church on
the island. She informed us that there was a Baptist minister, named
Newton, who had a congregation and a meetinghouse about five miles from

"We thanked her for her kindness, walked to the meetinghouse, and
stepped inside the doorway. We stood there until a deacon came to the
door. I asked him to tell the minister in the pulpit that there were
two servants of God at the door, and that they had a message to give to
the 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 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 my wish was. I told him we wished to speak to the people at any
hour that would suit his or their convenience; so he gave notice {77}
that there were two strangers present who would speak to the people at
5 o'clock that evening.

"We were quite a source of wonderment to the people, as they had
no idea who we were. Mr. Newton asked us 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, 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 inquired if
there were any schoolhouses 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 1:8, 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 fulness 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 who
might wish to do so. As no one responded, I announced that we would
hold meetings the next four evenings at the schoolhouses, 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 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 {78} 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 on the 3rd of September, and
baptized them; these were the first baptisms performed by proper
authority upon any of the islands of the sea (to my knowledge) in this

"Before we left Kirtland some of the leading apostates there had tried
to discourage Brother Hale about going on his mission, telling him he
never would baptize anyone, and had better remain at home. When Captain
Eames offered himself for baptism, I asked Brother Hale to baptize
him, and prove those men to be false prophets, which he did. On the
following Sabbath I baptized Justin Eames' 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 together as many
people 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 outstretched 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 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 it. When he closed I arose and informed the people that
I would meet them the next Sunday in the meeting-house and answer Mr.
Douglass; and I wished him, as well as the people, to be present. I
informed the people that Mr. Douglass had made many 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 would

"We continued to baptize the people on North Island until {79}
we baptized every person who owned an interest in the Baptist
meeting-house. I then followed Mr. Douglas home to South Island, and
preached the gospel to the members of his church, and baptized nearly
all of them.

"The excitement became great on both islands, and on Sunday, the 17th
of September, I met a large assembly from both islands, and took up
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, brought
over several ministers, and held a protracted meeting. They hoped by
this to stop the work of God, but all to no avail; for all the people
would attend our meetings and receive the word of God, and we continued
to baptize. We visited the homes of most of the inhabitants.

"Upon one occasion, while standing upon Mr. Carver's farm, on the east
end of North Island, we counted fifty-five islands in that region, most
of which were not inhabited. We also saw twenty ships under sail at the
same time. We did not lack for food while upon the island, for if we
did not wish to trouble our friends for a dinner, we had only to borrow
a spade or a hoe and a kettle, and go to the beach and dig a peck of
clams. These, when boiled, make a delicious meal, of which we often
availed ourselves.

"One day Elder Hale and I ascended to the top of a high granite rock
on South Island for prayer and supplication. We sat down under the
shade of a pine tree which grew out of a fissure in the rocks, and
Elder Hale read the sixteenth chapter of Jeremiah, where mention is
made of the hunters and fishers that God would send in the last days
to gather Israel. We were, indeed, 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
these {80} 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, Moroni, in America; of 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 filled with
these meditations and with 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 been caught mostly in the neighborhood
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
warf. Several men were pitching them out with hooks. We also caught
what we wanted and went on our way.

"We continued to labor, to preach, and to baptize. We organized a
branch of the Church upon each island. Finally, on the 2nd of October,
we parted with the Saints on 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 in the evening to a large
congregation, 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. There I again met my
wife and her father's family.

"The time had come for me to give the parting hand to Brother Jonathan
H. Hale. During the season we traveled over two thousand miles
together, united in heart and spirit. 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 on his journey. We retired to a grove and knelt down and
prayed together, and had a good time; after commending each other to
God, we parted, he to return to Kirtland, and I to the Fox Islands.

{81} "I spent fourteen days visiting the Saints and friends, and
holding meetings among them. On the 28th of October I took leave
of Father Carter and family, and, in company with my wife, rode to
Portland, to the home of 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."




Again on the Fox Islands.--Opposition Increases.--Manifestation of the
Gifts of the Holy Ghost.--Sign of the Prophet Jonas. Wilford Visits A.
P. Rockwood in Prison.--Baptizes His Father and Other Relatives.--Birth
of His First Child.--Called To Be One of the Twelve Apostles, and To
Take a Foreign Mission.--Assists Fox Islands Saints in Migrating to the
West.--Mrs. Woodruff Miraculously Healed.--They Reach Quincy, Illinois.

The second arrival of Wilford Woodruff at the Fox Islands was under
circumstances very different from those of the first landing. On the
earlier visit he was an entire stranger, and knew not how he could
obtain a meal or a night's comfortable rest; the people also were
strangers to the gospel message which he had come to deliver. On the
second visit, however, he knew he would be received with a cordial
welcome; and he met many Saints who had accepted the gospel through
his ministrations, and who hailed him, and his companion also, with
glad hearts. On Sunday, November 5, he met with a large assembly of
Saints and friends, and again engaged in baptizing those who received
his testimony. A few days later he went with Captain Coombs to another
island called the Isle of Holt, where he preached to an attentive
audience at an evening meeting, and spent the night with John Turner,
Esq., who purchased a copy of the Book of Mormon.

"On the following day," writes Wilford, "we returned to Fox Islands,
and as St. Paul once had to row hard to make land in a storm, we had to
row hard to make it in a calm. After preaching on North Island again,
and baptizing two persons at the close of the meeting, I went again
to the mainland, in company with Mrs. Woodruff and others, and there
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 to North Island, where I held several meetings, 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 {83} 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 still two others
on the 27th. On the 28th I held a meeting at a schoolhouse, when
William Douglass, the Methodist minister, came and wanted me to work
a miracle, that he might believe. At the same time he railed against
me. I told him what class of men asked for signs, and that he was a
wicked and adulterous man. I 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 the islands several years afterward, I
learned that the prediction had been fulfilled in his imprisonment for
a fourteen years' term, for a beastly crime.)

"On the last day of the year 1837, Mrs. Woodruff crossed the
thoroughfare in a boat and walked ten miles, the length of the island,
to meet me. I held a meeting the same day in the schoolhouse, and at
the close of the services baptized two persons in the sea, at full
tide, before a large assembly.

"January 1st, 1838, found me upon one of the islands of the sea, a
minister of the gospel of life and salvation unto the people, laboring
alone, yet blessed with the society of Mrs. Woodruff as 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 the home of Captain Charles Brown,
where I spoke to them for a while, 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 North Island. There I found that the seed I had sown
was bringing forth fruit. Six persons were ready for baptism. But my
mission to 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 {84} of those who felt to
oppose me went down to the harbor and got a swivel and small arms,
planted them close by the schoolhouse, near the sea shore, 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
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. 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 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 North Island; and after
remaining there seven days visiting, we returned to Camden, where I met
Brother James Townsend, who had just arrived from Scarboro. I ordained
Brother Townsend to the office of elder. We then concluded to take a
journey to Bangor and offer the gospel to the inhabitants of that city.

"We traveled 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 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 schoolhouse, and on the way I got one of
my ears frozen. Notwithstanding the severity of the weather, we had
a large and {85} attentive audience. We also spent the next two days
there, and held meetings.

"On the evening of the 21st of February, as we came out of the
schoolhouse, a light appeared on the northeastern 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 a period of half an hour. It seemed at
times as though the veil were 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 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, were kindly entertained by a Mr. Thomas Teppley. There was an
interesting incident connected with our stay at his house. After eating
our supper (it being late in the evening), a stand was placed before
me by Mr. Teppley, with a Bible upon it, and he asked me to read a
chapter and have prayers with them, he being a religious man. I opened
the Bible mechanically, and the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew being
the first to catch my eye, I read it; 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 Mr. Teppley's 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 that 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 a few evenings before he went
down to the wharf with the intention of drowning himself, but when he
looked {86} into the cold, dark water, he desisted and returned home,
and said nothing about it to anyone previous to telling me. I taught
him the principles of the gospel, which proved a comfort to him.

"We spent the next day in visiting the people of Belfast, and in the
evening preached in a brick schoolhouse, provided by Mr. Teppley. Many
wished to hear more from us. We next visited Northport and Frankfort,
holding meetings at both places. 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. 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 Thomaston to Bangor were necessarily brief, owing to
our appointments upon the islands. It was like casting 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 the following evening. The next day I took
passage on the mail boat for North Fox 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. 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, Missouri, and the Saints
were following him. At North Island, Brother Townsend left me and
returned home, and I was again alone in the ministry.

"On the afternoon of the 22nd of March, Brother Sterrett and I,
accompanied by our wives, went several hundred yards from the shore to
a sandbar (it being then low tide), to dig clams. The ground near the
shore was much lower than the bar, and while we were 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 that desirable place and ourselves. The surf waves added
to our difficulty, and, as we had no boat, our only choice was to {87}
cross our four arms, thus forming a kind of armchair 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 had our wives and clams safely
landed, there was impressed firmly upon our minds the truth of the old
saying, 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 to
Zion. About this time the Lord was manifesting Himself in various ways
upon the islands, 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,
walked to the sea shore, wishing he might have some manifestation in
proof of its truth. There came to his mind the passage of Scripture
which says there will be no sign given 'but the sign of the Prophet
Jonas.' While this thought was in his mind a large fish arose to the
top of the water, out at sea some distance, and suddenly sank out
of sight. He greatly desired to see it again, and it soon arose the
second time, 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 as the water would permit,
stopped and gazed at him with a penetrating eye, as if it had a message
for him, 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 say that this
occurred 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 so far inshore as in the case mentioned. Mr. Carver was convinced
that it was intended by the Lord as a sign to him.

"Two days after this event I visited Mr. Carver at his house, where his
wife was confined to bed with a fever, and was requested to administer
to her. I placed my hands upon her head, the power of God rested upon
me, and in the name of Jesus Christ I commanded her to arise and walk.
She arose and was healed from that instant; she walked down to the sea,
and I baptized her in {88} the same place where the fish visited her
husband. I also confirmed her there, and she was filled with the Holy
Ghost and returned to her home rejoicing.

"I 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."

Among the sad experiences of Wilford Woodruff during his mission to the
Fox Islands was the fact that his former missionary comrade, Warren
Parrish, with others in Kirtland, had apostatized and left the Church.
Wilford had been especially attached to Warren Parrish, because of
their former missionary companionship. Elders who travel in the mission
field realize how great is the love of missionaries for each other
when they enjoy the spirit of their calling. He was pained severely to
learn that Warren Parrish had made shipwreck of his faith and taken the
downward road. The cause thereof he explained as follows: "It might be
stated here that Warren Parrish fell through disappointed ambition. He
aspired to the Quorum of the Twelve, or to be a leading spirit of the
Church. He was what is termed a smart man, and through his smartness,
which was distorted by ambition, envy, and bitterness, he turned
against Joseph and the Church, having fallen into darkness and given
himself up to the power of Satan." The failure of Warren Parrish was
but one instance out of many. Joseph, the Prophet, warned the elders
against being thus envious and striving to excel each other through
envy, instead of being excellent in doing good. At this period the
Prophet and Saints were moving to Missouri. Apostasy and rebellion were
rampant at Kirtland; but Wilford Woodruff was undaunted, and continued
his labors and baptized a considerable number who listened to his
message. A scurrilous letter sent by Warren Parrish to the postmaster
at Vinal Haven aroused a strong opposition, but did not hinder the work
of the Lord there.

{89} On the 11th of April, Elders Milton Holmes, James Townsend, and
Abner Rogers, who had come to the islands to attend the conference,
again met with Elder Woodruff, and on April 13th conference was held on
North Fox Island, with a goodly representation of the various branches
of the Church on the islands. "On the 17th of April," writes Wilford,
"Mrs. Woodruff left the islands, returning to her father's home in
Scarboro, Maine, and a few days afterwards I called the Saints of
North Island together and gave them some instructions. 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 mission westward. 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 sailboat, made our way to Owl's Head, and from
there walked twenty miles. The following day we walked forty miles and
suffered some from weary limbs and blistered feet, but we felt it was
for the gospel's sake, and did not wish 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, spending 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 the Bunker Hill Monument,
and spent several hours in the city of Boston, which then contained a
population of one hundred thousand. I ascended to the cupola of the
courthouse, from which I had a fine view of the city; then I visited
several of the Saints, and walked over the long bridge to Cambridge
and Cambridgeport. I visited the jail there to have an interview with
Brother A. P. Rockwood, who had been cast into prison on a charge of
debt, to trouble and distress him because he was a Mormon. This was
the first time he and I had met. The jailer permitted me to enter the
room where he was. It was the first time in my life that I had entered
a prison; the jailer turned the key upon us, and locked us both in.
{90} 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 companions, and read them daily. We conversed together for
three hours in his solitary abode. He informed me of many things which
had occurred at the jail while he was confined there as a prisoner.
Among other things he related 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 playing rapidly around the building; the
water was 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 all. The fire was finally
extinguished. At 8 o'clock the jailer unlocked the prison door and let
me out, and I gave the parting hand to the prisoner. 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.

"After spending several days in Boston, holding meetings with the
Saints, I walked to Providence, Rhode Island, preaching by the way.
There I took steamer, and arrived in New York on the 18th of May,
where I met Elder Orson Pratt, his family, Elijah Fordham and nearly
one hundred Saints who had been baptized in the city of New York.
I remained in New York three days, 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, to the residence of my father, where I arrived on the 12th
of June. It was with peculiar sensations that I walked over my native
land where I had 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 sister.

"On my arrival at my father's home, I had the happy privilege of again
taking my parents and sister by the hand. I also {91} met 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 father's
table, supped together, and were refreshed. Then we bowed upon our
knees 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 to them
the gospel of Jesus Christ, and striving to bring them into the Kingdom
of God.

"On the 1st of July, 1838, there occurred one of the most interesting
events of my whole life in the ministry. When Father Joseph Smith gave
me my patriarchal blessing, among the many wonderful things he promised
me was that I should bring my father's household into the Kingdom
of God; and I felt that if I ever obtained that blessing, the time
therefor had come. By the help of God I preached the gospel faithfully
to my father's household and to all who were with him, as well as to
my other relatives, and I appointed a meeting at my father's home on
Sunday, the 1st of July. My father was believing my testimony, as were
all in his household; but upon this occasion it appeared as if the
devil were determined to hinder the fulfillment of the promise of the
patriarch to me. It seemed as if Lucifer, the son of the morning, had
gathered together the hosts of hell, and was exerting his powers upon
us all. Distress overwhelmed the whole household, and all were tempted
to reject the work; and it seemed as if the same power would devour
me. I had to take to my bed for an hour before the time of meeting.
There I prayed to the Lord with my whole soul for deliverance; for
I knew then that the power of the devil was exercised to hinder me
from accomplishing what God had promised I should do. The Lord heard
my prayer and answered my petition. When the hour of meeting came, I
arose from my bed and could sing and shout for joy to think I had been
delievered from the power of the evil one. Filled with the power of
God, I stood in the midst of the congregation and preached unto the
people in great plainness the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"At the close of the meeting we assembled on the banks of the {92}
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 sins. All of my father's household were included in this number,
as the patriarch had promised, and all were 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, ordained
Dwight Webster to the office of priest, and administered unto them
the Sacrament. It was truly a day of joy to my soul. I had baptized
my father, stepmother, and sister, and I afterwards added a number of
other relatives. I felt that the work of this day alone amply repaid me
for all my labors in the ministry.

"While upon Fox Islands I was impressed to visit my father's home.
Now that the purpose of the mission had been accomplished I felt it
my duty to return to the Islands. Monday, July 2, 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 with my sister the last walk I ever had
with her in my native state. We walked by the canal, viewed the river
and the fields, and conversed about the future. After evening prayer
with the family, my father retired to rest, and I visited awhile with
my stepmother, who had reared me from 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 ever was 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 the bonds of consanguinity and the blood of Christ unite the
hearts of the Saints of God! '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 its importance, and my prayer was,
'O Lord, protect my father's house, and bring them to Zion!' My prayer
was granted.

"On the morning of July 3rd, I took leave of my relatives and my native
state, and started on my return to Maine. I arrived in {93} Scarboro
on the 16th, 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 for Fox Islands.

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

It was on the 8th of July, just one week after Wilford's memorable
experience at his father's home, that this humble, faithful, diligent
elder was called by the voice of God, through His prophet, to be one of
the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb in this dispensation; and Wilford being
at the time many hundreds of miles distant from the Prophet, the Lord
then revealed to him the fact of that calling. Wilford had been true to
the Lord as a teacher, priest, elder, and seventy in His Church, and
thus was worthy of the higher call that had come, and to be trusted
with its increased responsibility. He was prepared by the revelations
of heaven to his own soul to be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ;
and his ordination and leave-taking of the Saints at the designated
place, on the 26th of the succeeding April, under the circumstances
then existing, were a manifestation of the miraculous power of God in
witness of the prophetic office and gift that had been conferred from
heaven upon Joseph Smith, the great Prophet of this dispensation.

"The time having come for me to prepare to leave Fox Islands," wrote
Wilford, "I had a desire to take with me all the {94} Saints I could
get to go to Zion. Already there had been a line drawn between the
Saints and those on the islands who had rejected the Gospel, and
enemies were very bitter against me and against 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 baptized into the Church and organized,
while upon the islands, nearly one hundred persons; and there seemed a
prospect of gathering with me about half of them, but the devil raged
to such an extent that some of them 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 had everything prepared for the company to start, I
left affairs with Brother Thomas and went ahead of the company to
Scarboro, to prepare my own family for the journey. The outfit which
I purchased for the company cost about two thousand dollars. Before
leaving Brother Thomas I counseled him regarding the course to pursue,
and charged him to be not later than the 1st of September in starting
from the mainland. I arrived at Father Carter's on the 19th of August,
and waited with great anxiety for the company from the islands, but
instead of reaching here by the 1st of September, they did not come
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 them ready for the journey."

It should be remarked that in the very starting of this company
Nathaniel Thomas cheerfully stepped forward to the assistance of the
poor and invested about one thousand dollars in wagons, horses, tents,
etc., to fit out this company. While others who possessed this world's
goods drew back and did not go with the poor lest they should be under
the necessity of helping them.

At this time Wilford had still another trial, and the integrity of
his wife was further tested. Her parents, relatives, and friends
{95} strongly opposed her starting upon the journey, and used every
influence and argument they could against her accompanying her husband.
They had been very kind to him, but when it came to parting with her
on a journey of such a distance at such a time of the year, and to a
land where her people were subjects of such bitter persecutions as
were being inflicted upon the Saints in Missouri at that time, it was
too much for them to acquiesce in. They knew that he must go, but they
insisted that she must stay. Like her husband, she was of a spirit
that did not shrink from duty when she knew it. Wilford said of her
at the time: "Yes, Phoebe possessed too much firmness and faith and
confidence in God to put her hand to the plough and then look back, or
to give way to trials, however great. Like Ruth, she was determined to
forsake kindred and country for my sake and for the cause in which we
were engaged." Under these circumstances, and with a realizing sense
of the dangers and hardships of the journey, and of painful conditions
prevailing at their destination, they did not falter.

"On the afternoon of the 9th of October," wrote Wilford, "we took
leave of Father Carter and family, and started upon our journey of two
thousand miles at this late season of the year, taking with me my wife,
her nursing babe, to lead a company of fifty-three souls from Maine to
Illinois, and to spend nearly three months 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.

"We were joined at Georgetown by Elder Milton Holmes, and traveled each
day as far as we could go, camping wherever night overtook us. On the
13th of October, while crossing the Green Mountains, I was attacked
by something resembling cholera, and was very sick; I stopped at a
house about two hours, and the elders having administered to me, I
revived. On the 24th I was taken sick again, and my wife and child also
were stricken down. Several others of the company were sick, through
exposure. On the 31st we had our first snowstorm, 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;
two days later, Nathaniel Thomas' little child, about six years of age,
died, and we had to bury it at Westfield. {96} 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.

"My wife Phoebe was attacked on the 23rd of November by 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 such 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 about four o'clock in the afternoon appeared to be
stricken with death. I stopped my team, and it seemed as if she then
would breathe her last, lying there 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.
Then I cried to the Lord, praying that she might live and not be taken
from me, and claiming the promises the Lord had made to me through the
Prophet and Patriarch. Her spirit revived, and I drove a short distance
to a tavern, got her into a room and worked over her and her babe all
night, praying to the Lord to preserve their lives.

"In the morning circumstances were such that I was under the necessity
of removing them from the inn, as there was so much noise and confusion
there that my wife 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 recovered her health or passed away. This was on Sunday morning,
December 2nd. After getting my wife and things into the house and
providing wood to keep up a fire, I employed my time in taking care of
her. It looked as if she had but a short time to live. She called me to
her bedside in the evening, and said she felt as if a few moments more
would end her existence in this life. She manifested great confidence
in the cause we 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 {97} 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 day following I returned to Eaton to get some things
for her. She seemed to be sinking gradually, and in the evening the
spirit apparently left her body, and she was dead. The sisters gathered
around, 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, prayed for the
life of my companion, and in the name of the Lord anointed her body
with the oil. I then laid my hands upon her, and in the name of Jesus
Christ I rebuked the power of death and of 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 keep
His commandments.

"While I was undergoing this ordeal (as my wife related afterwards)
her spirit left her body, and she saw it lying upon the bed and the
sisters there weeping. She looked at them and at me, and upon her
babe; while gazing upon this scene, two persons came into the room,
carrying a coffin, and told her they had come for her body. One of
these messengers said to her that she might have her choice--she might
go to rest in the spirit world, or, upon one condition, she could have
the privilege of returning to her tabernacle and of continuing her
labors upon the earth. The condition was that if she felt she could
stand by her husband, and with him pass through all the cares, trials,
tribulations, and afflictions of life which he would be called upon to
pass through for the gospel's sake unto the end, she might return. 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 to her, her spirit re-entered
{98} her tabernacle, and she saw the messengers carry the coffin out of
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; she walked to the wagon, and we
went on our way rejoicing.

"The weather being very cold, on the night of the 11th I stopped
for the night at an inn. I there learned of the sudden death of my
brother, Asahel H. Woodruff, a merchant of Terre Haute, Indiana. I had
anticipated that the following day I should have a joyful meeting with
this brother; instead of this, I had only the privilege of visiting
his grave, in company with my wife, and of 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 but a few trifling mementoes.

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

"Thus ended my journey of two months and sixteen days. I had led 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. In the spring I took my family 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




Mobocrats Seek To Prevent the Fulfillment of a Revelation Given Through
the Prophet Joseph Smith, but Are Disappointed.--Temple Cornerstone
at Far West Laid.--Wilford Returns to Illinois.--The Prophet Joseph
Liberated from Prison in Missouri.--A Survivor of Haun's Mill
Massacre.--Selection of Nauvoo as a Place for the Settlement of the
Saints.--A Day of God's Power.--Many Sick Are Healed, and a Dying Man
Raised to Life.--Incident of Wilford Receiving a Hankerchief from
the Prophet Joseph.--Instructed as to What He Shall Preach on His
Mission.--Lesson in Humility.--Warning against Treachery.--Wilford
Starts on His Mission, Sick and without Money.--Experience of His
Journey to New York.--Sails for Liverpool, England.

The revelation calling Wilford Woodruff to the apostleship, and
directing him, with others, to engage in missionary labors abroad,
fixed a time and a place for the departure of these apostles on their
mission to Great Britain. It was the declared purpose of the mob to
prevent the fulfillment of this revelation. When the word of the
Lord was given on this matter, all was peace and quiet in Far West,
Missouri, the city where most of the Latter-day Saints dwelt at that
time; but before the day of fulfillment came, the Saints 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 to Joseph Smith were fulfilled, this one should
not be. But man cannot stay the purposes of God; this occasion was no
exception to the rule, and it affords one of many notable instances
that show how the Almighty maintains a special guidance over the work
of this dispensation which He has committed to the Latter-day Saints.
In this revelation, given July 8, 1838, He said:

"Let them take leave of my Saints in the city of 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."

Of this period, Wilford writes in his journal that, "it seemed {100} as
though the Lord, having a foreknowledge of what would take place, had
given the revelation in this manner to see whether or not the Apostles
would obey it at the risk of their lives. When the time drew near for
the fulfillment of this commandment, Brigham Young was the President of
the Twelve Apostles, Thomas B. Marsh, who had been 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 in fulfillment of the revelation. The Prophet Joseph,
his brother Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and Parley P. Pratt,
were in prison in Missouri; 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 their feelings were, all of
them, as the voice of one man, said the Lord had spoken, and it was for
them to obey. It was the Lord's business to take care of His servants,
and they would fulfill the commandment, or die trying.

"To understand fully the risk the Twelve ran in making this journey,
it should be understood 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 Missouri or be exterminated. Far West had
been captured by the militia, who really were 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 out of the state as best
they could to save their lives, leaving their houses, lands and other
property, which they could not carry with them, to be taken by the mob.
The latter shot down the cattle and hogs of the Saints wherever they
could find them, and robbed the people of nearly everything they could
lay their hands on. The Saints were treated with merciless cruelty,
and had to endure the most outrageous abuses. It was with the greatest
difficulty that many of them, especially the prominent ones, got out of
Missouri, for at that time many people of that state acted as though
they thought it no more harm to shoot a Mormon than to shoot a mad dog.
From this {101} brief explanation it will be understood 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 requirements of the revelation,"
continues Wilford Woodruff, "on the 18th of April, 1839, I took into
my wagon Brigham Young and Orson Pratt; 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 with his hands a barrel of soft soap. We helped him with
his wagon. He then drove 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. He had
been taken a prisoner by the mob, and 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 fulfilled; notwithstanding ten thousand of the Saints
had been driven out of the state by the edict of the governor; and
notwithstanding 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,
held a council, and fulfilled the revelation and commandment given to
us. We also ex-communicated from the Church thirty-one persons who had
apostatized and become its enemies. The 'Mission of the Twelve' was
sung, and we repaired to the southeast corner of the Temple ground,
where, with the assistance of Elder Alpheus Cutler, the master workman
of the building committee, we laid the southeast chief cornerstone of
the Temple, according to revelation. There were present of the Twelve
Apostles: Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, John E. Page,
and John Taylor; they proceeded to ordain Wilford Woodruff and George
A. Smith to the apostleship.

"Darwin Chase and Norman Shearer, who had just been liberated from
Richmond prison, were then ordained to the office of seventy.

{102} "The Twelve then gave the parting hand to the following Saints,
agreeable to revelation: A. Butler, Elias Smith, Norman Shearer,
William Burton, Stephen Markham, Shadrach Roundy, William 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 this small remnant of the Saints who remained on
the Temple ground to see us fulfill the revelation and commandment
of God, we turned our backs on Far West, Missouri, and returned to
Illinois. We had accomplished the mission without a dog moving his
tongue at us, or any man saying, 'Why do ye so?' We crossed the
Mississippi river on the steam ferry, entered Quincy on the 2nd of May,
and all of us had the joy of reaching our families once more in peace
and safety. Thus the word of God was complied with.

"While on our way to fulfill the revelation, Joseph, the Prophet, and
his companions in chains were liberated, through the blessings of God,
from their enemies and prison, and passed us. We were not far distant
from each other, but neither party knew it at the time. 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 3rd, 1839, 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 to
Mr. Cleveland's, four miles out of town, to visit Brother Joseph
Smith and his family. 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 together from their imprisonment. 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. He
delivered them, and now they were mingling with their wives, children,
and friends, 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 one who has
been in tribulation for the gospel's sake.

{103} "After spending the day together we returned to our families at
night. The day following was May 4th; we met in conference at Quincy,
the Prophet Joseph presiding, his presence causing great joy to all the
Saints. On Sunday, May 5th, Joseph Smith addressed the assembly. He was
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, and with bishops and elders, at Bishop Partridge's house. There
were with us a number who were wounded at Haun's Mill; among these was
Isaac Laney, who, in company with about twenty others, had been at
the mill when a large and armed mob fired among them with rifles and
other weapons, shot down seventeen of the brethren, and wounded others.
Brother Laney fled from the scene, but they sent a volley of lead after
him, piercing his body in many places. He showed me eleven bullet holes
in his body. There were twenty-seven bullet holes in his shirt, and
seven in his pantaloons. His coat was literally cut to pieces. One ball
entered one armpit 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 were received while he was running for his
life; and, strange as it may appear, though he also had one of his ribs
broken, he was able to outrun his enemies, and his life was saved. We
can acknowledge this deliverance to be only through the mercy of God.
President Joseph Young was also among the number who escaped at Haun's
Mill. As he fled, the balls flew around him like hail, yet he was not
even wounded. How mysterious are the ways of the Lord!

"Before starting on our mission to England, we were under the necessity
of locating our families. A place called Commerce, afterwards named
Nauvoo, was selected as the site on which our people should settle. In
company with Brother Brigham Young and our families, I left Quincy on
the 15th of May, arriving 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 {104}
fourteen feet square. Finally Brother Young obtained another room and
moved into it; 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,
with the Prophet Joseph, a day of God's power. It was a very sickly
time; Joseph had given up his home in Commerce to the sick, and had a
tent pitched in his dooryard 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 to, and were living in wagons,
in tents, and on the ground; many, therefore, were sick through the
exposure to which they were subjected. Brother Joseph had waited on
them 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. He called upon the Lord in prayer, 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 dooryard; then, in company with Sidney
Rigdon and several of the Twelve, went among the sick lying on the bank
of the river, where he commanded them in a loud voice, in the name of
Jesus Christ, to rise and be made whole, and they were all healed.
When he had healed all on the east side of the river that were sick,
he and his companions crossed the Mississippi River in a ferry-boat to
the west side, where we were, at Montrose. 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

"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
they 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 spirit of God that was overpowering His
Prophet. When we entered the house, Brother Joseph walked up to Brother
Fordham and took him by the right hand, his left hand holding his hat.
{105} He saw that Brother Fordham's eyes were glazed, and that he was
speechless and unconscious.

"After taking his hand, he looked down into the dying man's face and
said: 'Brother Fordham, do you not know me?' At first there was no
reply, but we all could see the effect of the spirit of God resting
on the afflicted man. Joseph again spoke. '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 death. 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 Jehovah: '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 on 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 had been done up in Indian meal poultices; he kicked these off
his feet, scattered the contents, then called for his clothes and put
them on. He asked for a bowl of bread and milk, and ate it. He then put
on his hat and followed us into the street, to visit others who were

"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, or with those who were present
with him; for in a few minutes he would have been in the spirit world,
if he had not been rescued. Through the blessing of God he lived up
till 1880, when he died in Utah; while all who were with him on that
occasion, with the exception of one (myself), are in the spirit world.
Among the number present were Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon,
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, Parley P. Pratt,
Orson Pratt, and Wilford Woodruff.

"As soon as we left Brother Fordham's house, we went into the home of
Joseph B. Noble, who was very low. When we entered {106} the house,
Brother Joseph took Brother Noble by the hand, and commanded him, in
the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and be made whole. He did arise, and
was healed immediately.

"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 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.

"The case of Brother Noble 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's, the Prophet Joseph, with those who had
accompanied him from the other side, went to the bank 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 Joseph and asked him if he
would not go and heal 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, 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 hankerchief out of his pocket, gave it to me, told me to wipe
their faces with the handkerchief when I administered to them, and they
should be healed. He also said to me: 'As long as you will keep that
handkerchief, it shall remain a league between you and me.' I went with
the man, 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 to set them apart and bless {107} them before they
started upon their missions. There were twelve of us who met there, and
we dined in my house.

"After dinner we assembled at Brother Brigham Young's house for
our meeting. 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
that if we were faithful we would be blessed upon our mission, save
many souls as seals of our ministry, and return again in peace and
safety to our 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:
'Ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy, and be ready to forgive
your brethren on the first intimation of their repentance and desire
for forgiveness; for your heavenly Father will be equally merciful to
you. We ought also 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 fellowmen. Do not backbite or
injure 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
by sad experience everything they know. I trust the remainder of the
Twelve will learn wisdom, and will 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 preach in the power
and demonstration of the Holy Ghost, and the people are astonished and
confounded at the doctrine and say, "those men have preached powerful
sermons," then let them take care that they do not ascribe the glory
unto themselves, but be careful to be humble, and to 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 {108} the power thus to speak. Who
art thou, O man, but dust! and from whom dost thou receive they 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 that it is a day of
warning, and not of many words. 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 to all the Saints: profit by
this important key, that in all your trials, troubles, temptations,
afflictions, bonds, imprisonments, and deaths, 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 in 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

"The foregoing are some of the instructions given by the Prophet
Joseph, before the Apostles started upon their missions.

"Inasmuch as the devil had been thwarted in a measure 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 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, I was attacked with chills and fever, for the
first time in my life; this I had every other day, and whenever
attacked, I was laid prostrate. My wife, Phoebe, was also 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 {109} I was
taken sick, before I started on my mission. The 7th of August was the
last day I spent at home in Montrose. Although sick with the chills and
fever 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 an attack of fever and ague afflicting me
once every two days.

"Early upon the morning of the 8th of August, 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 suffered
my departure 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 your 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 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 postoffice, 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; we were the first two of the
quorum of the Twelve who started upon that mission. Brother Taylor was
about the only man in the quorum who 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 his shirt and pants, with his head and feet bare. He was hewing
a log, preparatory to building a cabin. He said: 'Brother Woodruff,
I have no money, but I have an empty {110} purse, which I will give
you.' He brought it to me, and I thanked him for it. We went a few
rods farther and met Brother Heber C. Kimball, in the same condition,
also hewing a log to build 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'. He took us in his wagon to Macomb, and from there to Brother
Don Carlos Smith's. During the day I rode four hours over a very rough
road of stones and stumps, lying on my back in the bottom of the wagon,
shaking with the ague, and suffering very much. We held a meeting in a
grove near Don Carlos Smith's, and there 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, and there had an interview
with several families of the Fox Islands Saints, whom I had brought
with me from the Fox Islands in 1838. I spent several days with them
and at Springfield, where Elder Taylor published, in pamphlet form,
fifteen hundred copies 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. This 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. Up to this
time, Elder John Taylor 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, but soon revived. On the following
day the enemy made a powerful attack upon his life. He fainted several
times, and it seemed as if he would die. We stopped several hours
with him at a house by the wayside. We then took him into the wagon,
{111} drove to Horace S. Eldredge's and spent the remainder of the day
and night doctoring him. In the morning he 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, 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 Townsend. In the
morning, Elder Taylor, though very weak, felt disposed to continue the
journey, and we traveled fourteen miles to Germantown. Elder Taylor was
quite sick that night, and a bilious fever seemed to settle upon him. I
was also very feeble.

"The day following being Sunday, September 1st, Brother Taylor
concluded to remain for the day, and hold a meeting. It was a German
settlement. He wished me to speak, and I did so, dwelling upon the
first principles of the gospel. He followed me, and spoke until he was
exhausted. 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
also was very sick.

"The next 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, the latter thought it
better for one sick man to be left than for two, as I was so ill with
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, I gave him
the parting hand--though painful to me--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 till his recovery. This they did, though
he passed through a severe course of 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

{112} "I continued on with Father Coltrin, and reached Cleveland on
the 18th of September. There we took steamer for Buffalo, but were in
a storm three days before we made the harbor. We landed at midnight,
and in doing so ran into a schooner and stove it in. From Buffalo I
traveled to Albany in a canal boat, and had an attack of the ague
daily. At Albany I took a stage in the night, and rode to my father's
home in Farmington, reaching there 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 me. I was
still suffering with the ague. 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, preached the
gospel to him, and he was believing. I had been associated with him
from my youth up. On his death bed he sent me a request that I preach
his funeral sermon. I was having the chills and fever daily at the
time, attended with a very severe cough, so much so that my father
thought 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, as I was going to attend
the funeral. He thought I was very reckless about my own life, as I
had suffered with 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 stepmother five miles, through a cold, chilly wind,
and commenced speaking to a large congregation at the same hour that
my chills had been accustomed to come on. I spoke with great freedom
for over an hour; my chills left me for that time, and I had no more
attacks for many days.

"On the Monday following, October 17th, I felt sufficiently {113}
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 November. I spent two months and seven days after my arrival
in New York, in traveling and preaching in that city, and in New Jersey
and Long Island, a portion of the time with Parley and Orson Pratt.
During this period I had frequent attacks of the chills and fever, but
I preached almost daily.

"On the 13th of December, I attended our conference in New York City,
with Elder Parley P. Pratt, who prophesied that the mission of the
Twelve to Great Britain would be known to all nations, as it surely
has been. On this day Elder John Taylor arrived in our midst. 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 informed us that others 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 on
the 19th of December, 1839, on board the packet ship Oxford. We took
steerage passage, which cost fifteen dollars each. We had storms and
rough weather, but most of the winds were favorable to 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; 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 one hundred and nine souls, composed
of Americans, English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh, and Dutch."

While in New York preparing for his departure for Europe, Elder
Woodruff twice saw his wife in a dream. The second time she was
weeping, and both times was in great affliction. Upon his inquiring
after their little daughter. Sister Woodruff answered, "She is dead."
The warning in this dream received fulfillment on the 17th of the
following July, the child dying on that date, while he was in England.




Wilford's Arrival in England.--Missionary Work Begun.--Casting
Out a Devil.--Directed by the Spirit of the Lord to Another Field
of Labor.--Meets with the United Brethren.--Many Conversions to
the Gospel.--Ministers Hold a Convention To Ask Parliament for
Legislation against the Mormons.--First Publication of the Book of
Mormon and the Hymn Book in England.--The Millennial Star.--In the
British Metropolis.--Unable to Secure a Hall To Preach in, the Elders
Hold Street Meetings.--First Baptism in London.--Opposition from
Preachers.--Work of God Makes Marvelous Progress.

The voyage across the Atlantic ocean was made in twenty three days, and
Wilford Woodruff and his companions landed at Liverpool, England, on
the 11th day of January, 1840. After visiting George Cannon, father of
President George Q. Cannon, and family, they left Liverpool on January
13th, going to Preston, where a branch of the Church had been built up
in 1837, by Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, and Willard Richards.
The latter had remained in England, while Elders Kimball and Hyde had
returned to America. The meeting with Elder Richards was very pleasant.
On January 17th a council was held at his home to determine the future
actions of the elders.

"After consultation as to the best course for us to pursue," says Elder
Woodruff, "it was finally resolved that Elders John Taylor and Joseph
Fielding should go to Liverpool; Elder Woodruff, to Staffordshire
Potteries; Elder Theodore Turley, to Birmingham; Elder Richards,
wherever the spirit might direct him; and that Elder William 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 had
visited that city. There I met for the first time Elder William
Clayton. As soon as I was introduced to him, he informed me that one of
the sisters in that place was possessed of {115} a devil. He asked me
if I would not go and cast it out of her. He thought one of the Twelve
Apostles could do most anything in such a case. I went with him to the
house where the woman lay, in the hands of three men, in a terrible
rage. She was trying to tear her clothing from her. 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.

"Had I acted upon my own judgment I should have refrained from
administering to her in the company of those present; but as I was a
stranger there, and Brother Clayton presided over the branch, I joined
with him in administering to the woman. The unbelief of the wicked
who were present was so great that 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, except the few attending her, had left
the house, we laid hands upon her head, and in the name of Jesus Christ
I commanded the devil to come out of her. The devil left, and she was
entirely healed and fell asleep.

"The next day being the Sabbath, the woman came before a large
congregation of people, and bore testimony to what the Lord had done
for her. We had a large assembly through the day and evening, to whom I
preached the gospel. 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 old. I was called upon to visit the child, and
found it in great distress, writhing in its mother's arms. We laid
hands upon it and cast the devil out; the evil spirits thereafter had
no power over that household. This was done by the power of God, and
not of man. We laid hands upon twenty in Manchester who were sick, and
most of them were healed.

"On January 21st, I arrived in Burslem by coach, and for the first time
met Elder Alfred Cordon. This being my field of labor, I began my work
there. Elder Turley stopped in the Pottery district some eight days,
then went to Birmingham, his field of labor. On the 10th of February I
received a letter from Elder John Taylor, who was at Liverpool, saying
they had commenced there, and had baptized ten persons.

"I labored in the Staffordshire Potteries, in Burslem, Hanley, {116}
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 thought we had a door open to bring into the Church many in
that part of the vineyard.

"March 1st, 1840, was my birthday; I was thirty-three years of age. It
being Sunday, I preached twice during the day to a large assembly in
the city hall, in the town of Hanley, and administered the Sacrament
to 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 district.
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; we went down into the water and baptized them.

"In the morning I went in secret before the Lord, and asked Him what
was His will concerning me. The answer I received 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 His word. On the 3rd of March,
1840, in fulfillment of the directions given me, I took coach and
rode to Wolverhampton, twenty-six miles, spending the night there. On
the morning of the 4th I again took coach, and rode through Dudley,
Stourbridge, Stourport, and Worcester, 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 to him and
his household and the inhabitants {117} of the land. He 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 them.

"I also rejoiced greatly at the news 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 for religious
services had chapels and many houses that were licensed according
to the law of the land. This body of United Brethren were searching
for light and truth, but had gone as far as they could, and were
calling upon the Lord continually 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. After
offering my prayers and thanksgiving to God, I retired to my bed with
joy, and slept well 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 in his mansion a large hall 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 at the same place on
the following evening, and baptized six persons, including Mr. John
Benbow, 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, as I saw that many would receive that ordinance. I
afterwards baptized six hundred persons 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 {118} Farm,
in the evening. 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 meetings
through the day and evening.

"When I arose 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. For an hour and a
quarter I preached the first principles of the everlasting gospel.
The power of God rested upon me, the spirit filled the house, and the
people were convinced. At the close of the meeting I opened the door
for baptism, and seven offered themselves. Among the number were four
preachers and the constable. 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 into the pool and baptized the seven. We then came together.
I confirmed thirteen, administered the Sacrament, and we all rejoiced

"The constable went to the rector and told him that if he wanted Mr.
Woodruff taken 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. They both were
pricked in their hearts, 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 venture 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 dominions. In this petition the rectors stated that one Mormon
missionary had baptized fifteen hundred {119} persons, mostly members
of the English Church, during the past seven months. But the Archbishop
and council, knowing well that the laws of England afforded 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 valued
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 Kington. He was 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 for labor, and enabled me
to bring into the Church, through the blessings of God, over eighteen
hundred souls during eight months, including all of the six hundred
United Brethren except one person. In this number there were also some
two hundred preachers of various denominations. This field of labor
embraced Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire, and formed
the conferences of Garway, Gadfield Elm, and Frome's Hill. During this
time I was visited by President Young and Dr. Richards."

On the 14th of April, 1840, Elder Woodruff records the ordination of
Willard Richards to the apostleship. Two days later the Twelve, in
council, voted to publish a Church periodical in Great Britain. Elder
Woodruff proposed that it be called the Millennial Star, and it was so

"Brother John Benbow furnished us with £300 to print the first edition
of the Book of Mormon that was published in England," wrote Elder
Woodruff; "and on the 20th of May, 1840, Brigham Young, Willard
Richards, and I held a council on top of Malvern Hill, and there
decided that Brigham Young should go direct to Manchester and publish
three thousand copies of the Book of Mormon and the Hymn Book.

"The power of God rested upon us and upon the mission," said Elder
Woodruff, in our field of labor in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and
Gloucestershire. "The sick were healed, devils were cast out, and the
lame made to walk. One case I will {120} mention: Mary Pitt, who died
later in Nauvoo, sister of William Pitt, who died years after 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 Kington'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 in the name of the
Lord, and commanded her to arise and walk. The lameness left her, and
she never afterwards used a staff or crutch. She walked through the
town of Dymock next day, and created a stir among the people thereby;
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 people were praying for light and
truth, and the Lord sent me to them. I declared the gospel of life and
salvation, 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. In all these things we should ever acknowledge the hand of God,
and give Him the honor, praise, and glory, forever and ever. Amen.

"On the 11th of August, 1840, I took the parting hand of the Saints
in Herefordshire, and started on a mission to London, in company with
Apostles Heber C. Kimball and George A. Smith. We rode from Leigh to
Cheltenham, where we tarried for the night, and in the morning took
coach and rode forty miles through a most delightful country, which
everywhere wore the golden hue of plentiful harvest. We passed through
Oxfordshire, in sight of Stowe, the family residence of the Duke of
Buckingham, and at Farmington station took train for London, where we
arrived at 4 p. m. We changed conveyances and went to the center of the
city by omnibus, walked across London Bridge into the Borough, and
called upon Mrs. Allgood, the sister of Elder Theodore Turley's wife.
She treated us with kindness, gave us refreshments, and then directed
us to a public house, the King's Arms, King Street, Borough. There we
tarried for the night.

"We were now in England's great metropolis, to sound therein {121} the
first proclamation of the latter-day work. Heber C. Kimball, George A.
Smith, and myself were the first three elders in London to preach the
gospel and establish the Church of Latter-day Saints. We took a walk
into the city, passed London Bridge twice, and returned and spent the
night at King's Arms. On the following day we called upon the Rev. J.
E. Smith, Lincoln's Inn Fields, also visited John Pye, 16 Curiosity
Street, Chancery Lane. He was a strong believer in the prophecies of
Joanna Southcott, and was one of the society. We then returned and
had a view of St. Paul's Cathedral, the largest in the world except
St. Peter's at Rome. We crossed London Bridge, took tea at 19 King
Street, then went to Union Chapel, Waterloo Road, and heard a comical
sermon delivered by an Aitkenite preacher. I spent the night at 58 King
Street, at Mrs. Loftus.'

"The next day, August 21st, was the most interesting sight-seeing
day in my life. I started in company with Elders Heber C. Kimball
and George A. Smith for a walk over the city of London. We crossed
London Bridge, passed through King William Street and several other
streets, and visited Covent Garden; then through St. Martin Street and
Court, Leicester Square, Sidney Alley, Coventry Street, Picadilly,
Glass House Street, and through most of Regent Street--one of the most
splendid streets in the world. We passed through Langham Place and All
Souls' Church--which has a spire naked from its base to the top--then
through Oxford Street, and returned by way of St. Paul's, ending our
sight-seeing of the day by visiting the noted monument erected in
commemoration of the great fire in London in 1666, and built under the
direction of that famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren. We entered a
door at its base, paid sixpence on entering, and ascended three hundred
and forty-five black marble steps, which brought us up two hundred
feet into the air, and about one hundred feet higher than the highest
houses. We stepped on the outside of the pillar, which is surrounded
by an iron railing, and there was presented to our view on every hand
the wonderful scenery of the greatest city in the world, a city that
boasted of a history covering nearly two thousand years. At our feet,
as it were, lay a historical panorama, stretching out to our view in
all directions.

{122} "We were located so as to overlook nearly every part of the city.
East of us lay the ancient Tower of London; east of us also lay the
Mint; north the Mansion House of the Lord Mayor of London; northwest,
St. Paul's Church; west, Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament;
south lies the river Thames, with five of the large bridges across
in full view, and one not seen from the monument, making six. These
six bridges are fine sights in themselves. They are the architectural
monuments of the Thames, and our view of them from our high pinnacle,
with their crowds of moving and everchanging human masses, and cabs,
omnibuses, carriages, drays, etc., which dash along, presented to us a
picturesque sight. In addition to all this, within our view was London
Borough, on the south of the river, and all around us hundreds of
churches, chapels and spires, standing in the midst of one universal
mass of buildings, covering six square miles of ground. While viewing
this prospect on a clear day, we conversed with a Prussian traveler,
a citizen of Berlin, who had traveled much over Europe and Asia and
other parts of the world, and he declared that there was not, to his
knowledge, another spot on the face of the earth that presented to view
such a grand scene as that before us.

"August 23rd we went to Zion's chapel and heard the celebrated Rev.
Robert Aitken preach two sermons. He delivered a powerful warning
to the Gentiles, and presented some of the most sublime truths I
ever heard from a sectarian priest; but he was building without
the foundation. On the 24th we removed our lodgings to Mr. Robert
Merryfield's, No. 15 Gloucester Row, Grange Road, where we obtained a
room for all three of us.

"On the 25th of August we attended a meeting of the Temperance Society,
at their hall, which we secured for the 7th of the next month. Brother
Smith made a short speech. On the following day we started out in quest
of places in which we might preach. Brother Kimball went to one part
of the city and Brother Smith and myself to another. We called upon
two Baptist ministers and asked one for his chapel. In the evening we
attended a Methodist meeting in Long Lane.

"Next day we again went to the Temperance Hall, in St. George's Road,
near the Elephant and Castle, and by the request {123} of the committee
I addressed the meeting upon the subject of temperance. I was followed
by George A. Smith. We gave out an appointment to preach the gospel at
that place September 7th.

"The day after, we all started to go through the city of London to see
if we could find a man with the spirit of God; and after wandering
through the city, not knowing whither we went, we came upon a man whom
we stopped, and to whom we spoke. Brother Kimball asked him if he was a
preacher. He said he was. He seemed to have a good spirit, and informed
us that he had been in America, and had come to London for the purpose
of going to South Australia, but had just buried one child and another
lay at the point of death. Brother Kimball told him his child should
live. He gave us some information where we could preach. On the same
day we called upon him and found his child better, but he was not at
home. We then went and heard a Calvinist preach, and he gave us an
invitation to call and see him. Next day we again went over the city to
see if we could find any of the children of God. We found one man and
his household who received our testimony, and he opened his doors for
us to preach. We appointed a meeting at his house for Sunday evening.
His name was Corner, and he lived at 52 Ironmonger Row, St. Luke's
Parish, near the church.

"We had spent twelve days in going to and fro through London, trying to
find a people willing to receive our testimony; but finding the doors
shut against us, we determined to go into the streets and lift up our
voices in the name of God. Accordingly, Elders Kimball, Smith, and
myself started on Sunday morning, August 30, walked three miles, and
stopped in Tabernacle Square, Old Street, where we found an Aitkenite
preaching to the people. He was followed by a Presbyterian. Just as
the latter was about to begin, Elder Kimball informed him that there
was a preacher from America present who would like to speak when he
got through. The preacher then informed the people that there was an
American minister present, and proposed that he should speak first.
Elder George A. Smith got into the chair and spoke about twenty
minutes; then the Presbyterian spoke. George A. had informed the people
that there were two other American preachers present who would like to
address them, and, when the Presbyterian closed, {124} Elder Kimball
asked him if there would be any objection to our preaching there at
3 o'clock. He answered, 'No, not at all. To what denomination do you
belong?' 'To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,' was the
reply. 'Oh, I have heard of them,' he said; 'they are a bad people;
they have done much hurt; they divide churches; we don't want to hear
you.' He then mounted the chair again and said to the people: 'I have
just heard that the last man who spoke belongs to the Latter-day
Saints,' and he began to rail against us. Elder Kimball asked him to
let him step into the chair to give out an appointment for a 3 o'clock
meeting, but he would not. Brother Kimball then raised his voice and
informed the people that some American preachers would speak there at 3

"At the appointed time we were at the place. The conduct of the
preacher and the excitement upon the subject brought a large
congregation to hear us. I opened the meeting by singing and prayer,
and spoke about twenty minutes, from Gal. i:8 and 9, and was followed
by Elder Kimball, for about the same length of time. The people gave
good attention and seemed to be much interested in what they heard.

"After meeting, Mr. Corner invited us home; but soon after we arrived
at his house Elder Kimball felt impressed to return to the place where
we had preached. When he got there he found a large company talking
about the things which they had heard, and they wished him to speak
to them again. He did so, and addressed them at considerable length,
and afterwards several invited him home to their houses. While he was
away, a man who had been a preacher came to Mr. Corner's; I gave him a
brief account of the great work of God in the last days, and he and the
others who were listening received the things which I spoke unto them.
Mr. Corner offered himself for baptism; he was the first man in London
to do so. We appointed the next evening as the time to administer the
ordinance of baptism to him. After supping with him, we returned home.
I was weary and ill during the night, but felt thankful unto the Lord
for the privilege of preaching to the inhabitants of that great city,
and of having gained one soul as a seal to our ministry.

"On the 31st of August we reaped the first fruits of our {125} labors,
and laid the first living stone of the Church of Jesus Christ in
England's great metropolis. We walked into the city and called upon Mr.
Corner, who went forward with us to the public baths, and received the
initiatory ordinance of the gospel. Returning to the house of Brother
Corner, Elders Kimball, Smith, and myself laid our hands upon his head
and confirmed him a member of the Church. We returned to our homes that
night, thankful to God for His goodness in blessing our labors even
thus much.

"On the 2nd of September I was quite ill. I had not been well for
several days, but now I was obliged to keep in my room. Elders Kimball
and Smith went into the city to visit the people, and found some who
hearkened favorably to them. By this time we had learned that London
was the hardest place for a mission that we had ever undertaken; but we
did not feel discouraged in the least, and were determined in the name
of the Lord to set up the standard of Christ's Kingdom in that city.
The following day I was still confined to my room most of the time, but
on the next, Elders Kimball and Smith went to Debtford, and I took a
walk into the city, called upon Brother Corner, and found him in good
spirits. I also called upon Mr. Panther, 17 Warf, City Road, Basin, who
was a director of a Methodist chapel; I asked him for the chapel to
preach in. He said he had a schoolhouse which would hold two hundred
persons, and I might have that on Sunday, so I gave out an appointment
at Bowl Court, 137 Shoreditch. I conversed with several others who
received my testimony, and one woman said she would be baptized.

"Next day I wrote to Elder Browett of my Herefordshire field of labor,
walked to Brother Corner's and visited several other friends. Two
offered themselves for baptism. I visited St. Paul's, then returned
home. Elders Kimball and Smith had just returned from a visit to
the Rev. Robert Aitken. He received them kindly, acknowledged their
doctrine to be true, but was afraid of deception. His mind was in a
disturbed condition. In the evening we held a meeting in the Temperance
Hall; but we had almost the bare walls to preach to, there being only
about thirty present. I preached to those for about an hour, and Elder
Kimball followed me. After paying seven shillings and sixpence for the
use of the hall, we returned to our lodgings.

{126} "On September 9th I paid my bills, called upon friends in company
with Brothers Kimball and Smith, and on the day following I parted from
the brethren and friends in London to return to Herefordshire. We had
spent twenty-three days in the great Babylon of modern times, and had
found it harder to establish the Church there than in any other place
we had ever been. We had baptized one man, and ordained him a priest;
six others had given in their names to be baptized on the following
Sunday; and at this time there was some little prospect of the Rev.
Robert Aitken receiving the work. I therefore left London, feeling that
our mission and labors had not been altogether in vain.

"I was rejoiced on my return to the churches to find that in
Herefordshire the work was rapidly progressing. In some cases it was
even reaching the nobility, and a lady of title had become convinced,
through our ministry, of the work of God. Lady Roberts was of the
nobility of England, and a lady of wealth; she had withdrawn form the
Church of England and had traveled much in search of truth, looking
for the fulfillment of the prophets. She became acquainted with the
fulness of the gospel through a female servant in the employ of
Squire Dowdswell, and began to investigate the subject. The spirit
of God rested upon her and convinced her of the truth of the work.
She obtained the four published numbers of the Millennial Star, and,
fearing that she would not be able to obtain them for herself, copied
the whole of them with her pen. She also read the Book of Mormon and
copied a part of that, and became perfectly convinced of the truth of
the work of which she read; she said she would go a thousand miles if
necessary to see some of the Twelve and be baptized under their hands.
Hearing that I was in London, she was about to take a journey there to
see me and the other brethren, and be baptized. She had two brothers
who were ministers of the Church of England.

"On the 21st of September, 1840, we held the Frome's Hill conference,
at which were represented 24 churches with 754 members, 14 elders,
51 priests, 9 teachers, and 1 deacon. The Bran Green and Frome's
Hill conferences were now composed of 40 churches, 1007 members, 19
elders, 78 priests, 15 teachers, and 1 deacon. These two conferences,
with their forty branch churches {127} and over a thousand organized
members, under the direction of one hundred and thirteen ordained
officers, had been raised up within six and one-half months. Surely the
work of God had been marvelous--unparalleled perhaps in the history of
any new religious movement.

"I meditated upon these things, and in my journal of September 21st,
1840, I wrote thus: 'This has been a busy day with me. After standing
upon my feet from morning till evening. I am called to shake hands with
hundreds of Saints who have glad hearts and cheerful countenances. It
is with no ordinary feelings that I mediate upon the cheering fact
that a thousand souls have been baptized into the new and everlasting
covenant in about half a year, in one field which God has enabled me to
open. I pray Him to accept the gratitude of my heart for His mercies
and blessings unto me in this thing, and to enable me to stand with
these Saints and all the righteous in His celestial kingdom.' This
day I stood upon my feet eight hours in conference, conversed much
of the time in suggesting, speaking, etc.; ordained about thirty,
confirmed some, healed many who were sick, shook hands with about four
hundred Saints, walked two miles, and ended with about four hours
chimney-corner preaching. I then lay down to rest, and dreamed of
catching fish.

"The church ministers in this region were stirred up very much at
this time, because of the success of the work of God in the midst of
the people, and every exertion was made by them to stay its progress.
They were finding that the Lord was delivering their flocks out of
their hands and giving them unto the shepherds of the Church of the
Saints. They were alarmed, and were holding conventions and meetings to
contrive plans and adopt means to overthrow the latter-day work of God,
which they understood not, and believed not, yet feared its power. And
well indeed they might; for in some instances they did not have more
than ten or fifteen at their churches on the Sabbath, while around them
on every hand they had seen forty branches of two organized conferences
of the Church of Latter-day Saints spring up in about six months,
with over a thousand members and between one and two hundred offices
ordained to scatter the seed of the gospel everywhere in this prolific

{128} "On the 25th of September I again took leave of the Saints in my
Herefordshire field of labor, to attend the Staffordshire conference
which was held at Hanley. The day after the conference I baptized
one, and preached at Tunstell; and on the next evening I preached at
Burslem to a crowded house. The power of God rested upon me, and great
solemnity pervaded the congregation. The spirit of God was moving the
people, and they felt that the Lord was doing a work in their midst."




Rapid Increase of the Church in Great Britain.--Mysterious Spirit
Personage Attempts to Strangle Wilford Woodruff, and Wounds Him
Severely.--He Is Relieved and Healed by Three Heavenly Visitors.--First
Placard of the Church Posted in London.--Death of Wilford's
Daughter.--Difficult Missionary Work in and around London.--Arrival
of Lorenzo Snow To Take Charge of the British Mission.--All of the
Twelve Called Home.--Attending Various Conferences.--Springing of
the Spaulding Story.--Wilford Bids Farewell to the Saints in Fields
Where He Had Labored.--General Conference of the British Mission, and
Only Occasion of the Twelve Apostles Acting as a Quorum in a Foreign
Land.--Wilford's Departure for Home, and Arrival at Nauvoo.--Made a
Member of the Nauvoo City Council.

A general conference of the British Mission was held at Manchester,
England, on the 6th of October, 1840, at which there were present
six of the Twelve Apostles--Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard
Richards, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, and Wilford Woodruff. The
presiding officers in the mission represented twenty-seven conferences,
besides other churches or branches not yet included in organized
conferences. The Church membership in Great Britain was given as 3,621,
being an increase of 1,113 members since the conference held the April
previous. On the evening of October 7th, the first discussion of any
note of Mormonism, held in Great Britain, took place at Manchester,
between Elder Alfred Cordon and a minister of one of the denominations
whom Elder Woodruff does not name. It was attended by the members of
the Twelve then in England. The subject under discussion was the Book
of Mormon; and although the view of the Latter-day Saints was upheld
therein by an elder of less prominence than one of the Apostles, the
result evidently was very satisfactory to the Saints, and their cause
received further favorable impression in the minds of a great majority
of the fifteen hundred persons present on the occasion.

"I left Manchester on the 14th of October," writes Wilford {130}
Woodruff, "to return to my labors in London; and on my way, with Elder
Alfred Cordon, I visited the Staffordshire Potteries and Birmingham.
On the 17th I arrived in London, where I found Elder George A. Smith,
and we were glad to meet each other again. We hired lodgings, board,
and sitting-room at No. 40 Ironmonger Row, St. Luke's. Everything
was costly, and we found that with the greatest economy we could not
do with much less than a pound per week each. What few Saints there
were in London were very poor, and unable to assist us. Most of the
means used in my labors in London was supplied by my converts in

"The prospect in London at that time was the darkest it had ever been
in since entering the vineyard; but the Lord was with us, and we were
not discouraged. On Sunday we met with the Saints three times at
Brother Corner's, read the Book of Mormon, gave instruction, and broke
bread unto them. We had a good time, though there were only about half
a dozen present. I felt the spirit bear testimony that there would be a
work done in London.

"Having retired to rest in good season, I fell asleep and slept until
midnight, when I awoke and meditated upon the things of God until 3
o'clock in the morning; and, while forming a determination to warn
the people in London and by the assistance and inspiration of God
to overcome the power of darkness, a person appeared to me, whom I
consider was the prince of darkness. He made war upon me, and attempted
to take my life. As he was about to overcome me I prayed to the Father,
in the name of Jesus Christ, for help. I then had power over him and he
left me, though I was much wounded. Afterwards three persons dressed in
white came to me and prayed with me, and I was healed immediately of
all my wounds, and delivered of all my troubles.

"During the following week we visited the British Museum and other
notable places, also attended a Wesleyan mission meeting over which
the Lord Mayor of London presided. While in the performance of our
missionary labors we circulated and posted handbills. The following is
a copy of the first placard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints posted in England's great metropolis: '"He that judgeth a matter
before he {131} heareth it is not wise." The Latter-day Saints meet
for public worship at Mr. J. Barrett's Academy, 57 King's Square,
Goswell Road (entrance door in President Street) every Sabbath at 3,
and half-past 6 o'clock p. m.; also on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
each week, at 8 o'clock. Lectures will be delivered by Elders Woodruff
and Smith (late from America), who respectfully invite the citizens
of London to attend. The first principles of the Everlasting Gospel
in its fulness; the gathering of Israel; the second coming of the
Savior; and "the restitution of all things" spoken of by all the holy
prophets, will be among the subjects discussed. The Latter-day Saints'
Millennial Star, published monthly, and other publications, can be had
at 52 Ironmonger Row, St. Luke's. (City Press, Long Lane, Doudney &

"The following Sunday, at 3 o'clock, we preached for the first time
in Barrett's Academy. There were present about fifty persons to whom
I preached, and to whom Elder Smith preached in the evening; but it
was the most difficult task I had ever found to awaken in the people
an interest on the subject. There was so much going on in this great
modern Babylon to draw the attention of the people, that it seemed to
require almost the trumpet blast from heaven to awaken the attention of
the inhabitants to our proclamation of the restoration of the fulness
of the gospel. We were there like the apostles of old, without purse or
scrip, to warn the city of London, where we had to pay high prices for
everything we required, and to pay for a place to preach in; we were at
this time about out of money, but still we felt to trust in God. Next
day after this meeting, I received a package of letters from America,
one from my wife announcing the death of my little daughter Sarah Emma.

"November 1st I preached at the Academy in the afternoon to about
thirty, and in the evening to about fifty. We broke bread unto the
Saints, and this evening there seemed to be some interest manifested
by inquiry about the work. We preached again on the following Sunday.
During the week we received counsel from our brethren of the Twelve for
George A. Smith to go immediately to the Potteries, and spend his time
with the churches there. After his departure I felt very lonely for
several days, but Elder William Pitt came from Dymock {132} and labored
with me a short time, after which he took a mission to Ipswich.

"Brother Hulme, a captain of one of the 'Pickford's Boats' on the
London Canal, was present at my next preaching after the departure of
Elder Pitt, and with him were two of his hands whom he had baptized. On
the following day I dined with him and with the two brethren on board
their boat.

"On the afternoon and evening of Sunday, the 22nd of October, I held
a public meeting at the Academy, when four offered themselves for
baptism; and on the following Sunday I again preached twice, and
baptized three more applicants. These were the first fruits of my
labors in London. Next day I took a very interesting walk with Dr. Wm.
Copeland, through every part of the College of Surgeons at Lincoln's
Inn Fields, and on my return home was joined by Elders Brigham Young
and Heber C. Kimball, who had come to spend a week or two in London.
This was the first time President Brigham Young was in the metropolis
of England. We met for service on Wednesday evening, at the Academy,
when Brother Brigham preached, followed by Brother Heber. We had a good

"In company with Presidents Young and Kimball, on the 3rd of December,
I visited the Tower of London, without seeing which, the traveler would
lose a capital page in the history of his travels in Europe. During the
week we also visited St. Paul's, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey,
the Queen's stables, and many other noted sights of London.

"Sunday we held a public meeting at the Academy, at which there were
about fifty present. Brother Kimball preached. An Independent minister
invited me home to take tea with him. I accepted his invitation, had
an interesting time, and preached the gospel to him. He received my
testimony and offered me his chapel, which held eight hundred people.
He said he thought he would be baptized, and would try and get his
society to do the same. We met again in the evening, and had more at
our meeting than ever before. Brother Brigham Young preached, and was
followed by Brothers Kimball, Williams, Corner, Hulme, and myself.
We had a very interesting time, and one person offered himself for
baptism. There were present some of the Aitkenites, one of whom
purchased a hymn book. They wished {133} us to call upon them, and
thought they would be baptized. We then met at Father Corner's, and
communed with the Saints and had a good time. I rejoiced at the
prospect which was opening before us, for we had labored a long time
and the work had gone slow; but now a wide opening was being made to
roll on the work of the Lord in the metropolis of England.

"Having spent about ten days in London, President Young left for
Cheltenham. On the same day I visited Mr. James Albion, a minister of
the Independent order, who, with his household, believed our doctrine,
and on the Sunday we found more than ever an interest being awakened
in London; our prayer meeting the next evening was attended by the
Reverend James Albion, who received our testimony. We walked home with
him, and found his household growing in the faith and ready for the
work of the Lord.

"Two days after, in the evening, we baptized four persons--Mr. and Mrs.
Morgan, with whom we lodged, Christopher Smith, their apprentice, and
Henry Corner, Jun. Dr. Copeland spent the afternoon of the following
day with us; he received our testimony, and in the evening we preached
at our meeting place.

"I visited Rev. James Albion several times, and gave him an account
of the rise and progress of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. He believed in our mission and offered me his chapel, which
would seat about a thousand persons. On Sunday morning we accompanied
our reverend friend and convert to his chapel, and were introduced
to the committee, one of whom was a preacher who had traveled much
in Russia and other parts of the world. At the close of the meeting
the Rev. James Albion gave out an appointment for us to preach on
the next Sabbath evening. In the afternoon we met with the Saints,
had a full house, and confirmed four new members; in the evening we
preached again, and a good feeling prevailed. After meeting, the Rev.
James Albion called upon us at our room and told us that he had given
out our appointment to preach in his chapel; he also had informed his
congregation that he was a Latter-day Saint, and would be baptized and
join our Church, and that they need not longer consider him a member of
their body unless they joined the Saints with him. He told us this made
a division among the {134} committee; some were for going with him, and
some were against following their pastor into the true fold, which he
had found.

"On the following Sunday evening we preached, by the appointment of its
minister, in the Independent chapel, to the largest congregation we had
ever before addressed in London. There were present priests and people
of many denominations. I addressed them for the space of about one
hour. A Wesleyan minister arose and opposed me; this had a good effect,
for the congregation, seeing the spirit he was of, turned against
him, and the committee refused him permission to speak there again. I
was much bound by the opposing spirit; still the conduct of the enemy
gave us friends. The next evening we attended what was said to be the
largest temperance meeting ever held in London; and the next two days
brought us to the close of the year.

"I give here a synopsis of my travels and labors in 1840: places
visited or labored in--Liverpool, Preston, Manchester, Newcastle,
Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Longton, Stafford, Wolverhampton,
Birmingham, Worcester, Hereford, Ledbury, Malvern Hill, Gloucester,
Cheltenham, Oxford, London. I traveled 4,469 miles, held 230 meetings,
established 53 places for preaching, and planted 47 churches and
jointly organized them. These churches chiefly comprised the two
conferences raised up in Herefordshire, consisting of about 1,500
Saints, 28 elders, 110 priests, 24 teachers, and 10 deacons. The
baptisms of the year were 336 persons under my own hands, and I
assisted at the baptism of 86 others. I baptized 57 preachers, mostly
those connected with the United Brethren, also two clerks of the Church
of England. I confirmed 420 members, and assisted in confirming 50
others; ordained 18 elders, 97 priests, 34 teachers, and one deacon;
blessed 120 children, and administered to 120 sick, by prayer,
anointing and the laying on of hands, and in many instances the sick
were healed, and devils cast out. I assisted in procuring £1,000 for
the publication of 3,000 copies of the Hymn Book, 5,000 copies of the
Book of Mormon, for the printing of the Millennial Star, and to assist
200 Saints to emigrate to Nauvoo. I wrote 200 letters, and received 112.

"The new year, 1841," continues Wilford Woodruff, "found Elder Kimball
and myself in the metropolis of England, in the enjoyment {135} of good
health. We celebrated New Year's day by baptizing two persons into the
fold of Christ. The Church in London now numbered 21 members. The next
Sunday we held a meeting in the Academy, confirmed two, and partook
of the Sacrament. During the week I baptized the daughter of the Rev.
James Albion; the day after this, Elder Kimball started for Woolwich
to break new ground. On Sunday he preached there for the first time,
when four persons offered themselves for baptism. Next day they came to
London, and we immediately repaired to our private bath in Tabernacle
Square, where Elder Kimball baptized five persons, one of whom was
Dr. Wm. Copeland. This was indeed an interesting occasion, and we
felt thankful to God to see the cloud beginning to break; for we had
struggled hard to do the little which had been done.

"On the 15th of the month we baptized three more of Brother Morgan's
household, and on the following Sunday I preached to a full house and
to many new hearers. Several offered themselves for baptism; during the
week there had been seven souls added to the Church.

"Next day Elder Kimball received a letter from President Young, who
wished us to be ready early in April to set sail for home. Several days
later, I baptized the Rev. James Albion and Mr. Hender, and before the
close of January I baptized three others into the Church. I visited
Greenwich and Woodwich, where Elder Kimball had raised up a small
branch of the Church, then I returned to London with Elder Kimball. On
Sunday we communed with the Saints, and in the evening we both preached
to a large congregation.

"On the 8th of February, having a package of twenty Books of Mormon and
two dozen Hymn Books, Heber C. Kimball and I went to Stationer's Hall
and secured the copyright of the Book of Mormon in the name of Joseph
Smith, Jun. We left five copies of the book, and paid three shillings
for the copyright. In the evening we baptized four persons, one of whom
was the wife of the Rev. James Albion, who already had received the

"Elder Brigham Young, per letter, informed us of the large emigration
of that season. There were to go on one ship 235, and on another
100. To the reader acquainted with the immense emigration {136} of
the Saints in later years, the fact that we considered three or four
hundred as a large emigration will be noteworthy.

"Elder Lorenzo Snow arrived in London on February 11, to take charge
of the Church after our departure. I was truly glad once more to greet
him, for I had not seen him since 1837. On the same day Elder William
Pitt also arrived at our lodgings, and we had an interesting meeting
in the evening. Brother Snow preached, and Elder Kimball and myself
followed him; the next day Brothers Heber and Lorenzo went to Woolwich
to give impetus to the work of God in that important town.

"I give here the minutes of the first London conference, held at the
Academy, 57 King's Square, Goswell Road, February 14, 1841: 'There
were present of officers of the Church, Elders H. C. Kimball, Wilford
Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Wm. Pitt, besides four priests. The meeting
was called to order by Elder H. C. Kimball, at 2 o'clock p. m., Sunday,
the 14th of February, 1841, when it was moved by Elder Kimball and
seconded by Elder Pitt that Wilford Woodruff be the president of the
conference. Moved by Elder Kimball and seconded by Elder Woodruff,
that Dr. Wm. Copeland be the clerk. Carried unanimously. The meeting
was then opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Kimball. The president
then called for the representation of the branches of the London
conference. The church at Bedford was represented by Priest Robert
Williams, containing 42 members and one priest; seven removed, and two
dead. The church at Ipswich, represented by Elder Wm. Pitt, consisted
of 12 members, one elder, one priest, and one teacher. The church at
Woolwich, represented by Priest John Griffith, consisted of six members
and one priest. The church at London, represented by H. C. Kimball,
consisted of 46 members, one elder and two priests; excellent prospect
of continued increase. Moved and seconded by Elders Kimball and
Woodruff, that James Albion be ordained an Elder; moved and seconded
by Elders Kimball and Snow, that Thomas Barnes be ordained a teacher;
moved and seconded by Elders Kimball {137} and Pitt, that Robert
Williams be ordained an elder to oversee the church at Bedford; moved
and seconded by Elders Robert Williams and Wm. Pitt that Wm. Smith, at
Bedford, be ordained a priest; moved and seconded by Elders Kimball
and Pitt that Richard Bates be ordained a priest in the Woolwich
branch; moved and seconded by Elders Robert Williams and Pitt that John
Sheffield be ordained a teacher at Bedford; moved and seconded by Elder
Kimball and Brother Griffith that Brother A. Painter be ordained a
teacher at Woolwich. These motions were carried unanimously, and those
present were ordained under the hands of Elders Kimball, Woodruff, and
Snow. Afterward, Elder Kimball moved, and Elder Woodruff seconded,
that Elder Lorenzo Snow be appointed president of this conference, and
to take the superintendency of the Church in London. Much valuable
instruction was given by Elders Kimball and Woodruff in relation to the
duties of official members, after which it was moved by Elder Kimball
and seconded by Elder Snow that this conference be adjourned till
Sunday, the 16th day of May, 1841; after which the conference closed.
Wilford Woodruff, president; Dr. Wm. Copeland, clerk.'

"During this conference meeting, we also broke bread with the Saints,
and confirmed four new members. At half past six in the evening we
met again, and had the largest congregation which had assembled at
our preaching place. One person came forward for baptism. This was a
day which we had desired long to see; for we had labored exceedingly
hard to establish a church in London, and at times it seemed as though
we would have to give it up; but by holding on to the work of our
Divine Master and claiming the promises of God we were now to leave an
established London conference with a prosperous church planted in the
metropolis, under the care of our beloved brother, Lorenzo Snow.

"Brother Kimball, on the 15th, received a letter from his wife,
informing us that the Prophet Joseph had written for the Twelve to come
home immediately. At this time there was a prospect of war between
America and England, over the imprisonment of McCloud, a British
officer, by the state of New York, and also over the northeastern
boundary question. In consequence of this prospect, the Prophet Joseph
wrote for the Twelve to come home, after first thoroughly organizing
the British mission and calling out a number of native elders to send
in every direction throughout Great Britain.

"I spent the 25th of February in visiting the Saints previous {138} to
my departure, and in the evening preached in London for the last time
before my return to Nauvoo. Next day I parted from Lorenzo Snow and the
London Saints, and took train for Bristol, to visit the branch which
had been raised up there by my convert, Elder Thomas Kington, who, it
will be remembered, was the superintendent of the Frome's Hill circuit
of United Brethren. Leaving Bristol, I visited the churches which I
had raised up, holding conferences and bidding farewell to the Saints,
hundreds of whom I myself had baptized.

"When I arrived at Monmouth I found that Elder James Morgan awaited
my coming, and had given out an appointment for me to preach in the
town at 7 o'clock, at the house of Robert Davis. There was a crowded
meeting, and many were unable to get into the house. Four offered
themselves for baptism. The spirit witnessed to me that there would
be many embrace the gospel in Monmouthshire, and I said, 'the harvest
is great and the laborers few.' I arose in the morning, refreshed by
sleep, and having taken breakfast with Mr. Matton, I walked ten miles
through mud and water, in a driving March rainstorm, to Sister Mary
Morgan's, at Little Garway, where I found a pleasant family of the
Saints. We were drenched with rain, but found a good fire, spent the
day comfortably, and in the evening I had an interesting interview with
Elder Littlewood; the next day I remained at Sister Morgan's, reading
with much interest the history of Rome, and in the evening I met the
officers of the Church there in council, and had a good time. Sunday
morning I preached at the house of Brother Thomas Rood, and in the
evening at the Kitchen, upon the Book of Mormon, and had the place full.

"On March 8, 1841, I met with the Garway conference, at the Kitchen.
Elder Levi Richards was chosen president, and Elder James Morgan,
clerk. There were present one of the quorum of the Twelve, one high
priest, seven elders, eleven priests, two teachers, and one deacon.
The meeting opened with prayer by Elder Woodruff, after which the
churches were represented as follows: members 134, elders 4, priests 5,
teachers 3, deacons 1. After the representation, it was moved that John
Needham be ordained an elder, William Morris, priest, and Thomas Rough,
teacher. These were ordained under the hands of Elders Woodruff {139}
and Richards. The meeting adjourned till 3 o'clock, and one person was
baptized. In the afternoon, Elder Levi Richards spoke and I followed
him. After meeting, the Saints contributed one pound sterling to help
me, and I sold them three Books of Mormon and fifty addresses to the
citizens of London. I then walked five miles with Brother Richards, to
Brother Holley's, and spent the night. This was the first time I had
seen Brother Levi for about two years.

"Next day, in company of Elders Levi Richards and Thomas Pitt, I walked
to the city of Hereford, where Elder Ray and others had been preaching.
On Sunday a preacher arose before two or three thousand people in the
market house and informed the multitude that he had a fresh letter
direct from America, showing the origin of the Book of Mormon. So he
read the old Spaulding story. When he got through, Elder Levi Richards
arose and informed the people that instead of its being a new story it
had been published for seven years throughout the United States and
England. This caused a great uproar, for while some were for driving
the man out of the place for lying, others were crowding around Elders
Richards and Ray to hear them preach. The crowd, however, was so
excited that the elders left the ground with hundreds following them.
There never was a time when the people were so much stirred up and
so eager to hear the Latter-day Saints as at the present, and it was
expected that we should not get through the city without having crowds
around us. We did, however, and had a view of Hereford cathedral as we
passed along and reached Sister Bufton's.

"There was at this time a small branch of the Church at Hereford,
numbering seven members. We parted from Brother Pitt at Hereford, and
continued to Lugwardine, where I met with the church there for the
last time, and preached from the 24th chapter of Isaiah. On the morrow
I walked to Shucknell Hill and had an interesting meeting with the
Saints and preached upon the gathering to Zion and Jerusalem. It was
my last meeting with them, and I bade them farewell. Next day I walked
to Standley Hill and dined with Brother Ockey, whom I was truly glad
to see once more. We went together through Standley Hill and called
upon the Saints. Six months had passed since I had {140} parted from
the churches in this region, but now I was again in the field where the
Lord by His blessing and the power of the Holy Ghost had made my labors
so abundantly fruitful. Next day I went to Greenway and preached,
blessed a child, confirmed a member, and administered the ordinance of
the gospel to five sick persons; and on the morrow continued to Turkey
Hill. There, on the Sunday, I communed with the Saints and preached
to a large congregation upon the gathering. I found the Saints in the
region around very desirous to gather to the body of the Church, but
they were poor and had not the means to emigrate to America.

"On the 15th day of March, 1841, the Bran Green and Gadfield Elm
conference again assembled, this time at Gadfield Elm chapel, when the
meeting was called to order by Elder Woodruff. There were present,
one of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, one high priest, ten
elders, twenty-one priests, six teachers, and one deacon, besides the
congregation of the Saints; there were represented, 19 churches, 367
members, 8 elders, 33 priests, 11 teachers, 1 deacon; removed, 41;
died, 1; expelled, 2. Wilford Woodruff was president, and John Hill,
clerk of the conference.

"We had a very interesting time at the conference. There was a large
assembly of the Saints. It was the last time that I could attend in
that part of my old and beloved field of labor during my present
mission in England; and whether or not I should ever again meet there
in a conference assembly of Saints was one of the secrets of my future
life for time to reveal. We had held our meeting without disturbance
from some mobocrats who were present, for these were kept quiet by
police in attendance, in disguise.

"No sooner had the meeting closed than multitudes of the Saints crowded
around me, and hands were presented on every side, to bid me farewell.
Many called for me to bless them before I departed; others cried out,
'Lay hands upon me and heal me before you go.' One came with, 'Brother
Woodruff. I am turned out of doors for my religion; what shall I do?'
Another with, 'I am ready to go to Zion, but my wife won't go with me;
shall I leave her, to gather with the Saints?' A wife in turn says, 'My
husband beat me and turned me out of doors because I was baptized. I
have money enough to carry me and the children to Zion; will you {141}
let me go without him?' 'Brother Woodruff, my mother is over eighty
years of age and has willed me sixty pounds at her death, but will not
emigrate with me; must I stay for her to die, or leave her now to go
with the Saints?' One said, 'I have sold my little place and shall have
thirty pounds tomorrow, but must go out into the street. I have not
enough to carry my family to America; can you help me to a few pounds,
or tell me what to do?' An elder cried out, 'How much longer must I
preach in England before you will let me go to America?' From others
of the Saints came such as this: 'Brother Woodruff, will you come and
preach in Cheltenham?' 'My head is in great pain, will you heal me?'
'I want you to consecrate this bottle of oil before you go.' 'Will
you write to me?' 'I have been waiting a long time to get a chance to
speak to you; good-bye, remember me to Mrs. Woodruff, good-bye; God
bless you!' Thus for more than an hour after the close of the meeting
I was hailed with the affectionate outbursts and adieus, and a host of
perplexities, of these Saints, who crowded around me as children around
their father.

"Many of the Saints parted from me in tears, and many followed me to
Turkey Hill, where I spent the night and they filled the house until
a late hour, begging counsel and instruction of me. One of these was
a Baptist minister who had just been baptized into the Church. On the
morrow, in company with Elder Needham, I walked to Keysend Street,
where I preached to a crowded congregation of Saints, and thence
continued to Colwall. There I met with a large congregation of Saints,
and preached to them upon the gathering.

"Next day, with Elder Levi Richards, I walked over to Malvern Hill
and called upon Elder Samuel Jones; thence through Great Malvern to
Crowcat; I held a meeting at Brother George Brooks's, and had an
interesting time with a large number of Saints whom I had baptized
about a year before. I went to Dunsclose the day after, visiting many
of the Saints by the way, laying hands upon the sick, and blessing and
counseling others of the flock. All were happy to see me; for I had
baptized most of them when I first opened that field of labor. Next day
we traveled to Frome's Hill, and visited the Saints by the way.

"At Frome's Hill I met with the Saints on Sunday morning, {142} and
had a crowded house; in the afternoon we held a meeting at Standley
Hill, where I communed with the Church. At the close of the meeting I
had a busy time shaking hands with the Saints, and parting from them.
Many of them wished me to bless them, and others to heal them. I spent
the night with Brother Levi Richards, at Elder Edward Ockey's, and on
the morrow we held the Frome's Hill conference at Standley Hill. There
were present one of the traveling high council, two high priests,
twenty elders, thirty priests, nine teachers, and two deacons. After
calling the meeting to order, I moved that Elder Levi Richards preside
over the conference, and he was sustained by the meeting. I was chosen
clerk. After singing and prayer, the president called upon the officers
for the representation of the various branches, which was given as
follows: branches, 33; members, 957; elders, 24; priests, 68; teachers,
27; deacons, 8. Robert Gunnery, Edward Phillips, and John Spires were
ordained to the office of elder under the hands of Elders Richards,
Kington, and myself; Thomas Bishop, to the office of priest; and Wm.
Rowley, to the office of deacon. In the afternoon, after speeches from
Elders Richards and Kington, I delievered my farewell address, and
pronounced the benediction on the conference.

"After the meeting was dismissed, I was almost three hours shaking
hands with the Saints, healing the sick, and giving counsel to the
multitude which surrounded me, many of whom were in tears when we
parted. Nearly fifty came to ask me to take them to Zion, when I had
not means to take myself. However, I gave Sister Foxal five pounds to
help her and her husband and children to the land of America. She had
made every exertion for six months, to save money to gather with the
Saints, and had raised thirty pounds. The five pounds I gave to her was
a donation from Elder Edward Ockey, who was parting with his substance
to help the poor of the Church to gather.

"After bidding the multitude of Saints farewell, I went to Elder Ockey's
to spend the night, accompanied by Elders Richards, Kington, and Ray.
We had been in the house but a short time when three of Edward Ockey's
brothers came in for the purpose of having a contest, because their
brother and sister had embraced the gospel and were about to gather
with the Saints. {143} They manifested much wrath against me, and,
after conversing with me about three hours, they left the house and
we were once more in peace. After conversing together until the third
watch of the night, we retired to rest, closing one of the busiest days
of my life.

"I arose in the morning, refreshed by sleep, and after conversing
several hours with Elders Richards, Kington, Ray, Ockey, and others,
I was under the necessity of parting with the Saints in this region.
In bidding them farewell, we found in the memories of our associations
many ties which bound us together. Among the faithful ones were the
Ockeys. Brother Edward Ockey and his sister Ann were of a good and
wealthy family. They had many trials to pass through to do the will of
God and to gather with the Saints, for their brothers were set against
them exceedingly. Brother Edward maintained his integrity like a man of
God and was making every preparation to gather with the Saints, but his
sister Ann had fears that her brothers would hinder her gathering.

"Having bidden farewell to the Saints of Standley Hill, I walked to
Frome's Hill and conversed with the Elders until two o'clock, when I
took the parting hand of Elders Richards, Kington, Ray, and others,
and, with my carpet bag with about twenty pounds weight in it, walked
fifteen miles to Worcester, in four hours. When I arrived there I was
so very lame and weary with my heavy load and fast walking that I could
scarcely walk at all. I then took rail and arrived in Birmingham at 10
o'clock at night, but was exceedingly lame and weary. I spent the night
with Elder James Riley, 24 Park Street.

"I had now fairly ended my Herefordshire mission, and bidden a last
farewell to that field of labor where the Lord had blessed me beyond
all my expectations. I now left three conferences in the region which I
opened one year before, on the 5th of the same month that I left this
vineyard, now planted all over with churches, numbering fifteen hundred
Saints. The minutes which I have recorded will show at a glance the
rise and progress of the churches in Herefordshire, and the regions

"On Sunday, the 28th of March, the Staffordshire Conference met, and
there were present of the Twelve, George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff,
with 1 high priest, 13 elders, 28 priests, 10 {144} teachers, and 8
deacons. The conference was held in the Magistrate's Assembly Room.
At the close of the conference it was voted that 'this conference
grant Elders Woodruff and George A. Smith a letter of recommendation
manifesting that the Church in this region accept of their labors and
consider that they have filled their mission with honor and dignity.'

"We had a very interesting time on this occasion. The conference was
held in a place which would contain 800, and it was crowded; but there
was perfect order and much good feeling manifested during the day.
There was prospect of a continued increase in the Potteries. George A.
Smith was the president of the conference, and T. J. Fitcher and O.
Shaw, clerks. Next day George A. Smith and myself met the officers in
council at the Hanley meeting rooms, and gave such advice as we deemed
wisdom; we then took our farewell. On the following day we also parted
from the Saints at Burslem, took coach to Manchester, and called upon
Parley P. Pratt, 47 Oxford Street; we found him and his family enjoying
good health.

"On the 6th of April, 1841, the General Conference of the British
Mission was held in Carpenter's Hall, Manchester, at which there
were present nine of the quorum of the Twelve; namely, President
Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson
Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, and George A.
Smith. The total membership of the British mission at that time was
represented as 5,814, and 800 besides had emigrated to America under
the transportation arrangements of the Church. At this conference the
Twelve blessed and set apart Orson Hyde for his mission to Jerusalem,
to which he had been called by the Prophet Joseph. This was the first
and only time in this dispensation that the Twelve Apostles sat in
conference as a quorum in a foreign land.

"Immediately after the General Conference, those of the Twelve who were
about to return home hastened to Liverpool, and embarked for America on
the 20th of April, on board of the ship Rochester. Next day, the wind
being favorable, the ship weighed anchor. There were on board Brigham
Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith,
Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, and John Taylor, of the Twelve,
{145} with Elder Reuben Hedlock and 120 of the British Saints. On our
passage across the Atlantic we had some very tempestuous weather and
became familiar with 'a storm at sea.' On the 20th of May we landed
in New York, and on the next day George A. Smith and myself took up
our abode for a few days at Brother Foster's. While there I met my
brothers-in-law, Ezra and Ilus Carter, and also Dr. Charles Fabyan, my
wife's relative.

"On the 22nd of May, at the house of Brother Foster, in New York, and
in the presence of the quorum of the Twelve, I performed the service of
marriage between Mr. Edward Ockey and Miss Eliza Brewer, both of them
my converts of Castle Frome. This was the first marriage ceremony at
which I officiated.

"On the 2nd of June I arrived at Scarboro by stage, and was permitted
to embrace my wife, and also my first born son, Wilford, Jr., whom I
had not seen before. After two years of separation from my wife, it
was indeed a happy reunion. There I stayed with my father-in-law until
the 5th of July, and then left for my native place, Farmington, Conn.,
where I arrived the third day after. While tarrying at my father's
house I married my sister Eunice Woodruff to Mr. Dwight Webster. At my
sister's marriage there were present between forty and fifty persons,
mostly our relatives. This was on the 4th of August, 1841. A few days
afterwards my aunt Beulah Hart was baptized into the Church, and on the
18th of the month I bade farewell to my father's house, after a stay of
forty-one days. This was a longer visit than I had paid to any of my
friends for the past ten years.

"On the 9th September, a little company, consisting of myself, wife,
and son, and four others, started on board the boat Sandusky for
Albany. Our ultimate destination was Nauvoo, where we arrived on the
5th of the next month. When I left Nauvoo, two years before, there were
not more than a dozen houses in the place, but on my return to the city
there were several hundred. We passed by the Temple, then building,
and had a view of it; we then called at the house of Elder Brigham
Young, and there spent the night. Brother Brigham was sick, and Heber
C. Kimball and Willard Richards were with him. We laid hands upon him
and he soon recovered. I saw many of my old friends and acquaintances,
{146} and was informed that others of them were dead. I met with many
friends on the day after my return to Nauvoo, and also sat in council
with the Twelve, and was happy once more to meet with my quorum. I
moved my things to Elder Kimball's. My wife and child were sick. On
the 30th of October, 1841, the city council met, and in course of its
business I was appointed one of the city council of Nauvoo."




Wilford Renders Aid to the Persecuted Saints.--His Care in Recording
the Events, also Sermons and Sayings of the Prophet Joseph
Smith.--Elder Woodruff's Humility, and Appreciation of the Work of
Others.--At a Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Convention.--Letter
from His Wife Announcing the Death of Their Daughter.--Revelation
Foreshadowing the Troubles of the Saints in the Expulsion from Illinois.

In the fullest sense Wilford Woodruff was a man of industrious habits.
During the interval between his return from the Fox Islands and his
departure with others of the Twelve for the European mission, he not
only labored hard to provide for his family; but, true to the spirit
of a faithful saint and disciple of the Lord, he devoted much time
to visiting the afflicted Saints in Montrose, Iowa, and in Nauvoo,
Illinois. He also rendered efficient service in getting teams and
money to assist the Saints in their exodus from Far West, Missouri, to

The Prophet Joseph Smith being in prison, Presidents Brigham Young
and Heber C. Kimball, with other leading brethren, made a solemn
covenant that they would not rest until they had made every possible
effort to free the Saints from their persecutors in Missouri, and
lead them safely to Nauvoo. In this movement, as at all other times,
Wilford Woodruff was a staunch supporter of the presiding authorities
of the Church. In his journal he makes prominent mention of the
mobbings in Missouri, the martyrdom of Elder David W. Patten and
others, the imprisonment of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and other leading
men of the Church, their escape from prison, and of other events of
those times. Indeed, whether or not Wilford Woodruff was present at
the occurrence of some important event in Church history, he made
careful investigations and recorded the results of his research.
Were it not for this care, the history of many events now looked
upon as important never would have been written. He also reported
in considerable fullness nearly every sermon he heard preached by
the Prophet Joseph Smith. Almost every gem from the sayings of the
Prophet Joseph published in the {148} Compendium is found in Wilford
Woodruff's journal; also are many others which have not been published.
Whenever he made the acquaintance of men or women whose integrity to
the gospel and generosity to the Saints were notable, their names have
an honored place in his journal. In this connection, for the comfort
and encouragement of their immediate friends and descendants, it may
be said that the names of William Clayton, John Benbow, William Pitt,
Edward Ockey, Alfred Cordon, with others whom he met first in England,
and some of whom he baptized, are mentioned many times by him, with
feelings of love and admiration. These all died in the faith; may their
descendants follow in their footsteps, and the prayers of Wilford
Woodruff in their behalf not go unanswered.

His first mission to Great Britain was a land mark in Church history.
His wonderful success is without a parallel in the missionary
experiences of that or of any subsequent period. Its importance grows
with the growth of the work. He here returns to that mission in a
reminiscent spirit and recounts events overlooked in his hasty survey
contained in the narrative of the previous chapter. What follows picks
up loose ends and is not given as a summary.

On the 10th of February, 1840, he records this item:

"On this day Queen Victoria of England was married to Prince Albert.
As many were on this day celebrating the marriage of the queen, I
thought it right to honor the King of Heaven by advocating His cause
and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I walked into the market
place at Burslem, accompanied by Elder Alfred Cordon and two other
brethren, and we began to sing and pray unto God, and call upon His
name. A congregation flocked around us, and we preached to them; I bore
testimony of the great work which God had set His hand to accomplish
and of the second coming of Christ, and warned the people to repent and
be baptized for the remission of sins."

While viewing the beauties of English landscape, many times his soul
was filled with intense admiration for the works of the Creator.
Describing a visit to Malvern Hill, he says: "In my walk to Colwell
on the 9th, I had a great survey of nature and of the power of the
Creator; this was while standing upon the summit of Marlvern Hill,
elevated from twelve hundred to fifteen {149} hundred feet above the
level. The surrounding country was before my view, stretched out many
miles. Worcester town lies on the north, clearly seen in the prospect,
Gloucester on the south, with several large villages between, Ledbury
and other villages on the west, and a fine, beautifully cultivated
vale upon every hand. While upon this noted hill, beholding the grand
and charming prospect before me, the thunder began to roll, and the
lightning flashed in the vale below, on which the rain descended in
torrents. The solemnity and grandeur of the scene was impressive as I
stood upon the hill above the clouds, surveying the beautiful works of
the Creator, and His majesty in the storm."

While upon this mission, on March 22, 1840, a son, Wilford Woodruff
Jr., was born. At this writing he is living, and is a faithful worker
in the Salt Lake Temple. Upon leaving Herefordshire in June, 1840, to
attend the Manchester conference, Wilford comments: "I never before
left a field of labor with as much satisfaction with the results of my
work; I felt to render unto God the gratitude of my heart for giving
me so many souls as seals to my ministry; and I note the remarkable
fact that I had been led by the spirit (only a little more than three
months before) through a densely populated country for eighty miles,
and chose no part of it for my field of labor until I was led by the
Lord to the house of John Benbow, at Frome's Hill, where I preached for
the first time on the 5th of March, 1840; now, on the 22nd of June,
I was going to the Manchester conference, to represent this fruitful
field of my labors with thirty-three organized churches numbering
541 members, 300 of whom received the ordinance of baptism under my
hands." In that labor, attended with such unprecedented success in this
dispensation, he never, for a moment, felt to take honor to himself;
yet with characteristic humility and meekness he failed not to make
honorable mention of the labor of other brethren who came to assist
him. For instance, of Presidents Brigham Young and Willard Richards he
writes: "Elder Brigham Young labored with me in this vineyard about
one month; from him the Saints and I received much benefit, for he
is mighty in counsel, and is endowed with much wisdom. Elder Willard
Richards had labored with me two months, and was also a great blessing
to us, for he had passed through a notable school of experience and
learned much wisdom, and his {150} sound judgment was very manifest
in the councils and conferences in which we had acted together." At
that time the British mission numbered forty-one branches of the
Church, with 2,513 members, the local officers including 56 elders,
126 priests, 61 teachers, and 13 deacons; 842 members had been the
increase in the preceding three months. It was about this time that a
local elder who was in the British army was ordered with his regiment
to India, where he went in good spirits, determined to carry the gospel
to that land, he being the first to do so. At this time Wilford also
notes in his journal the death of Bishop Edward Partridge, and makes
this comment: "Bishop Partridge was one of the wisest and best men of
the last generation. Like Nathaniel of old, in him there was no guile.
He had passed through much persecution with the Saints, for the word of
God and the testimony of Jesus."

Brother Woodruff relates that Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball
and himself were once locked out of an Aitkenite meeting because the
preachers were afraid the spirit of the Latter-day Saints mission
would break up their society. He also narrates this incident: "In
company with Elder George A. Smith, I attended the Wesleyan Methodist
missionary convention held on City Road, London. It was considered
one of the greatest of the kind ever held in that city. The chair was
filled by the Lord Mayor. He was a noble-looking man, and the insignia
of office which hung about his neck consisted of six gold chains, which
were large and very heavy. The object of the meeting was to arrange
for sending out missionaries, and to make collections to liquidate a
debt of fifty thousand pounds sterling. Some of the best talent of
Europe was gathered on this occasion. Much policy was manifested in
this combination of ministers and their influence for raising means.
The speeches were from ten to twelve minutes' duration. One minister
from Scotland arose and said: 'My Lord and Wesleyan friends, let my
tongue cleave to my mouth and my right hand forget her cunning when
I do not take a Wesleyan by the hand and call him brother.' One from
the Church of England said: 'My Lord and Wesleyan friends, I wish you,
while looking at the Church of England, to cover her imperfections
with the cloak of charity--I would readily cover the imperfections of
the Wesleyan society, but I know not {151} where they are. I would
not hesitate to cover the imperfections of the Church of Rome were
it in my power, but they are all scarlet.' A Wesleyan minister then
arose and said: 'We are highly favored on this occasion by having for
our chairman the Lord Mayor of London, the chief magistrate of the
most renowned city of the world; and his lordship has, like Caesar,
submitted himself to the worship of Christ in this condescension;
but, when rightly considered, is not my Lord as highly honored in
presiding over this vast body of respectable citizens this evening on
so important a matter as he would be were he reigning upon a throne?
For the angels in heaven honor every effort that is made on earth for
the spread of the gospel, and the saving of the souls of men. My Lord
and Christian friends, how did the ancient apostles prevail? They were
illiterate, and had neither money nor influence, and their doctrines
were unpopular, yet they established the gospel, maintained the
doctrines of Christ, and caused the nations to tremble; but this was
all by the power of God, and not of man. My Lord, our circumstances are
different from theirs. We have influence and wealth; we have splendid
chapels and respectable bodies, and our members are many; yet if God
is not with us we cannot prevail.' (I shouted, 'Amen!') These speeches
continued until 10 p. m., when a collection was made, and the Lord
Mayor arose and addressed the three thousand people present. This was
in City Road chapel--the first ever erected by the celebrated John
Wesley. The Lord Mayor said: 'It is with pleasure that I have been
permitted to preside over this respectable body this evening, on so
important an occasion, which will be indelibly fixed upon my mind as
one of the most pleasing events of my life; and I trust I shall ever be
as ready to perform every duty required of me by the citizens of London
as I have been to meet with our Wesleyan friends this evening.' The
house rang with applause. In the midst of all this, who can imagine our
feelings? None but those in like situation. Here were we with a mission
and message from the Lord to the inhabitants of London. We stood in
their midst ready to deliver that message as the Lord might open our
way, and yet we were as little known to the people as was Jonah to the
citizens of Nineveh while in the belly of the whale. Notwithstanding
all this display of talent, yet the people needed a humble servant
of the Lord to teach them {152} the gospel in its purity, as Nineveh
needed a prophet to cry repentance therein. I retired alone, and
reflected upon these things."

Scenes of this kind stirred Wilford Woodruff, in his deeply
conscientious nature, with great anxiety and concern, lest he might
fail to deliver his divine message to the very uttermost of the
requirement made of him.

The grief that bowed down Wilford Woodruff's heart at receiving news
of the death of his little daughter finds pathetic expression in his
journal, in which also appears the letter from his wife bearing the
sorrowful tidings. It reads:

"My Dear Wilford: What will be your feelings when I say that yesterday
I was to witness the departure of our little Sarah Emma from this
world? Yes, she is gone. The relentless hand of death has snatched her
from my embrace. She was too lovely, kind, and affectionate to live in
this wicked world. When looking upon her I have often thought how I
should feel to part with her. I thought I could not live without her,
especially in the absence of my companion; but she is gone. The Lord
has taken her home to Himself, for some wise purpose. It is a trial
to me, but the Lord has stood by me in a wonderful manner. He will
take better care of her than I possibly could do. We have one little
angel in heaven, and I think it likely that her spirit has visited you
before this time. She used to call her Papa, and left a kiss for her
Papa before she died. Today, little Wilford and I with a number of
friends, came over to Commerce, to pay our last respects to our darling
in seeing her decently buried. * * She had no relatives to follow her
to the grave, or to shed for her a silent tear, except her Mamma and
little Wilford. She lies alone in peace. 'The Lord giveth, and the Lord
taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.'


Under date of October 2, 1840, Wilford being at that time with Elder
Heber C. Kimball, says in his journal: "Elder Kimball and I arose
from our bed that morning with the power of God resting upon us, yea,
His spirit was like fire shut up in our bones. I said, 'O my God, why
is Thy spirit thus upon me? {153} Why are mine eyes like a fountain?
What art Thou about to do, O Lord, that causes this thing? I ask Thee,
Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, They Son, to make it known unto
me.' The spirit of revelation came upon me, and I was answered: 'Thus
saith the Lord God unto thee, my servant Wilford. This is my spirit
which resteth upon thee to enlighten thy mind, to show thee things to
come; and not only upon thee but upon all my faithful servants upon the
face of the whole earth, saith the Lord. Mine indignation is about to
be poured out without mixture upon all the nations of the earth, and
they shall not escape. The cry of the poor, of the widow and the orphan
ascendeth to mine ears, saith the Lord, and I am about to avenge the
cry of mine elect by laying low the oppressor, and executing the decree
of mine heart upon all the ungodly amongst men. Here I put my spirit
upon thee and say unto thee, lift up thy voice and spare not, and call
upon all men that come within the sound of thy voice to repent, and
many souls shall be given unto thee, and great shall be thy reward, and
eternal shall be thy glory, saith the Lord.'"

About this time the spirit of the Lord rested in similar manner upon
the other apostles and elders, and indeed upon many of the Saints
throughout the British Isles. They had vivid impressions of the trouble
and persecutions about to be heaped upon the Saints in America and
Europe. Elder Woodruff further says: "But my mind was troubled, for the
spirit manifested unto me much discomfort and persecution among the
Saints throughout Europe and America, and that many will fall away;
also that the powers that be in America will rise up against the Church
and it will be driven; and that while trouble lay in the future before
the people of God, greater calamities await the world. The Saints were
receiving testimonies of the clouds which were gathering over the
Church, and afterwards over the whole world, for judgments begin at the
house of God."

How completely the revelation thus given to Wilford Woodruff by the
Spirit of prophecy which rested upon him, and to his brethren and the
Saints in Europe, was fulfilled, is well known to those familiar with
the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during
the score of years succeeding the manifestation herein recorded.



IN NAUVOO, 1841.

Prophetic Insight.--Teachings of the Prophet.--Baptism for the
Dead--Hyrum Kimball.

The life of Wilford Woodruff is a remarkable example of the manner in
which those who are pre-eminently qualified as preachers of the gospel
are required to fill out a well rounded life of experiences, touching
most important phases of human conduct in almost all the walks of life.
Had Wilford Woodruff belonged to some religious denomination of his
day, it is consistent to suppose that he would have been exclusively
a preacher, as he loved to expound the Scriptures and speak of the
goodness of God and His wondrous ways. Mormonism, however, made of him
both a preacher and a man of affairs, and his service in life covered
a wide range of useful activities. He was, in the days of Nauvoo's
municipal glory, a member of its city council. The responsibility of
such a position at that time when municipal government was little
understood was one of special weight.

On the 7th of November, 1841, on the Sabbath day he tells us that
he made a call upon the Prophet Joseph and from there went to the
home of Brigham Young. Later he attended a meeting of the Saints and
listened to an address of a certain elder who was reprimanded by the
Prophet Joseph. That reprimand carried with it such prophetic insight
into the character of the man who still lives, that the incident is
taken from Elder Woodruff's journal as follows: "Brother Joseph rose
and reprimanded him as pharisaical and hypocritical, and he was told
that he had not edified the people by his two hours' talk. The man's
life has ever since been in keeping with this characterization of the
Prophet. He aims to be a fellow well met with all denominations. He
occasionally visits the Saints, and while with them professes faith in
the gospel and claims brotherhood with them. The Prophet then addressed
himself to the Saints, told them that if they would not falsely accuse
one another, the Lord would not accuse them; and if they had no
accusers, they should enter {155} into the Kingdom of Heaven. He also
spoke at some length upon the character of sin and declared that many
things which the denominations of that day taught as sins were really
not sins at all, that many things were done in the purposes of God to
break down superstitions of men and loosen from them the fetters of
traditions by which their souls were bound."

The 21st of November, 1841, was a red-letter day in the history of
Nauvoo. Elder Woodruff says, "The Twelve met in council at President
Brigham Young's home. Afterwards there was a general meeting of the
Saints who were addressed by John Taylor and Hyrum Smith. The Twelve
then returned to Brigham Young's home and were occupied in counsel
until four in the afternoon when they repaired to the baptismal font in
the basement of the Nauvoo Temple." Again quoting from Elder Woodruff's
journal we read: "It was truly an interesting scene. It was the first
font built in this dispensation for the glorious provision in the
gospel which provided for the redemption of the dead. It was dedicated
by President Joseph Smith and the Twelve. A large congregation
assembled to witness the baptism of about forty persons by Brigham
Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John Taylor. Elders Willard Richards,
George A. Smith, and myself assisted in confirming them. Afterwards I
passed the evening with the quorum of the Twelve at the home of Heber
C. Kimball."

Along with these religious duties came the daily responsibilities of
the material interests of the Church. At this time the Nauvoo House
was in the process of construction. Elder Woodruff had charge of the
provision store and through it took an active part in the construction
of that important building. During these times, Saints were arriving
in considerable numbers from England. Many of them had received
the ordinance of baptism at his hands. They needed instruction,
encouragement, and the sympathy of a brotherly love. They found in the
messenger who had brought the word of the Lord to them as consistent a
friend in their new home as he had been when an elder abroad.

On the 25th of November, 1841, about two hundred Saints from New
York arrived in Warsaw. Their arrival was in the midst of a heavy
snow storm. Elder Woodruff records the work of love at that time
in providing for them every comfort that {156} could be found. He
mentions in his journal the names of those whose integrity and love he
cherished. Those early friendships were always dear to his memory, and
it mattered not to him what station in life a man occupied if he was
loyal to God and true to his brethren. He speaks of Kington, Benbow,
Ockey, Bruitt, and Pitt.

The words of the Prophet fell upon Elder Woodruff's ears as the voice
of Scripture. He puts them in the journal because he believes that
some day they will contain enlightenment and guidance for those who
faithfully read them. He says about this time that the Prophet spoke of
those who complained of him because he did not bring forth more of the
word of the Lord. To those who professed to be able to receive more of
the word of God than had been given them, he said: "A man might command
his son to do a certain thing and before it was done he might for good
and sufficient reason require him to do something else. The exercise
of parental authority in such a manner is considered quite proper;
but if the Lord gives a command and afterward revokes it and commands
something else, there are those ready to cry out, 'A false prophet!'
Those who will not receive chastisement from a prophet and apostles
are often chastised by the Lord with sickness and death. Let not any
man publish his own righteousness, others can do that for him. Let him
rather confess his sins, and he will then be forgiven and bring forth
more and better fruit. The reason we do not have more of the secrets of
the Lord revealed unto us is because we do not keep to our own secrets,
but reveal them and make our difficulties known even to our enemies.
What greater love hath any man than that he will lay down his life for
his friends? Why not then stand by them unto death?"

Elder Woodruff's journal containing an account of the utterances of
the prominent men of that day clearly indicates the deep anxiety which
President Brigham Young felt for the completion of the Temple. His
interest in the building was scarcely less than that of the Prophet
himself. The responsibility of its completion weighed heavily upon
his mind and he gave himself up heart and soul to the construction of
that great edifice. In view of the fact that some years later after
the Prophet's death the responsibility of its completion and the
ordinances to be performed {157} therein rested most heavily upon him,
one can appreciate his heart-felt admonition on the subject when he was
constantly urging the Saints before the death of the Prophet.

On Christmas day of 1841 Elder Woodruff says that he and other members
of the Twelve visited the home of Hyrum Kimball, who, before they left,
presented each of the Twelve with a lot to which he gave them the deed.
On the 26th and 27th the Twelve visited the home of the Prophet, and on
one of these days Elder Woodruff says in his journal that the Prophet
showed him and others for the first time the Urim and Thummim.

During that year the subject of this biography had visited London,
Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Staffordshire Potteries, Wolverhampton,
Birmingham, Worcester, Hereford, Ledbury, Malvern Hill, Gloucester,
Cheltenham, Oxford, Woolwich, and Monmouth. In America he visited and
preached the gospel in New York, Portland, Boston, Hartford, New Haven,
Albany, Buffalo, Detroit, Mackinaw, and Chicago. He held 83 meetings,
attended 10 conferences, baptized 21 persons and assisted in the
baptism of 18 others, confirmed 46, and ordained 38 persons to offices
in the priesthood.




Building of the Temple.--Book of Moses.--Words of the Prophet.--Nauvoo
Legion.--Business Trip to St. Louis.--Return of Orson Hyde.

Elder Woodruff was a messenger of peace, a man by temperament and faith
pre-eminently fitted to be a missionary of the word of God to the
nations of the earth. As one studies his life and the life of the early
leaders of the Church, one is constantly reminded of their peculiar
fitness and qualifications for the work needed in the Church in its
early life.

New year of 1842 found him at home in Nauvoo enjoying with his family
and friends the festive season. He had been a member of the Church
eight years, but during that membership had been absent from home
perhaps four-fifths of the time. He records the fact that he with the
quorum of the Twelve passed the day at the home of Brother Stoddard.

Nauvoo was at this time taking on a new interest. The erection of the
Temple awakened within such men a heartfelt desire, not only to take
part in the work, but to enjoy its ordinances at the earliest possible
opportunity. They felt that these ordinances would give to them a new
spiritual life and that they would be better qualified in consequence
as messengers of the word of God to the nations of the earth. In his
journal he writes: "It is an interesting occasion for us to meet with
our families during the festive season in the City of the Saints in the
midst of peace and love. We prize more highly this privilege as we are
so often separated in the vineyard of the Lord. It is a privilege to be
at home for a season and provide for my family. This is the first time
since I have been in the Church that I have been thus privileged as I
have been on missions most of the time for eight years."

During the early part of January he paid a visit to his old time
friend, John Benbow, who lived on the prairie six miles from Nauvoo.
Elder Benbow had been a very liberal man in promoting the missionary
work of Apostle Woodruff abroad. He was just as liberal when he joined
the Saints near Nauvoo. Besides {159} his regular offerings, he loaned
money to the Prophet to meet pressing obligations of himself and the
Church. "This was the first time I had visited him since my return
home. I passed the time there very pleasantly. His farm looked almost
like a Garden of Eden. I have never seen more work done in one year on
a prairie farm than was done on his. He had surrounded and crossed it
with heavy ditches, and had planted thorn hedges. His dwelling, barns,
sheds, garden, yards, and orchards were all beautifully arranged. The
farm resembled very much the farms of old England. Elder Benbow had
been a well-to-do-farmer on about three hundred acres of land. This
place was a pleasant retreat for a summer's ride from Nauvoo. The
little neighborhood consisted of five families from England. All were
united except one family that had denied the faith. Before my return to
the city I paid John Benbow two hundred dollars for President Smith and
had it endorsed on his note."

The activity in and about Nauvoo directed toward the erection of the
Temple must have presented the appearance of men who worked with a will
to accomplish definite purposes. Elder Woodruff himself was engaged in
hauling large stones from the river to Temple Hill. Whatever he set
himself to do he did as though it were the occupation of his life and
never a makeshift. It was that whole-souled devotion that enabled him
to turn from one occupation to another without any disappointment or
distaste. It is only the half-hearted that complain at interruptions,
who are distracted when taken from one condition of life to another and
are subjected to radical as well as frequent changes.

From the occupation of a rock hauler he was called to the printing
press, and with John Taylor he took up the work of publishing the
"Times and Seasons," which thereafter was to be under the direction of
Joseph, the Seer. He began work in his new calling by taking charge of
the business department of the paper. Joseph was editor in chief and
John Taylor was his assistant.

About this time the Prophet was occupied in the translation of the Book
of Moses from an Egyptian papyrus. Parts of the book were published
in the "Times and Seasons," and its subject matter created a peculiar
satisfaction in the heart of Wilford Woodruff. Wilford Woodruff was
himself a student of Holy {160} Writ, a man of pronounced religious
convictions, untouched by the religious persuasions of his time. His
complete surrender, and his perfect devotion to his new-found calling
are sufficient in themselves to command attention and persuade others
that there must have been something remarkable in his new-found faith,
otherwise he would not have been one of its apostles. "I have been much
edified of late," he says, "in listening to the Prophet converse upon
the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Surely the Lord is with him and
is making him mighty in knowledge and wisdom. I am convinced that none
of the prophets or seers have ever accomplished a greater work than
the Lord will bring to pass through the instrumentality of the Prophet
Joseph Smith."

Wilford Woodruff knew his Bible, he knew himself, and the simplicity
and purity of his own soul fitted him for the reception of a new
light. He was not a mere enthusiast, he was never fanatical, and was
not easily touched by the sophistries of men. Such a testimony of the
Prophet Joseph has therefore a peculiar significance to those who
honestly and without bias study the life of Joseph Smith.

March 1st of that year, Elder Woodruff's natal day, he observed by
making a feast for his friends. Sundry duties occupied his time. He was
chaplain of the Nauvoo Legion; he took part in the organization of the
Masonic Lodge of Nauvoo; and was present when it was addressed by the
Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge of Illinois. He, with the Prophet and
others, was a member of the Masonic fraternity. The fraternity sought
for in that organization was superseded by a more perfect fraternity
found in the vows and covenants which the endowment in the House of God
afforded members of the Church. Besides, the Saints learned that they
must surrender worldly affiliations, since the world was opposed to the
mission of Joseph Smith and his followers. Those who seek their highest
guidance in precedence quote the circumstance as an argument for the
return to the condition of those times. The Church, however, rests upon
the rock of revelation and must follow divine guidance rather than

Passing on in the journal of Wilford Woodruff we find recorded the
synopsis of a discourse by the Prophet Joseph on death, {161} the
resurrection, and baptism. "We have," says the Prophet, "the warning
voice again sounded in our midst, a voice which heralds the uncertainty
of human life. In my leisure moments I have meditated and asked the
question: Why is it that innocent children are taken away from us,
especially those who seem to be the most intelligent? This world is
a very wicked world, and it is a proverb that it grows weaker and
wiser. If so it becomes more corrupt. In the early ages of the world
the righteous man, the man of God and of intelligence had a better
opportunity to do good, to be received and believed than at the present
day. In these days such a man is opposed and persecuted by most of the
inhabitants of the earth and has to pass through much sorrow, hence
the Lord takes away many in infancy that they may escape the envy of
man and escape the sorrows and evils of the world. They are too pure
and too lovely to live on the earth; therefore, if rightly considered,
we have reason to rejoice instead of mourning, as their death is their
deliverance from evil and we shall soon have them again.

"What chance is there for infidelity when we are parting daily with our
friends? There is none at all. The infidel will grasp at every straw
for help until death stares him in the face and then his infidelity
takes flight; for the realities of the eternal world are resting
in mighty power upon him. When every earthly support fails him, he
sensibly feels the eternal truths of the immortality of the soul.

"Respecting the doctrine of baptism, or sprinkling of children, in
order that they may not be consigned to hell I wish to say, it is not
true, nor is it supported by Holy Writ. It is not consistent with the
character of God. The moment children leave this world they are taken
into Abraham's bosom. The only difference between the old and young in
death is that one lives longer in heaven and in eternal light and glory
than the other and was freed a little earlier from this wicked world.
Notwithstanding all this glory we for a moment lose sight of it and
mourn our loss, but we mourn not as those without hope.

"We should take warning and not wait for deathbed repentance. Let it
be a warning not to procrastinate repentance, not wait for death. It
is the will of God that men should repent and serve him in health and
strength and in the power of their minds {162} in order to secure
divine blessings. God has made certain decrees which are fixed and
unalterable. He set the sun, the moon, and the stars and gave them
their laws, conditions, and bounds which they cannot pass except by
His command. They all move in perfect harmony in their spheres and are
as wondrous lights and signs to us. The sea also has its bounds which
it cannot pass without His command. God has set many signs in the
earth as well as in the heavens. The oaks of the forest, the herbs of
the field, the fruit of the tree all bear signs that seeds have been
planted. It is a decree of the Lord that every tree or herb bearing
seed shall bring forth after its own kind. Upon the same principle I
contend that baptism is a sign and ordinance of God for every believer
in Christ in order that he may enter into the Kingdom of God. The
Savior said: 'Except a man be born of the water and of the spirit he
cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.' It is a sign and a commandment
that God hath given whereby man may enter into His Kingdom. Those
who seek to enter in any other way will seek in vain. God will never
receive them nor will angels acknowledge their works if they have not
taken upon themselves those ordinances and signs which God ordained
in order that man might receive the celestial glory. God has decreed
that all who will not obey His voice shall not escape the damnation
of hell. And what is the damnation of hell? It is to be numbered with
the society of those who have not obeyed His commandments. Baptism
is a sign to God and to the angels and to heaven that we do the will
of the Father; and there is no other way ordained of God for man to
come unto Him. The laying on of hands is a sign given for the healing
of the sick and we do not obtain the blessing by pursuing any other
course. The same is true in reference to the gift of the Holy Ghost.
There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy
Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, but he
could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he had been
baptized. Had he not received the ordinance of baptism, the Holy Ghost,
which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him until he
had obtained the ordinances of baptism and received the gift of the
Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.

"It mattereth not whether we live long or short after we come {163}
to a knowledge of the principles of the gospel and obey them. I know
that all men will be damned if they come not in the way which God has
ordained. Concerning the resurrection I will say merely that we will
come from the grave as we lie down, whether we die old or young. Not
one cubit will be added to or taken away from our stature. 'Blessed are
the dead which die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors and
their works do follow them.'"

"The Prophet," says Elder Woodruff, "then called upon the people to
assemble themselves in prayer before God and call upon Him in mighty
faith, prayer, and fasting that the inhabitants of the city might
escape the power of the destroyer which rageth upon the face of the
earth, and that the earth might be sanctified under their feet." Here
the Prophet clearly sets forth the principle that the blessings of
our spiritual lives, the blessings of the world hereafter are the
result of obedience to spiritual laws, or divine command, just as
the consequences in the material world are based upon God's laws and
so-called laws of nature. "All," says the Doctrine and Covenants,
"who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was
appointed for that blessing and the conditions thereof as they were
instituted from before the foundation of the world."

After this discourse, we are told that the Prophet went into the river
and baptized about eighty persons for the remission of their sins.
Among them was L. D. Wasson, a nephew of the Prophet's wife. He was the
only one of her kindred thus far who had accepted the faith.

"At the close of this interesting scene the Prophet lifted up his hands
to heaven and implored the blessings of God upon the people, and verily
the spirit of God rested upon the multitude to the joy and consolation
of our hearts." At various times, at intervals between the meetings,
large numbers received at the hands of the Twelve in the Temple font
the ordinance of baptism for the dead.

During these times the emigration from England brought to Nauvoo a
great many people. Lyman Wight had just returned from the East with
one hundred and seventy Saints, and brought with him three thousand
dollars worth of property for the benefit {164} of the Temple and the
Nauvoo House. The annual conference of that year was full of interest
to the people, though the season was a rainy one. On the second day
of the conference when Elder John Taylor was addressing the assembled
multitude, other elders were baptizing in the font and elsewhere.
Elder Woodruff and six others of the Twelve were ordaining elders. "We
ordained 275 elders, the most that we ever ordained in one day before
in the Church."

The day following conference was the funeral of Ephraim Marks. In the
course of his remarks at the funeral, Elder Woodruff quotes the Prophet
as saying: "Some have supposed that the Prophet Joseph could not die.
This is a mistake. It is true there have been times when I have had the
promise of my life to accomplish certain ends. These ends have been
accomplished, and at present I have no lease upon my life. I am as
liable to die as other men."

Shortly after this we have the following quotation from a discourse
delivered by the Prophet who addressed the people at the grove after
William Law had spoken to them. "I wish to say a few words to suit the
condition of the general masses, and I shall speak with the authority
of the priesthood in the name of the Lord. Notwithstanding this
congregation profess to be Saints, I stand in the midst of all kinds
of characters and all classes of men. If you wish to go where God is,
you must be like Him or possess the principle which He possesses. If
we are not drawing toward God in principle, we are going from Him and
drawing toward the devil. Search your hearts and see if you are like
God. I have searched mine and I feel to repent of all my sins. We have
among us thieves, adulterers, liars, and hypocrites. If God should
speak from the heaven, He would command you not to steal, not to commit
adultery, not to covet, not to deceive, but to be faithful over a few
things. As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and
lose our knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved. While our
hearts are filled with evil there is no room in them for good. Is God
good? Then be ye good. If He is faithful, then be ye faithful. Add to
your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and seek for every good
thing. The Church must be cleansed and I proclaim against all iniquity.
A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get
{165} knowledge he will be brought into captivity by some evil power.
In the other world evil spirits have more knowledge and consequently
more power than many men on earth have. We, therefore, need revelation
to assist us and give us knowledge of the things of God. The priests of
the world cloak their iniquity by saying there is no more revelation.
When revelation comes from God they are universally opposed to it, if
it reveals their wickedness and abominations."

Turning from the work of teaching and instructing the Saints, we find
the Prophet and the people taking part in a grand military parade. On
the seventh of May the Nauvoo Legion of nearly two thousand men in
uniform marched through the streets of Nauvoo to the inspiring strains
of music by the militia band and under the leadership of Joseph Smith.
The Prophet and the people were fulfilling their obligations to the
state by the maintenance and discipline of a militia that did so much
to become an honor to the people of Illinois. What they did, they did
well, but even this citizens' duty of maintaining a splendid milita was
used for the purpose of creating prejudice in the eyes of the people
throughout the country. The enemies at home never lost any opportunity
to inflame the public mind, and to justify themselves therefore by the
consummation of a conspiracy to encompass the life of the Prophet. One
day some of the elders found themselves in martial array, the next day
in the font baptizing for their kindred dead. All things the faithful
sought to do for the honor and glory of God and for the salvation of
their souls.

On the 22nd of May that year, Elder Woodruff baptized George A. Smith
for the restoration of the latter's health. In those days in performing
the ordinances for the dead, men were baptized for women, and women
for men. Later on, however, the Prophet was shown that in the sacred
ordinances of baptism men and women should be baptized for their
ancestors, each for his own sex. It seems very remarkable that in view
of these temple ordinances men should seek to attribute the origin of
these ordinances to Brigham Young. Elder Woodruff, in his journal,
records the temple work, unconscious that its practice would ever be
questioned in generations to come.

On the 18th of June a large congregation of Saints assembled in the
grove near the Temple. "To these thousands there assembled," {166}
Elder Woodruff says, "Joseph, the prophet, arose and spoke in great
plainness upon the corruption and wickedness of John C. Bennett. He
also prophesied that if the merchants of the city and the rich did not
open their hearts and contribute to the poor they would be cursed by
the hand of God and cut off from the land of the living." The words of
the Prophet were fulfilled. There had been organized an agricultural
and manufacturing society in view of giving aid to the poor.

On the 24th of June that year there was a meeting of the Nauvoo Masonic
Lodge for the celebration of St. John. A number of the leading men
of the Church took part, and Sidney Rigdon delivered an appropriate
address. All efforts to stand upon a common ground with the citizens
generally of Nauvoo were, however, unavailing. John C. Bennett, who had
been cut off the Church, became vindictive and took advantage of the
political conditions to create an agitation abroad against the Saints.

About this time most of the Twelve were sent forth again into the
world to preach the gospel. As Apostles Taylor and Woodruff were
publishing the "Times and Seasons" they remained at home. In his work
as the business manager of that publication he labored with his usual
zeal. He speaks of a voyage he took down the Mississippi by steamer
to purchase material in St. Louis. He was sick on the way and after
reaching the city had only twenty-four hours in which to make his
purchases, load his material on board, and begin his homeward journey.
To accomplish this he says, "I walked till ten o'clock at night, and
I went to bed weary and sick and in severe pain and did not sleep
till two in the morning. I was awakened shortly after that hour with
the bleeding of the nose, through which I must have lost a pint of
blood. Notwithstanding my weakness from fatigue and loss of blood, I
began work before breakfast the following morning. In the afternoon my
supplies were all on board the boat. I ate dinner and went to bed tired
and sick. The boat left at six in the evening and arrived in due time
at Keokuk."

From there he went to Montrose by stage and crossed the river to
Nauvoo, where he found the printing press stopped for want of paper.
Notwithstanding his impoverished physical condition, Elder Woodruff
took a skiff and rowed down the river to the steamboat which had been
delayed for five days, unable to go {167} over the rapids. He obtained
there sufficient paper for immediate use.

Returning over the rapids he reached home about midnight, still in a
feverish condition and suffering from a severe cold. "Since the boat
had landed our freight and I had seen it distributed to the several
departments, I went home where I was confined to my bed and passed
through the severest siege of sickness I ever had in my life." He was
confined to his room and most of the time to his bed for forty days.
Upon his partial recovery he found himself again actively engaged in
his work. During his recovery he was once taken by Brigham Young in
his carriage to attend a meeting of the Council of the Twelve. He had
been in the house only a few minutes when his strength began to fail
him. He lay down upon a bench and became unconscious. His breath ceased
for a few moments, but he revived through the administration of his
brethren. Remarkable testimonies came to him respecting the healing
power which was then in the Church. Apostle Woodruff suffered much less
from sickness than he did from his inability to meet the Prophet and to
listen to the glorious truths which he had to impart to the brethren.

The Prophet was then much of his time in hiding, owing to the
accusation that he was accessory to the shooting of Governor Boggs and
therefore wanted in Missouri.

Those were trying times; many of the people questioned their leader
and the wisdom of his policy. They argued among themselves that the
Prophet Joseph had done nothing wrong, he had nothing to fear. They
wanted him to clear himself with the world and with his enemies; that
was the honorable thing, as they saw it, to do. Nothing less would
satisfy them. But the Prophet knew very well the sentiment behind those
who demanded his presence in Missouri. The fear of the enemy was less
trying to him than the folly of many of his brethren who were swayed
by the spirit of the age and the peculiar sophistries of those times.
They were sophistries as full of folly and recklessness as many that
have prevailed in the Church since then, and are now prevalent in many

On the 30th of October, 1842, for the first time, the Saints held a
meeting in the Nauvoo Temple. A temporary floor was laid within the
unfinished walls; and about three thousand Saints, {168} full of
joyful anticipations, assembled to hear the Prophet of God. They were
disappointed, as sickness and other causes prevented his appearance on
that occasion.

Those who were faithful and true were sad over the enforced absence of
their leader. Steps were taken by the city council with the view of
passing a bill granting the right of the writ of habeas corpus within
the city. They thought such a law would be a protection to Joseph
and other leading men who were constantly harrassed by their enemies
without a cause. The writ of habeas corpus was a burning question in
those days, as the liberties of the elders were constantly menaced.

On the 7th of December that year, Elder Orson Hyde returned from
his mission to Jerusalem, where he had gone by appointment through
revelation to dedicate the Holy Land for the return of the Jews. After
performing the mission he returned home to give an account of his
experiences and of the country. The Holy Land came within the hopes,
promises, and blessings of the new dispensation. The promise of its
redemption had been made. Many of the elders rejoiced in what they
hoped would be its early fulfillment. As children in their new found
calling, they possessed the impatience of youth, and the fulfillment of
God's purposes they hoped speedily.

Most of the year 1842 found Elder Woodruff at home, with his family.
He was engaged in all sorts of occupations, and his journal records
a great variety of work. On the 19th of September he had cut an acre
of corn and stacked it. During the days immediately following he was
occupied in hauling wood to his door. He had traveled only 450 miles
that year, a modest journey for him. During those times he had learned
to know more of the Prophet, more of the doctrines which he taught, and
more of the spirit by which he was actuated. Joseph Smith, himself, was
a revelation to President Woodruff; he was a marvel and wonder to his
mind. He was no less than a prophet of God, equally important with the
prophets of old; aye! more so. The privilege of associating with the
Prophet of God was the most glorious opportunity of his life, and his
journal contains unnumbered manifestations of sublime satisfaction over
the dispensations of his Heavenly Father.




Change in Governors of Missouri and Illinois.--Prophet's
Release.--Discourse on Authority.--Signs in the Heavens.--New Arrivals
of Saints.--Death of Lorenzo Barnes.--Discourse on Knowledge.--Great
Truths.--Prophet's Knowledge of Men.--Wilford Woodruff's Bond for
Temple Funds.--Opposition to Revealed Truth.--Hell Defined.--Prophet
Arrested.--His Release.

Elder Woodruff celebrated New Year's day, 1843, by a sleigh ride over
in Iowa. There he had gone fifteen miles to perform a marriage ceremony
in behalf of Abraham Newbury and Miss Eliza Duty.

The New Year brought relief to the Prophet and to the Church in
consequence of a political change in the governorship of both Missouri
and Illinois. While Governors Carlin and Reynolds held the office of
governors of these states, justice was beyond all hope. They were
bitter and would yield themselves gladly to the demands of those who
were persecuting and hounding the Prophet.

The 17th day of January was appointed by general proclamation a day
of humiliation, fasting, prayer, and thanksgiving. The deliverance of
the Prophet from the hands of his enemies and his return to the Saints
in Nauvoo were sources of unbounded joy to them. Elder Woodruff met,
with others, at the Prophet's home and took part there in friendly and
brotherly greetings with those who welcomed the liberty and return of
their leader.

The day following, the Twelve were among those who met at Joseph's
home where he and his wife entertained about seventy people. Among
them were twenty men who had attended him at his trial in Springfield
and returned with him to Nauvoo. There was an apparently universal joy
over the outcome of his trial. The people in those days, however, like
Israel of old associated certain worldly successes with their ideas of
right, and misfortunes with their ideas of wrong. "Who hath sinned,"
Jesus was asked upon healing a man of His times, "he or his parents?"
Those sacrifices, tribulations, trials, and persecutions accompany
those who are valiant for their God and maintain His commandments.
{170} Men are prone, nevertheless, to attribute worldly misfortunes to
wrong doing even though men suffer in the performance of some God-given

While Joseph was driven from his home and affairs into seclusion,
and persecuted and afflicted by his enemies, there were those who
were ready to listen to the sophistries and cunning arguments of the
hypocrite and the Pharisee in their midst. In his absence and in his
seclusion the powerfulness of his personalty was not so strongly felt,
and the evil inclinations of men found opportunities for gratification
and justification. Now that he had returned to their midst, free to
preach, and free to rebuke, there was rejoicing among even those who
have no higher conception of divine purposes than to associate worldly
success with God's favors and misfortune with His displeasure.

On the 22nd of January, 1843, at the Nauvoo Temple the Prophet
delivered a discourse to the multitude present. Elder Woodruff, ever
faithful to his mission as a journalist of early Church history, gives
a synopsis of the discourse from which the following is taken: "In
consequence of rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ and the prophets
whom God hath sent, His judgments have rested upon peoples, states, and
nations in various ages of the world. This was the case with the cities
of Sodom and Gomorah which were destroyed for rejecting prophets.

"I will now give my testimony. I care not what man can do. I speak
boldly and faithfully and with authority. Where there is no Kingdom
of God there is no salvation. Where there is a prophet, or a priest,
or a righteous man unto whom the Lord gives His oracles, there is the
Kingdom. Where the oracles are not, the Kingdom of God is not. In these
remarks I make no allusion to the kingdoms of the earth. We will keep
the laws of the land; we do not speak against them, nor have we ever
done so. We can scarcely make mention of the State of Missouri and our
persecutions there without a cry going forth that we are guilty of
treason. We speak of the Kingdom of God on the earth and not of the
kingdoms of man.

"The plea of many is that we have no right to receive revelations, but
if we do not receive revelations we do not have the oracles of God, and
they who do not have His oracles are not His people. You ask. 'What
will become {171} of the world and the various professors of religion
who do not believe in revelation and in the oracles of God as contained
in His Church in the ages of the world when he had a people upon the
earth?' I tell you in the name of Jesus Christ, they will be damned,
and when you get into the eternal world you will find it so. They
cannot escape the damnation of hell.

"As touching the gospel and baptism of John, I would say that John
came preaching the gospel for the remission of sins. He had authority
from God, and his oracles were with him, and the Kingdom for a season
seemed to rest with John alone. He was a legal administrator. Those
who were baptized were subjects for the Kingdom. The laws and oracles
of God were there; so also was the Kingdom of God. No man could have
better authority to administer than John, and even the Savior Himself
submitted to that authority by being baptized of John. John was a
priest after the order of Aaron and held the keys of that priesthood.
He came forth preaching repentance and baptism for the remission of
sins, but at the same time crying: 'There cometh one after me mightier
than I, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose.' Christ
came, according to the word of John. He was greater than John because
he held the keys of the Melchizedek priesthood and the Kingdom of God,
and had before revealed the priesthood to Moses. Jesus says in his
teachings: 'Upon this rock will I build my Church and the gates of
hell shall not prevail against it.' What rock? The rock of revelation.
Yet Christ was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness. He says,
'Except ye are born of the water and of the spirit ye cannot enter into
the Kingdom of Heaven; though the heavens and the earth pass away my
word shall not pass away.' If a man be born of the water and the spirit
he can enter into the Kingdom of God. It is evident that the Kingdom of
God was upon the earth and that John prepared subjects for that Kingdom
by preaching the gospel and by baptizing them. He preached the same
gospel and baptism that Jesus and the apostles preached after him.

"The endowment of Pentecost was to prepare the disciples for their
mission in the world. Whenever a man can find out the will of God and
find an administrator legally authorized from Him, there is the Kingdom
of God; but where these are not, {172} there the Kingdom of God is not.
All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no
use to the children of men unless they are ordained and authorized of
God. None others will be acknowledged either by God or by angels.

"I know what I say, I understand my mission, God almighty is my shield
and what can man do if He is my friend. _I shall not be sacrificed
until my time comes, then I shall be offered freely._ I thank the Lord
for delivering me from my enemies. I have no enmity, I have no desire
but to do all men good. I feel to pray for all men. We do not ask
people to throw away any good which they have, we only ask them to come
and receive more. What if all the world should embrace this gospel? We
should then see eye to eye and the blessings of God would be poured out
upon the people, which is my whole soul's desire. Amen."

We are not informed whether there were present men and women ready to
criticize this address as a want of discretion in the Prophet for the
use of such language. No doubt there were. He had just gotten out of
trouble and they, no doubt, argued, why should he use language that
would bring upon him more trouble. The Prophet was not thinking of
trouble; he was not occupied in selecting the most discreet words.
He had a mission that put upon him obligations; come what may, these
obligations must be fulfilled. He was not concerned so much about his
personal welfare and safety as he was about the welfare and salvation
of mankind.

Not long after this, on the 10th of March, Elder Woodruff gives an
account of peculiar signs which he witnessed in the heavens. The
occurrence took place about seven o'clock in the evening and lasted for
about three hours. There was a stream of light in the form of a drawn
broadsword with the hilt downward and the blade pointing upward from
the southeast at an angle of 45 degrees. This sign appeared for five
successive evenings. On the evening of the 14th it moved to a position
near the moon. It then formed itself into a large ring on the inside
of which appeared balls of light, something like sundogs. Another half
ring issued from these balls in the shape of a horseshoe. They extended
outside of the ring with one line running through the center of the
moon. Of this manifestation he quotes the Prophet as saying: "As sure
as there is a God who sits in the {173} heavens, and as sure as He ever
spoke by my mouth, there will be a bloody war; and the broadsword sign
in the heavens is a sign thereof."

Several days later other remarkable signs were seen in the heavens.
Orson Pratt, professor of mathematics in the University of Nauvoo,
sketched a diagram of the halos and perihelion, or circles; and mock
suns were discovered in the heavens on the morning of March 23rd, 1843;
there were still other signs. As in the case of the sword there was
seen on the opposite side of the horizon a streak of blackness, the
other appeared like the blaze of a comet.

During these times the river banks along Nauvoo presented busy scenes.
The city was full of activity and was constantly enlarging by reason of
the emigration from abroad. On the 12th and 13th of March steamboats
landed at Nauvoo bringing 480 Saints, 250 of these wintered in St.
Louis. Parley P. Pratt and Dr. Levi Richards were among the returning
elders. Many of the Saints were old acquaintances of President Woodruff
who hailed them with delight and they in turn were happy to meet again
the man who had first brought the gospel to them. They were made
welcome by the authorities and the Saints in Nauvoo. The day after
their arrival, they were addressed in public assembly by the Prophet.

About this time word came that Elder Lorenzo Barnes, then a missionary
of the Church, had died in a foreign land. Speaking of the death of
Elder Barnes, the prophet, in a discourse delivered on the 16th of
April in reference to Elder Barnes, said: "I should have been more
reconciled to the death of Elder Barnes could his body have been laid
in the grave in Nauvoo or among the Saints. I have very peculiar
feelings in the matter of receiving an honorable burial with my
fathers. The ancient Saints were very particular about their burial
places. Joseph, before his death, made his kindred promise to carry
his bones to the land of Canaan, and they did so. They embalmed his
body and buried him with his fathers. There is a blessing in such a
privilege which many do not comprehend; still it is true that in the
resurrection the Saints will all rise to meet the Lord and they will
all be brought together though their bodies be scattered on the face of
the whole earth.

{174} "I wish the Saints to be comforted by the thought of the victory
they will gain through the resurrection. The thought is sufficient
to encourage the Saints to overcome obstacles in the midst of their
trial, trouble, and tribulation. Though the thunders roar and the
earthquakes roar or bellow; though lightnings flash and war be on every
hand, suffer not a joint to tremble nor let your hearts faint for the
great Eloheim will deliver you. If you are not delivered before the
resurrection, you will be set free by it from all those things and from
pain, sorrow, and death.

"I have labored hard and endeavored in every way to prepare this people
to comprehend the things which God is unfolding to me. He hath given me
a vision of the resurrection of the dead and I saw the graves open, and
the Saints, as they rose, took each other by the hand and great joy and
glory rested upon them."

On the 19th of that month Elder Woodruff with Brigham Young, Heber C.
Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, and William Smith were appointed
to missions in the East for the purpose of holding conferences and
gathering funds for the completion of the Temple. Others were appointed
to missions in England, and Addison Pratt, with three others, was
called to carry the gospel to the Sandwich Islands.

May 14th a meeting was held in Lima where the Prophet addressed those
present, among whom was Elder Woodruff. He records in his journal the
following from the discourse of the Prophet: "It is not wisdom that
we should have all knowledge presented to us at once, but a little at
a time that we may comprehend it. The principle of knowledge is the
principle of salvation. Any one who will not receive knowledge to be
saved will be damned. The principle of salvation is given to us through
the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Salvation is nothing more nor less
than the triumph over all our enemies in this world and over all evil
spirits in the world to come. In the case of Jesus Christ He was to
reign until He had put all enemies under His feet, and the last enemy
was death.

"There is a principle here that few men have thought of. No person can
have this salvation except through a tabernacle. In this world men are
naturally selfish and ambitious. They strive to excel, yet some are
willing to build up others as well as {175} themselves. In the other
world there is a variety of spirits, some of whom also seek to excel.
This was the case with the devil when he fell. He was seeking things
which were unlawful, he was, therefore, cast down and it is said that
he carried away many with him. His punishment is great in that he is
not permitted to have a tabernacle. Lucifer, planning to overthrow the
decree of God, goeth up and down the earth seeking whom he may destroy.
Any person who will yield to him, he will bind and take into possession
his body and reign therein and glorify himself, forgetting that he has
not a body of his own. By and by some one comes along having divine
authority and casts him out and restores the tabernacle to its rightful

Speaking upon the 19th verse, first chapter of Second Peter which
reads: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well
that ye take heed as unto the light that shineth in a dark place, until
the day dawn of the day star arises in your hearts." The Prophet said:
"There is a grand secret here and a key that unlocks. Notwithstanding
the apostle exhorts them to add to their faith, virtue, knowledge,
temperance, and so forth, he still exhorts them to make their calling
and election sure. Though they had heard the audible voice from heaven
bearing testimony that Jesus was the Son of God, yet they have a more
sure prophecy. Wherein could they have a more sure word of prophecy
than to hear the voice of God saying, 'This is my beloved Son?' This
would be no evidence that their calling and election were made sure,
that they do have a part with Christ and be a joint heir with Him. They
would need that more sure word of prophecy that they were sealed in the
heavens, and had the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
Having this promise sealed unto them it was an anchor to their souls,
sure and steadfast. This knowledge would support the soul in their hour
of trial and tribulation.

"Knowledge through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the grand key
which unlocks the glorious mysteries of the Kingdom. Compare this
principle of knowledge with Christendom at the present time, and what
becomes of their religion and piety. Christendom is crying out against
prophets and apostles, angels, visions, and revelations; it is ripening
for the damnation of hell, for it rejects the most glorious principle
of the gospel {176} of Jesus Christ; it rejects and disdains the key
which unlocks the Heavens and puts into our possession the glories of
the celestial world. The men of Christendom with all their professed
Godliness will be damned unless they repent and turn unto the Lord. I
would exhort you, then, to call upon God until you make your calling
and election sure by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy and wait
patiently until you obtain it."

These words contained no element of compromise. The language of the
Prophet could not be mistaken. He was much less concerned about his
personal liberty than about delivering the message which he had to give
to the world.

Whatever the Prophet said was always of deep significance to the mind
of Elder Woodruff, and he recorded the private sayings of his leader
with the same fidelity that he recorded his public discourses. After
the meeting where the discourse above mentioned was delivered, he took
supper with the Prophet and others at the home of Calvin Beebe. In this
social pastime the Prophet gave utterance to sentiments and ideas which
he entertained. The following quotations from the Prophet find a place
in Elder Woodruff's journal:

"The way to get along in any important matter is to call to yourself
wise men, men of experience and age to give counsel in times of

"Handsome men are not usually wise and strong-minded. The strength of
a strong-minded man will create coarse features like the rough, strong
bough of the oak."

"You may always discover in the first glance at a man, in the outline
of his features, something of his mind."

"Excitement has almost become the essence of my life, when it dies away
I feel almost lost. When a man is reigned up continually he becomes
strong and gains knowledge and power; but when he relaxes for a season
he loses much of his power."

"In all matters, whether temporal or spiritual, preaching the gospel
or leading an army to battle, victory almost entirely depends upon
moderation and good discipline. Let no confusion seize your breast, act
firmly, strike a heavy blow, and conquer."

"A man can bear a heavy burden by practice and by continuing to
increase it."

"The inhabitants of this continent were so constituted, that {177}
is, were so determined and persevering in their righteousness or
wickedness, that God visited them immediately, either with great
judgment or blessings."

"If the present generation receive any assistance from God, they will
have to obtain it by faith."

In the midst of his missionary activities, Apostle Woodruff began the
construction of a new home. During all the years of his labor in the
Church he had been without a home of his own. His unselfish devotion
to the work of the Church and the circumstances with which he was
surrounded led his brethren to encourage him in the erection of a house
for his family. He took up the work with the same heart-felt enthusiasm
that he gave to every undertaking. The home, when finished, was, for
those days, modest and respectable. It stands to-day in Nauvoo with the
homes of other leading brethren of those times in a fairly good state
of preservation.

"On the 27th of May," he says, "the Twelve and the First Presidency met
to try Benjamin Winchester for slandering the Saints in Philadelphia
and for rejecting the counsel of the Lord given through His servants.
His license to preach was taken away and he was required to repent
or lose his standing in the Church." Speaking of this circumstance
the subject of this biography says, "Hyrum pled for mercy; Joseph,
for right; and the Twelve decided according to the testimony." During
the trial, the Prophet gave the following instructions: "In all your
counsels, especially where you have cases to try, observe the spirit
relating to the subject, and discern the spirit by which either party
is governed. The council should not be imposed upon by any unruly

"The Saints need not think because I am familiar and cheerful with them
that I am ignorant of what is going on. Iniquity of any kind cannot be
retained in the Church and it will not fare well where I am; for I am
determined that while I lead the Church to lead it aright."

Before taking their departure on their missions to gather funds for
the erection of the Temple, they each gave a bond in the sum of two
thousand dollars for the faithful performance of their duties in
making a strict return to the trustee-in-trust of all funds collected
by them. There had been much false accusation {178} and comment about
the use of funds contributed for the erection of the Temple. These
funds not only placed the Twelve under financial obligations, but did
what was of perhaps more consequence, gave assurance to those who made
contributions that their money would be strictly accounted for. The
bond given by Elder Woodruff was signed by Aaron Johnson as bondsman.

"To all the Saints and honorable men of the earth greeting:

"Dear Brethren and Friends,--

"I, Joseph Smith, a servant of the Lord and Trustee-in-Trust for
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby certify
that the bearer hereof, Wilford Woodruff, an elder and one of the
Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
has deposited with me his bond and security to my full satisfaction
according to the resolution of the conference held in this city on the
6th day of April, 1843.

"He, therefore, is recommended to all Saints and honorable people as
legal agent to collect funds for the purpose of building the Nauvoo
House and Temple of the Lord.

"Confident that he will honor this high trust as well as ardently
fulfill his commission as a messenger of peace and salvation as one
of the Lord's noble men, I can fervently say, may the Lord clear his
way before him and bless him and bless those that obey his teachings
wherever there are ears to hear and hearts to feel.

"He is, in the language of the Hebrews, 'The friend of Israel,' and
worthy to be received and entertained as a man of God. Yea he has (as
had the ancient apostles) the good word that leadeth unto Eternal Life.

"Wherefore, brethren and friends, while you hear the assurance of the
integrity, fidelity, and ability of this servant of the living God
I trust that your hearts and energies will be enlivened and deeply
engaged in the building of these houses directed by revelation for the
salvation of all Saints and that you will not rest where you are until
all things are prepared before you and you are gathered home with the
rest of Israel to meet your God. I feel strong in the belief and have a
growing expectation that you will not withhold any means in your power
that can be used to accomplish this glorious work.

{179} "Finally, as one that greatly desires the salvation of man, let
me remind you all to strive with a Godly zeal for virtue, holiness, and
the commandments of the Lord. Be wise, be just, be liberal, and above
all be charitable, ever abounding in all good works, and may health,
peace, and the love of God our Father and the grace of Jesus Christ be
and abide with you all is the sincere prayer of

"Your devoted Brother and Friend in the Everlasting Gospel,


"City of Nauvoo

"June 1st, 1843."

On the 11th of June there was a meeting of the Saints in the Temple
wherein the Prophet addressed those present upon various subjects
such as baptism for the dead, spirits in prison, different degrees
of glory, and the Godhead. The Temple ordinances were occupying the
Prophet's mind and he was urging strenuously the completion of the
Temple. To its sacred ordinances he attached the highest importance,
and, indeed, he declared them necessary to a fulness of the glory of
God. He began by reading the words of Jesus: "O! Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
how oft would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." "The main
purpose in gathering the people of God was to build unto the Lord a
house wherein He could reveal to them the ordinances and glories of His
Kingdom. There are certain ordinances and principles which were taught
and practiced which must be done in a temple of the Lord built for that
purpose. This was ordained in the mind of God before the world was and
through this purpose the Lord designed the gathering of the Jews, but
they rebelled against Him. For the same reason the Lord gathers His
Saints in the last days. One of the ordinances of the House of the Lord
is baptism for the dead. God decreed before the foundation of the world
that this ordinance should be administered in a house prepared for that
purpose. If a man obtains the fullness of the gospel, he must do as
Jesus did by keeping all the ordinances of the House of the Lord.

"Men will say, 'I will never forsake you but will stand by you at all
times,' yet the moment you teach them some of the {180} mysteries
retained in the heavens to be revealed in the last days they are
ready to stone you and put you to death. It was the same spirit which
crucified our Savior. The doctrine of baptism for the dead is clearly
shown in the New Testament, and if the doctrine is not good then throw
away the book; but if it is the Word of the Lord, let the doctrine be
acknowledged as coming from Him.

"In regard to the spirits in prison much has been said, especially
regarding the words of the Savior to the thief on the cross: 'To-day
thou shalt be with Me in paradise.' The translators and commentators
make Jesus say, 'paradise.' This is a modern word and does not answer
at all to the original which Jesus used. There is nothing in the
original of any language signifying 'paradise.' It should be, 'To-day
thou shalt be with Me in the spirit world.' He did not say 'paradise or

"Much has been said about the word 'hell.' But what is hell? It is
another modern term. It is taken from Hades, the Greek, or Sheol, the
Hebrew, and its true meaning is 'world of spirits.' The words 'Hades,'
'Sheol,' 'paradise,' and 'spirits in prison,' are used in the Scripture
as one word. The righteous and the wicked all go to the same world of
spirits. 'I believe,' says one, 'in one heaven and one hell. All are
equally happy or equally miserable.' Yet Paul speaks of three glories:
'celestial, terrestial, telestial;' and the Savior says that in His
Father's house there are 'many mansions.' Paul says he knew a man
caught up to the 'third heaven.'

"The world believes that the Godhead physically is all embodied in the
Lord Jesus Christ, but this is not true. Peter and Stephen say that
Jesus sat on the right hand of God, and any person who has seen the
heavens opened knows that there are three personages in the heavens
holding the keys of power. As the Father hath power in Himself so also
hath the Son power in Himself. Then the Father has at some time laid
down His body and taken it again: so He has a body of His own, so also
has the Son.

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and if a man claimed
to have that testimony and yet denied the spirit and principle of
revelation and prophets, he is damned by his own mouth. 'A man may
be happy in the belief that Jesus Christ is God, and yet not obey
His commandments. A man of God should {181} be endowed with wisdom,
knowledge, and understanding in order to teach and lead the people. The
blind may lead the blind and both fall in the ditch together.

"I will ask this assembly and all the Saints if they will build this
house and receive the ordinances and blessings which the Lord has in
store for them, or will they not, but let Him pass by and bestow His
blessings upon another?"

Passing from the mysteries and glories of the Godhead, Elder Woodruff
makes record of his work upon a plot of prairie land which he was
bringing under cultivation. In all of his thoughts and labors, whether
secular or spiritual, he sustained the same lofty inspiration. When
he preached, he preached in the name of the Lord, when he plowed,
he plowed for the glory of God's Kingdom. All that he said and all
that he did was to him but a united whole in the dispensation of
God's purposes. Life to him, in its highest and best sense, was the
fulfillment of the Divine will. Wherever he was, whatever he was
doing, he was thinking of his Maker with whom he worked, walked, and
talked in this life. It was all glorious, it was all a part of God's
decree. Work of the hands was with him a great privilege and he never
let an opportunity pass by to exercise his body, and he rejoiced in
the opportunity to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. How could
he think of work as a drudgery, how others could look upon it as such
was incomprehensible to him. Being always ready to put his hand to
the plow, he found many opportunities in the course of a long life to
gratify his passion for work.

The joy and peace of toil on his prairie farm were not left long
uninterrupted. The Saints were constantly disturbed by the never
ceasing demands made by the Governor of Missouri for the body of the
Prophet. The chief executive of that state made another call on the
Governor of Illinois to deliver Joseph to the state of Missouri. The
Prophet was twenty miles away from home when information reached him.

On Sunday, June 25th, Hyrum Smith came into a meeting and requested
the Masonic Fraternity there to meet him in the lodge room within half
an hour. It was an occasion of great excitement. When the members
of the lodge convened, the people, who were full of anxiety, also
gathered. Not a fourth of them could secure entrance to the house. They
thereupon formed in a {182} hollow square upon the green and Hyrum
conveyed to them the information that Joseph had already been arrested
with drawn pistols, by Wilson of Carthage and Reynolds of Missouri.
Stephen Markham went courageously to the Prophet's assistance and
threatened to knock their pistols down, but they pointed their pistols
at the Prophet and threatened if he did so to kill the Prophet and he
therefore desisted. They took Joseph to Carthage and then started for
Missouri. "They had gone about ten miles," says Elder Woodruff, "when
they were stopped by citizens in the country who swore they should
not take Joseph Smith any farther without giving him a hearing before
the law. Writ of habeas corpus was taken out in behalf of Joseph and
against sheriffs Reynolds and Wilson. A company was then called for to
go to the Prophet and to see that he had his rights. Hyrum called for
volunteers and the whole city spoke together in response. A choice was
then made of about a hundred mounted men under the command of Generals
Law and Charles C. Rich. Besides the mounted men about one hundred went
down the river by steam-boat, _The Maid of Iowa_.

"Five days later at one p. m., the citizens of Nauvoo went out in great
numbers on horseback, on foot, and in carriages to meet the Prophet.
The whole scene was a demonstration of great joy. He was escorted home
by a band of music and by the great multitude that had gone out to
meet him. Reynolds of Missouri, and Wilson of Carthage, who had taken
him by force of arms, were brought to Nauvoo with him. They looked as
though they had the ague. The Prophet, however, heaped upon their heads
coals of fire by reason of the great kindness he showed them. They had
treated him inhumanely, and in return they were taken to the Prophet's
home, seated at the head of the table and treated to the best his home
afforded. Joseph's wife, who had been denied by these men the privilege
of seeing her husband after his arrest, treated them with the utmost
kindness. After dinner they repaired to the court room where Joseph
was delivered to the municipal court for trial. Before he went into
the court he mounted a wagon and spoke to the assembled multitude. 'I
am out of the hands of the Missourians, thank God!' He thanked the
people for their kindness and love to him. He said he would address
them at four p. m. in the grove near the Temple. At that hour {183}
nearly seven thousand people assembled full of joyful anticipation in
the thought of hearing the words that should fall from their Prophet's

These were, indeed, exciting times; the depths of the human soul were
reached by the constant recurrences of the joys and sorrows of those
times. Anxiety, however, rested upon the Saints. They could feel the
increasing spirit of opposition; its murderous intent was more fully
revealed to them as time went on. Their joys were constantly broken by
the sorrows that were ever increasing and the dangers that constantly
threatened their peace of mind. They felt the approach of a coming
storm that might do irreparable harm to their peace of mind as well
as to their physical well being. The hearts of the more faithful
men were saddened by both the growing demands and the increasing
power of the enemy. The thought that the evil one was gaining power
over them saddened their lives, and their only support and courage
came from the assurance they had in the ultimate triumph of God's
purposes. The lessons of their sadness and the admonition that comes
to us through the gloom of those days have been our gain. Assurance
of God's deliverance in the past has always been helpful to men and
women in the support of their faith; what a tender and loving God in
the consummation of His purposes had once done, He would do again. In
all those trials there was greater buoyancy in the life of the Prophet
whose death was sought by his enemies than in the lives of any other
men of those times. He was their leader, the hope and assurance of
his words inspired others with confidence in his leadership. He was
their guiding star, and while his life lasted, its brilliancy eclipsed
the lights of all those about him. They knew that he was not a fallen
Prophet. There was no tremor in his voice; he never faltered by the
way-side. He stood up in the midst of his high and holy calling and
rebuked sin and sinners. It was a marvelous life, every detail of
which grows in importance as time goes on, and the greatness of the
Church affords the highest guarantee of the fulfillment of the glorious
predictions he made concerning it--thanks to the pen of Wilford
Woodruff. It gives us deeper and better insight not only into the
spirit of those times but into the life of the man, who, as days go on,
is becoming more and more a glorification of the age in which he lived.




Address of the Prophet on Constitutional Rights.--Orson Hyde's
Call to Russia.--Prophet Explains His Position with Respect to
Missouri.--Origin of Nauvoo Legion.--Political Explanation.--Departure
of the Twelve for the East.--Brigham Young's Fidelity.--Phrenological
Chart by O. S. Fowler.--Return of the Twelve to Nauvoo.--W. W. Sealed
to Wife.--Adultery.--Governor of Missouri Again Issues Requisition for

The people of Nauvoo during these exciting times were greatly agitated
over the safety of their Prophet and leader. In keeping with his
promise, Joseph Smith addressed the assembled multitude who anxiously
awaited the words which were to fall from his lips. There were no
stenographic reporters then, and Wilford Woodruff's account of what
was said is without doubt the fullest and most accurate statement on
record. The following is taken from his journal, wherein he recorded
the words of the prophet: "I meet you with a heart full of gratitude
to Almighty God, and you doubtless feel as I do. I hardly know how to
express my feelings. I feel as strong as a giant. I pulled sticks with
the men coming along, and with one hand I pulled up the strongest man
on the road, and two could not pull me up. I continued to pull till
I pulled them to Nauvoo. Notwithstanding the excitement, I feel cool
and dispassionate through it all. Thank God I am now in the hands of
those who preside over the municipal court, not in the hands of the
Missourians. Relative to our right of habeas corpus we have full power.
If there is not power in our charter and courts, then there is none in
the state of Illinois, nor in Congress, nor in the constitution of the
United States. Congress gave to Illinois her constitution, and Illinois
has given to Nauvoo the charter which protects us in our vested rights.

"I want you to learn, O Israel! what is for the happiness and peace of
this city and its people. Our enemies are determined to oppress us and
deprive us of our rights and privileges as they have done in the past.
If the authorities on earth will not give us that protection which the
laws and the constitution of the United {185} States and of this state
guarantee, then we will appeal to a higher power, to heaven, to God
Almighty, for our constitutional rights.

"The Lord, in my past troubles has raised up friends to me, though
they were strangers, and they would have lost their lives to deliver
me from my enemies and to protect my rights in this state. I have told
them to do no violence for I should be delivered by the power of God.
I have brought the men who arrested me to Nauvoo, and I have treated
them kindly. I have had the privilege of rewarding them, good for evil.
They took me unlawfully, treated me rigorously, strove to deprive me
of my right and would have carried me into Missouri to be murdered had
not Providence interposed. Now they are in my hands. I took them into
my home, set them at the head of the table, and placed before them the
best that my home afforded. They were waited upon by my wife whom they
deprived of seeing me when I was taken.

"There is a time, however, when forbearance ceases and when suffering
longer without resistance is a sin. I shall not bear it any longer, I
will spill the last drop of blood I have rather than endure it; and
all who feel that they will not bear it any longer say, 'Aye.' The
vast assembly shouted, 'Aye.' Whatever may be your feeling about the
heavy hand of oppression I wish you to restrain yourself from violence
against those men who have arrested me. My word is at stake, a hair of
their heads shall not be harmed.

"My life is pledged to carry out this great work, I know you are ever
ready to do right, you have done great things and you have manifested
your love for me in rushing to my assistance on this occasion, and I
bless you in the name of the Lord. I know the Almighty will bless all
good men, and may you not have to suffer as I have suffered heretofore.
However, I shall restrain you no longer, from this time forth. If
occasion require I will lead you to battle, if you are not afraid to
die and to spill your blood in your own defense you will not offend
me. Be not the aggressor. Bear until they strike you on one cheek and
then offer the other. They will be sure to strike that also; then
defend yourself and God will bear you off victorious. If I am under the
necessity of giving up our chartered rights, privileges, and freedom
for which our fathers fought and bled, and which the constitution {186}
of the United States as well as this state grants to us, I will do it
at the point of the bayonet and sword.

"Many lawyers contend for that which is against the rights of men,
and I can only excuse them because of their ignorance. Go forth, O ye
lawyers! and advocate the rights of the people, for we shall rise up
Washington-like and break off the fetters which bind us and we shall
not be mobbed."

After discussing at some length the charter of Nauvoo and the writ of
habeas corpus, he gave an interesting account of his recent arrest and
of the return to Nauvoo. He explained that he had prophesied to his
wife the day before his presence in the neighborhood, where the people
befriended him, that they were a good people, and that he knew it by
the spirit of God. "When Mr. Cyrus Walker, an attorney, came to me,
those who had arrested me said that I should speak to no man and they
would shoot any man who spoke to me. An old man came up and said that I
should have counsel and told them he was not afraid of their pistols.
My freedom began from that time."

Speaking of the law, the Prophet said: "Almighty God has taught me
the true principle of law and the true meaning of the writ of habeas
corpus. It is to protect the innocent and to prevent innocent men from
being dragged into other states and from being punished by the avowed

"It did my soul good to witness the manifestation of your feelings and
love toward me. I thank God I have the honor to lead so virtuous and
honest a people, to be your law-giver as Moses was to the children of
Israel. Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! to the most high God! I commend you
to His grace and may the blessings of Heaven rest upon you, I ask it in
the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

July 1st the trial of the Prophet came off. There were present Brigham
Young, Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, and Sidney Rigdon.
They were all called as witnesses and duly sworn. They recounted the
history of the Missouri persecutions from the time they were driven
from Jackson County until their expulsion from Far West by force of
arms. "The recital of these scenes," says President Woodruff, "caused
my blood to boil and the spirit of war was awakened in me, even the
Gentile {187} lawyers were shocked, and in their speeches counseled the
people to stand by their rights whatever the issue might be."

The Fourth of July was at hand and great preparations had been made
for its celebration. About fifteen thousand people assembled in the
grove. Orson Hyde addressed the vast multitude. He had lately returned
from Palestine, and was then under appointment to carry the gospel to
Saint Petersburg, Russia. In the afternoon the multitude of Saints
was greatly augmented by three steamboat loads of visiting ladies and
gentlemen from St. Louis, Quincy, and Burlington. As the visitors
arrived they were escorted to the stand by the Nauvoo band, and their
presence welcomed by the firing of cannon. Parley P. Pratt spoke at
some length, and was followed by the Prophet Joseph, who took this
occasion to speak of himself. Elder Woodruff quotes him as follows:

"If the people will give ear a moment, I will address a few words
in my own defense. In the first place I will state to those who can
hear me that I never spent more than six months in Missouri except
the time I was in prison. While at Liberty, Missouri, I was at work
for the support of my family. I never was a prisoner of war during my
stay there, for I had not made war. I never took a gun, nor a pistol,
nor a sword and what has been said by our enemies on that subject is
false. I have always been willing to go to any governor, judge, or
tribunal where justice could be had and have the matter investigated.
I could not have committed treason as I had no control of affairs
except in spiritual matters. I was driven from Missouri by force of
arms under the exterminating order of Governor Boggs. I have always
been a peaceable citizen, yet there is scarcely a crime that can be
committed that is not laid at the door of Joseph Smith. I have been
dragged before the courts time and again on charges that were false and
every time I have been acquitted. As often as God sees fit for me to
suffer I am ready, but I am as innocent of those crimes imputed as the
angels in heaven. I am not an enemy to mankind, neither am I an enemy
to Missouri, its governor, nor its people.

"As for the military station I hold and the reasons for holding it I
have this to say: When we came here the state required us to bear arms
and to do military duty. As the Church had just {188} been driven from
Missouri and our people had been robbed of their property and their
arms had been taken from them, they, therefore, had no arms with which
to do duty, yet they were liable to a fine if they did not respond to
the orders of the state in the matter of military service even though
they had no arms. I advised them to organize into independent companies
and to ask the state for arms. This they did. There were, however, many
elders who had license to preach. They are exonerated by the law from
military duties. The officers, however, would not release them on those
grounds. I then told the Saints that although I was free from military
duty by law in consequence of a lameness in one of my legs I would set
them an example and do military duty myself. They wanted me for their
leader. From these circumstances and conditions the Nauvoo Legion came
into existence and I was made Lieutenant General. It was not because I
was seeking for power.

"There are those who say we all vote together and that our people vote
as I say, but I never tell any man how to vote nor whom to vote for.
Let me make a comparison. Suppose there were a Methodist society here,
and that outside of that society there were two candidates running for
office. One of them says: 'If you will elect me to the gubernatorial
chair I will take away the charter of your city and exterminate the
Methodists.' The other says: 'If I am elected all men shall be equal
before the law, and I will discriminate against no man or society.' Now
whom would the Methodists vote for? Certainly not for the man who was
their bitter enemy and who would not protect them in their rights. It
has been so with us. Joseph Duncan said if the people would elect him
he would exterminate the Mormons, take away their charter. Mr. Ford
made no such threats, but manifested a disposition to give every man
his rights. The people, therefore, voted for him and he was elected
governor. However, he has issued writs against me twice at the demands
of the Missourians; this has caused me much trouble and expense."

During these remarks much prejudice was removed. There was present a
vast multitude of about fifteen thousand people, many of whom were
not members of the Church. They gave the strictest attention and were
edified by what they saw and heard.

{189} On the morning of July 7th, 1843, Wilford Woodruff rose early,
blessed his wife and daughter, Phoebe, and in company with Brigham
Young and Elder George A. Smith, started on a mission to the East
to strengthen the branches of the Church there and gather funds for
the Temple and the Nauvoo House. They left Morrison's landing on the
steamer _Rapid_ and arrived in St. Louis the next day. Here Elder
Woodruff purchased supplies for the "Times and Seasons" and shipped
them to Nauvoo. The day following the missionary party boarded the
steamer _Lancet_ and went up the Ohio to Cincinnati, where they landed
on the 13th, their sixth day from Nauvoo. Enroute they obtained a view
of the tomb of President Harrison.

On the night of their arrival in Cincinnati, Elder Woodruff dreamed
that Joseph would again be arrested and tried in Illinois, and the same
night Brigham Young dreamed that the Twelve were called home. These
dreams were the preparation for coming events which cast their shadows
before. The hearts of those brave men and devoted missionaries were
receiving a preparation for the troublous times that were to come.

In Cincinnati Elder Woodruff made further purchases for the "Times
and Seasons." From that city they went on to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania,
with the steamer _Adelaide._ They reached the place at six p. m. and
immediately repaired to the Temperance Hall, where a meeting of the
Saints was convened. Here they met Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson
Pratt, and John E. Page. The last named was preaching as they entered
the hall; and, contrary to the counsel of the Prophet, Elder Page was
making war upon sects of the day. Next day the Twelve held a council,
in which John E. Page was severely reproved by President Young for
disorganizing a branch in Cincinnati which three of the Twelve had just
before that time organized, and for disobeying the Prophet's counsel
in the matter of preaching against religious denominations. These acts
of disobedience to the counsels of his file-leaders had, no doubt,
something to do with his apostasy later on.

Elder Woodruff never forgets to put in his journal the historical
items of general interest and speaks of Pittsburg as a city which at
that time numbered about thirty-five thousand inhabitants. The city
had ninety-five churches, one hundred and twenty {190} preachers, and
twenty-one denominations. The Latter-day Saints numbered there at that
time seventy-five souls.

On Sunday, the 30th, six of the Twelve Apostles met in conference with
the Saints in Temperance Hall. They held three meetings and imparted
many valuable instructions to the Saints and visitors in attendance.
Elder Woodruff took minutes of the meeting and noted especially the
teachings of President Young, as he attached most importance to the
words of the man standing highest in authority when giving an account
of what was said on any occasion. President Young on this occasion bore
a strong testimony to the divinity of the work and to the mission of
the Prophet Joseph. "Who," he said, "is the author of this work? God
is its author, Joseph Smith being the instrument in the hands of God.
He is the greatest man on earth. No other man of this age has power to
gather such a great people from all the nations of the earth and with
all their peculiar dispositions cement them together. This the Prophet
is doing by the power of God, as the Saints are led by the Holy Spirit
in their own hearts."

July the 30th the members of the Twelve made a tour of the city. They
visited the glass-works, the water-works, and other places of note and
interest. Speaking of the water-works, Elder Woodruff says: "Descending
the hill we had a view of the city water-works. The building was
patterned after Roman architecture. The works cost two hundred thousand
dollars. The building was designed by Elder Charles Beck, who was a
member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Elder Beck
was present at the visit of the Twelve to Pittsburg and showed them
every courtesy. He further paid the railroad fare of the six members to

From there they proceeded to Philadelphia, where they arrived August
5th. The following day (Sunday) they met about three hundred Saints
in conference. Elder Jedediah M. Grant was also present and opened
the conference by prayer. President Young, Orson Pratt, and George A.
Smith occupied the principal part of the time in both of the meetings,
afternoon and evening. In the forenoon Elder Woodruff accompanied
President Young and others to hear the Reverend Mr. Litz, the Millerite
preacher. The reverend gentleman strongly contended that the Jews would
never be restored to the land of Palestine or be gathered together.

{191} On the 8th the Twelve took a steamboat excursion, and while
thus riding for their enjoyment, a number of subjects came up for
discussion. Among others the question: "Is the prosperity of any
religious denomination a positive evidence of the truth of its
contention?" John E. Page took the affirmative, and Elder J.M. Grant
the negative. President Young, who was chairman, decided in favor of
the negative.

During the stay of the Twelve in this historic city, Elder Woodruff was
very active in visiting the Saints, strengthening them in their faith
and laying before them the purpose of their mission. At intervals in
his labors he occupied himself in gathering a great variety of useful
information within his reach. His journal is, indeed, an interesting
history of the places visited by him in those early days. He speaks
of the visit of himself, Elders Young, Pratt, Smoot, and Hessy to
the state house, also of his visit to Independence Hall. "We saw,"
he remarks, "the room where the patriots signed the Declaration of
Independence. We sat in the chair occupied by John Hancock when he
signed that immortal instrument."

On the 14th, Elders Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, and William
Muir parted with the Saints in Philadelphia and went by steamer to
Schuylkill, then walked six miles to a Mr. Mosley's, where they
preached in the evening. For several days Elder Woodruff traveled and
preached in various neighborhoods of that vicinity. He visited the
scene of the Battle of Brandywine.

On the 21st the party returned to Philadelphia, where they learned that
the other apostles had gone on to New York. They remained two days,
then followed their companions. In New York they held a conference on
August 26th and 27th. At this conference many questions which are well
understood doctrines of the Church were commented upon in such a manner
as to show that they were not plain to the missionaries of those early
days, a fact, no doubt, due to the traditions and religious teachings
which men of those times brought with them into the Church. Among other
things, the question was asked whether a man could be deprived of his
priesthood and still retain his standing in the Church. President Young
answered decidedly, "No."

On the 29th of that month Elder Woodruff went to Boston {192} with
Elders Davis and Wandell. This afforded him an opportunity to visit his
father and family in his old home at Farmington, Connecticut. On the
9th of September, after reaching Boston, he, with six other members of
the Twelve; namely, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt,
Orson Pratt, John E. Page, and George A. Smith, held conference in
Boylston Hall. From his notes the following is taken: "President Young
said: 'The spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, is a gathering spirit, and
its tendency is to gather the virtuous and good, the honest and meek of
the earth, in other words the Saints of God. Now is the set time for
the Lord to redeem Israel. He does not require every soul to leave his
home as soon as he believes, but requires him to hearken to counsel
and follow the counsel which the Lord points out to him. You say the
Lord may save us as well where we are. Yes, if the Lord says so, but
when He commands us to gather and we do not do it, He will not save us.
You might have been baptized seventy times in any other way than that
ordained of God and you would not have received the Holy Ghost. Can
you get an endowment in Boston? No, only in that place which God has
appointed. If you do not help to build the Temple and the Nauvoo House,
if you do not help to build up Zion and the cause of God, you will not
inherit the land of Zion. Be faithful or you will not be chosen; for
the day of choosing is at the door. Why be afraid of sacrifice? I have
given my all many times and would be willing to do so again. I would
be glad to hear the Lord say to His servant Joseph, "Let my servant
Brigham give all he has." I would obey in a moment if it took the last
coat from my back.'"

From a discourse of Heber C. Kimball the following is taken: "We do not
profess to be polished stones like some of the elders. The more we roll
through the forests and get the corners knocked off the better we are.
If we were polished and smooth it would deface us to have the surface
chipped off. This is the case with Joseph Smith, he never professed to
be smooth and polished. Rolling around among the rocks has not hurt him
at all, but in the end he will be as polished as any stone, while many
who were so very polished in the beginning will become badly defaced."

"Do the Saints of Boston know," said Parley P. Pratt, "that they are
identified in laying the foundation of so great and mighty {193} a
work that it will include all the great and glorious purposes of God
which are to be fulfilled in the dispensation of the fullness of times?
Millions will yet celebrate the day when the foundation of this work
was laid."

The Twelve little dreamed that when they would meet again in Boston
it would be on the sad 27th day of June, when the Prophet and the
Patriarch would be called upon to lay down their lives at the hands of
a murderous mob.

On the 12th Elder Woodruff left for Portland, Maine. The express
train conveying him to his destination was thrown from the track. The
engineer was killed and a lady passenger bruised; all the rest escaped
in a marvelous manner. From Maine Elder Woodruff wrote an account of
the wreck to the "Boston Bee" as well as to the "Times and Seasons" in
Nauvoo. He occupied some several days in visiting his wife's father,
Ezra Carter, and the family of Arthur and Lucy Milliken, the latter
being the youngest sister of the Prophet Joseph.

After his visit he returned to Boston, where he again joined the
members of this quorum. While there he and several members of the
Twelve were examined phrenologically by the noted Professor O. S.
Fowler. From his chart we take the following character delineation of
President Woodruff:


_"Wilford Woodruff:_ Is a man of great action, both physical and
mental; does up things in a hurry; lets nothing sleep in his hands;
great resolution; steamboat speed; loves his liberty; is not
disposed to be subject to the will or dictation of others; has great
independence; difficulties only stimulate him to increased action;
goes in for the largest liberty of the mass and is a democrat of the
old school; prefers utility to beauty and substance to show; highly
social and fond of family and friends; has but few secrets of his own
and tells the plain, unvarnished facts; fears but little danger; is
not irresolute, but decides and proceeds at once to action; his first
thoughts are always his best; he does his own religious thinking and
does not hang his hopes upon the faith of others. He believes but
little without proof; is a two edged sword--if he does not cut one way,
does another. He makes positive {194} friends or positive enemies--has
much severity; is sarcastic; bitter in reproaches; means to do right;
fears the force of moral obligations. His jokes have more vinegar than
molasses in them. He recollects and explains facts well; reasons by
inference from the facts, by analogy and induction; has good talking
talents, and is noted for his clear illustrations.

"Boston, September the 20th, 1843.

"(Signed) O. S. FOWLER.

"B. J. GRAY, Secretary."

Soon after this the Twelve began their return to Nauvoo. They met
in Philadelphia, and on the 5th of October continued their journey
homeward. The same day a large company of Saints left by rail to gather
with the Saints in Illinois. On the 19th they crossed the Alleghanies
by means of an incline which hoisted the car, passengers, and freight
from one elevator to another until the summit, nearly fifteen hundred
feet above, was reached. They were let down on the other side in the
same manner. In those days this was a novel contrivance, and the
mechanism employed not being so perfect as that of today was attended
with many dangers. "The whole passage across the mountains was a
constant scene of danger, and I called upon God in my heart to preserve
our lives. Even while on the level we were running on the edge of a
precipice a hundred feet above the bottom of a chasm. In conversation
with a mate in the evening upon the subject of our passage across the
mountains, he said that we were not aware of one-half the dangers we
had encountered."

At Pittsburg Elder Woodruff took passage for St. Louis and thence up
the river to Nauvoo, which he reached November 4th. On the 7th he met
in council with the Twelve. He was appointed to raise five hundred
dollars for the purchase of paper upon which to print the "Doctrine and
Covenants." On the 11th President Hyrum Smith sealed Wilford Woodruff
and Phoebe Woodruff for time and eternity according to the patriarchal
order of marriage which had previously been revealed to the Prophet
Joseph Smith.

About this time the Prophet delivered a strong discourse on the sin
of adultery and kindred crimes. The discourse was the result of the
action taken in the case of John C. Bennett, who, with {195} other
prominent men, had been adjudged guilty of adultery. The Saints were
warned against such crimes. The Prophet thought that the example made
of John C. Bennett and others was sufficient to show the fallacy of
those who advocated or justified such a course. He condemned adultery
in unqualified terms and warned those present against its commission.

It was also about this time that General Fryeson came to Nauvoo and met
with the Prophet and Twelve to arrange for a memorial to congress in
behalf of the Latter-day Saints. Affidavits on the Missouri atrocities
were given by Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, P. P. Pratt, Lyman Wight,
George W. Pitkin, and Sidney Rigdon.

Trouble was again fomented about this time by the Missourians. A
messenger had just arrived from St. Louis informing the brethren
that the governor of Missouri had issued another requisition for the
Prophet. Joseph had just made a touching appeal to the Green Mountain
boys of Vermont, his native state, for assistance in obtaining
redress for the wrongs heaped upon the Saints in Missouri. The appeal
was published in pamphlet form and sent to the authorities of the
government in Washington. A few days later a man named Elliot was
arrested and proven guilty of kidnapping brethren and of threatening
the life of the Prophet. Notwithstanding the guilt of this man, Joseph
forgave him, and he subsequently left in peace. A warrant was also
issued for the arrest of Colonel Williams, the leader of the kidnapping
party. He, however, gathered a mob and resisted the officers.

December 2nd on the Sabbath morning P. P. Pratt, Orson Hyde, Wilford
Woodruff, and Orson Spencer received their anointings; and on December
23rd they met in Joseph Smith's home, where endowments were given to
Elder Marley and wife, Orson Pratt, Mrs. Lot, Fanny Murray, Phoebe
Woodruff, Bathsheba Smith, Sister Orson Spencer, and Sister Phelps.

Christmas day of 1843 was spent by Elder Woodruff with his old-time
friend, A. O. Smoot. They paid a visit to the Saints who had come from
Tennessee to Nauvoo. Part of that day Elder Woodruff worked upon his
house and discharged many duties of a home nature. Thus another year
in his life was closed. During 1843 he had traveled in thirteen states
over five thousand {196} miles, held many meetings, baptized a half
dozen persons, reported several sermons, endured a severe sickness,
encountered dangers by rail and by water, and closed an eventful year
with feelings of gratitude, and with the fullest recognition of God's
tender mercies in his behalf.




Conduct of the Laws and the Marks.--Discourse on Elijah by the
Prophet.--The Celestial Law.--Prophet's Candidacy for President of
U. S.--Exploring Expedition to California Planned.--Joseph, Mayor
of Nauvoo.--Hostility in Carthage.--Mischief Makers in Nauvoo.--The
Prophet Talks on Politics.

The year 1844, a year pregnant with momentous events--events which
history has magnified because of their importance to mankind in general
and to the Latter-day Saints in particular, was ushered in with a cold,
blustering snow storm. Characteristic of his busy life, Elder Woodruff
celebrated the day by plastering and whitewashing the printing office.
He was enthusiastic over his new-found occupation and gave his heart
and hand to the work before him.

Into the midst of the busy, hopeful life of the Saints, there entered
an element of uncertainty and of deep concern, and whispered threats
against the life of the Prophet were circulated. The false charges of
the apostate element were growing in intensity.

As the outgrowth of these conditions in Nauvoo at that time, there was
held on the 3rd of January, in Joseph's store, a court of inquiry. The
inquiry was directed to the conduct of William Law, Wilson Law, and
William Marks. Of William Law Elder Woodruff writes in his journal: "He
professes to believe that Joseph has instructed the police to kill him,
but the truth is that the Laws have turned traitors and are breeding
mischief which is intended to take the life of the Prophet Joseph
Smith." On the 5th of the month a second court was held relating to the
same matter. In contradistinction to the spirit of the Laws there was
an enthusiastic, hopeful spirit which caused faithful men and women to
look forward with fond anticipations to the completion of the Temple.
Work in the house of God was then taking hold upon the feelings of men
and women who had had revealed to them the relation and duties they
sustain to their progenitors as well as to their posterity. The spirit
of Elijah was upon the elders of the Church.

On January 21st, Elder Woodruff records the fact that Apostle {198}
Parley P. Pratt had just received second anointings and that he had
been instructed by the Prophet that it was his duty to have his wife
sealed to him for eternity in order that his glory might be full. Elder
Woodruff records the following words from the prophet: "What shall I
talk about today? I discern that Brother Cahoon wishes me to speak
upon the coming of Elijah. The Bible says, 'I will send you Elijah
before the great and terrible day of the Lord shall come, that he
shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the chidren and the hearts of
the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a
curse.' The word 'turned' should read 'point' or 'seal.' But, what is
the object of this important mission, or how is it to be fulfilled?
The keys are to be delivered, the spirit of Elijah is to come, the
gospel is to be preached, the Saints of God are to be gathered, Zion is
to be built up, and the Saints are to come forth as Saviors on Mount
Zion. But how are they to come as Saviors on Mount Zion? By building
temples, erecting baptismal fonts and receiving in the temples all
the ordinances, sealings, and anointings in behalf of our progenitors
who are dead, that they may come forth in the first resurrection and
be with us exalted to thrones of glory. I would to God that this
Temple were now completed, that we might go forth and attend to these
ordinances in their fullness! I would advise all the Saints to gather
their living relatives to this place and be prepared against the day
when the destroying angel shall go forth. My only trouble now is that
which concerns ourselves. The Saints may be divided, broken up and
scattered before we accomplish the work now in view. There are so many
fools in the world for the devil to act upon that it oftimes gives him
the advantage. Any person who is exalted to the highest mansion must
abide the celestial law and the whole law, too, but there has been much
difficulty in getting understanding into the hearts of this generation.
Even the Saints are slow to understand. How many will be able to abide
the celestial law, endure the trials, and receive their exaltation I am
unable to say. 'Many are called, but few are chosen.'"

The Temple was still incomplete. The Presidency and the Twelve were
urging the work upon it. In order that the Twelve might be prepared
to administer in the ordinances of the house of God they were given
their endowments and their wives sealed to {199} them for eternity.
Elder Woodruff gives the exact dates when certain members of the Twelve
received these ordinances. He says, in his journal, "There is at this
time quite a revival throughout Nauvoo and an inquiry after the things
of God by all the quorums of the Church generally."

There was a strange commingling of spirits in Nauvoo at that time.
Spirits of life and death were at war, and the Prophet's approaching
end was made manifest to him in a dream which he related in his office
to Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, and W. W. Phelps. The Prophet
clearly saw the coming storm of persecution which awaited him. His
release from opposition was represented by his power to pass through
the air and be lifted up by the power of God above the earth.

Furthermore this year was one for a presidential election. The Saints
had been constantly ground between the political parties of those days.
Whatever significance may be attached to the candidacy of Joseph Smith
at that time for the presidency of the United States, it has since
been the subject of all sorts of speculation. Elder Woodruff, in his
journal, says: "A congregation of the citizens met in the room over
Joseph's store to hear his views upon the affairs of government, views
which he had written and which were read by W. W. Phelps. 'I would not
have permitted my name to be used by my friends as a candidate for the
President of the United States if we could have enjoyed, unmolested,
our religious and civil rights as American citizens--the rights which
the constitution guarantees to all citizens, but rights which have
been denied us from the beginning. I feel it my right and privilege to
obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, for the protection of
injured innocence.'"

At the close of the meeting there was a unanimous vote passed to
support Joseph Smith. The Prophet had reason to appreciate the rights
and liberties of mankind, of which he had been so often unlawfully and
wantonly deprived.

"On the 21st of February," Elder Woodruff writes, "I met with the
quorum of the Twelve at Joseph's store, and according to Joseph's
counsel a company was selected to go on an exploring expedition to
California, and to select a place for the building of a city. Jonathan
Dunham, David Fulmer, Phineas Young, Samuel W. Richards and several
others were named for the expedition." {200} The Prophet subsequently,
in company with a number of his brethren, left Nauvoo on this proposed
expedition, but turned back, as all know from the sad story of his
last days, to be a martyr to the work he had been instrumental in

A curious circumstance of those times was the preaching of an
Episcopalian minister in an adjoining room. Following the preacher,
Joseph said, "The object with me is to obey and to teach others to
obey God and all that He commands us to do. It matters not whether
the principle be popular or unpopular, I will always maintain it
though I stand alone in doing so." According to Elder Woodruff the
Prophet, in 1842, predicted that within five years the Saints would be
established beyond the Rocky Mountains and became a mighty people in
the inter-mountain regions.

On the evening of February 25th the news of the death of Joseph
Duncan and Governor Reynolds of Missouri reached Nauvoo. They were
among the most persistent enemies of the Saints. The news of their
death called forth a notable prophecy from Joseph Smith, who wished
his words recorded that they might be remembered when they were
fulfilled. He declared that in five years the Saints would be rid of
their old enemies, whether they were apostates or men who were never
in the Church. Five years saw the Saints located in the valleys of the
mountains. Those predictions were more the voice of the spirit than
any expectations of the people who were eagerly working for an early
completion of the Temple.

On the 7th of March there was a large meeting of the Saints in Nauvoo.
Eight thousand people had gathered by invitation to listen to the words
of their Prophet and the Twelve. The latter directed their remarks more
particularly to the ordinances which should take place in the house of
God. "One of the great objects I had in calling this meeting," said the
Prophet, "was to make a few remarks relative to the laws and ordinances
of the city and to the building of the Temple. The reason I want to
speak of the laws is that the officers have difficulty in administering
them. We wish to have the people rule, but rule in righteousness. The
laws are enacted and they can be repealed, if the people wish it, but
the people should not complain of the officers. I am instructed by
the city council to tell this people that if you do not like any law
we have passed, we will repeal it for we are your servants. There are
{201} those in this community who would oppose anything good. If you
preach virtue to them they will oppose it. If a case is tried here,
they want it appealed to Carthage."

In those days Carthage contained the chief enemies of the Prophet, and
the town became a gathering place for those bent upon his destruction.
Any movement in opposition to him or to the Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo
found sympathetic support there. Justice for the Prophet in Carthage
was therefore absolutely impossible. The lawyers and those encompassing
his destruction took advantage of the law on a question of venue to put
the object of their venom at the mercy of men whose attitude towards
him was always malignant.

During these days the Prophet was the mayor of Nauvoo, and his
home-town sheltered men who were seeking to encompass the Prophet and
his devoted followers. Such men were indeed a very small minority, but
they were able to make a great amount of noise and do endless mischief.
A certain individual had undertaken to appropriate the wharfage lands
at the foot of Water Street, and thus create an issue between himself
and the city. Such conduct awakened antagonism between people outside
of Nauvoo desiring to carry on business there in the city. Outsiders
did not always discriminate between the conduct of the mischief-makers
and the people at large. Everything disagreeable and annoying was laid
at the door of the Latter-day Saints.

These facts will explain the Prophet's outburst of indignation when he
said: "I want every fool to stay at home and let the steamboats and
captains and peace officers alone. How can we prevent mobs and the
shedding of innocent blood unless we strike at everything that rises up
in disorder."

There were in the city secret combinations planned to thwart the
purposes of Joseph and to bring confusion upon him and the great
majority of the people. Among those plotting his ruin were men who
professed personal friendship. "I despise," he says, "the man who
betrays with a kiss. A certain man has been writing to the New
York Tribune. I will not mention his name. He says much that was
appropriated for the Temple has been spent for other purposes. But any
man who has paid anything for the Temple can learn from the books that
every farthing has been used for that building. There are many men in
our midst who are trying {202} to build themselves up at our expense,
and others are watching for some pretended iniquity, and make a man an
offender for a word."

After an article entitled, "A Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo," was
read, Brigham Young addressed in the afternoon the assemblage. "I wish
to speak on the duties of lawyers," he said, "classing myself with the
lawyers in the house of Israel. When any man who is a lawyer takes a
course to break peace instead of promoting it, he is out of the way of
his duty. A doctor of law should be a peacemaker. The great object we
have before us is the completion of the Temple this season. We have
felt the effects of slander and want a cure, or balm for it. I carry
one with me all the time, and I want you to do the same. I will tell
you what it is. It is to mind our own business and let others alone,
to suffer rather than to do wrong. If anyone will take your property
away let him alone and have nothing to do with him. A spirit intended
to divide the Saints has been manifested in this city. We have built
up this city. Would steamboats have landed here if the Saints had not
come, or would speculators make anything out of our lands if we had not
come to give them value? Israel is to be the head, and not the tail.
All who have gone from us have gone from the head to the foot. Oppose
this work and it will roll over you. When since it began did this work
ever stop? What the Saints need to know is what the Lord wants of them
and then have the courage to do it. If the Saints will keep the law of
God, the hypocrites and the scoundrels will not be comfortable in their

Closing the meeting the Prophet said, "I care but little for politics;
I would not give much for the presidential chair in comparison with
the office I now hold; but as men in the world have used the powers
of government to oppose and persecute us, it is proper for us to use
those powers for our own protection and rights. Were I President of the
United States I would never say to an oppressed people, 'Your cause is
just but I can do nothing for you.'"

Continuing, he spoke of the annexation of Texas, and he further
believed that the United States should receive all the territory
that it could. He was in favor of paying for the slaves and further
believed that steps should be taken to give freedom to all colored
{203} children after a fixed period. By these means he believed that
much bloodshed would be averted and that in the end it would be less
expensive to the country at large. "This government," he said, "will
receive no suggestions from me. Those who hold the responsible places
are controlled by a spirit of self-sufficiency, but they will have to
meet with fear and trembling in a day to come the false position they
have taken."

"The Prophet Joseph," says Elder Woodruff, in his journal, "favored the
admission of Canada into the United States. He regarded all of North
and South America as the land of Zion, and believed that the principles
upon which the government of the United States was founded should
govern as well all the various nations on this continent."

On the 8th of March, a number of leading citizens met to consider the
question of vice-president on the presidential ticket.

Through all the teachings of the Prophet in those days there ran a
spirit of deep concern for the completion of the Temple, so that the
ordinances to be performed therein might be enjoyed by the Saints.
"These ordinances," Joseph insisted, "must be performed in this life."
He spoke on the land of Zion and of the days to come when there would
be stakes established throughout North and South America. His words
were like the sounds of a distant echo; their realization was then
scarcely within the compass of the most vivid imagination. Now that
stakes of Zion are spreading out into Canada, Mexico, and various
states of the Union, the fulfillment of these prophetic utterances is
within the understanding of all Latter-day Saints. And in view of these
prophecies one may exclaim with the psalmist of old: "Go about Zion;
count the towers thereof."




Mission of the Apostles to the East.--A Warning to W. W.--A Sad
Parting.--Political News of the Prophet Published.--W. W. Arrives in
Boston, June 26.--The Martyrdom.--Its Announcement Reaches W. W. in
Portland, Maine.--His Return to Boston.--an Epistle to the Elders
and Saints in the World.--W. W. Visits His Old Home.--Return to
Nauvoo.--Conditions in That City.

The fourth of March, 1844, brought to Elder Woodruff's life the
satisfaction that comes to those who esteem it a divinely appointed joy
to sit beneath their own vine and fig tree. He moved on that day to the
new home he had erected in Illinois; and for the first time he could
leave his family, while abroad preaching the gospel, in some measure of
comfort and independence. He felt now, more than ever, from a material
point of view, that he had prepared for the missionary service which
belonged to his calling.

The opportunity for missionary service soon came. The Laws, Higbees,
Fosters, Blakesley, and others came out in open rebellion against the
Prophet of God, who now felt a foreboding of evil days to come. The
Prophet, therefore, made a call upon the Twelve to take a mission to
the Eastern States. He would not have their lives jeopardized by the
enmity which was intensifying about him. Upon the Twelve rested the
responsibility of the Kingdom, should he be called to lay down his
life. Elder Woodruff left Nauvoo in company with George A. Smith, J.
M. Grant, Ezra Thayer, and the latter's son. Of this circumstance he
writes, "This was the last mission the Prophet ever gave to the Twelve
Apostles in this dispensation. He wished none of us to remain by him
except Willard Richards. Apostle John Taylor was later required to
remain and take charge of the printing and publications. The Prophet
then turned to me and said: 'Brother Woodruff, I want you to go, and
if you do not you will die.' His words rested with mighty weight upon
me when he spoke, and I have often thought since, in contemplation of
the awful tragedy of his and Hyrum's martyrdom, how truly his {205}
words would have been verified had I remained. Elder Taylor barely
escaped. Willard Richards escaped the bullets altogether. He escaped,
as was written of him later, 'without even a hole in his robe.' I
took the parting hand of Hyrum and Joseph, at their own dwellings.
Joseph stood in the entry of his door when I took his hand to bid
him farewell. Brother J. M. Grant was with me. As he took me by the
hand, he said: 'Brother Woodruff, you are about to start upon your
mission.' I answered, 'Yes.' He looked me steadily in the eye for a
time without speaking a word; he looked as though he would penetrate
my very soul, and at the same time seemed unspeakably sorrowful as if
weighed down by a foreboding of something dreadful. He finally spoke
in a mournful voice: 'God bless you, Brother Woodruff; go in peace.'
I turned and left him with a sorrowful heart, partaking of the same
spirit which rested upon him. This was the last time I ever saw his
face or heard his voice again--in the flesh. Sad were the last months
of the Prophet's life. They were like the last days of Him who died
on Calvary for the redemption of a fallen world. The Apostles of
this dispensation, while not aware of the coming events in all their
fullness, were yet more fully prepared for the sad event than were
the Apostles of Jerusalem. Those of the latter days had been endowed
with power from on high, and they did not slumber while their Prophet
suffered, as did those 'in the Garden of Gethsemane.'"

After departing upon his mission, Elder Woodruff and others passed the
first week in holding public meetings, and on the 18th of May held
their first conference in Newark, Kendall County, Illinois. With him at
this conference was George A. Smith of the Twelve. At its close they
were joined by Elders Charles C. Rich, David Fulmer, and Henry Jacobs
from Nauvoo. The evening following they held a political meeting over
which Wilford Woodruff presided. Henry Jacobs read the views of Joseph
Smith on the policy and powers of the general government. Spirited
addresses were made by David Fulmer, Wilford Woodruff, and George A.
Smith. The day following they rode thirty miles to Joliet, where a
similar meeting was held, and where a good impression was made upon the
minds of the people. In his journal he says: "We continued from place
to place, holding forth in public assemblage upon political subjects,
reading the {206} views of Joseph Smith and placing him before the
public as a fit candidate for the presidency of the United States.

"On the first of June we held conference in Comstock, Kalamazoo County,
Michigan. There were present two of the Quorum, myself and George A.
Smith. There were eight high priests; S. Bent, Charles C. Richor, David
Fulmer, H. Green, Z. Coltrin, Moses Smith, Ezra Thayer, and G. Coltrin;
eight seventies and fourteen elders; two priests and one deacon.
Charles C. Rich, in council with the officers, appointed the elders to
their respective stations in the several counties of the state, and
he manifested much wisdom in arranging to carry out his work both in
politics and religion in the state of Michigan."

On the eighth day they held a conference in Pleasant Valley, and
another in Franklin on the fifteenth. Soon after this Elder Woodruff
proceeded to Boston, where he arrived on the 26th of June. On the 27th,
the most sorrowful day of this dispensation, he was in company with
President Brigham Young. Of this day he subsequently wrote: "The day
of the martyrdom, Brigham Young and myself were seated in the railroad
station at the time Joseph and Hyrum were assassinated. This was June
the 27th, at quarter past five in the evening, at Carthage, Illinois.
It was half-past six in Boston. As we sat in the station, Brigham was
very sorrowful and depressed in spirit, not knowing the cause. This
was the time when Satan struck the heaviest blow he had struck since
the Son of God was crucified. We well knew afterwards why all the
Twelve, wherever they were on that day and at that time, were, like
the president of our Quorum, sorrowful, and burdened in spirit without
knowing why."

On the 29th of June the Twelve held a conference with the Saints in
Boston. They met in Franklin Hall. There were present Brigham Young,
Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, William
Smith, and Lyman Wight. President Young presided. It occupied two days.
The conference was well attended, and every effort was made to present
the views of the Prophet and explain the character of the Latter-day
Saints. The conference also received instructions in political matters.

July first, by previous appointment, a convention was held in {207}
Melodian Hall. Brigham Young of Nauvoo presided. William Smith and
Lyman Wight were vice presidents. Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, and
A. McAllister of Boston, and N. H. Felt of Salem were secretaries.
Resolutions were passed and proceedings of the meeting were published
in the "Boston Times" of July 2nd, 1844. An evening session of the
convention was held. A number of rowdies made their appearance in the
galleries. While President Young was speaking, a woman by the name
of Folsom, arose and began to harangue the audience; then a rowdy,
supported by a large number of kindred spirits, made such a disturbance
that the police came in to quell those creating the confusion. The
police, however, were overpowered by the rough element and the meeting
was broken up. The convention, however, adjourned until 4 p. m. the
following day, to meet at Bunker Hill. Here Heber C. Kimball and George
B. Wallace were elected delegates to attend the Baltimore National

On July 2nd the Twelve met in council and made their plans to support
and attend the several conferences in the various states. Elder
Woodruff and his old-time friend, Milton Holmes, whom he had not seen
for five years, went into Maine. "We left Boston," he says, "at seven
p. m. on the 2nd and arrived at Father Carter's home in Scarboro early
the next afternoon. I found my wife's father and mother and Brother
Fabyan and family all well." A Brother Stoddard had already made the
appointment for their conference on the 6th and 7th at Scarboro, in a
Presbyterian chapel. About six hundred people assembled. There were
present besides himself S. B. Stoddard, Milton Holmes, Elbridge Tufts,
and Samuel Parker.

On the 9th, in company with Milton Holmes and Father Carter, Elder
Woodruff visited Portland, and dined with his brother-in-law, Ezra
Carter. While there he saw for the first time the announcement in the
press of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It was published in
the "Boston Times." In consequence of the shocking news, he repaired
at once to Boston, and the day following his arrival there he met with
the Saints and gave them counsel and comfort in the hour of their
bereavement. "The next day," he says in his journal, "I wrote a letter
to the editor of the "Prophet," published in New York, giving a word
of exhortation {208} to the Saints abroad to maintain their integrity,
and to keep the faith and endurance of the Saints even unto death. The
following morning we obtained information from Quincy, giving full
account of the horrible affair at Carthage and the great loss which the
Church had sustained.

"The governor himself acknowledged the death of Joseph and Hyrum to be
a wanton murder. The state of Illinois was in commotion, and Governor
Ford made Quincy his headquarters and issued a proclamation to the
citizens of the state. The news of the day stated that the Mormon
leaders in Nauvoo had done all they could to restrain the disciples
of the martyred Prophet from vengeance. Still there was evidently a
disposition on the part of the people and the troops to destroy Nauvoo,
lest the Mormons should hold a fearful reckoning with the mobocratic
element in desperation over the assassination of their Prophet and
Patriarch. 'The wicked flee when no man pursueth.'"

On Sunday, the 14th, Elder Woodruff preached twice to the Saints in
Boston, he being the only one of the Twelve then in that city. On the
morning of the 16th of July he received a letter from Erastus Snow and
one from John E. Page, both confirming the report of the martyrdom. The
same day he received the first letter he had obtained from his wife
since leaving Nauvoo. This letter contained the narration of a dream
given to the Prophet Joseph a few days before his death. In the dream
there was clearly indicated to him the conspiracy and treachery of
William and Wilson Law, and the fact, too, that they would yet cry unto
Joseph to deliver them from the grasp of the monster into whose hands
they had wilfully placed themselves; and that his power to help them
would be like that of Lazarus, to whom the rich man appealed. There was
a gulf between them.

On the 17th of July he says, in his journal: "Elder Brigham Young
arrived in Boston. I walked with him to No. 57 Temple Street and called
upon Sister Vose. Brother Young took the bed and I the armchair, and
then we veiled our faces and gave vent to our grief. Until now I had
not shed a tear since the death of the Prophet. My soul had been
nerved up like steel. After giving vent to our grief in tears we felt
more composed. Brother Brigham left the city the same day, but soon
returned. Elders {209} Kimball, Hyde, and Orson Pratt also came. We
held a council and I was directed to write a letter to the "Prophet,"
edited in New York, advising the elders who had families in Nauvoo to
go immediately to them, and all the elders of the Church to assemble
forthwith at Nauvoo for a council. It was signed by order of the quorum
of the Twelve, Brigham Young, president, and Wilford Woodruff, clerk.
This order of the quorum was subsequently published in the "News,"
Volume 7, No. 447."

On July 18th, meeting was held in a hall on Washington Street, opposite
Boylston Hall. Elder Hyde spoke on the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum,
and was followed by Brigham Young, who said: "Be of good cheer. The
testimony is not in force while the testator liveth; when he dieth, it
is enforced. So it is with Joseph. When God sends a man to do a work,
all the devils in hell cannot kill him until his work is accomplished.
It was thus with Joseph. He prepared all things and gave the keys to
men on the earth and said, 'I am soon to be taken from you.'"

Soon after this the Twelve left for Nauvoo. Elder Woodruff started
on the 20th, and two days later found himself at his native home in
Farmington, Connecticut. "I found my father and stepmother alone, there
was not a child with them in their decline of life to watch over them.
I had twenty-four hours to stay and I happily improved the time.

"My father was sixty-seven years of age, and I might never see him
again in mortality. I felt deeply impressed of late that I had
something to do for my parents. As the sable shades of a serene night
drew their curtain over the earth and sealed the cares of the day, we
went alone to prayer. There were none but congenial spirits there. I
rose and with a spirit like that of Joseph of old towards his father
Jacob, opened my heart to my father, and he reciprocated my sentiments.
I then laid my hands upon his head and ordained Aphek Woodruff a high
priest and patriarch after the order of Melchisedek, and sealed him
up unto eternal life. I shall never forget the deep satisfaction and
heavenly spirit of that night beneath my father's roof. Sleep departed
from me, and I was wrapped in the meditations and visions of days gone
by and of days to come."

The day following he journeyed on to New York, where he {210} met Orson
Hyde and Orson Pratt. When they reached Schenectady they met Brigham
Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Lyman Wight. The six journeyed together
until they reached Fairport, where Elder Hyde separated from them to
visit his family in Kirtland.

On this journey homeward President Young requested Elder Woodruff to
keep an account of the events of those times, for some day he would be
called upon to give a record of them. It was during this journey that
Lyman Wight testified that while he was in jail in Missouri with the
prophet, that Joseph informed him that he (Joseph) would not live to
see his 40th birthday, but enjoined him not to speak of it until after
his words had been fulfilled. It was during this journey also that
Elder Kimball had a dream. It showed the policy of the nation toward
the work of God and the important part the Twelve would perform in
building upon the foundation laid by the Prophet.

The Twelve arrived in Nauvoo on the sixth day of August, where they
received a hearty welcome by families and friends. "When we landed in
the city, a deep gloom seemed to rest over Nauvoo such as we had never
before experienced."

Those were days of heartfelt anxiety. Conflicting spirits were at
work in a struggle for ascendency. Selfish ambitions and sinister
motives were operating among the few. The Saints, generally, were
trusting themselves to an overruling Providence; they believed that
at the proper time and in a manner unmistakeable, there would be
some manifestation of God's watchcare over His Saints. The personal
ambitions of men had gained no decided sway over the hearts and minds
of the great body of the Church. The Apostles had just arrived. They
were strong men, and the people felt the power of their influence.
Those who were promoting their own selfish ends were likewise concerned
over the arrival of the Twelve. To them the presence of these men meant
more a contest for supremacy than it did an opportunity for more light
and a better understanding. The humble and the God-fearing among the
people possessed the key of their own safety. They were seeking a will
higher than their own, and were willing when they found it to yield
obedience. They knew that it was not their work. They appreciated
fully the fact that they were humble instruments and therefore wanted
to place themselves in harmony {211} with that divine authority which
had been their guide and their anchor in bygone days. Those who were
seeking the light were the first to behold it. The days following the
arrival in Nauvoo of President Young and other members of the Twelve
were days of great future significance in the history of the Church;
every event of those days has been a land-mark in the history of God's
people. What followed of importance is carefully recorded by Elder
Woodruff in his journal. The contents of that journal are of supreme
historical importance in the annals of the Church.




Sidney Rigdon's Claim to Guardianship.--Rigdon's Spiritual
Condition.--Comparison of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick
Williams.--Remarks of Brigham Young.--Meeting on Aug. 8, 1844.--Brigham
Young Follows Sidney Rigdon in Address to the People.--Members of the
Twelve Speak.--Vote on Question of Leadership.

The return of the Twelve to Nauvoo at that particular time was both
opportune and providential. Elder Woodruff's careful record of what was
said and done gives us an insight into the condition of the city and
into the feelings of the people. The minds of the Saints were agitated,
their hearts were sorrowful and darkness seemed to becloud their path;
they were like sheep without a shepherd, since their beloved Prophet
had been taken away.

Elder John Taylor was recovering from his wounds; and on the 7th of
August, 1844, the Twelve met in the forenoon in council at his home.
At four o'clock in the afternoon the Twelve, the high council, and
the high priests met in the Seventies' Hall. It was there that Sidney
Rigdon made his appearance, he having returned from Pittsburg. On
invitation of President Young he took charge of the meeting. Sidney
Rigdon presented to the people his claims to the guardianship of the
Church. He recounted to those present, a vision which he said he
received in Pittsburg on the 27th of June, the day of the Prophet's
martyrdom. This vision is given by Elder Woodruff in his journal as
follows: "This was presented to my mind, not as an open vision, but
rather as a continuation of the vision mentioned in the Doctrine and
Covenants. It was shown to me that His Church must be built up unto
Joseph and that all the blessings we received must come through him. I
have been ordained as spokesman to Joseph and must see that the Church
is governed in a proper manner. Joseph sustains the same relationship
to this Church as he has always done. No man can be a successor of
Joseph. The Kingdom has to be built up to Jesus Christ through Joseph.
There must still be revelation. The martyred Prophet is still the head
of this Church. Every quorum should stand in {213} the order in which
its members received their anointings. I have been ordained a spokesman
to Joseph and was commanded to speak for him. The Church is not
disorganized though our head is gone. We have a diversity of feelings
on this matter. I have been called to be a spokesman unto Joseph and
I want to build up the Church unto him; and if the people call me to
sustain this place, I want it upon the principle that every individual
shall acknowledge my right for himself. I propose to be a guardian to
the people. In this matter I have discharged my duty and have done what
God has commanded me to do. The people may please themselves whether
they accept me or not."

It will be remembered that although Sidney Rigdon had for a long time
been faithful and had passed through many persecutions and tribulations
with Joseph, he had weakened and had become "weary in well doing." When
he came out of Liberty jail he made an expression both presumptuous
and sacrilegious by saying, in substance, that the Savior was nothing
in suffering, compared with himself. Again when the Prophet gazed upon
Commerce, the place where Nauvoo was built, he prophetically remarked:
"It is a beautiful site but not long a resting place for the Saints."
Sidney was so impetuous and so weary of suffering that in a tone of
vexation he said of Joseph's words: "I thought that Joseph knew better
than to prophesy evil concerning the Saints."

The foregoing remarks disclose the state of Elder Rigdon's mind and
explain the interpretation which he put upon the sacrifices he had made
for the gospel's sake. From these sacrifices he sought honor rather
than the knowledge and spirit they contained. Elder Rigdon further
manifested a weakness in his faith by his critical attitude towards
the Prophet whose mind, to Sidney Rigdon's knowledge, had been so
wonderfully enlightened by a divine power that enabled him to foresee
future events. When Elder Rigdon, in closing his talk, remarked that
the people could do as they pleased about it, he manifested a weakness
of conviction and a spirit of indifference to his own claims that
created an equal indifference in the minds of those who listened to his

Before his death, Joseph had conferred the keys of his divine authority
upon the Twelve who stood next in authority to the {214} Presidency of
the Church and they succeeded to the leadership when the latter for any
reason became disorganized.

Before the Prophet's death Elder Rigdon became separated from the body
of the Church and really abandoned his calling by his return to his
former home in Pittsburg. Associated in this particular event in the
history of the Church are the words of the Prophet which so perfectly
portrayed, not only Sidney Rigdon's character and future life, but also
the marvelous inspiration which characterized the words of the Prophet.
From Church History, Volume I., page 448, the following is given:

"Brother Sidney is a man whom I love but is not capable of that pure
and steadfast love for those who are his benefactors that should
characterize a president of the Church of Christ. This with some other
little things, such as selfishness and independence of mind, which too
often manifested, destroy the confidence of those who would lay down
their lives for him--these are his faults. But notwithstanding these
things, he is a very great and good man; a man of great power of words,
and can gain the friendship of his hearers very quickly. He is a man
whom God will uphold, if he will continue faithful to his calling. O
God, grant that he may for the Lord's sake. Amen."

"And again, blessed be brother Sidney, notwithstanding he shall be high
and lifted up, yet he shall bow down under the yoke like unto an ass
that croucheth beneath his burden, that learneth his master's will by
the stroke of the rod; thus saith the Lord: yet, the Lord will have
mercy on him and he shall bring forth much fruit, even as the vine
of the choice grape when her clusters are ripe, before the time of
the gleaning of the vintage; and the Lord shall make his heart merry
as with sweet wine, because of him who putteth forth his hand, and
lifteth him up out of the deep mire, and pointeth him out the way,
and guideth his feet when he stumbles and humbleth him in his pride.
Blessed are his generations; nevertheless one shall hunt after them
as a man hunteth after an ass that has strayed in the wilderness, and
straightway findeth him and bringeth him into the fold. Thus shall the
Lord watch over his generation, that they may be saved, Even so, Amen."

"The man who willeth to do well, we would extol his virtues, and speak
not of his faults behind his back. A man who {215} wilfully turneth
away from his friend without a cause, is not easily forgiven. The
kindness of a man should never be forgotten. That person who never
forsaketh his trust should ever have the highest place of regard in our
hearts, and our love should never fail, but increase more and more, and
this is my disposition and these are my sentiments."

"Brother Frederick G. Williams is one of those men in whom I place
the greatest confidence and trust, for I have found him ever full of
brotherly love, and kindness. He is not a man of many words but is ever
winning because of his constant mind. He shall ever have a place in my
heart, and is ever entitled to my confidence. He is perfectly upright
and honest and seeks with all his heart to magnify his Presidency in
the Church of Christ, but often fails because of lack of confidence in
himself. God grant that he may overcome all evil. Blessed be Brother
Frederick for he shall never want a friend, and his generation after
him shall flourish. The Lord hath appointed him an inheritance upon the
land of Zion: yea, and his head shall blossom, and he shall be as an
olive branch that is bowed down with fruit. Even so. Amen."

The fulfillment of these words were wonderfully brought about recently
through the discovery of Sidney Rigdon's son, John W., in New York. The
son, most of his life, had been separated from the Church and all its
interests. The proselyting of the elders in that city awakened in him
a spirit of inquiry into the doctrines which his father had so ably
expounded. The son became converted to the divinity of those doctrines
and espoused the teachings of the Church.

On the other hand, the posterity of Frederick Williams became numerous
and faithful. In view of such divine insight into the lives of men as
well as into the course of events, who can doubt? Joseph Smith stood
forth in prophetic majesty like Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Peter, James,
John, and others of old.

Returning to that important meeting in the Seventies' Hall, we find
recorded in Elder Woodruff's journal the words of President Young. They
are given by that faithful chronicler as follows: "I do not care who
leads the Church as long as the Lord directs it. One thing I must know
and that is what God says about it. I have the keys, and, therefore,
the means of obtaining the mind of God upon this subject. I know there
are those in our {216} midst who will seek the lives of the Twelve as
they did the lives of Joseph and Hyrum. We shall ordain others and give
them the fulness of priesthood, so that if we are killed the priesthood
shall remain. Joseph conferred upon our heads all the keys and powers
belonging to the apostleship which he held before he was taken away.
No man, no set of men, can get between Joseph and the Twelve in this
world or in the world to come. How often Joseph has said to the Twelve:
'I have laid the foundation, and you must build thereon; for upon
your shoulders the Kingdom rests.' The Twelve as a quorum will not be
permitted to tarry here long, they will go abroad and bear off the
Kingdom to the nations of the earth. They will baptize people faster
than mobs can kill them. I would like it, were it my privilege, to
take my valise and travel and preach until we had a people gathered
who would be true. My private feelings would be to let the affairs of
men and women alone, except to preach the gospel and to baptize people
into the Kingdom of God. However, what duty places upon me I intend to

Upon the suggestion of President Young, a special conference was
appointed for the following Tuesday, August 8, at ten a. m. To this
those present gave unanimous assent.

At the request of William Marks, who then presided over the stake in
Nauvoo, a special meeting was held in the morning to choose a guardian
for the Church. At that time Sidney Rigdon took his position in a wagon
about two rods in front of the stand and talked to the people for
about an hour and a half upon the choice of a guardian for the Church.
Those who were present on that occasion and who were familiar with the
eloquence of Sidney Rigdon, say that all his former inspiration and
eloquence had vanished while setting forth his personal claims for
recognition. He spoke as one who had forsaken the path of duty and had
become, like many others, indifferent to his obligations in the Church.

When this meeting was dismissed, President Young made an appointment
with the brethren to assemble at two p. m. that day. There were present
among the assembled multitude, President Young, Heber C. Kimball,
Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, and
George A. Smith. The various quorums were assigned to their respective
places around the stand. {217} After the opening exercises, President
Young arose and said: "Attention all! This congregation makes me think
of the days of King Benjamin when the multitude was so great that all
could not hear. Let none complain of the size of this congregation, it
was necessary to call you together. For the first time in the history
of our lives, for the first time in this dispensation of the gospel, we
are without the Prophet Joseph in our midst. I step forth, therefore,
to act in my calling in connection with the Quorum of the Twelve, the
Apostles of Jesus Christ of this generation--Apostles whom God has
called by revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith and who are
ordained and anointed to carry the keys of the Kingdom of God unto all
the world.

"Hitherto the people have walked by sight and not so much by faith. We
have had the Prophet as the mouthpiece of the Lord; now he is gone. He
has sealed his testimony with his blood. We are called for the first
time to walk by faith. Now that our Prophet and Patriarch are taken
from our midst, in behalf of the Twelve I submit to the people this
question: Do you want someone to guard, to guide, to lead you into the
Kingdom of God as a guardian, spokesman, or something else? If so,
signify it by raising your right hand. (There was no vote).

"When I came to this stand I had peculiar feelings and impressions.
The faces of this people seemed to say: we want a shepherd to guide
us through this world. To all who want to draw apart from the Church
I say, let them do it if they choose, but they will not prosper. They
will find that there is a power with the Apostles which will carry the
work off victoriously and which will build up and defend the Church and
Kingdom of God in all the world. What do the people want? I want the
privilege of weeping and mourning for thirty days at least, and then
rising up and shaking myself and telling the people what the Lord wants
of them. Although my heart is too full of mourning to launch out into
business transactions and into the organizations of the Church, I feel
compelled this day to step forth and discharge all those duties which
God has placed upon me.

"I now wish to speak of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints. The Church is organized, and you want to know how
it is organized, I will tell you. I know your feelings. Do you want
me to tell you your feelings? There {218} is President Rigdon who was
counselor to Joseph. I ask, where are Joseph and Hyrum? They are gone
beyond the veil, and if President Rigdon wants to act as his counselor,
he must go beyond the veil where he is.

"There has been much said about President Rigdon being President of
the Church and leading the people--being the head, etc., etc. Brother
Rigdon has come sixteen hundred miles to tell you what he wants to do
for you. If the people want President Rigdon to lead them they may have
him; but I say unto you that the Quorum of the Twelve have the keys of
the Kingdom in all the world. The Twelve are appointed by the finger of
God. Here is Brigham, have his knees ever faltered? Have his lips ever
quivered? Here are Heber and the rest of the Twelve, an independent
body who have the keys of the priesthood; the keys of the Kingdom of
God to deliver to all the world; this is true, so help me God! They
stand next to Joseph and are as the Presidency of the Church. I do not
know whether my enemies will take my life or not and I do not care, for
I want to be with the man I love.

"You cannot fill the office of a prophet, seer, and revelator. God must
do that. You are like children without a father, and sheep without a
shepherd. You must not appoint any man at your head; if you do, the
Twelve must ordain him. You cannot appoint any man at your head, but if
you do want any other man or men to lead you, take him or them, and we
will go our way to build up the Kingdom of God in all the world.

"I know who are Joseph's friends and who are his enemies; I know where
the keys of the Kingdom are, where they will eternally be. You cannot
call a man to be a prophet. You cannot take Elder Rigdon and place him
above the Twelve; if so, he must be ordained by them.

"I tell you there is an over-anxiety to hurry matters here. You cannot
take any man and put him at the head. You would scatter the Saints to
the four winds. You would sever the priesthood. So long as we remain as
we are, the Heavenly Head is in constant co-operation with us; and if
you go out of that course, God will have nothing to do with you.

"Again, some perhaps think that our beloved Brother Rigdon would not
be honored, would not be looked to as a friend; {219} but if he does
right and remains faithful, he will not act against our counsel nor we
against his, but act together and be as one.

"I again repeat--no man can stand at our head except God reveals it
from the heavens. I have spared no pains to learn my lesson of the
Kingdom in this world and in the eternal worlds: and if it were not
so, I could go and live in peace; but for the gospel and your sakes, I
shall stand in my place. We are liable, all the day long, to be killed.
You have never lived by faith.

"Brother Joseph, the Prophet, has laid the foundation for a great work
and we will build upon it. You have never seen the quorums built one
upon another. There is an almighty foundation laid and we can build a
Kingdom such as there never was in the world. We can build a Kingdom
faster than Satan can kill the Saints off.

"What do you want? Do you want a patriarch for the whole Church? To
this we are perfectly willing. If Brother Samuel H. Smith had been
living, it would have been his right and privilege, but he is dead.
He is gone to Joseph and Hyrum. He is out of the reach of bullets and
spears and he can associate himself with his brothers, his friends, and
the Saints.

"Do you want a patriarch? Here is Brother William left. Here is Uncle
John Smith, uncle to the Prophet Joseph. It is their right. The right
of the patriarchal priesthood belongs to Joseph's family.

"Do you want a trustee-in-trust? Has there been a bishop who has stood
in his lot yet? What is his business? To take charge of the temporal
affairs so that the Twelve and the elders may go on their business.
Joseph condescended to do their business for them. Joseph condescended
to offer himself for Presidency of the United States, and it was a
great condescension.

"Do you want a spokesman? Here are Elder Rigdon, Brother Amasa Lyman,
(whom Joseph expected to take as a counselor) and myself. Do you want
the Church properly organized, or do you want a spokesman. Elder Rigdon
claims to be spokesman to the Prophet. Very well--he was. But can he
now act in that office?

"If he wants now to be a spokesman to the Prophet he must go to the
other side of the veil for the Prophet is there, but {220} Elder Rigdon
is here. Why will Elder Rigdon be a fool? Who knows anything of the
priesthood or of the organization of the Kingdom of God? I am plain.
Does the Church want it as God organized it, or do you want to clip the
power of the priesthood, and let those who have the right go and build
up the Kingdom in all the world wherever the people will hear them?

"If there is a spokesman, if he is a king and priest, let him go and
build up a kingdom unto himself. The Twelve are at the head of the
Church. I want to live on the earth and spread truth through all the
world. You Saints of Latter-days want things right. If ten thousand
should rise up and say they have Joseph's shoes, I know they would be
imposters. In the priesthood you have a right to build up a kingdom if
you know how the Church is organized.

"Now if you want Sidney Rigdon or William Law to lead you, or any body
else, you are welcome to them both, but I tell you in the name of the
Lord that no man can put another between the Twelve and the Prophet
Joseph. Why? Because Joseph was their file leader and he has committed
into their hands the keys of the Kingdom in this last dispensation for
all the world. I ask, who has stood next to Joseph? I have; and I will
stand next to him. We have a head and that head is the Apostleship, the
spirit and power of Joseph, and we now can begin to see the necessity
of that Apostleship.

"President Rigdon was at his side, not above. No man had a right to
counsel the Twelve but Joseph Smith. Think of these sayings. You cannot
appoint a prophet; but if you let the Twelve remain and act in their
place, the keys of the Kingdom are with them, and they can manage the
affairs of the Church and direct all things aright.

"Now all this does not lessen the character of President Rigdon. Let
him magnify his calling and Joseph will want him behind the veil. Let
him be careful what he does lest that thread which binds us together be
cut asunder. May God bless us all."

Following the remarks of President Brigham Young, Amasa Lyman spoke a
few words fully sustaining President Young and the Twelve. Elder Lyman
had been chosen as a counselor to the Prophet Joseph and in reference
to the matter pending said: "I am gratified with the open, frank, and
plain exposition {221} of President Young. He has seen the relation I
bear to our deceased brother. I never did conceive that it gave me a
right to stand above the Twelve. I make no exceptions, whatever, to
anything he has said. President Young has stood next to the Prophet
Joseph with the Twelve and I have stood next to them and will be with
the Twelve forever. We have a head here. What is that head? The Quorum
of the Twelve Apostles."

The words, the appearance, and the spirit of Brigham Young were so
convincing and so like those of the Prophet Joseph that the people knew
the voice of their new shepherd.

President Rigdon next called upon W. W. Phelps to speak for him as
he could not speak for himself. Although Elder Phelps spoke at some
length, he did not advocate the claims of Elder Rigdon. He sustained
the right and duty of the Twelve Apostles to stand at the head, and
expressed his hope that Elder Rigdon would submit to that authority.

Apostle Parley P. Pratt then spoke in support of President Young and
the Twelve and said with reference to the wicked men in Nauvoo: "If
there are wicked men here, it is because we support them. Stop dealing
with them and they will go away. I am willing to do good to all men,
especially to the household of faith. Mobs and wicked men will cease
only when you cease to support them. I know we can all live and be
happy--when we deal with honest men. If some men want a doctor to cure
them, they will send directly for the worst man they can find. I would
die a natural death rather than have a wicked doctor help me off.
Cunning device and hypocritical sophistry gain an ascendency in Nauvoo,
and this they have often done elsewhere in the History of the Church."

At the close of Elder Pratt's remarks President Young arose and said:
"If Brother Rigdon is the person you want to lead you, vote for him;
but if you do, then follow him and take his counsel hereafter as you
did the counsel of Joseph; and do not say so unless you mean to follow
him. I will say the same for the Twelve. Don't make a covenant to
support them unless you intend to abide by their counsel. President
Rigdon wants me to bring up the first question of sustaining the
Twelve. If the Church wants the Twelve to stand at its head, to be the
Presidency of the Church in all the world, standing next to Joseph,
to {222} walk in their calling and to hold the keys of this Kingdom,
manifest it by holding up the right hand. (There was a unanimous vote
in favor of the proposition.) If there be any of a contrary mind, lift
up your hands in like manner. (No hand went up). This supercedes the
other question and the necessity of putting it to the quorums."

The remarks of President Young on this occasion clearly indicate
that there was no disposition to treat unkindly or with disrespect
the feelings of Elder Rigdon, or to disregard the fact of his long
experience, and of his sufferings for the gospel's sake. President
Young continued: "We feel as though we could take Brother Rigdon along
with us. We want such a man. Let him be one with us and we one with
him." Later in his remarks President Young asked the congregation if
they would sustain Elder Rigdon in his relationship to the Twelve. The
vote to do so was unanimous.

Of the deceased Prophet, President Young said: "You did not know whom
you had amongst you. Joseph so loved this people that he gave his life
for them. Hyrum loved his brother and this people unto death. Joseph
and Hyrum have given their lives for the Church. Very few knew Joseph's
character, who loved you unto death. He has now sealed his testimony
with his blood. If the Twelve had been here, they would not have seen
him given up. He should not have been given up. He was in your midst
and you did not know him. He has been taken away, for the people are
not worthy of him. I do not know whether my enemies will kill me or
not. I would wish to be with the man I love."

The patriarch of the Church had been taken away and the office
therefore left vacant. Of this matter President Young said: "We shall
have a patriarch, and the right to this office is in the family of
Joseph Smith. It belongs to some of his relations. Here is Uncle John.
He has been ordained a patriarch. Brother Samuel would have received
it, but he also has been taken away. The right is in Uncle John or in
one of his brothers." The matter of selecting a patriarch was left to
the Twelve for future action and for the purpose of learning the will
of the Lord concerning it. At that time the Patriarch Hyrum's son,
John, who now fills the office was only ten years of age. Uncle John,
brother {223} to Joseph's father, was finally chosen to fill the place
which he did with honor and satisfaction during the rest of his life.

Since that memorable conference all therein said by President Young
and his associates is confirmed by the position taken with respect
to the authority or the leadership in the Church. Notwithstanding
the predictions of a migration by the Saints to the valleys of the
Rocky Mountains, the leaders adhered strictly to the divine command,
admonishing them to complete the Temple. By the conscientious regard
for the word of God which was manifested to them from day to day they
accomplished the work at hand and trusted their future movements to the
guidance of their Heavenly Father. They waited upon the Lord and were
taught by Him the lessons of patience as well as the lessons of faith.
The conference just closed was a notable landmark in the history of the
Church. Its decisions have been faithfully kept and the wisdom of those
decisions, time has justified.




The New Leadership.--Second Call to Great Britain.--Warning Against
Leading Companies from Nauvoo.--Instructions To Finish the Temple and
To Build up the City.--W. W. Visits Emma Smith and Others.--Parting
Address to the Saints.

The mid-summer days of 1844 were full of uncertainties, wonderment,
some misgivings, many jealousies, and considerable resistance to the
newly established authority and leadership in the Church.

Joseph Smith was a wonderful man, a man with a marvelous career. The
full force of his prophetic mission had not fallen upon those who were
his contemporaries. A person's relationship with him in those days
was no doubt a favored opportunity. His magnetism, individual force,
and the personal qualities of his life impressed those with whom he
was most intimately associated, those who had sincerely accepted
his divine calling. It is not true, however, that the highest and
best understanding of his prophetic mission could be had by personal
contact. The highest and best testimony that ever came to men and women
in the world respecting the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith came to
them through the gift of the Holy Ghost. By that spirit men who never
saw him, never felt the magnetism of his personality, were among the
most devoted in their adherence to his teachings.

Those Saints who saw in Joseph Smith the instrumentality of a divine
purpose, and saw above and beyond their young Prophet the glories of a
new dispensation, did not hesitate at the call of a new shepherd, the
accents and tones of whose voice had the ring of the same inspiration
that had moved other hearts in the days gone by. Ambitions had to be
reckoned with, and they are full of seduction and danger when they
obscure the vision by selfish aims. There is always darkness when men
stand in their own light; there is nothing that dims a man's vision
so much as his own shadow. There were aspiring men who cherished the
desire to put to the test their own personal influence. It is so easy
for personal influence to beget pride,--pride which not only shuts off
that influence, but which also makes men helpless {225} to realize
its absence long after it has departed. Even after the vote of the
conference had been general to sustain the new leadership, there were
small factions who wandered away from the body of the Church.

At a meeting of the Twelve Apostles on the 12th of August, the subject
of missionary work came up for consideration. The new movement called
forth a proselyting spirit that was just as strong after Joseph's death
as it was before. The American continent was considered none too large
for a field of operation. It was districted for missionary purposes
and presidents were appointed over the several divisions. At this
meeting Elder Woodruff was chosen to preside over the European mission.
One never reads of his call abroad without some feeling of regret
that so faithful a chronicler of current events should be separated
from the main body of the Church, and future generations deprived of
the detailed narrative which he gave of the counsels, teachings, and
movements of the leaders.

On Sunday, the 18th, President Young addressed a vast congregation of
Saints, a synopsis of whose teachings is found in Elder Woodruff's
journal. "I discover," says President Young, "a disposition in the
sheep to scatter abroad now that their former shepherd has been taken
from them. I do not mean to say that it will never be right for the
people to leave this place, but they should wait until the proper
time comes and until they can go under proper counsel. The report has
gone through the city that the Twelve have secret understandings with
those who are going away, and with those who are taking companies with
them; and that although the Twelve will speak against it publicly, yet
privately they approve such migration. If it were the last words I had
to speak before going into the eternal world, I would solemnly declare
that there is not one word of truth in such a report. No man has any
right through consent of the Twelve to lead one soul out of this city
except Lyman Wight and George Miller who have the privilege of taking
the Pine Company. If they go contrary to our counsel, they will go to
their own self-destruction. If men do not cease striving to be great by
exalting themselves and by leading people astray, they shall fall and
not rise again."

Those were great words, words remarkably fulfilled in the subsequent
career of Lyman Wight who rebelled against the authority {226} of the
Twelve and led a little body of people into Texas. His influence,
however, soon departed. His followers scattered and he died of mountain
fever. The same fate befell others who pursued the same course. It was
too bad that Wight should thus obscure what had been in him in earlier
days, a great loyalty and a great devotion.

Continuing, President Young said: "I wish you distinctly to understand
that the counsel of the Twelve is for every family that does not belong
to the Pine Company to stay in Nauvoo to build the Temple and obtain
the endowments to be given therein. Do not scatter. United we stand,
divided we fall. It has been whispered abroad that all who go into the
wilderness with Wight and Miller will get their endowments. They cannot
give an endowment in the wilderness. If we do not carry out the plan
laid down by Joseph we can get no further endowments. I want this to
sink deep into your hearts that you may appreciate it.

"Do the people leave here because they are afraid? If so, I tell them
before God that they shall have no place to rest, but shall flee from
place to place like the Jews. I would rather have the dead body of the
Prophet than some men who are alive. We want to build the Temple in
this place even if we have to do as the Jews did in their erection of
the Temple at Jerusalem: work with a sword in one hand and a trowel in
the other. Stay here. Plow, sow, and build. Put your plow shares into
the prairie. One plow share will do more to drive off the mob than two

"Do you suppose the mouth of God is closed to be opened no more? If
this were true, I would not give the ashes of a rye straw for this
Church. If God has ceased to speak by revelation or by the Holy Ghost,
there is no salvation, but such is not so. Woe! Woe! Woe! to all who
have shed the blood of the Saints and the Lord's anointed. If you have
the spirit of God you can discern right from wrong. When a man is not
right, even though his language is as smooth as oil, there will be many
queries about him, he will not edify the body of the Saints and I give
this to you as a key. Store your grain in Nauvoo, for it will be needed
there while you are building the Temple.

"I want to say to the hands upon the Temple, be united; and to the
committee, don't turn away any person because he is English, Irish, or
Scotch. Employ every man you can, and build {227} the Temple and build
your homes. I would rather pay out every cent to build up this place
and receive an endowment, even were I driven the next minute without
anything to take with me.

"I had a dream which I will relate here. I saw a fruit tree and went
to it in search of fruit. I soon discovered that some of the main
branches at the top of the tree growing from the body were dead. It
seemed necessary to cut off the dead branches in order to save the
tree. I asked someone to help me cut them off. He stepped on a large
green limb. He was afraid it would break, so I put my shoulder under it
and held it up while he cut off the dead branches. The green limb was
cracked but it did not break. After we cut off the dead branches the
wounds healed up and the tree grew nicely. Now let us cut off the dead
branches of the Church that good fruit may grow."

The central idea now in the mind of Brigham Young and the paramount
influence actuating him in those days may easily be seen in the
steadfast purpose he manifested to build upon the foundation which the
Prophet had already laid. He had no ambition to excel his predecessor
and was therefore loyal to the Prophet, and throughout all his life he
magnified his calling by sustaining the prophetic mission of Joseph
Smith. A few of the leaders fell by the wayside, but those who were
foremost in supporting the Prophet at the time of his martyrdom were
found faithful after his death.

Elder Woodruff was no less enthusiastic in the great latter day work
than he had formerly been. The men he most respected he regarded simply
as instrumentalities of a divine purpose; for to his mind it was a
great thing to be an instrument in the hands of God in the furtherance
of a new and grand dispensation. His missionary zeal never waned
and those mid-summer days of 1844 found him busily occupied making
preparations for his departure to England where he was to preside over
the British Mission. His wife was to accompany him, and arrangements
were made to leave their son, Wilford, during their absence with his
old time friend, John Benbow.

Before leaving Nauvoo, he paid a visit to Emma Smith to whose life
he sought to bring consolation in the hour of her bereavement. She
gave him a piece of oak for a staff. The oak had been taken from
Joseph's coffin. She also presented him with {228} a pair of white
cotton gloves, and to his wife she gave a handkerchief. He and Mrs.
Woodruff next called upon Mary Smith, widow of Hyrum, and the mother
of President Joseph F. Smith. She gave Elder Woodruff several small
locks of hair taken from the heads of Joseph, Hyrum, Samuel, and Don
Carlos, all brothers who had passed away into the other world. Speaking
of these relics Elder Woodruff says: "I also obtained some hair of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. My purpose in getting it was that I
might put a part of each of these collections in the knob of my staff
as a relic of those noble men, the master spirits of the nineteenth
century." These relics he held as something sacred during his life
time, and they are now in the possession of his family.

"I next visited Mother Lucy Smith, the mother of the Prophet, and of
a large family of sons. This noble mother and prophetess felt sorely
grieved over the loss of her children, and lamented the cruel treatment
she had received at the hands of an unfeeling world. She begged a
blessing at my hands. I laid my hands upon her head and by the spirit
of God pronounced upon her a blessing. This was August 23, 1844. I
quote from that blessing as follows: 'Let thy heart be comforted in
the midst of thy sorrow for thou shalt be held forever in honorable
remembrance in the congregations of the righteous. Thou shalt be
remembered in thy wants during the remainder of thy days; and when thou
shalt be called upon to depart, thou shalt lie down in peace having
seen the salvation of thy God who has laid the everlasting foundation
for the deliverance of Israel through the instrumentality of thy sons.'"

That God had made her sons the instrumentality in the opening of a new
dispensation gave the aged mother an abiding consolation in the midst
of her grief.

On the 24th of August Elder Woodruff was set apart for his mission to
Europe under the hands of the Twelve Apostles, John Taylor pronouncing
the blessing. On Sunday the 25th Elder Woodruff addressed the Saints
in Nauvoo, and from the synopsis he made of his remarks, the following
quotation is here given: "There is a spirit in man, and the inspiration
of the Almighty giveth him understanding. It is through this spirit
which giveth understanding that this congregation is assembled at this
place. You have {229} the spirit of God and you therefore understand
His ways and purposes. I have now one important declaration to make to
you and that is that inasmuch as you have been anointed in heart, mind,
and action in supporting your counselors, the priesthood of God, the
present authorities of the Church, as you have supported the Prophet
while he was alive, you will be safe and you will be blessed. You will
also be protected, but if you are divided and reject the counsels of
God, you will fall. Union and faithfulness are necessary for your
salvation. It is true that you have been led by one of the best men
that ever graced humanity or tabernacled in the flesh, but he is gone,
he sealed his testimony with his blood, he loved this people unto death.

"I now call upon the people to be united in building upon the
foundation which the Prophet laid during his lifetime. You have been
called to suffer much for the cause in which you are engaged, but if
judgment begins at the House of God, Babylon will not escape. If there
is fire in the green tree, what shall happen to the dry tree. No people
are better prepared for the shock that is coming to this world than
are the Latter-day Saints. The real object we have is to secure the
blessings which lie beyond the veil and which will be found in the
first resurrection. For these blessings we are preparing ourselves.

"The fact that the Prophet sealed his testimony with his blood does
not destroy the gospel or lessen the power and purposes of God. Truth
has not been annihilated, neither has the priesthood found its burial.
The testimony of Jesus is now in force. My counsel, therefore, is to
follow the example of those who are gone and who have been faithful
unto death. If you would be united, go in all your might and build that
Temple and get your endowments.

"I earnestly exhort you to faithfulness and ask your faith and prayers
in my behalf. I also want your forgiveness for any wrong I may have
done. I bid the congregation farewell."

"The next week I went to the river with Mrs. Woodruff where we were
baptized for some of our dead friends." At midnight of that day Elder
Woodruff and his wife, accompanied by Chas. C. Rich, Elder Goddard,
and several others ascended the walls of the Temple where they knelt
in solemn prayer. Elder Woodruff, being mouth, poured out his soul to
God for the successful {230} completion of the Temple. He also implored
divine aid for a prosperous season for the Church.

In the completion of the Temple was centered the hope of all the
devoted Latter-day Saints of those days. The leaders of the Church
prayed and labored unceasingly for its completion. The spirit of
apostasy in those times manifested itself most strongly in the efforts
of those who sought to get away from Nauvoo, who wanted to establish in
some distant place the Church anew. These dissenters argued that Nauvoo
must be abandoned, and they were right in that conclusion; but Nauvoo
was not to be abandoned at that time nor under their leadership. It
sometimes happens in this life that greater wisdom and virtue are found
in the time an event is accomplished than in the accomplishment of
the event itself. The great truth of the exodus from Nauvoo was to be
sought for rather in the circumstances of that exodus, than in the fact

That was not the first time nor was it the last time that men,
anticipating the accomplishment of some divine purpose, placed
themselves in front of those appointed for the accomplishment of God's
will. It sometimes requires as much virtue to refrain from doing when
the time has not yet arrived, as it required to do when the command was
given. It is not always easy for men to wait upon the Lord, especially
when they are actuated by an overweening ambition to anticipate His
purposes and be the first to undertake their accomplishment.

The men in those days who were opposing the completion of the Temple,
were full of sophistries. They argued then, as men argue now, largely
in harmony with their own selfish ends and overpowering ambitions. If
their arguments could not be, to their minds, successfully answered,
they must be right. To their minds it was evident that the Saints must
sooner or later leave Nauvoo. Why build the Temple, they asked, and
thus throw away the labor of their hands in the hour of its completion.
They argued the folly of such a course, and some who were loosely
anchored in their faith were led away by the sophistries contained in
such arguments.

With the thoughtful, it was otherwise. The Temple might be destroyed
even before its completion, or they might not be permitted to enjoy,
at any length, its blessings after it was finished. {231} With them
that was not the question. Their highest guidance was found in the
observance of God's will. He had said so; if so, enough. The spirit
bore testimony long before the mind had evidence of the great truth
contained in God's command. The same spirit that actuated Christ in the
garden of Gethsemane, actuated His faithful followers in those trying
days in Nauvoo. "Thy will be done." It is hard for men who have strong
wills to yield to other wills, even though it be God's will which is at
variance with their own. Men were taught then, as they were taught in
ancient Israel, to wait upon the Lord.

The over-anxious, the ambitious, the rebellious, would not wait upon
the Lord. They went their own way; they were scattered abroad. Not
having learned the lesson of self-restraint, the light and truth of the
gospel became obscured in their minds, and their own will they mistook
for God's will. They fell by the wayside.

A letter containing his appointment is given in his journal as follows:

"Nauvoo, August 22, 1844.

"To all Elders and Saints in Great Britain Greeting:

"We send our beloved Brother Wilford Woodruff to England to take charge
of all business transactions pertaining to the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, both spiritual and temporal. We wish you to
give diligent heed to his counsel in all things, and as we have not
the opportunity of informing you of what has transpired this season
by letter, our beloved Brother will make known unto you all things.
We wish the brethren to be faithful and diligent in keeping all the
commandments of God, and in hearkening to the counsels of those who are
sent to counsel them. Let no man or set of men think they have power
of authority or the keys of the Kingdom above Apostle Wilford Woodruff
whom we send unto you to instruct you in the things pertaining to life
and salvation. Though our Prophet be slain for the word of God and the
testimony of Jesus, yet the keys of the Kingdom remain in the Church
and the heavens are not closed, neither is the mouth of the Almighty
sealed up that He cannot speak. The God of Israel will communicate to
His disciples all things necessary for the building up of His Kingdom
on the earth until {232} Israel is gathered, yea even all the blood
of Abraham scattered over all the earth, Zion established, Jerusalem
rebuilt, and the whole earth be filled with the glory and knowledge
of God. We wish all the Saints in England to continue their gathering
as usual to the land of America; and they may have the privilege of
appointing a committee to visit the land of America to prepare a
location for a settlement of the brethren from Europe according to
their desire under the direction and counsel of Elder Wilford Woodruff;
and further we would say unto the Saints in all the world that may be
visited by Elder Wilford Woodruff that inasmuch as they will hearken to
his counsel, they shall be blest, inasmuch as they will render him any
assistance in his mission they will be doing the will of God and shall
not lose their reward; and we desire that all Saints may use their
efforts to sustain him in this important mission which he is called to
fulfill by their faith, prayers, and brotherly love according to the
grace of God; for he is qualified to teach in all things pertaining
to the Church and and Kingdom of God established in these last days.
Therefore, dear brethren, we would say unto you in conclusion be humble
and faithful and hearken diligently unto the counsel of this our
beloved brother in the Lord, Elder Wilford Woodruff, and the blessings
of the Lord will attend you, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


"President of the Twelve,






Departure.--Route.--Visits Home of Solomon Mack.--A Peculiar
Dream.--On the Ocean.--Copyright of Doctrine and Covenants.--Visit
to Scotland.--Lemington.--Troubles in Nauvoo.--Condition of the
Mission.--Preparation for His Return.

August 28th, 1844, was the day appointed for the departure of Wilford
Woodruff and his companions to the British Mission. Those who were to
accompany him were his wife and two children, Hyrum Clark and wife,
and Captain Dan Jones and wife. He said good-by on the Temple Block
at Nauvoo to his fellow members of the Twelve and started at once for
Chicago whither he and his companions were conveyed by teams.

On the 8th of September, they left Chicago on the propellor, Oswego,
and made their journey eastward on the Lakes. They stopped about three
hours at Manatou Islands where he with others had been wrecked on the
Chesapeake in September, 1841. While here they carved their names on
some white stones, and also the events associated with the wreck. At
midnight while on their way a fire alarm was sounded and the passengers
were brought together by terror of the alarm. The flame, however,
was soon extinguished and they all retired again to their rest. They
continued their journey on Lake Erie, the Williams Canal, and Lake

Elder Woodruff then went by rail to his birthplace in Farmington,
Connecticut, where he paid his aged father another visit. While he was
laboring among the Saints in and about Boston, his wife paid a visit to
her home in Scarboro, Maine. The branches of the Church in Boston and
Lowell were not in a healthy condition. He, therefore, worked zealously
to bring about a reformation and to warn the Saints against some
iniquities which had crept into the Church.

While in the Eastern States he visited the home of Lucy Smith's
brother, Soloman Mack. The old homestead of Mother Smith awakened
within him a feeling of reverence which he had for the Prophet, and for
the scenes associated with his mother's home.

{234} From Vermont he went to Scarboro, Maine, to join his wife and
children there. Leaving his oldest child, Phoebe, at the home of Ezra
Carter, his father-in-law, he left with his wife and youngest child,
Susan, for New York. The scenes of his former missionary experiences in
the Eastern States were both familiar and interesting to him. He knew
the inroads that are often made upon the faith of the saints when left
too long without a shepherd. He encouraged, admonished, and warned them
to be faithful to the covenants they had made. He makes note in his
journal during this visit of October 22, 1844, the last day set by the
Millerites for the second coming of Christ.

Speaking of his visit to Maine he says: "While I was at the home of my
father-in-law I had a peculiar dream. Much of it was unutterable and
cannot be written; indeed, I do not comprehend it myself. Among other
things I was called with the Twelve to hold the keys of the Kingdom in
all the world. I traveled with them over much of the earth and I also
traveled through many countries alone. When I finished my journey I saw
many things which I cannot write, but in the end, Joseph, the Prophet,
assisted me to come where he was and pointed out to me my place and
work. I immediately entered into the duties of the new calling to which
I was appointed.

"The same night I had another dream. I was in the presence of the
Prophet, and was conversing with him about his death. I told him I felt
bad over it, and that had I known he would have been taken so soon I
should have conversed with him more while he lived. I would have asked
him many questions. In reply he said that it was not his fault that I
did not."

Whatever the significance of these dreams may have had, they clearly
indicated the loving remembrance in which he held his great leader.
Around the name and memory of the man there was to him a great halo.
The influence of Joseph Smith upon the life of Wilford Woodruff never
waned. There was something about this modern Prophet that invited the
veneration of his devoted followers who proclaimed his name and mission
from the housetops of every part of the world where their duties and
missions might take them.

After reaching New York on the 29th of November, he paid a visit to
Elder Jedediah M. Grant who was then performing a {235} mission in
Philadelphia. On his return to the former city he made preparation for
his voyage to Europe. He speaks of a letter he received in New York
from President Young in which the latter gives him an account of the
reckless and unwarranted course of William Smith and George J. Adams.
On the 8th he and his party, together with Milton Holmes and Leonard
Hardy, set sail for Liverpool on the packet ship, John R. Skiddy. On
the 11th they encountered a severe storm at sea, a storm which greatly
terrified the passengers. "We kneeled down," he said, "and unitedly
prayed that the storm might cease and that the wind might change so
that we could go forward and not backward. In a short time the wind
suddenly ceased and finally changed to the southwest which gave us a
fair wind."

Christmas day they passed upon the ocean. On the 28th they entered the
Irish Channel where they were driven about for some days by foul winds.
Finally on the 3rd of January, 1845, they landed in Liverpool with
feelings of thanksgiving and prayer for their safe arrival. They were
twenty-seven days at sea.

The day following their arrival they were met by Elders Hedlock and
Ward. They inquired into the affairs of the mission and on January 5th
he addressed the people in Music Hall. They made their headquarters
with a Brother William Powell, who, Elder Woodruff observes, boarded
the elders for a quarter of a century.

The new year witnessed the beginning of his active work in the
missionary field. Arrangements had to be made for the emigration of the
saints to Nauvoo. In those days they went to New Orleans, thence up the
Mississippi to Nauvoo. Conferences had to be visited, business affairs
of the mission transacted, and attention given to the opening of new
fields for missionary activities.

The work in the British Mission, however, did not occupy wholly the
thoughts and feelings of Elder Woodruff. He had left Nauvoo in an
unsettled condition, the future of that city was full of uncertainty.
The work on the Temple was all important, with the conviction he had
long since formed that that sacred structure must be completed. Letters
from home, however, brought him encouragement and assurances. President
Young {236} wrote him encouraging letters informing him of the unity
and prosperity of the Church in America. He also told him of the call
of parley P. Pratt to the presidency of the Eastern States Mission. He
explained the plan to publish a paper in New York City.

On the 16th of March special conference was held in Manchester. Elder
Woodruff was there with his two counselors, Reuben Hedlock and Thomas
Ward. He mentions the fact that there were present five other high
priests, thirty elders, twenty-one teachers, and four deacons. The
conference there was crowded with eager listeners, both members and
non-members of the Church. "The spirit of the Lord," he said, "was
with us. Love and union pervaded the congregation. It was a scene that
made the heart glad when we beheld in a foreign land so many Saints
assembled, Saints united in the everlasting covenant. I had often
thought how much I would like to see the Prophet Joseph meet with a
conference of Saints in England. It was not granted, however, to the
British Nation to have the Prophet of God in that land. This was one
of the most interesting conferences I had ever attended abroad. It
fulfilled a prophecy I had made in the House of the Lord in Kirtland in
1837 to the effect that I should attend a conference with Elder Milton
Holmes in the British Isles."

These old associates of Wilford Woodruff, men tried and true, were
always held in loving remembrance by him. He loved those who loved God.
The names of those old-time friends lingered in his memory throughout
all the years of a long, busy life.

Since he could conveniently do so, immediately after the Manchester
conference, he repaired to Idle, in Yorkshire, that he might visit the
last resting place of the remains of Elder Lorenzo Barnes, the first
elder in this dispensation who had laid down his life in a foreign
land. It was not that fact alone which brought forth this respect.
The memory of Lorenzo Barnes grew out of an old-time companionship in
their early associations, and especially in the journey of Zion's Camp.
Of this visit to the grave of his beloved friend he writes: "Before
arriving we passed through a beautiful green valley which is located
on the top of a hill. The fields of grass were as green as in May,
although it was now February. This gave to the landscape a charm both
picturesque {237} and inspiring. As we traveled the road, we reflected
that we were covering the footsteps of a departed brother who had
traversed the same roadway many a time in his mission to disseminate
the teachings of Jesus Christ. I felt sorrowful, I was filled with
meditation. We called upon Elder Thomas Cordingly and family who cared
for Elder Barnes in his last sickness. They pointed out to us the room
where he spent the last hours of his mortal life.

"After taking some refreshments we walked to the churchyard where we
gazed upon the peaceful, silent grave of our departed brother. My
feelings were sensitive and sad. While standing over his grave I offed
up a prayer to Israel's God that I too might die the death of the
righteous, that my end might be as peaceful and secure as that of our
departed brother."

There is an illustration in that prayer, a marked characteristic in the
life of Wilford Woodruff. The burden of his thoughts, the great object
of his supplication was that he might endure to the end. What the end
should be was with him the great concern of his life. He envied those,
if he ever envied at all, who were valiant in every crisis and who
were steadfast to the death. To him there was no triumph in life like
the triumph in death. He was not so concerned about worldly greatness,
about the race of the swift, nor the battle of the strong; what he
sought above all else was endurance, that endurance which, after all,
contains the greatest virtue, as it embodies the greatest strength. Yet
often men underrate the supreme value of endurance in their ambition to
be great and strong.

On the 23rd of September, Elder Woodruff attended a conference in
Bradford. The meetings were attended by large numbers. Elder Elijah
F. Sheets, long and honorably known throughout Utah as Bishop Sheets,
was then presiding over that conference. Of that occasion he writes in
his journal: "The congregation was as still as death." He spoke upon
the mission and teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith whose recent
martyrdom had still its mournful affects upon the Saints who were
sorely disappointed that they had not the opportunity in life to hear
the words that dropped from the lips of him whom God had called to open
the great dispensation of the last days.

"On my birthday, March 1st, 1845, I received a letter from {238} a
friend. It contained a copy of a letter dated Pittsburg, January 30th,
1845, and was written by John Greenbow to his father in Kendall. The
letter contained a statement to the effect that he was getting the
Doctrine and Covenants stereotyped and that he would bring the plates
to England for the purpose of printing, publishing, and copyrighting
the book so that the Church could not print and publish it. This was a
bold scheme by apostates to steal the book containing the revelations
of God to the Church. There was in this proposed action, no doubt, an
intention to change the wording and thus deceive the world. I regarded
the receipt of the letter as nothing less than providential, an
interposition of our Heavenly Father who knew the evil design of the
wicked and therefore caused the letter to come into my hands. I spent
the day examining the laws of England relative to copyrights."

This information aroused Elder Woodruff to immediate action, and as
early as June 7, 1845, he secured the copyright of the book which was
entered at Stationer's Hall, England.

On the 9th of March Elder Woodruff records the fact that he held
conference in Preston where he visited the old cock-pit, where Elders
Kimball and Hyde first openly declared the message of the gospel to
the people of England, and where they were soon followed by Willard
Richards. He with his companion also walked up and down the river
where so many hundreds of the Saints had been baptized. At the Preston
conference he mentions the fact that there were several branches
represented with the total membership of five hundred souls. This was
the first conference organized in the British Mission eight years
before by Heber C. Kimball.

Throughout Elder Woodruff's journal of those times may be found minute
descriptions of historical places and of public monuments. He was also
deeply interested in the history of the countries which he visited, and
his journal shows the special significance which historical monuments
had to his mind. He further knew that his sympathy and interest in the
people would be increased by knowledge of their national history and of
those conditions which in the past had been foremost in shaping their
character. Many an elder has, no doubt, realized the mistake of either
falsely or imperfectly estimating the character of those whose {239}
ear he was seeking to gain. Elder Woodruff's journal shows, however,
that he greatly appreciated the superior qualities of the English
people and their great contributions to the system of free governments.
From the history of the English people he often found it convenient to
take his text; in short, he made himself at home among the English by
his knowledge of them and their institutions.

On the 13th of March he left Liverpool, on the steamer Commodore,
for Scotland, whither he went to attend a conference in Glasgow. He
was accompanied by his counselors Hedlock and Ward, also by Elder
Banks. They reached the mouth of the Clyde River at six o'clock in the
morning. The highlands were covered with snow and a severe storm was
raging in Glasgow. On the way they passed the famous rock known in
Scottish history as Dumbarton on which was then stationed a regiment of
soldiers to protect the river Clyde. He also mentions Bell's monument
erected in memory of John Bell who was the first to run a steamer up
the river Clyde to Glasgow.

On the evening of their arrival, a council was held with the officers
of the Church in that city. Two days later a conference was held in
Felon's Hall. There, fifteen branches of the Church were represented
containing a total membership of 1,065 persons. There were present
also thirty-five elders, fifty-one priests, thirty-seven teachers, and
twenty-four deacons. Then, as now, Scotland was the home of a large
number of the blood of Israel.

While here, he paid visits to Cots Bridge, Whifflett, and Sterling.
He also visited manufacturing establishments and historical places.
He found special interest in those places that were so full of the
memories of Bruce and of Wallace and of John Knox. The company
later went to Edinburgh where they visited the Saints and the chief
historical places about that city. The conference there consisted of
eleven branches with the membership of 409 souls. He was particularly
interested in the high cliff known as Arthur's Seat. It was there
that Elder Orson Pratt who first brought the gospel to Edinburgh was
wont to go that he might engage himself in meditation and prayer.
This elevation affords a most excellent view of the city and its

Leaving Edinburgh the company returned to Liverpool where a conference
was held on the 30th of March, 1845. At this conference {240} there
were present four high priests, eighteen elders, thirteen priests, and
eight teachers. It consisted of twelve branches with a membership of
676 souls.

Liverpool was then, as it has ever since been, the headquarters of
the Church in Great Britain. Preparations were made at the Liverpool
conference for the general conference of the British Mission to be
held April 6th in Manchester. The meetings there convened in Science
Hall. It was the largest conference up to that time ever held in the
British Mission. This mission at that time contained many of the finest
characters ever known in the Church. The men who embraced the gospel,
as a whole, in those days were strong characters whose endurance and
whose will power peculiarly fitted them for the pioneer work they were
soon to undertake in the development of this inter-mountain region.

Upon his return to Liverpool, Elder Woodruff sent the following epitaph
to Elder E. F. Sheets to be placed upon the tombstone of Elder Lorenzo
D. Barnes: "In memory of Lorenzo D. Barnes, who died on the 20th of
December, 1842, aged thirty years. He was a native of the United
States, an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a
member of the high priests' quorum and also Zion's Camp in A. D. 1834,
and the first gospel messenger from Nauvoo who has found a grave in a
foreign land.

  "Sleep on, Lorenzo, but ere long from this
    The conquered tomb shall yield her captured prey.
  Then with thy Quorum shalt thou reign in bliss
    As king and priest for an Eternal Day."

The latter part of April he paid a visit to Newton where he examined
the great vitriol works which are among the largest in the world. He
also went through the great engine factory at that place where a number
of the brethren were working. They were men well qualified to carry
on the work in all its branches. He relates the circumstances of a
peculiar tradition of a church in the vicinity of the city: "From the
Newton Engine Factory I walked several miles through very pleasant
scenery consisting of green fields, hedges, trees, and gardens. I
visited a church {241} on the side of which was the figure of a pig in
stone, and a stone was hung around its neck. According to tradition
the materials for this church were drawn to another place quite a
distance from where the church now stands. The pig came along and took
a stone in his mouth and carried it, squealing as he went. The pig
finally dropped the stone on the spot where the church now stands. The
circumstance the people regarded as an omen and erected their church on
its present site."

In the beginning of May he visited the churches in Preston and
Blackburn and then walked with Brother Speakman to Whaley where he
visited the old Abbey, the largest he had ever seen. It covered several
acres of ground and was then almost in total ruin. It was built as
early as one thousand A. D.

The following day they visited the Jesuit College at Stoneyhurst.
On Sunday May 11th they attended the Clithero conference. Of this
conference the following is taken from his journal: "Elder Speakman was
called to preside in the afternoon, the Sacrament was administered and
the power of God rested so abundantly upon the congregation that many
were moved to tears." (This is the conference of which Brother Kimball
speaks in his journal.) "I was so overwhelmed by the spirit of God and
the simplicity of the people that I could scarcely speak. They were
like little children, as pure-minded and innocent as angels. Many of
them bore their testimony to the work of God."

On the 15th of the same month, he took a steamer for Carlisle to attend
a conference there. Of the steamship and voyage he wrote. "It was newly
painted from stem to stern and we could not sit down without carrying
away the paint. I accordingly paid two shillings for the use of a bunk
among the sailors. I had no sooner gone below than I was enveloped in
the most horrid stench rising from a cargo of guano. I lay down but
became as sick as death and vomited at intervals for five hours. I was
strained to such a degree that blood ran out of my nose. The sailors
filled the place with tobacco smoke which was more intolerable than the
other stench which I had to endure. This was the most horrible night I
ever passed at sea. We reached port at two o'clock in the morning. I
crossed the ferry and took a canal boat to Carlisle."

{242} At the Carlisle conference six branches of the Church were
represented and the membership of the conference was 165. He returned,
at the close of the conference, to Liverpool by the same boat which on
the return voyage, however, was loaded with sheep, horses, and cattle.

His journal at this time contains the following: "On the 24th of May,
which was the seventh day of the week, at six o'clock in the morning,
the last stone was laid on the Temple of the Lord at Nauvoo with shouts
of joy and 'Glory to God in the Highest.' The Lord finished his work on
the seventh day and rested."

On the 6th of June, 1845, President Woodruff left Liverpool for London
by rail for the purpose of securing the copyright of the Doctrine
and Covenants. He immediately employed a printer and published three
thousand copies. This was the first edition of that book published in
the British Mission.

As the 27th of June approached, President Woodruff appointed that day
a day of prayer and fasting throughout all the churches of the British
Isles. It was the day of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. On the 18th
of the following month there was born to him in Liverpool a son whom he
named Joseph, in honor of the Prophet.

On the 13th of September he attended a conference at Manchester. That
conference then numbered 1,769 souls, including 44 elders, 99 priests,
57 teachers, and 27 deacons. During the three months preceding this
conference, there had been baptized into the Church in that conference
a hundred and fifteen souls.

On October 5th he paid a visit to the Lemington conference. There was
much prejudice at that place against the Saints. Shortly before this
visit there, mobs had assembled and broken up the bannisters, stairs,
benches, and tables in the building where the Saints met for worship.
Of Lemington he said: "This is one of the first aristocratic towns in
England. Here the nobility come together for the select society of
their own class, and because of the sulphur springs at this place. The
streets and buildings of the town are rich and splendid in appearance."

Of Warwick Castle in that region he says: "It is considered the
most splendid castle in England and is furnished {243} with all the
magnificence which art and the wealth of Earldom could bestow upon it.
It is 333 feet long and is divided into a large number of rooms. The
walls are hung with gorgeous tapestry, and the rooms furnished with
the costliest furniture and the richest damask. Chairs, tables, and
stands were inlaid with pearl, and other precious stones. Some of these
articles of furniture cost seventy-five thousand dollars each. From the
windows of the castle we looked out upon the stately cedars of Lebanon,
upon oaks, firs, and a great variety of shrubbery. The castle is eight
hundred years old. The tower is 150 feet high."

Elder Woodruff always availed himself of every opportunity to visit
historic places which he describes at great length in detail.

From Warwick Castle Elder Woodruff went with his counselor, Hedlock,
to Birmingham. Here they were received with great demonstration, and
preparations were made for a joyous reception for the President of the
Mission. Five hundred Saints awaited Elder Woodruff and his companions
as they entered the door, and round after round of applause went up
to greet them. There was such clapping of hands and stamping of feet
that the room in which they were gathered trembled. All wished to shake
the hand of their President and it was with great difficulty that he
reached the stand upon entering the room. He talked to the people
at some length. The manifestation of love for him, however, was not
confined to Birmingham. He enjoyed the affection and enthusiasm of the
Saints wherever he went.

While all this enthusiasm was manifested by the Saints in the British
Mission, their brethren and sisters over the sea in the city of Nauvoo
were filled with deep anxiety and fear. Mobs were gathering against
the Saints and the enemy were pressing in upon them with the spirit of
hatred that brought depression and sorrow to the hearts of the people
in the beautiful city of Nauvoo, which was fast reaching its doom.

He called a meeting of his counselors and the leading men before
whom he laid the spiritual and temporal conditions of the Church in
England and gave them some idea of conditions at home. Soon thereafter
he received word from President Young that the mob was growing in
numbers and in violence, {244} that the only terms of peace they
would accept from the Saints was their exile from the state. This
condition of affairs Elder Woodruff characterizes in his journal as
unjust, tyrannical, and un-American. Such news naturally depressed
his spirit greatly and made his continuance in the British Mission
so uncertain that he looked forward for an early release. He at once
called a special conference to be held in Manchester December 14,
1845. According to the statistics he gives, there were during the
eight months previous 1573 baptized. The total membership of the
Church in the British Isles had now reached 11,032 exclusive of those
in the Staffordshire conference which were not reported at that time.
There were reported in the priesthood one Apostle, eight high priests,
392 elders, 590 priests, 311 teachers, and 188 deacons. This would
make, including those of the Staffordshire conference something like
1,500 men in the mission bearing the priesthood. Those were days of
marvelous activity in proselyting. Within eight years the Church had
grown in that land to large proportions, and the people were constantly
emigrating to America.

On Christmas Evening of that year he attended with his wife St. John's
Market where high mass was held in the Catholic Church. This was the
first time in his life that he had attended such services. He desired
to acquaint himself with the religious ceremonies as well as the
religious beliefs of others, and took advantage of opportunities to
learn all he could in view of his probable return in the near future to

His release soon came and he began at once to put the Church
financially as well as spiritually in a safe and prosperous condition.
He reported property in excess of the debts to the amount of 574
pounds and 16 shillings. This was over $2800.00. Wherever a financial
trust was put upon him he regarded his duties in the matter as both
sacred and important. All his life long he guarded himself against
the temptations that so frequently overtake men in administering the
property of others. He fully realized that financial dishonor robs men
not only of the confidence of their fellow-men but of the blessings
of God. He was scrupulously careful to account for every farthing
entrusted to him, and his presidency, therefore, of the British
Mission was {245} marked both by zeal in preaching the gospel, and by
high-minded honesty in the administration of funds.

The year 1845 was now drawing to a close. During the entire year his
work had been directed in a foreign land. He had personally baptized
but few, had administered to something like a hundred persons,
published three thousand copies of the Doctrine and Covenants, and
twenty thousand copies of the Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles. He
had collected three hundred pounds for the Nauvoo Temple and had been
indefatigable in the management of the British Mission.

He was now released to return home. On the 3rd of January, 1846, he
visited Preston. On the 10th he made a feast for a few of his brethren,
and on the 15th took his family on board the ship Liverpool. He went
with them 10 miles and then returned to the shore. It was planned that
his wife should go with the Saints then emigrating to Nauvoo. As soon
as the business of the mission could be attended to, he expected to
leave, himself. He wrote a valedictory for the Millennial Star and on
the 23rd of January he set sail for America and arrived in New York
March 6th. The voyage was uneventful except that the second mate fell
overboard and was lost at sea. He was performing some perilous duty
that he did not require of his men. The voyage at that season of the
year was attended by cold weather and the usual winter storms. They
were forty-three days en route.

After reaching the United States, he paid a hasty visit to his old
home in Connecticut where his father and step-mother were preparing to
emigrate to Nauvoo. He also went to Maine where he found his daughter
who had remained there during his absence. They reached Nauvoo in his
father's party on the 13th of April. He says: "We stopped at Keokuk,
and at two o'clock in the afternoon we began to ascend the rapids. I
took my spy glass and enjoyed a view of the city and the Temple in the
distance. They looked very beautiful to me."

He had been a zealous mission president. He kept a careful record.
He attended with scrupulous care to all the details of the mission.
He made himself familiar with the conditions in every conference. He
promoted peace and good will among the Saints everywhere throughout
Great Britain. He was humble {246} and unassuming. He was simply the
instrumentality of God's purposes in promulgating the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. He was devoid of those ambitions that engender jealousy,
misgivings, and hatreds. His own industrious life inspired those with
whom he was associated with the same indefatigable spirit with which
he was possessed. To this day the landmarks of his mission in Great
Britain are pointed out to the elders who perform ministerial labors
there. He is referred to as a model missionary and is a man with a
record that others are happy to emulate.




Dedication of the Temple in Nauvoo.--The Exodus to Council
Bluffs.--Accident to His Father.--Reaches Mt. Pisgah.--Meets Brigham
Young.--Recruiting of the Mormon Battalion.--Colonel Kane.--Departure
of the Battalion.--Organizations at Winter Quarters.--A Conference with
the Chiefs of the Leading Indian Tribes.--Explorations.--Remarks by
President Young.

Before Elder Woodruff reached his home in Nauvoo, President Young with
a number of the Saints had already commenced their memorable exodus
from that city. The Saints were in a state of active preparation
for their departure westward. The mob was active, determined, and
vindictive. The hatred against the Saints had become so intense among
the anti-Mormon element in Western Illinois that it was a source of
great disquietude among the people of Nauvoo. In the midst of the
persecutions, however, there had been a faithful devotion to the work
on the Temple which resulted in its completion and preparation for

Under date of April 30th, 1846, Elder Woodruff's journal contains the
following: "In the evening of this day I repaired to the Temple with
Elder Orson Hyde and about twenty other elders of Israel. There we
were all clothed in our priestly robes and dedicated the Temple of the
Lord, erected to His most holy name by the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. Notwithstanding the predictions of false prophets
and the threat of mobs that the building should never be completed
nor dedicated, their words had fallen to the ground. The Temple was
now finished and dedicated to Him. After the dedication, we raised
our voices in a united shout of 'Hosanna to God and the Lamb!' After
offering our prayers we returned to our homes, thankful for the
privilege enjoyed in our evening services."

On May 1st, 1846, a public dedication of the Temple took place at which
Elder Woodruff opened the services by prayer. Elder Orson Hyde made
appropriate remarks and then offered the dedicatory prayer. On Sunday
the 3rd the assembly room of the Temple was filled and addresses were
made by Elders Hyde {248} and Woodruff. A point had been gained; under
stress and strain the Temple had been completed and dedicated. More,
however, than the completion of the Temple had been accomplished by
the construction of that sacred edifice. Its rites and ceremonies had
enlarged the vision of the Saints and broadened their conceptions of
eternity. Their relations and obligations to the dead brought home to
them greater responsibilities than they had ever heretofore imagined.
Furthermore, they perceived the importance of a new gathering place
wherein they might erect other Temples to the worship of their God.
From that day to the present time, temple work has had a peculiar
influence upon the lives of the Latter-day Saints. It has engendered
brotherly love, a spirit of unity, and a steadfast devotion to God that
perhaps nothing else in all their experience in the Church has given
them. The work in Nauvoo was done; henceforth the city of the Saints
was to be nothing more to them than a memory until God should determine
otherwise. It brought its joys; but its history was also full of sad
reminiscences, apostasy, murderous intent, and destruction.

"I was in Nauvoo," says Elder Woodruff, "on the 26th of May, 1846, for
the last time, and left the city of the Saints feeling that most likely
I was taking a final farewell of Nauvoo for this life. I looked back
upon the Temple and City as they receded from view and asked the Lord
to remember the sacrifices of His Saints."

Elder Woodruff had already left Nauvoo on the 16th and had preached his
farewell sermon there on the previous Sunday. The farewell of which he
now speaks followed his return to the City a few days later to obtain
goods which he had left behind. There he met a company of Saints who
had just arrived from Pennsylvania. Among them was Brother Sidwell who
gave to Orson Hyde several hundred dollars for the Camp of Israel. He
also gave a hundred dollars each for Elders Hyde and Woodruff.

The little company of which he had charge consisted of his wife and
children, his father, and a few other members of the family. They
had three baggage wagons, one family carriage, six yoke of oxen, six
cows, four calves, one yearling, and a pair of mules, making in all
twenty-five head of animals. The father was {249} aged and had no
grown sons other than Wilford to assist him, so that the weight and
responsibility fell upon the son.

There began now the tedious and distressing journey across the state
of Iowa. The inconveniences of loaded wagons and the inclemency of the
weather superseded the comforts and conveniences of well-appointed
homes. On the first day out their wagon mired down in the mud; the
wagon tongue and several chains were broken in the effort to extricate
it. Similar accidents occurred at intervals, and on the twenty-seventh
he says in his journal that while his father was trying to climb into
the wagon fell to the ground. Both wheels of the wagon which was loaded
with twenty-five hundred pounds ran over his legs. It was marvelous
that no bones were broken.

At Farmington, Iowa, they bought a supply of flour consisting of
four barrels. There they crossed the Des Moines River at the ferry.
They were then twenty-five miles from Nauvoo on the 28th day of May.
Several days later they overtook the Ramus Company consisting of about
twenty-five wagons. On the evening of Sunday the 7th they traveled some
distance when they came to a long swail which covered a distance of
one and a half miles. It was wet and miry. He succeeded in getting his
carriage across by dark, but in the center of the swamp his baggage
wagons cut through the turf, and the wheels went down almost to the
hubs. He worked most of that night in mud and water nearly knee deep
and at the same time kept a watch upon the cattle. About daylight he
rolled himself up in a buffalo robe and went to sleep. All day Monday
they were obliged to rest and prepare for the journey the following
day. His anxiety to overtake the main body of the pioneers led to this
violation of his custom to refrain wholly from work on the Lord's day.
Tuesday, the 9th, the company traveled twelve miles and camped with a
body of Saints from Macedonia. The latter had thirty-one wagons. Here
and there they were joined by scattered families of Saints who were
wending their weary way westward. On the 15th of June they reached the
Camp of Israel called Mt. Pisgah.

President Kimball and others of the Twelve were still ahead. Elder
Charles C. Rich had been left in charge at Mt. Pisgah. There were
many of his old-time friends there and the meeting brought with it
reminiscences of earlier days. There was an exchange {250} of the
experiences which they had undergone since Brother Woodruff had left
them for his mission, more than a year before. "I encamped," he says,
"on the east side of the creek near the Camp of Israel. Here I learned
that Brother Noah Rogers recently from a mission to the South Sea
Islands had died and was the first to find a resting place in the
burial ground at Mt. Pisgah. Brother Turnbow, one of our company, lost
a child today. I was present at its funeral." Lorenzo Snow was also in
this company and was suffering from sickness, but found great relief in
the administration of Elder Woodruff.

On the 21st he preached to a large congregation of Saints and was
followed by Elders Rich, Benson, and Sherwood. That day a messenger
arrived from President Young, who was at Council Bluffs. The messenger
brought a call for one hundred mounted men who were to serve as
dragoons and as buffalo hunters for the Camp of Israel. In response
to the call, Elder Woodruff and sixty others stepped to the front. He
reported the response to President Young.

On the 26th the camp was thrown into some excitement by the appearance
of Captain Allen and three dragoons of the United States army. The
object of their visit was to raise volunteers for the Mexican War. He
was sent by Colonel Kearney who was acting under instructions from
President James K. Polk. These messengers were shown every courtesy,
but were asked to confer with President Young. The day following, Elder
Woodruff wrote President Young a letter in advance of the messengers
who were commissioned to make a call for volunteers.

When the 27th of June arrived, the anniversary of the martyrdom of
Joseph and Hyrum, Elder Woodruff though in poor health at the time
addressed the Saints in Pisgah. It was his farewell sermon at that
place, for on the following day he took up his travels again for
Council Bluffs.

"I stopped my carriage," he says, "on the top of a hill in the midst
of a rolling prairie where I had an extended view of all about me. I
beheld the Saints coming in all directions from hills and dales, groves
and prairies with their wagons, flocks, and herds, by the thousands. It
looked like the movement of a nation."

Traveling a few miles from this point of observation he met {251}
Parley P. Pratt, who was returning from Council Bluffs with a message
to raise a company of men to go in advance to the Rocky Mountains
without their families. The Quorum of the Twelve had volunteered to go
and in Elder Woodruff's breast there was a heart-felt desire to take up
the proposed pioneer movement into the wilderness. He therefore hurried
on with as much speed as the ox-teams could endure. They traveled more
than twenty miles that day.

The day following they were overtaken by Parley P. Pratt who was
returning to Council Bluffs after having delivered his message. He was
accompanied by Ezra T. Benson who had recently been chosen to take the
place in the Quorum of the Twelve formerly occupied by John E. Page.
These brethren expressed a wish that Elder Woodruff accompany them to
the Bluffs. The latter, in response, saddled his horse, and leaving his
family and company, went on to join President Young and those with him
at the front.

On the 4th of July they rode ten miles and breakfasted with some of
the brethren whom they met. To their great surprise they were informed
that President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards
were near by on their way to Pisgah to raise volunteers for the service
of the United States army. "We immediately rode down to where they
were located," he says in his journal. "It was truly a happy meeting.
I rejoiced to strike hands once more with those noble men. It was the
first time we had met since I left Nauvoo on my mission to England soon
after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum."

This changed somewhat his plan of travel, and upon the invitation of
President Young, Elders Woodruff and Benson returned with him until he
met his family and company with whom he journeyed to Council Bluffs
which he reached on the 7th of July, 1846.

Upon his arrival at the Missouri River, he set about the task of
raising volunteers for the government service. It was about this
time that the Saints there were visited by Thomas L. Kane from the
City of Washington. His interest in the Latter-day Saints, his deep
and unfeigned sympathy for them, naturally awakened feelings of
gratitude toward one whose sympathies for them were so genuine. The
Colonel's description of Nauvoo, {252} and his defense generally of the
Latter-day Saints, have always made his name with them a synonym of
friendship. To what extent their faith and beliefs brought conviction
to his soul, it will perhaps be impossible to say. It is certain,
however, that the new religion awakened in him some belief that these
unpopular people were perhaps after all the instrument of a divine
providence in transforming the religious views of the modern world; for
on the 7th of September he sought and received a patriarchal blessing
under the hands of father John Smith, who at the time was living in a
tent. Elder Woodruff wrote the blessing as it fell from the lips of the
Patriarch and presented it to the Colonel.

It was Colonel Kane's belief, and it was so represented by him to
the Saints, that President Polk was favorable to them and had really
proposed the Mormon Battalion with the intention in his heart of
helping them across the plains by government aid. There was, however,
some skepticism, and a belief among some that the whole scheme was an
anti-Mormon device, and intended to weaken the Saints in their exodus,
and make them an easy prey to the Indians who might encompass the
complete destruction of the Saints on the plains.

Brigham Young and other leaders were actively engaged in recruiting men
for service in the Battalion. President Young had returned from Mt.
Pisgah and met in council with the Twelve. Colonel Kane was present.
Such tasks as these required just such enthusiasm and heart-felt
conviction as men like Wilford Woodruff could give to them.

On July the 15th Elders Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, and John Taylor
were appointed to a mission in Great Britain for the purpose of
regulating the affairs of the Church there and of appointing a new
presidency over that mission.

On the 16th of July Elder Woodruff writes: "It was a great day in the
Camp of Israel. Four companies of volunteers were organized and ready
for marching. They were brought together and formed in a hollow square
by their captains. They were then addressed by several of the Quorum
of the Twelve after which the Battalion began its march in double
file over the Redemption Hill, seven miles across the Missouri River
bottom to the ferry. The brethren who formed these companies left their
families, teams, wagons, and cattle by the wayside not expecting {253}
to meet them again for one or two years. They left their wives and
children to their brethren and to the tender mercies of God, before
they went. With cheerful hearts they believed that they were doing the
will of their Heavenly Father. As I viewed them I felt as though I was
looking upon the first Battalion of the army of Israel, engaged in the
service of the United States."

Upon the departure of the Battalion, the Twelve proceeded at once
to ordain Ezra T. Benson who had been called to their Quorum. That
evening Elder Woodruff entertained the Apostles as his guests at
supper. That body of men felt some pride in the success that had
attended their efforts to enlist the Battalion. They were full of joy
and were rejoicing together over the satisfaction which they felt in
accomplishing that which they hoped would be of lasting benefit and
honor to the Latter-day Saints.

A few days later while the Battalion of five hundred were in camp at
the ferry, they were addressed by President Young, who bestowed freely
upon them his blessings and his promises of safety. After that a
concert was given in honor of Colonel Allen, the commander of the men,
who were now ready to begin their long and perilous march to the sea.

With the departure of the Battalion, another great move in the exodus
had been made. The way across the plains, however, had to be blazed
and a route established for the travel of the tens of thousands who
should follow the first company in quest of a home far removed from
the confines of civilization, a home where the saints of God might
enjoy the freedom and the rest that had been denied them ever since the
organization of the Church in April, 1830.

During that period of sixteen years the Saints had been constantly
fleeing from mobs and from the tyranny of oppressors. They were in a
state of constant uncertainty and could find comfort and consolation
only in the divine assurance that they were a peculiar people, a chosen
people, destined to open a new and marvelous dispensation among the
children of men.

The primitive conditions in which the Saints now found themselves along
the banks of the Missouri River naturally gave rise to misgivings,
murmurings, discontent, and sometimes rebellious sentiment. To maintain
peace and order under such circumstances {254} was no easy task. The
leaders labored early and late and urged constantly, peace, fraternity,
and good will. A new burden had been imposed upon those who were left
behind and who were required to provide for the welfare of the families
of the soldiers. About ninety men were appointed among the Saints to
act as bishops. One of their special duties was to look after the
families of those who were left dependent upon the Church at large. On
the 21st of the month a high council was appointed. Isaac Morley became
senior member.

Preparatory to the march across the plains the coming summer, some
explorations were begun. Elder Woodruff traveled along the country of
the Big Pigeon River on which the camp of the Saints was established.
On the 25th of July he crossed the river to the Nebraska side with
his family, wagons, and household effects. On the 2nd of August the
Twelve met in council and decided that Winter Quarters should be
established on the site then occupied by the camp. On the evening of
that day President Young and Elder Richards called at the tent of
Wilford Woodruff where President Young gave him and his family some
instructions on the subject of the priesthood and of the sealing power.
That day was also marked by the arrival of a messenger from the Mormon
Battalion that was now within thirty miles from Leavenworth.

After settling the question of a location for the winter, twelve men
were selected to serve in the joint capacity of a High Council and City
Council for the transaction of all business relating to the settlement
of the Saints during the winter.

About this time there was a meeting of the Saints with Colonel Kane,
and in it the adoption of certain resolutions of respect and gratitude
to President Polk for the steps taken by him in arming five hundred
men and of furnishing them an opportunity to reach the valleys of the
Rocky Mountains. At this time they also urgently protested against the
appointment of Lilburn W. Boggs, the former governor of Missouri, and
a bitter enemy of the people, as governor of California and Oregon,
a position he was anxious to occupy and one which his friends were
helping him to secure.

At this time President Young informed Colonel Kane that it was the
intention of the Saints to settle in the Great Basin, and {255} that as
soon as they were located to apply for a territorial government. Thus
their plans were early revealed to a tried and trusted friend.

The Sunday following, a meeting was held at a place prepared for
worship, a place capable of seating about three hundred people. After
the people were addressed by Apostle Woodruff, President Young declared
that when the Latter-day Saints should finally reach their resting
place, he would labor hard to build another temple. The erection
of a temple whose blessings they so meagerly enjoyed in Nauvoo was
constantly in the mind of the leaders who were inspired by a desire
to enjoy the ordinances for the living and dead which belonged,
peculiarly, to the temples of God.

In the management of the affairs at Winter Quarters, the Saints were
divided into encampments and these again into subdivisions. President
Young took charge of division 1. That allotted to Elder Woodruff was
No 10. It consisted of thirty-six men, thirty-two wagons, nine horses,
129 oxen, 59 cows, four mules, and forty sheep. The whole of Winter
Quarters consisted at this time of 549 men, 597 wagons, 229 horses,
2,110 oxen, 1,168 cows, 49 mules, and 660 sheep.

The entire population of those that located at Council Bluffs at that
time is not stated in his journal.

On August 17 Orrin P. Rockwell arrived in camp and brought with him
the mail from Nauvoo. The letters from home showed that the mob were
still active, that some of the Saints had been whipped in a shameful
manner and that there was no hope of any return to the city they loved
so well. There was nothing in the information that reached them from
Nauvoo to give the least encouragement to any of their number to turn
back; their hope was now all directed westward.

There was naturally much suffering in the midst of all the exposure to
which the Saints were subjected. Elder Woodruff records the fact that
his wife suffered a great deal from sickness and it was with great
difficulty that she was kept alive.

The Mormon Battalion constituted the advance-guard for the pioneer
movement. It is true that they were taking a route different from that
which the body of the Saints intended to follow, but the Battalion was
penetrating the great and unknown {256} wilderness. Its difficulties
would be their difficulties, its hardships, their hardships. All news
therefore brought back from the Battalion was discussed by the Saints
on the banks of the Missouri with intense interest. They had reason to
be proud of their representatives in blue. The soldiers were making
a good record. They were spoken highly of because of their exemplary
habits, their willing service, and their powers of endurance.

He writes in his journal of August 22nd that he, in company with other
members of the Twelve, crossed the river to Council Point where they
found many of the people sick. They went about administering to them,
and after rebuking the diseases that were afflicting the Saints, they
went on to what is called Redemption Hill. Upon their return to Council
Point, they found, to their great pleasure and gratification, that the
exercises of the healing power with which the Lord had clothed them was
resulting in the restoration of those to whom they had administered.

The leaders here were planning an exodus for the coming year.
Preparations of all kinds were therefore being made for a journey of
a thousand miles through the wilderness, the country of the red man.
The Book of Mormon taught them who the red man was and the promises
of which some day he should be a happy recipient. Their sympathy for
the Indian, therefore, rested upon religious convictions which they
entertained for his future, a future in which he would find redemption
from the slothful and slovenly conditions of life into which he had

On the 27th the Twelve and the high council met with the
representatives of two great Indian tribes. The object of the meeting
was to get the permission to remain upon their lands and use the wood,
grass, and water as long as they wished to stay. "We first met with
the Ottos between whom and the Omahas there was a dispute as to who
owned the land. The Ottos said the land was theirs. The chief with five
or six others was present. We talked to him, after which he returned
home. We later met in council with the Omahas. The old chief's name was
Big Elk and his son, a young chief, called Young Elk. There were also
present with them about sixty old men and braves of the tribe. As it
was late, the council adjourned until the morrow. On the 28th we met
in the morning with the Omaha chiefs. We smoked the pipe of peace and
President Young then spoke to {257} them through their interpreter. He
told them it was our desire to winter there; and if they wished it we
would do some work for them, make them a field, repair their guns.

Big Elk replied: "My son, thou hast spoken well. I have all thou hast
said in my heart. I have much I want to say. We are poor, when we go
to hunt game in one place we meet the enemy and so in another, and our
enemies kill us. We do not kill them. I hope we shall be friends. You
may stay on these lands two years or more. Our young men may watch your
cattle. We would be glad to have you trade with us. We will warn you of
danger from other Indians." Much more was said by Big Elk after which
the council closed and the Indians, after being fed, returned to their

On September 11, 1846, the leaders rode out in search of Old Council
Bluffs. They built a bridge to cross a creek, and after traveling over
flats and hills they came to the object of their search about sundown.
They found that there was once on that place some old barracks. Nothing
was left of it except the body of the magazine with one gable end.
The object of this search was to make themselves familiar with the
surrounding country and to gain information.

Orson Pratt had been on a visit to the Otto and Omaha Indians, and on
his return reported that it was the wish of each of these tribes to
perform a war dance before the people. The Omahas were then on their
way to war with the Sioux.

It was necessary to secure a certain class and a certain amount of
provisions for the journey of the coming season. Bishop Whitney and
several others were delegated to proceed to Saint Louis and make the
necessary purchases. There was a busy life in the camp. As winter
approached, men were actively engaged in putting up log cabins,
making dugouts, and taking what precautions they could, under the
circumstances, against the inclemency of the winter season.

The situation was so full of anxiety and attended by so many fears,
that it was necessary to keep up the spirits and cultivate the hopes
of the people. Amusements, chiefly dancing, were provided. These
amusements gave opportunity to unruly characters to demonstrate their
unworthiness. Mirth, especially {258} excessive mirth, breaks down the
natural reserve of man and discloses much of his motives and especially
his follies and vices.

The Saints assembled at that time were gathered from all parts of
the states and from Great Britain. That community consisted of men
and women of all shades of thought, all traditions, beliefs, and
customs. The grave and austere, and devoted Saints mingled with the
light-minded, the indifferent, and the gay. There were those that
constituted the drift wood of the community. They were found piled up
where the current had taken them. Some in the camp had no faith, others
made no pretensions to faith. There were young men who were wild and
unruly. Such conditions naturally gave the leaders much anxiety and
brought to them some discouragement. They realized that it would be
easy to bring disorder and confusion into their midst. Recording the
remarks of President Young to the people on Sunday, Sept. 13th, Elder
Woodruff quotes as follows: "I wish to say a few words upon principle.
There is one thing I want you to realize and that is that God, angels
and saints--Heaven and all of God's creations--are governed by law.
I want the Camp of Israel to understand that we must be so governed.
If Heaven were not so controlled, what sort of a place would it be?
Every man would be in danger of losing his rights and of having them
trampled upon. All celestial beings are governed by law and order, for
the celestial law is a perfect order of things, a perfect system of
light, law, intelligence, exaltation, and glory. We do not arrive at
this all at once. A prophet once declared that we should have precept
upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little until
we arrive at a fullness of knowledge and glory, even a fullness which
reigns in the Heavens.

"We must begin to be governed by law here before we are prepared to
receive the fullness that reigns in the Heavens. We must have law and
order in our midst."

Some agitation was manifested at this time in consequence of certain
favors received by those who then on the banks of the Missouri River
were permitted to have more than one wife. Respecting this President
Young is quoted as saying: "Some young men are jealous for fear I
shall receive more blessings, more wives, or some other blessings than
themselves. These men have {259} never preached the gospel in their
lives. If they will travel the world over in poverty as I have done and
on foot with blood in their shoes and spend years and years to save
the world they will cease to be jealous of the blessings that I enjoy.
A woman who has the spirit of God will join herself to a good man who
honors and bears the Holy Priesthood. Such a man, if he continues
faithful, will be saved in eternal glory and all who are with him.

"I am determined that my affections shall be with God. I will not allow
them to be placed upon things that perish. When plagues and disease
get hold of our bodies we become loathsome, our beauty fades away.
Our affections should be placed upon things that are noble, exalted,
lasting, and glorious. I love an exalted mind, it is eternal and
cannot fade. I want all my affections to be subject to God and to the
principles of glory and eternal life."

A pleasure loving camp in those days had many of the same temptations
that beset the pleasure loving world now. Those, then, in whose minds
every thing was associated with a pleasure loving spirit attributed
self gratification to the motives of their leaders who were then
inculcating faith by teaching and practicing the doctrine of plural

On the 23rd of September the Saints removed their encampment from the
prairie ridge where they had been located to the tableland on the bank
of the Missouri River. At the latter place a townsite was laid out into
blocks, 120 by 40 rods. Each block was divided into lots four by ten.

Two days later Daniel H. Wells and Elder Cutler arrived from Nauvoo.
At the meeting on Sunday afternoon of the 27th they gave an account
of the Battle of Nauvoo, where the Saints were engaged in resisting
the encroaching mob. Three of the Saints were killed and two wounded.
It was never known how many of the mob lost their lives. The skirmish
resulted in a treaty which required the Saints to leave the city within
five days. The little remnant of those compelled to leave was composed
chiefly of men and women whose circumstances did not permit them to
leave with the main body of the Church. A few remained to protect
the property rights of the people who had been driven from the city.
There were a few who fostered some lingering thoughts of returning
to Nauvoo, or of mercenary advantages in days to come. {260} These
property rights which the Saints sought to retain only excited the
cupidity and murderous disposition of the mob. It was the property of
the Saints they craved and bloodshed did not stand between them and the
cravings of their own selfish dispositions. This lingering remnant was,
therefore, inhumanely treated and driven into the wilderness without
provisions and without shelter. Their distress was pitiful. The Battle
of Nauvoo removed from the hearts of all the Saints the last lingering
hope of any return to that city. All was gone, their property rights
destroyed, and their homes passed to new ownerships. The destruction of
all hope in their return to the city they loved made their undertaking
in a new and perilous journey the only thing to be reckoned with.

The first Sunday in October, Orson Pratt, Amasa Lyman, and Wilford
Woodruff began the organization of the new city of Winter Quarters.
It was divided into 13 wards, with a bishop over each. Thus,
responsibility was extended and order more firmly established
throughout the Camp.

On the 15th Elder Woodruff met with one of those serious experiences
recorded in his chapter of accidents. He was struck by a falling tree
and disabled for a number of weeks. While he was recovering his little
son Joseph was stricken with disease and died on the 12th of November.

On the 17th of that month Elder Woodruff took up again his manual
labor. Writing in his journal of those times he says: "I had never seen
the Latter-day Saints in any situation where they seemed to be passing
through greater tribulations. After being exposed to the sufferings of
a tedious journey of ten months in tents and wagons, they were obliged
to build a city of log houses numbering more than one thousand. All
this work had only a temporary enjoyment. We had to go a great distance
for wood and timber, and it was difficult to secure from the deep
ravines and hollows where we found it. The labor was hard to endure. I
was endeavoring to build a log house for myself and one for my father."

Quite a number died during the winter of 1846-47, in Winter Quarters.
Elder Woodruff records the death of Sister Benbow, the wife of his
time-honored friend.

On the 8th of December there was born to him a son whom {261} he
named Ezra who lived only a few days and was buried by the side of
his brother Joseph. Thus afflictions and death visited the Saints
while they were camping along the banks of the Missouri River. By the
close of that year their numbers reached 3483. Christmas day was duly
observed and such joy and such gratitude as were possible under the
circumstances were manifested throughout the Camp.

On the 29th the Twelve met to consider the organization of a pioneer
company whose duty it would be to set out for the valleys the following
spring. From now on there was a feverish excitement in consequence of
the preparation going on for the accomplishment of a journey whose
vicissitudes they could not even imagine. Truly they had to walk in
the light of faith. In turn it filled their hearts with hope and fond
anticipations. Faith taught them to look on the bright side of life and
anticipate the best, that they might endure cheerfully the worst that
was to overtake them. Thus ended the year 1846 in the life of Wilford




Arrival of Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor at Winter
Quarters.--Organization of the Pioneers.--Manner of Forming
Camp.--Horse Feed Enroute.--Pawnee Indians.--A Practical
Joke.--Crossing Loup Fork.

On the outskirts of civilization, near the banks of the Missouri River,
on the 7th day of April, 1847, might have been seen a large body of
men and women anxiously gazing on a band of pioneers just taking their
departure from wives and children, friends and neighbors, and setting
out upon a perilous journey in quest of a resting place in the Rocky
Mountains. In the hearts of wives and friends there was a strange
mixture of fear and faith. What the outcome would be, none could
foresee; and the probabilities of danger from the hostile red man were
only mitigated by the fervent faith which had served them well in the
trying ordeal of other troublous times through which the Church had
passed. The pioneers were missionaries whose trust in the direction and
care of an over-ruling Providence was uppermost in their minds.

Just to the west of Winter Quarters, there arises one of those rolling,
undulating ridges which skirt the Missouri for many miles. When the
top of this elevation was reached, Elder Woodruff took a parting view
of the city, and through his field glasses he could see his wife and
children whose lingering gaze followed the pioneers as long as they
could be seen.

The first day's journey covered a distance of seven miles from Winter
Quarters. Naturally enough, many things necessary for such a journey
had been forgotten; some needed counsel had been overlooked; some
words of caution had not been spoken. The leaders of the pioneers not
only faced the uncertainties of a long and tedious journey, but they
left behind them a large number of brethren and sisters whose welfare
and unity might be greatly disturbed in the absence of those trusted
leaders, whose counsels had been their watchword and whose leadership
seemed necessary for their safety. Under these circumstances a few days
passed before the company was well on its way.

{263} In the meantime, Parley P. Pratt had just arrived from his
mission to Great Britain, and the tidings which this prince of
missionaries had brought from a foreign land were a matter of supreme
importance to the Prophet Brigham Young who returned to Winter Quarters
to greet the newly arrived missionary. During this time, Wilford
Woodruff was exploring the neighboring country. The delay of President
Young led him likewise to return to Winter Quarters. He was within a
half mile of his home when he met the Twelve returning to the camp of
the pioneers. With characteristic submission to order and discipline,
he turned about without seeing his family and joined the brethren on
their return.

The camp had scarcely been set in motion when news of the arrival of
John Taylor from Great Britain caused the Twelve to return again to
Winter Quarters. This time they were accompanied by Wilford Woodruff
who succeeded in adding to his equipment another horse for the
journey. These reunions in the midst of troublous times were heartfelt
demonstrations of brotherly love and mutual good will. The importance
of Elder Taylor's return was enhanced by the fact that he had brought
with him two sextants, two barometers, two artificial horizons, one
circle of reflection, and one telescope, which were highly valuable for
the acquisition of important data along the journey. The next return
of the leaders to the camp of the pioneers was final and the journey
was taken up with renewed enthusiasm and a determination to move on
unremittingly to the goal of their undertaking.

The first week of the journey was passed in reaching and crossing the
Elk Horn River which flows into the Platte whose banks were soon to be,
for most of the distance, the guide of the pioneers. It is a stream
whose small tributaries were to give the Saints considerable trouble
in their efforts to get their wagons and teams over the treacherous
quicksands that were common along the banks of the Platte in eastern

It was during these early days that Jesse C. Little returned from
the Eastern States mission. He brought with him presents for the
Twelve from friends in the East. "Col. Kane had sent me a patent
life preserver and a stop compass." Brothers Little, {264} Rockwood,
and Reading returned to Winter Quarters next morning (April 16), and
the company continued four miles up the Platte. "Before we left this
morning, the camp came together and was organized as a military body
into companies of hundreds, fifties, and tens. Stephen Markham and A.
P. Rockwood were appointed captains of hundreds." Of this organization
Brigham Young was Lieutenant General and Wilford Woodruff was appointed
captain of the first ten, an appointment which characterized the man.
His nervous energy, his untiring effort, his prompt and ready action
naturally fitted him for the leading captain.

"The camp consisted of seventy-three wagons, one hundred and
forty-three men, three women, and two children, making in all one
hundred and forty-eight souls. The general orders from Brigham Young
for the camp were as follows: 'The whole regiment was to journey in
a compact body as they were in an Indian country, and every man was
to carry his gun loaded. The caplocks were to be shut on a piece of
buckskin with the caps ready to slip on in an instant in case of
attacks; for flint-locks, guncotton or tow was to be put in the pan
and the powder flask kept handy to prime without delay. Every man was
to walk by the side of his wagon and not to leave it except sent away
by order.' The object of all this caution was to prevent accident,
for strict discipline was necessary while traveling through a hostile
Indian country.

"On Saturday, the 17th," continues Wilford Woodruff, "some traders came
down from the Pawnees and camped with us over night; they had plenty of
buffalo meat dried, and gave us what we needed, and informed us that we
were in two days' drive of a large band of Pawnees.

"On the following morning President Young called the captains together
and gave the following instructions: 'We were to start in the morning,
two wagons abreast. All who were not driving teams were to carry their
guns and walk beside the wagons, and no man was to go hunting or get
out of sight of the wagons. In the morning the bugle was to be blown at
five o'clock and the pioneers were to arise and pray, cook, eat, and
feed the horses and start at the call of the bugle at seven o'clock.
In the evening the bugle was to be blown at half past eight when all
were to go to prayers in their several wagons and retire by {265} nine
o'clock. Each Saturday night we were to pitch what tents we had and
prepare our camps for rest on the Sabbath.'

"On the morning of the 19th of April, Prof. Pratt took an observation
and found the latitude to be 41 degrees 27 minutes and 5 seconds. The
point of observation was on the north bend of the Platte, 10 1/2 miles
north of where the Saints had crossed the river. It was while camping
at this place that Elder Little overtook the Saints on his return
from the Eastern States mission. On the evening of that day we camped
near a grove of timber on the banks of the Platte where we formed a
semi-circle. The river on one side was our defense, and one of the four
wheels of each wagon was driven up to the back wheel of the wagon ahead
of it, and all the horses and cattle were taken into the corral thus
formed so that we might be secure against the Indians. There was a hard
wind during the night and the morning was fair with a strong southwest
wind which covered our wagons with sand dust."

At this season of the year, the grass was not sufficiently high and
matured for suitable feed for the horses; and during the early part of
the journey cottonwood trees were cut down in order that the horses
might gnaw off the bark and browse from the limbs, a kind of food which
the horses at this season of the year seemed to enjoy. The ration of
corn for each horse was two quarts per day.

On Tuesday, the 20th, three islands in the Platte River were reached,
the largest of which, including an area of about ten acres, was covered
with timber. Thereafter for miles along the river there continued a
chain of islands.

It was about this time that they approached the inhabited territory of
the Pawnee Indians who were somewhat given to petty thefts, but not
so dangerous as the Sioux. Here and there individual Indians of the
Pawnee tribe would approach in concealment in the grass the horses of
the pioneers and a few were stolen, presumably by the Indians. What
caused the Pawness to gather in villages about 150 miles from the
Missouri River was doubtless the presence of large herds of buffaloes,
and the further fact that they were far removed from the outposts of
civilization on that great river.

The question of food was, of course, an important consideration; {266}
and the existence of game at this stage of the journey gave rise to
the appointment of a body of men to be known as the hunters. Among the
names given, that of Wilford Woodruff does not appear, and yet he was
a skilled hunter and fisher all his subsequent life, and the part he
took in the buffalo chases indicates that he was an excellent hunter in
fact, if not so named.

In the spring of the year, the rain and the wind produced a sort of raw
weather which created a chilly sensation and consequent discomfort.
In consequence of the rains, the streams were often swollen and means
for crossing them had to be improvised. It was necessary, therefore,
to send men in advance of the pioneers for the purpose of constructing
bridges or selecting fords and making general observations respecting
the lay of the country. On the 20th they crossed a small stream called
Shell Creek. From this point Elders Woodruff and Pratt went ahead for
the purpose of taking observations. That night they cut down cottonwood
trees from the barks of which their horses fed.

The following day the ox-teams started at 7 o'clock, an hour in advance
of the horses, and in the course of the journey an Indian made his
appearance on a mound about five miles distant. He was mounted on a
pony. He soon disappeared but in a short time again came in sight at a
full gallop. As he approached the camp he was met by the brethren who
shook hands with him in a friendly manner and with the seven others
who had accompanied him. They were escorted through the camp that they
might learn that there were no hostile intentions among the pioneers.

"At 12:30 we came in sight of seventy horses and mules, and soon in
sight of a large Pawnee village on the north side of Loup Fork, and
also one on the south side of it. We drove on by the village, and
soon they began to sally out to meet us. We camped in the form of a
half-moon, the bank of the river forming a parallel line in front. The
Indians, numbering about two hundred on the south side of the river,
came down to the shore. Some waded over and about seventy-five came
into camp, including the grand chief of the nation, with many war
chiefs. We met them and made them presents of four pounds of tobacco,
fifteen pounds of lead, powder, fish-hooks, beads, flour, salt, etc.,
but still they {267} were not satisfied; considering our numbers, they
thought they ought to have more. When we left the ground, the Indians
appeared very dissatisfied, but we harnessed up our horses and drove
on to Looking-glass Creek and camped at its mouth for the night on the
bank of the Loup Fork.

"After our horses were turned out, we were called together; and in
consequence of the dissatisfaction of the Indians, a guard of one
hundred men was called for. The Quorum of the Twelve with nearly the
whole camp volunteered to stand guard, one-half of them the fore part
of the night, and a half the other part. We also had a picket guard of
five men with their mules at each watch.

"I was one of the picket guards. We had a hard wind with rain in the
afternoon which continued a portion of the time that I was on guard. I
rolled myself up in my buffalo robe and let the wind and rain beat on
me. We were released at about one o'clock and went to rest. No Indians
appeared during the night.

"Looking-glass Creek was crossed fifteen minutes before nine on the day
following, April 22nd, and a westerly course continued and Beaver Creek
reached at noon. Prof. O. Pratt took the meridian observation of the
sun by the sextant for the latitude which was found to be 41 degrees 25
minutes and 13 seconds. He also made other observations.

"We crossed Beaver Creek at half past two o'clock and traveled seven
miles and came to the Pawnee missionary station and camped for the
night. The bluff was skirted with oaks on the north side of the road in
the hills. We kept out a guard through the night as we were in danger
of the Sioux on the one side and the Pawnees on the other.

"While watering the horses at the creek at the station this evening,
Brother George A. Smith's horse mired, pitched forward, and jumped on
him, treading upon his feet and breast, and holding him fast in the mud
until I caught the horse by the bit and backed him off. I was fearful
that Brother Smith was badly injured, but found that he was not."

On the morning of the 23rd, the camp enjoyed some diversion in one of
those practical jokes which characterize men traveling under similar
circumstances. Some of the guards during the {268} night had fallen
asleep, and when awakened, found their guns taken. Col. Markham had
lost his hat. Fatigue from their duties and arduous labors made it
difficult for men to remain awake when nature so persistently demanded

As the company made its way along Loup Fork River, a fording place was
sought, as the purpose of the pioneers was to follow up the Platte into
which Loup Fork emptied. In the evening a Pawnee missionary station was
reached--a station which had been abandoned. There were several good
log houses and considerable land under cultivation. Here they found
large lots of old and new iron, all apparently left to ruin. A quarter
of a mile below the missionary village was a government station where
Father Chase had been employed as a government farmer at a salary of
$300 a year. When, however, Major Harvey learned that Father Chase
had joined the Mormons, he was dismissed from service. The Sioux had
burned the government station houses and blacksmith shop, but had
spared the missionary village. Some of the hay and fodder was used by
the pioneers, but none of it was carried away. Some of the plows were
taken on an account which Father Chase held against the government for
arrears in wages, but a strict report to the government was ordered and
the things taken were regarded as the property of Father Chase.

The crossing of Loup Fork was a mile-post on the journey; and the 23rd
was a day of great anxiety to those who had been looking carefully for
a suitable fording place from which they might drop down again on to
the banks of the Platte.

"In the morning twelve of us started on horseback to search out a ford
across the dangerous and troublesome Loup Fork of the Platte River. We
went down the river some distance when several men waded across. They
found the water so deep, and so much quicksand that we came to the
conclusion to drive up to the old Pawnee village. So we returned to the
camp and harnessed up our horses. My gray horse named Titus was sick,
yet I started out with him, and the camp drove up with some difficulty
to the old Indian village, or a little below it.

"The men commenced searching out a ford and found the {269} whole bed
of the river one body of quicksand into which if a horse or wagon
stopped it would begin to sink. We had two channels to cross and a
sand-bar in the middle. The deepest water was from three to four feet
and very rapid and about three hundred yards across. At some places
the quicksand sank both man and beast instantly; and the more they
struggled to get out, the more they would sink. Of course, we avoided
such places as much as possible.

"As I led the van with my ten, being captain of the first ten, it
fell to my lot to make the first trial. Prof. O. Pratt, having a pair
of strong horses, went forward and I followed him. I had two yoke of
cattle and my horses on my carriage with about ten hundred on it. As
soon as I started, I immediately saw that the cattle did but little
good, being slow and in the way, we would begin to sink. I jumped out
of my carriage into the water up to my waist. About ten men came to
my assistance with a rope and hitched it to the oxen and helped me
in getting across the first stream, though with great difficulty. We
stopped on a sand-bar out in the water, but my horses and wagon began
to sink. By treading the ground a little, it would become a perfect
quagmire, and though we were sinking in it, the men had to leave the
wagon where it was and go to the assistance of Orson Pratt, who, in
trying to cross the second stream, had sunk into a bed of quicksand,
and all the men had to go to his relief to get his horses and wagon
out. The horses were unhitched from the wagon, and the load taken out
and carried to shore; the wagon was drawn out by the men.

"I took off most of my load in a boat and went through the second
stream. I got two other wagons in the same way, but it was so difficult
an undertaking that the rest of the camp would not follow us, so here
we found ourselves on the opposite side of the river, six men of us, to
spend the night, together with our horses and wagons to guard against
the whole Pawnee band, who were then camped below us on the same side
of the river, and it was supposed that they numbered six hundred
warriors. We divided our company, putting three on guard at a time.
Brother Pack, Orson Pratt, and myself went on guard the fore part of
the {270} night. Although I had been in the water the whole afternoon,
I stood guard in my wet clothing one-half of the night and slept in
them the other half.

"When we had guarded our part of the night we were joined by five
men from the camp who crossed in a boat. They were sent by President
Young to assist us, making eleven of us in all, and we divided our
force accordingly. The night, however, passed off in peace, with no
disturbance from the hostile Indians.

"The morning was pleasant and Prof. Pratt took an observation on the
south bank of the fording place of the Loup Fork. The latitude was
found to be 41 degrees, 22 minutes, and 37 seconds. The camp on the
other side was now busy devising plans to cross the river. They drew
together timber and rails to build two rafts and began to put them
together. Some of the brethren made another trial to cross with wagons
by putting on several horse and mule teams. They went a little higher
up than we did and got over with much less difficulty. The more the
ground was trod in the water, the smoother and harder it grew, so the
whole company turned their wagons back to the ford and abandoned the
raft. By unloading one-half of the baggage, they could cross in safety;
and they all crossed by doubling teams and by going back and forth
until all were over. Each captain with his ten assisted the others
across. In this way all Israel who were present went over the Loup Fork
of the Platte River in safety without hurt to man or beast; and we felt
thankful to God for His mercies and rejoiced that we were on the south
side of the river.

"We all loaded up our wagons and drove four miles and camped for the
Sabbath on the bank of the river; and after our wagons were arranged,
the Twelve took a walk on the high table lands to make observations,
through their glasses, of the surrounding country."




Elijah Newman Healed.--Indians Attempt Theft.--Antelopes Killed.
Encounter with Indians.--A Buffalo Hunt.--Meet Traders from Laramie.--A
Decision To Keep the North Bank of the Platte.--Immense Herds of
Buffaloes.--William Clayton's Mile Gage.--Letter Left for Next
Company.--Description of the Rodometer.

The task of crossing Loup River had been accomplished safely and
there was a general spirit of gratitude throughout the camp. The
following day was the Sabbath, April 25th. Meeting was held and general
instructions given respecting the observance of the Sabbath. It was
on that day that Elijah Newman was baptized for the restoration of
his health. He was afflicted by a black scurvy in his legs to such an
extent that he could not walk except by aid of sticks and crutches.
After the ordinance and confirmation, he returned to the camp without
any help.

A number of hunters were appointed to go ahead of the camp in quest of
game, seven to be horsemen; and ten, footmen. Here Elder Woodruff saw
for the first time in his life either elk or antelope. Four of each
appeared at different times on the opposite side of the river. Although
he was not one of the hunters, the members of the Twelve were allowed
to join those appointed. From later accounts, it will be seen that
Elder Woodruff took an active part in the chase. From now on till the
foothills of the Rocky Mountains were reached, a strict guard against
the Indians was kept. Of the first early troubles with Indians, Elder
Woodruff writes:

"Early in the morning, before the break of day, two Indians crept upon
their hands and knees, approaching the camp to steal horses. They got
within three years of the guard before they were discovered. The guard
at first thought them to be wolves and snapped at them. They rose and
ran. Two of the guards fired and four others rose out of the grass. The
bugle was sounded and all arose to arms, but no more were seen then.

"I started out in the morning with the hunters. We saw eight deer and
four antelopes, but caught nothing. After traveling {272} eight miles,
we camped for noon. On the opposite side of the river were relics of an
old Indian town. In the afternoon, we traveled seven miles and camped
on Clear Creek which had a hard gravel bottom, the first of the kind we
had found on the road. We killed one wild goose, and saw fresh signs
of buffalo where we camped, the first we had seen. Brothers Young,
Kimball, Richards, and I went on to a high bluff to view the country.

"Just at dusk, a tremendous alarm was given through the camp. The
Indians had crawled up and taken Porter Rockwell and his horse and made
off with them. Many men mounted their horses and rode after them with
all speed, but it was soon discovered that Rockwell was in camp. Only
two horses were gone. They belonged to Dr. Richards and Brother Little.
About twenty men, mounted and armed, went in search of the horses.

"On the morrow we continued our journey in a southerly direction to try
to get on the Platte River. We came to some beautiful green grass, saw
a great many buffalo signs, but found no wood or water. We baited our
horses in a green valley after twelve miles' travel.

"Just as we were starting in the afternoon, we rose to a small bluff
and saw two antelopes in the valley before us. Brothers Young, Kimball,
and myself were together. Brother Brown and another brother were on the
other side of the hill and saw them also. Brother Brown first fired at
one, and then the other man and I fired. We all hit him, but he did not
fall, so we rode up and cut his throat. This was the first antelope
killed. He was dressed and put on board the wagon, and we continued
on and in a short time saw three more looking at us from the top of a
mound. Brother Brown and I went after them, but could not get them, so
we turned about ten degrees east of south and went to the creek and
camped. Our cattle and horses were very dry, not finding any water
during the day. We had a heavy storm of thunder, lightning, wind, and
some rain which lasted about an hour.

"A rifle went off in Brother Brown's wagon by accident and the ball
went through a bag of clothes, set it on fire, then through the wagon,
and broke the leg of a fine horse. The result was the breaking up of
one of the teams of the pioneer company.

"Brother Rockwell and three others had gone in the morning {273} again
in search of the horses which the Indians were supposed to have stolen.
Toward evening they returned and reported that they had been attacked
by fifteen Indians, who were in ambush in the grass. They came upon
them, determined to take their horses from them, but the brethren kept
them off by their rifles and pistols. The Indians were armed with guns
and bows. When they found that they could not scare the brethren, they
professed friendship to get to them; but the brethren were resolute and
determined not to move but to fight, though only four to fifteen. The
Indians finally rushed upon them to catch the horses by the bits. The
brethren drew their pistols upon them, determined to fight and do their
best. The Indians, seeing their determination, broke and ran, but fired
their guns upon the brethren. The balls whistled around them, but no
one was injured. The brethren did not return the fire, not wishing to
kill any of them if they could help it."

The morning of April 28th the company reached the eastern end of Grand
Island. There Elder Woodruff accompanied the hunters, but a wolf and a
goose were all they secured. In the evening, they camped on Wood Creek.
Great numbers of deer could be seen on the island, but President Young
thought it dangerous to cross over, as the Indians might be in ambush.

The morning following was very cold. The camp was moved at five
o'clock; and after a drive of three miles, a stop was made for
breakfast. Here the hunters explored Grand Island which they found
covered by rushes and cottonwood. The grass was now in greater
abundance. The cattle and horses were greatly in need of improved feed;
and better grazing meant the entrance into the lands of the deer and
buffalo. They saw great numbers of antelope, but could not reach them.
The hunters killed four geese. Elder Woodruff killed two of them and
shot one deer which he could not overtake.

On May 1st the pioneers were well into the home of the buffalo. It
was a great day for the hunters and welcomed by the pioneers who were
greatly in need of fresh meat. Those who knew President Woodruff's
ardent love of the chase will read the experience of his first buffalo
hunt with some appreciation of what that day meant to him.

{274} "This was an interesting day to the hunters of the camp of
Israel. The pioneers made an early start, and after traveling six
miles, camped for breakfast on the prairie in sight of a herd of
buffaloes feeding on a bluff to the right of us. There were about two
hundred. Three only of the hunters started out. They rode as near to
them as possible and crawled along the grass, but the buffaloes became
frightened and ran away. We had not traveled more than two miles
farther before we discovered another large herd five miles before us.
The hunters assembled and held a council. We determined to get some of
the buffalo meat if possible. We traveled, however, with the camp until
within a mile of the herd when a halt was made and fifteen hunters
started together. Amasa Lyman and myself of the Twelve were with them.
We went along together until we reached a bluff within a few rods of
the herd and then divided, Brother Grover and Luke Johnson went on to
the bluff, O. P. Rockwell and Brother Brown took the entire left, and
so we divided into companies on the right, left, and center. I was with
the company in the center of the herd.

"We all made a charge upon them from the bluffs and rushed on to the
plain. The herd ran down the rough bluff into the plain, but when we
reached the plain we soon overtook them, and each company singled out
its game. We made choice generally of cows, then rushed up to the side
of them and fired upon them with our pistols, which we found much
better to carry than the rifles which were very cumbersome in running.
The first we gave chase to was a cow with her calf. I rode up to her
side and fired two balls, both of which took effect. The other brethren
with me also fired at her until she was killed. I then ran my horse
to the assistance of another party who had wounded one which was soon

"I then saw that O. P. Rockwell had three bulls at bay on the prairie.
Brother Pack and myself ran with our horses to his assistance. At the
same time Brother Kimball came up. We surrounded them and commenced
firing. They bolted ahead. I put spurs to my horse and ran in front and
was within about a rod of them when they all pitched at me and gave me
a chase for a fight. It hurried me to get out of their way. Two broke
for the bluff and Brother Brown followed them; but Rockwell, Kimball,
Pack, {275} and myself stayed with an old bull. I fired two balls into
him, Kimball one, and Pack one. The bull fell dead. We also shot a
calf that was with him. I returned to Brother Brown on the bluff and
found that one of the bulls to which he had given chase was wounded and
had lain down; but Brother Brown having no more powder or ball, the
bull got up again and ran into the herd on the bluff before I could
reach him. We now all returned to our hunting ground to gather up the
buffaloes we had killed, there being three cows, three bulls, and five
calves, making eleven in all.

"In the morning, Brother Solomon Hancock had gone out to hunt buffaloes
on foot. As he did not return in the evening, we felt greatly concerned
about him; but in the morning he returned, having killed a three year
old cow which he watched during the night to keep the wolves from
eating her. Three wolves came upon him. He shot one and the rest ran
away. This was our first day's buffalo hunt and we considered the
results quite good in as much as we were all strangers to a buffalo
hunt, very few of us having ever seen one before.

"We dressed our meat and the wagons came from the camp to take it in.
A part of our chase was through an immense prairie dog town nearly ten
miles long by two miles wide, with burrows at nearly every rod. This
was very dangerous for our horses. My horse, in fact, ran into one and
nearly fell, but no harm was done to any of the hunters by the prairie
dog holes."

The next day was the Sabbath, "and all were busy cooking and saving
their meat." In the afternoon, the camp was moved on three miles in
order that better feed might be found. While the pioneers were in
camp, a herd of buffaloes came to the river to drink at a place within
two miles of the camp. The hunters were anxious to give them a chase,
but President Young prevailed on them not to do so. It was not a work
of necessity. Here the Indians impeded the progress of the company
by setting fire to the prairie, which rapidly burned a large area of
country. That evening Presidents Young and Kimball went ahead several
miles to examine the fire and make general observations.

On Monday, the 3rd of May, the pioneers did not move camp on account of
the weakened condition of the teams. A company {276} of twenty hunters
were called to go in quest of game. "We started out with two wagons. I
had taken a severe cold which had settled in my side where my bones had
been broken last fall, and it made me sick and I was not fit for the
hunt, yet I started with the hunters. I had shaken myself up badly the
Saturday before and was now feeling the effects of it."

At the same time another party were out to explore the country ahead
of them, as the Indians had been burning the grass for several days.
After traveling about ten miles to and fro, and seeing no game, Elders
Woodruff and Lyman began a retreat for camp. "We sat down upon the edge
of a bluff in sight of the camp when a company of horsemen approached,
bearing a red flag. When they came within a mile of us, we trailed
our guns and went down to meet them. We were informed that the party
who had gone up the river had come upon a camp of about four hundred
Indian warriors, and that about one hundred of them had followed the
party down a ravine to cut off retreat. These horsemen had gone out to
call in the hunters. On their return the horsemen came on to a herd of
buffaloes. They brought in with them three calves and four antelopes.

"During the night a strong guard was kept and early in the morning the
cannon was fired twice to let the Indians know the company was awake.
To provide against surprises, the wagons were driven five abreast.
After traveling about five miles, some wagons were seen on the opposite
side of the river, going down the Platte. One of their men waded the
river to find out who the pioneers were and to learn what he could of
their movements. They were traders from Fort Laramie, and had been on
the way sixteen days from that place.

"The grass, he informed us, was good on the south side of the river,
but burned on the north side by the Indians. He consented to carry
letters for us to Sarpee who lived near Winter Quarters. Here the
pioneers stopped long enough to write fifty-two letters. An epistle was
written to the Church at Winter Quarters; and three of the brethren
accompanied the Frenchman across the Platte, where they met the other
men of his company, nine in all. They informed the brethren that they
had not seen an Indian since they left Laramie where there was a ferry.

{277} "We drove on three miles and let our teams graze until the
brethren returned from the French traders. They made a report to the
camp of what was said to them. A council of the whole company of
the pioneers was then called to determine whether we should cross
the Platte, or continue along the north side of the river. We were
convinced that it would be better for us to cross the river on to the
old traveled road to Laramie as there was good grass on that side,
while the Indians were burning it off on the north side where we were

"When, however, we took into consideration the fact that other
companies would soon follow and that we were the pioneers, and had
not our wives and children with us, we thought it best to keep on the
north banks and face the difficulties of burning prairies. A road would
thus be made which would serve as a permanent route, independent of
the old immigrant trail. There was the further consideration that the
river would separate us from other immigrant companies that might be
disposed to quarrel with us over grass or water. Besides, by the time
the next company came along, the grass would be much better than on
the south side of the river. A vote was called for, and the decision
was unanimous that we continue along the north banks of the Platte.
Col. Markham called the men together and drilled them in a military
capacity. The cannon was unloaded and carried on wheels.

"The Frenchman informed us that he had never seen so many buffaloes on
the route before as there were this season and that several times the
traders were compelled to stop while the herds passed. We saw many deer
and antelope today and a few buffaloes. At night we camped near a herd
a short distance from us. We also afterwards learned that the alarm of
the 3rd about the four hundred Indian warriors was a false one, and
that a man had been frightened by a herd of antelope. He supposed them
in the distance to be Indians."

The decision to keep the north bank of the Platte was justified by
the needs of the people in the movements of subsequent companies, and
the general lay of the country. Later, when the engineer applied the
accuracy of his instrument to the scientific methods of road building,
the old "Mormon Trail," as it was popularly called, was chosen for the
Union Pacific Railroad which {278} covered that "trail" for hundreds of
miles. In the years of follow there was a rush to the gold fields of
California. The frontiers-men of Illinois and Missouri who had given
the Saints so much trouble were among the gold seekers. It was the part
of wisdom to have between them and the migrating Saints the Platte

On May 5th a guard was kept in advance to keep the buffaloes from
mixing with the cattle. In the afternoon, one cow and five calves were
killed. A wounded bull calf was brought into camp with the intention of
keeping it. It was true to its instincts and bunted men and dogs about
whenever it could reach them. The day following, it died.

"We stopped for the night, but found the grass on fire and had to
return a mile, and then camped on the bank of the river on a spot which
had escaped the flames. Some, however, took their horses on to an
island near by in the river and cut down cottonwoods, from the barks of
which they fed."

On the morning of the 6th, an early start was made; and the camp,
after traveling three miles, stopped where the grass was better for
breakfast. "This morning the herds of buffaloes were numerous on both
sides of the river and the antelope were in great abundance, some of
which ran into camp. A young buffalo calf also came in and followed us.
We gave it some milk and left it.

"As we continued our journey, we saw many herds of buffaloes and
antelopes and one large herd of elk. Two antelopes were killed in the
morning. As there was much meat in the camp already, it was thought
best not to kill any more game than we needed. Dr. Richards, George A.
Smith, and myself walked up quite near several herds of buffaloes and
examined them through our glasses. They were shedding their coats. One
bull had a mass of hair swinging by his side like a loose robe. Our
herd of cows started to run among the buffaloes, but President Young
galloped his horse to separate them and had great difficulty in doing
so. He lost a glass worth forty dollars in the chase. We continued our
journey among herds of buffaloes and were not at any time out of sight
of them. They had eaten the grass to such an extent that there was
little remaining for the cattle, and timber was also scarce. At night
we camped near a herd of buffaloes {279} that reached as far as the eye
could see. This day the camp made twenty miles."

The day following was given in part for rest for the cattle and horses.
The meagre supply of grass made it necessary to lay over where there
was any supply of feed. A part of the day was devoted to military
tactics. Such drills had a double purpose. They prepared the men for
discipline in case it became necessary to defend themselves against
the Indians, and it further occupied their minds and consumed energy
that might otherwise have made them restless, and dissatisfied. Porter
Rockwell and those who went back with him in search of the field-glass,
lost the day before by President Young, were successful. Others went
ahead to mark out a road. Ever since the pioneers had left the crossing
at Loup Fork, they were obliged to pioneer their way. Had they chosen
to take the other side of the river, they would have found a road
already made for them.

"We saw today ten thousand buffaloes, and came near one herd with an
unusual number of calves, yearlings, and two-year olds. We also saw
several large dead ones being devoured by wolves which could be seen
on every hand following the herds to eat those that died by wounds and
from other causes.

"The next morning, May 8th, was very pleasant and not so cold and windy
as the day before. A start was not made until 10 o'clock as the teams
needed rest and feed badly. I rode forward to-day with the Twelve and
others, and the buffaloes that our eyes beheld were most astonishing.
Thousands upon thousands would crowd together as they came from the
bluffs to the bottom-land to go to the river and sloughs to drink,
until the river and land on both sides of it looked as though the face
of the earth was alive and moving like the waves of the sea. Brother
Kimball remarked that he had heard many buffalo tales told, but never
expected to behold what his eyes now saw. The half had not been told

"When we stopped at noon, many of the buffaloes walked along side of
our wagons so that it would have been easy to shoot them down. O. P.
Rockwell did shoot one through the neck and she dropped dead. It was
a two year old heifer and good meat. We {280} had great difficulty in
keeping our cattle and horses from getting among the herds; and if they
had got mixed, it would have been almost impossible ever to get them

"We traveled eleven and one-fourth miles this day until we came to the
bluffs that made down to the river and then we camped for the night.
Brother William Clayton had prepared a mile-gage on the hind wheel of
his wagon so that the distance could be measured easily.

"Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, and myself went on
the highest bluff near by and took a survey of the surrounding country
without glasses, and the scene before us, north, east, and west as far
as our vision extended, looked as rough as the sea in a storm with the
ridges and valley mostly sand and scarcely any green thing upon it
except a little scattering grass, and the Spanish soap root, which the
Mexicans used for washing. The top resembles a pineapple. I brought in
one root twenty-four inches long and two inches in diameter. I pounded
a little of it and found that it would fill a dish with suds like soap."

The bones of buffaloes had been more or less abundant since the company
left Loup Fork. This probably indicated the eastern limit of the
buffalo range. Among their bones there were frequently found skulls of
human beings, probably Indians.

On Sunday the 9th the camp moved four miles and laid over for the day.
Timber grew scarcer and the pioneers learned the value of the buffalo
chip for making fires. At this season of the year, the cottonwood trees
became green and were not fit for fires. "I wrote two letters for
Brother Wolsen to take with him to Pueblo. One was to Brother Ferguson
and the other to Brother Bevin. We had a meeting and a good one. The
spirit of God ruled over the camp. Peace, quiet, and contentment
pervaded almost every heart. The Twelve met and it was thought best for
the brethren not to start for Pueblo until they arrived at Laramie. I
rode with the Twelve and others four miles up the river and saw large
herds of buffaloes come to water."

The tenth was cold, the thermometer standing at 33 degrees, with a
moderate wind. Before leaving camp, a letter was put in a board by
sawing an opening the width of the saw. It was nailed {281} to a post
which was planted firmly in the earth. The letter was for the next
company which was expected along in six or eight weeks. On the board
were the words: "Open this box and you will find a letter; 316 miles
from Winter Quarters; Pioneers; Latitude 40 degrees." The letter
contained an account of the journey.

The grass was so completely eaten off that the cattle were very
poor and unfit for long journeys. The movement of the buffaloes was
eastward and they ate everything before them. It did not require many
days, however, at this season of the year for the grass to make a
considerable growth. "We passed through some miles of dead grass which
we burned to give new feed for the next company. It made a great fire

Here in the midst of the journey, more than 300 miles from the
Missouri River, with scant material, and few mechanical appliances,
the ingenious nature of man asserted itself to meet a daily desire to
know just how far the pioneers were traveling each day. William Clayton
writes under date of May 8, 1847:

"I have counted the revolutions of a wagon wheel in order to get the
exact distance we have traveled. The reason why I have taken this
method which is somewhat tedious, is because there is generally a
difference of two, and sometimes four, miles in a day's travel between
my estimation and that of some others, and they have all thought I
underrated it. This morning I determined to take pains in order to know
for a certainty how far we would travel today. Accordingly I measured
the circumference of one of the hind wheels of Brother Kimball's
wagon, being the one I sleep in, in charge of Philo Johnson. I found
the wheel exactly fourteen feet eight inches in circumference, not
varying one eighth of an inch. I then calculated how many revolutions
it would require for one mile and found it precisely 360, not varying
one fraction, which somewhat astonished me. I have counted all the
revolutions during the day's travel and find it to be a little over 11
1/4 miles. According to my previous calculations we were 285 miles from
Winter Quarters this morning before we started, and after traveling
ten miles I placed a small cedar post in the ground with these words
inscribed on it with a pencil. 'From Winter Quarters 295 miles, May 8,
1847. Camp {282} all well. Wm. Clayton.' Some have estimated the day's
journey at 13 and some 14 miles, which serves to convince more strongly
that the distances are overrated. I have repeatedly suggested a plan of
fixing machinery to a wagon wheel to tell the exact distance we travel,
and many begin to be sanguine for carrying it into effect."

This tedious effort led to a mechanical contrivance which was later put
into effect. Considering the circumstances of the pioneers, it was not
a little extraordinary that such a rodometer should be constructed at
such a time and under such circumstances. Here is a description of it:
"Let a wagon wheel be of such a circumference, that 360 revolutions
make one mile. (It happens that one of the requisite dimensions is now
in camp.) Let this wheel act upon a screw in such a manner that six
revolutions of the wagon wheel shall give the screw one revolution.
Let the threads of this screw act upon a wheel of sixty cogs, which
will evidently perform one revolution per mile. Let this wheel of
sixty cogs, be the head of another screw, acting upon another wheel of
thirty cogs; it is evident that in the movements of this second wheel,
each cog will represent one mile. Now, if the cogs were numbered from
0 to 30, the number of miles traveled will be indicated during every
part of the day. Let every sixth cog of the first wheel be numbered
from 0 to 10, and this division will indicate the fractional parts of
a mile, or tenths; while if any one should be desirous to ascertain
still smaller divisional fractions, each cog between this division,
will give five and one-third rods. This machinery (which may be called
the double endless screw) will be simple in construction, and of very
small bulk, requiring scarcely any sensible additional power, and the
knowledge obtained respecting distances in traveling will certainly be
very satisfactory to every traveler, especially in a country but little
known. The weight of this machinery need not exceed three pounds."




In the Redman's Country.--Indian Customs.--Hunting Became
Excessive.--Description of the Bluffs.--Guide Board 409 Miles From
Winter Quarters.--Chimney Rock.--Brigham Young Rebukes Card Playing and
Frivolity.--Fasting and Prayer.--Arrive at Fort Laramie.--Ascending the
Plateaux.--Word From the Mormon Battalion.

About the 11th of May, the pioneers found themselves in the heart of
the Indians' country. The red man would naturally take some alarm at
the approach of so numerous a body of men, and his presence along the
route was indicated, as a rule, by the camping ground which had been
deserted at the approach of the white man. Here and there solitary
Indians were observed, and occasionally a small number approached
the camp. The Sioux were a somewhat treacherous, warlike tribe; and
following the habits of the Indian, some of their tribe would follow
the pioneers for days, remaining concealed in daylight, hoping for
opportunities to steal horses and cattle by night. Fortunately the
pioneers adopted the most precautionary methods of guarding against the
loss of their horses and cattle.

The Indians were not without some knowledge of the retreat of their
ancestors before the western movement which was going on rapidly in
those days. Their viewpoint therefore justifies both the fear and the
dislike of the white man. The pioneers, realizing the attitude of the
Indian, did all in their power to assure him of their friendship, but
it was not easy on a journey such as that to cultivate any particular
acquaintance. Elder Woodruff's journal shows the remarkable interest
that he took in whatever related to the customs and manners of the

Speaking of the Sioux, he says: "We found ourselves traveling over
their hunting grounds. Some eight or ten days prior to our encampment
on the 11th of May, there had been a large band of some 500 to 1,000
located at one place. They had taken the brains out of a large buffalo.
Generally they took the hide and some of the meat, and sometimes they
broke the bones for the {284} marrow. In one place we found a hundred
calves with nothing taken except the tongues, the legs to the knees,
and the entrails. In another place thirty-five buffalo calves were
found dead where they had been washed up in heaps in their unsuccessful
effort to cross the river. On one of the bluffs, I found a medicine bag
tied to a stick six feet long, the stick having been stuck into the
bank. I also found a saddle tied to a large buffalo for the purpose,
I supposed, of showing the next party of Indians which direction the
buffaloes had gone.

"Wishing to explore the country somewhat, I left my horse to feed in
the valley while I went on to an elevated bluff. While gone, the horse
started off, and not seeing the camp, took an opposite direction and I
was compelled to run after him. In doing this, I ran through a great
camping ground of the Sioux where lodges had been on their hunting
expeditions. Here I left my gun and followed my horse until I overtook
him. On my return I examined the ground more minutely and estimated
that there had been something like 500 lodges. There were acres of
ground covered with buffalo wool where they had dressed the skins of
buffaloes and wolves, etc. I brought in a good dressed white wolf skin
with me. The day following, many of the brethren went out and brought
in parts of robes, leather, etc., which had been left. The next day,
the pioneers made a journey of eleven miles. The bluffs, for the first
time on the journey along the north fork, came boldly up to the river
front so that we were obliged to go over these bluffs with our wagons.

"There is one thing concerning the Platte River worthy of note. It is
much of the way a mile in width, generally covered with water, but
very shallow. When the south wind blows hard, the water all rushes to
the north shore so that one would suppose that there was a great rise
in the tide. When the wind shifts to the north, the water immediately
recedes from the north shore until one can walk across two-thirds of
the river on bare ground. Thus the river constantly ebbs and flows like
a tide.

"Early on the morning of the 14th, I went out to hunt buffaloes and
returned to breakfast and started out again with Phineas Young. I
was lost among the bluffs, but after a time, found my way out again.
Brother Phineas shot a buck antelope which I carried into camp. All
told, three antelopes and one {285} buffalo were killed. Some of the
hunters thought they heard Indian guns during the night on the opposite
side of the river. An Indian had gone up to a pair of mules that were
tied together and grabbed at them, but the mules sprang back and got
out of the way. One of the guards shot at him and he ran. All the
horses were then brought into the circle of our camp and the cannon
prepared, but no Indian being seen, it was not fired."

Such a large company would naturally be conspicuous to the Indians, and
no doubt the sound of music in those solitary regions attracted them,
as the camp was often animated in the evening by the sounds of music
from all parts. On the morning of the 15th, bear foot tracks were seen
in large numbers. That day the distance covered was only eight miles.
This short distance was due in part to the difficulty encountered in
crossing over the numerous bluffs along the river. In those regions
there was nothing to break the cold, raw winds that came from the
north. Civilization had not then set up its wind breaks, and the winds
made the climate often quite disagreeable away into the month of May.

"Sunday, the 16th of May," he says, "was cold. With Brothers Young,
Kimball, Benson, Rockwell, and Stephens, I rode four miles over the
bluffs to pick out a road for the pioneers that they might again get on
to the bottom land. We had a good meeting in the afternoon and the laws
of the camp were read. One of the brethren had shot an antelope and a
buffalo. It was a violation of the camp to go hunting on the Sabbath.
The 17th was warm and pleasant, but the road was difficult. For two and
a half miles we drove through sand bluffs and again struck the bottom
land four and a half miles from the camping place. The hunters brought
in three buffaloes which detained the camp for some time. President
Young was not pleased with the excessive hunting, as they already had
much meat in the camp. Large herds of deer were seen in the valley,
more than had been seen before. A young fawn was picked up and brought
into camp. I led the company of pioneers mostly through the bluffs
in the morning before Brothers Young and Kimball came up. Upon their
arrival, we rode together all day picking out the road.

"The next day the camp was called together and President Young reproved
sharply the hunters for killing more game than {286} was necessary, for
detaining the camp, and because of their indifference in helping to
pick out the road. He said there were but two men who had manifested
any interest in helping to get the pioneers along. Afterward the
horsemen went forward to pick out the road instead of hunting, and I
did not hear a gun fired during the day."

The spring was well advanced and rain began to take the place of wind.
Elder Woodruff in his journal entry of May 19th says: "We encountered
today the worst sandhill on the journey; and what made it worse, the
rain was pouring down continuously. We had more rain today than during
the whole journey. I rode forward during the day, picking out the road.
We made eight miles.

"Next morning we made seven miles and nooned near Ash Creek, on the
south side of the river where the Oregon road first strikes the north
fork of the Platte. Several of the brethren went over in the boat,
which we were taking along, to examine the rocky bluffs, roads, creek,

"In the afternoon, we traveled eight and three-quarters miles and
camped for the night. We had a very good road most of the day on the
bank of the river. There was a good deal of rocky bluff on both sides
of the river, and some on the south side was formed into natural
terraces, rotundas, squares, etc., from fifty to a hundred feet high
and looked like good foundations for fortifications and strong-holds.
They resemble the works of art and look something like the old castles
of England and Scotland. They were level on the top. There is a
beautiful Cedar Island in the river a short distance above Ash Creek
which is a good landmark to show travelers where the Oregon road
strikes the river."

Near by the nooning place was a cedar tree in the branches of which
an Indian child was deposited for burial. Along with it were utensils
necessary for its future enjoyment.

On the 21st a large petrified bone was found. It was the leg bone from
the knee down. Its length was seventeen and a half inches, greatest
width eleven inches, greatest thickness six inches, its weight was
twenty-seven pounds.

"Before we left the encampment in the morning, Brother Clayton put up
a guide board for the benefit of the next company. {287} 'From Winter
Quarters, 409 miles; from the Junction 93 1/4 miles; Cedar Bluff 36
1/2; Ash Creek 8 miles and 133 from Fort Laramie.' When we reached
our camping place for the night, two Indians came up from the bluffs,
making signs for us to come to them. It was a Sioux Indian and his
squaw. They talked by signs and went away.

"Our road on the journey the day following was very straight, but we
came over two and a half miles of the worst sand hill that we had
passed. The bluffs presented the most singular natural scenery I had
ever beheld in all my travels. They had the appearance of the old walls
and ruins of the castles of Europe.

"The next day was Sunday the 23rd. In company with Brigham Young and
the Twelve, I visited the top of the highest bluff ruins that were
opposite our encampment, which were truly a curiosity. We had a fair
view of Chimney Rock from where we were. I carried a bleached buffalo's
head on the top and we wrote upon it our names and the distance from
several places. Orson Pratt took a barometrical observation on the
solitary cedar tree on the top of the bluff ruins.

"The camp met at half past eleven in the morning for Sabbath services.
Erastus Snow addressed the meeting, followed by President Young who
said he was satisfied that the Lord was with us and leading us. He
had never seen a company of people more united than the camp had been
thus far on the journey, that we should pluck the fruit of the mission
through all eternity, that he had many things to teach us but could
not do it except in a stake of Zion, but he was well satisfied with
his brethren and the Twelve, and the camp at large. One thing he would
say to the praise of the company and that was that not one had refused
to obey his counsel on the journey. His peace with God was continually
like a river, and he felt that the spirit of peace rested upon the
whole company. Several others spoke and the meeting was then dismissed.

"We intended to ride out in the evening, but saw that a storm was
gathering. It began to blow very hard and it was all we could do to
save our wagon bows and covers from being destroyed. It continued for
about an hour and then rained for another hour accompanied by hail. I
covered all my horses with all the blankets I could get, and got up
several times in the night to see them. It {288} rained occasionally
and the horses shook with cold, but when morning came all were alive
and we continued our journey.

"As soon as we camped at noon, two Indians came to the camp. They were
Sioux and well dressed and clean. We gave them dinner and they left.
We camped at night near the Quicksand Mountain, making sixteen and one
half miles that day. I rode about two miles forward to find grass and
a camping ground, and on my return saw about thirty Sioux plunge their
horses into the river on the opposite side and made towards us. I rode
with several others to the river and met them as they came out. They
shook hands with us very friendly. The chief unfurled a large American
flag with the eagle, stars, and stripes and presented me a letter
written in French which we, however, made out. They were all well
dressed and the chief was in a military coat. The brethren brought a
white flag and planted it by the side of theirs. They wanted to go into
camp. We proposed for five of them to go and the rest to remain, but
they all wished to go, so we let them and gave them supper. They were
in camp all night, but were good and stole nothing.

"Some trading was done with the Sioux next morning and we gave them
breakfast. They behaved well also when we started across the river. I
had to keep my carriage today having the rheumatism in my shoulders and
back, and my teeth ached.

"We nooned next day, Tuesday, May 25th, in good grass two miles above
Chimney Rock; and I rode with Brothers Kimball and Benson to look out
a road. By our imperfect measurement by a trigonometrical observation
by the sextant, Professor Pratt made Chimney Rock to be two hundred and
sixty feet above the level of the river.

"Just before camping at noon while traveling on a smooth prairie, an
Indian horse that was bought of the Sioux ran away with a singletree
at his heels and gave tremendous fright to the cows, oxen and horses.
In an instant a dozen or more wagons were darting by each other like
lightning and the horses and mules dashing over the ground, some
turning to the right and some to the left and some ran into other
wagons. The horses and mules that Brother Fowler was driving leaped by
my carriage like electricity and came within one inch of a collision
with my wheels which would have made a wreck. Another wagon with a
pair {289} of mules and a yoke of cattle dashed by which would also
have smashed my carriage had they locked. By this time, my own horses
started to run, but were held back by the driver. Fowler's wagon
continued regardless of rough or smooth ground about fifty rods, he
being dragged the whole distance by the bit which was the case with
many others; but all were soon stopped and returned to their lines
without accident which appeared truly a miracle. A person can hardly
conceive the power manifested by animals, especially mules, in such a
fright. It gave us some idea of what an Indian yell would do in a camp
with teams hitched to wagons.

"Brother Kimball and myself picked the road during our journey of the
following morning, and in the afternoon I piloted as straight as any
road yet made on the whole route, and picked out a camping ground on
the bank of the river in good feed. It should be understood that we
were pioneering a road for the whole House of Israel to travel over for
many years to come and it required, therefore, the greatest care in
marking the route.

"A cold rainy morning followed and we concluded not to start until
the rain stopped. We remained till 10 o'clock and traveled eleven and
one-half miles and camped for the night. During the evening, President
Young called at my fire, and seeing several brethren playing dominoes
in a wagon near by, he began to teach, saying that the devil was
getting power over the camp which had for several days given way to
cards and dominoes, etc., and that if they did not speedily repent,
their works, labors, and journey would be in vain. He said that to be
sure the camp did not quarrel, for the devil would not set them at that
as long as he could draw them gradually away from their duty and fill
them with nonsense and folly, for the devil was very cunning in winning
away the people of God. I felt the force of his remarks.

"During the evening I went into Dr. Richards' wagon and read a chapter
in the Book of Mormon and prayed with him, after which President
Young, H. C. Kimball, Willard Richards, E. T. Benson, and myself met
in council in Brother Brigham's wagon. President Young wrote some of
the words of the Lord concerning the camp and expressed his views and
feelings--that they must speedily repent or they would be cursed, that
they were forgetting their mission, and that he would rather travel
{290} with ten righteous men who would keep the commandments of the
Lord than the whole camp while in a careless manner and forgetting God.
We stayed together until ten o'clock.

"Next morning President Young called the camp together and required
each captain separately to call out his men and when all were present,
except two who had gone out hunting, he addressed them in something
like the following words:

'I think I will take as my text to preach my sermon from, _I am about
to revolt from traveling with this camp any further with the spirit
they now possess._ I had rather risk myself among the savages with ten
men who are men of faith, men of mighty prayer, men of God, than to be
with the whole camp when they forget the Lord and turn their hearts
to folly and wickedness. Yes, I would rather be alone and I am now
resolved not to go any farther with the camp unless you will consent to
humble yourselves before the Lord and serve Him and cease your folly
and wickedness. For a week past, nearly the whole camp has been card
playing, and checkers and dominoes have occupied the attention of the
brethren, and dancing has been going on continually.

'Now it is time to quit it. There have been trials and lawsuits upon
every nonsensical thing; and if this is suffered to go on, it will be
but a short time before you are fighting, knocking each other down and
taking life. It is time it was stopped.

'I do not want to hear any more such reports as I heard last Sunday
of men going to meeting and preaching to the rest after playing cards
until meeting time. You are a pretty set of men going to look out a
location among the mountains for a resting place for the Saints--even
the whole Church of God--who have been driven out from the Gentiles and
rejected of them. And after you have established a location, you are
then going out to preach the Gospel, seal salvation upon the house of
Israel, and gather the nations.

'How would you look if they should know your conduct and ask you what
you did when you went to seek out Zion and find a resting place for the
Saints where the standard of the Kingdom of God could be reared and her
banners unfurled for the nations to gather unto?

'Did you spend a good deal of your time in dancing, pitching {291}
quoits, jumping, wrestling, and the like? Yes, yes. Did you play
cards, dice, checkers, and dominoes? O, yes. What could you do with
yourselves? Why you would shrink from the glance of the eyes of God,
angels and men--even wicked men. Then are you not ashamed of yourselves
for practicing these things? Yes, you are, and you must quit it.'

"After speaking somewhat lengthily upon these matters, President Young
called the Twelve together, and the high priests, seventies, and
elders. There were present eight of the quorum of the Twelve, eighteen
high priests, eighty seventies, and eight elders. After this was done,
President Young said unto the Twelve:

'If you are willing to humble yourselves before the Lord and consent to
the right, and walk humbly before Him, make it manifest by raising the
right hand.'

"Then each one raised his hand. The same question was put to the high
priests, seventies, elders, and members and all consented with uplifted
hands to humble themselves before the Lord, repent of their sins and
keep His commandments.

"President Young then spoke of those who were not in the Church, as
there were some present. They would be protected in their rights, but
they must not introduce wickedness into the camp, for it would not be
suffered. He also spoke of the standard and ensign that would be reared
in Zion.

"Elder Kimball followed and said that the words of President Young were
as the words of the Lord unto him and just as binding as though they
were a written revelation, and that they were just as binding upon the
whole camp as they were upon him, and he urged the pioneers to give
heed to the teachings that had been given.

"Orson Pratt remarked that if the Saints had leisure hours, they could
spend them to much better advantage than playing cards, as there was
a world of knowledge and science to be obtained and every moment
should be improved in storing the mind with some good principle. He
acknowledged the teachings we had received to be of the Lord."

Elder Woodruff said: "A burned child dreads the fire. He had not
forgotten his journey in the Camp of Zion in 1834; and should he live
to the age of Methuselah, he should not forget the {292} hour when
the Prophet and Seer, Joseph Smith, stood upon the wagon wheel and
addressed that Camp and said that because they had not hearkened unto
his counsel, but disobeyed and transgressed from time to time, judgment
would come and that we should be visited by the destroying angel. And
so we were, and more than twenty of our members fell by the stroke and
we all suffered much in our feelings. I pray the Lord I may not see
another such time; and I would now advise my brethren to be careful in
keeping the covenant we have made lest the word of the Lord come unto
us as in the days of Joseph and we cannot escape a judgment. I would
advise all the brethren who have cards and the like to burn them, for
if you keep the covenants you have made, you will have no time to use
them; and if you keep them for your children, they will only prove a
curse to them. My prayer to God is that we may all be enabled to keep
our covenants with the Lord and each other. I rejoice that the watchmen
in our midst are quick to comprehend and warn of evil and reprove us
when wrong that we may be saved and do the will of God."

The change in the camp it would appear was quite as sudden as a gust
of wind. It was only a short time before this that the pioneers were
commended for their zeal and unity. The dangers of self-satisfaction
were here demonstrated. Dancing, card playing, and a hilarious life
were not in consonance with the solemn mission of that band of pioneers
whose journey was to be likened in years to come to the exodus of
the children of Israel. That journey was to be an inspiration to
generations that would follow. The Sabbath following, May 30th, was set
apart for prayer and fasting.

"In the morning I shaved, cleansed my body, put on clean clothing,
etc., read a chapter in the Book of Mormon, humbled myself before the
Lord, and poured out my soul in prayer before Him, and His spirit
descended upon me and I was blessed and prepared for the service of the
day. Then I spent some time in writing in my journal.

"The camp had a prayer meeting in the morning and met again for public
meeting. President Young, with the Quorum of the Twelve and a few
others went into a valley of the hills and prayed according to the
order of the priesthood. Porter Rockwell and Brother Carrington watched
to see that no Indians came {293} upon us. We had a good time. A heavy
shower appeared, but most of it went around us and there was but little
rain where we were.

"We returned to our wagons, took some refreshments, having eaten
nothing all day; and soon the sun came out pleasantly. In the evening I
went out two miles with the Quorum of the Twelve on to a high bluff. We
had a good view of the Black Hills. There we also engaged in prayer.

"Two days afterward we camped opposite Fort Laramie. This was June
1st. When we arrived, we saw some men approaching us from the Fort. We
found them to be a part of the company of Mississippi brethren who had
been in Pueblo through the winter. Brother Crow and his family, seven
wagons and fourteen mules were at Fort Laramie. He informed us that
the remainder of the Mississippi company with a portion of the Mormon
Battalion at Pueblo would start for Laramie about the 1st of June and
follow our trail. He told us of four of the brethren who had died, but
he had heard nothing of the main body of the Battalion.

"President Young suggested the propriety of our leaving all our ploughs
at the Fort except such as we needed to use immediately when we got to
our destination, and also to do our blacksmithing, mending of wagons as
soon as possible so that we might go on our journey speedily. A company
was appointed to attend to the herding and other branches of business.

"June the 2nd, in company with the Twelve and others, I crossed the
river to visit the Fort. We examined Fort St. John which was now
vacant, but was still standing. The dimensions of this Fort were 144
by 152 outside, and inside contained sixteen rooms. The largest on the
north side was 93 feet long and 47 feet wide. The Oregon trail ran one
rod from the S. W. corner of the Fort.

"We next visited Fort Laramie, then occupied by thirty-nine persons,
mostly French who had married the Sioux. Mr. Burdoe was the
superintendent. This Fort was 168 by 116 feet outside with six rooms
inside. It was quite a pleasant location for a Fort.

"Mr. Burdoe was a Frenchman. He received us kindly and invited us into
a large sitting room. He gave us all the information {294} he could in
relation to our route and furnished us with his flat bottom boat on
reasonable terms to assist us in ferrying the Platte. He informed us
that Governor Boggs and his men had much to say against the Mormons and
cautioned him to take care of his horses and cattle, etc., lest they
should steal them. He tried to prejudice him all he could against us.
Burdoe said that Boggs' company were quarreling all the time, and most
of them had deserted him. He finally told Boggs and company that let
the Mormons be what they might, they could not be worse than he and his

"After conversing with Mr. Burdoe some time we got into the flat bottom
boat, about twenty of us, and went down the Laramie Fork to its mouth
about two miles and then up the Platte one-half mile to our camp.
After dinner we met in council and decided that Amasa Lyman should go
to Pueblo with several other brethren to meet the detachment of the
Battalion that was there, and for them to come as soon as convenient to
Laramie and follow our trail."

The pioneer company now found it necessary to cross the north fork
of the Platte, just opposite Fort Laramie, the first permanent post
erected in Wyoming. The low even country of Nebraska had been passed,
and hereafter the company began its journey in Wyoming. They now found
themselves ascending the great eastern plateau of the Rocky Mountain
system. Thence forward there began a gradual ascent to the Rocky
Mountains in which they hoped to find a safe retreat. The Fort was a
trading post in the center of Indian commerce, and had been established
as early as 1834. The Fort, however, was located on the Laramie Fork.

Some time was taken in exploring the region as it was to be in the
future an important mile post in the journey of the Saints. The name
of the river and the fort was taken from a French trapper whose name
was Laramie, and who was killed by the Indians on the stream which now
bears his name. The Saints presented a busy scene repairing wagons and
making preparations for the ascent of the Rocky Mountains. They had
kept well to the north, but the route had been established by trappers
and explorers. The river afforded a water supply for their animals
as well as for domestic purposes. At this time there were practically
{295} only two routes across the continent, one to southern California
by way of Pueblo, the other along the present route of the Union
Pacific railroad. As Oregon was a great objective point in those days,
emigrants turned to the northwest before reaching Utah.

"We continued our journey on the 4th of June. The scenery grew more
interesting as we began to ascend the Black Hills. Brother Robert Crow
had joined us which added to our company nine men, five women, and
three children, six wagons, thirteen yoke of oxen, twenty cows, three
bulls, ten young cattle and horses which made our camp now one hundred
and forty-eight men, eight women, five children, seventy-nine wagons,
ninety-six horses, fifty-one mules, ninety oxen, forty-three cows,
three bulls, nine calves, sixteen dogs, and sixteen chickens.

"As we traveled farther into the hills, they grew lofty and we began
to come into an elk, bear, and mountain-sheep country. Soon after we
arrived at the Springs, fifteen miles from Laramie, the first company
of Missouri emigrants came up, twelve wagons of them. We journeyed ten
and one-half miles farther in the after-noon. The Missouri company
camped one-fourth mile below us.

"Next day was Sunday, the 6th, which we devoted to prayer and fasting,
but the Missouri company of emigrants started on in the morning. The
camp met for prayer-meeting at 8 o'clock and the spirit of the Lord
was with the people who met again for preaching at 11 o'clock. We had
a shower of rain and the meeting closed. Another company of Missouri
wagons, twenty in number, passed us. The rain soon cleared off, and our
company moved forward five miles and camped for the night on Bitter

"The two Missouri companies which had camped near us at night started
before us in the morning, and while nooning, another company of
thirteen wagons passed us. We were in a fair view of Laramie Peak with
its snow covered top. We camped for the night on the Horse Shoe Creek
in the best feed we had found on our journey. The hunters brought in
two black-tailed deer and one antelope.

"Next day we formed a company of men and went forward with our teams
and cleared the road of stone. We used pick-axes, bars, spades, etc.,
and it was a great help to our weak wagons. {296} In the afternoon we
traveled eight and three quarters miles over the most mountainous road
on our way and then descended into the valley and camped for the night
on Labent Creek where there was an abundance of timber, water, and good

"Brother John Higbee went forward hunting, and saw the Missouri
companies of emigrants, and when they started out they had much strife
one with another in trying to start first. They did not stop to milk
their cows; and in clearing up their breakfast, they strewed their
meal, salt, bacon, short cake, beans, and other things upon the ground
throughout their encampment; and when we came up, three wolves were
feeding upon the fragments.

"In coming over the hills to-day, we found it so cold it pierced us
like winter. On reaching the valley, we found fires the companies
in advance had built and we piled on the wood and soon got warm. An
antelope lay before us which the hunters had brought in. We carved it
up with our knives, forked it on sticks, roasted it, and satisfied
ourselves without the seasoning of salt.

"We started in the morning at 5 o'clock into better feed a mile farther
on and we turned out our teams. The brethren did some trading with the
hunters who camped near us. At 7 o'clock, fifteen of our wagons were
formed into a company to go forward to make a boat to ferry the Platte.
They went forward and we followed them. The traders started at the same

"Soon another party of traders who were direct from Sante Fe overtook
us. They informed us that the Mormon Battalion was in California, that
they went in January, and that Capt. Brown was in Sante Fe for money
for the detachment and would come on to us as soon as possible.

"In the afternoon of the next day, President Young and Brother Kimball
rode with us. Our detached company had not been heard of since last
night when they camped with the fore-most company. We camped to-night,
June 9th, at Deer Creek. We had good feed and our horses and cattle
were gaining daily."




Ferrying the Missourians over the River.--Construction of
Rafts--Obtaining Provisions.--Ten Men Left at the Ferry.--Independence
Rock.--Devil's Gate.--175 Miles from Fort Laramie.--South Pass.--Meet
Major Harris, and Mr. Bridger.--Cross Green River.--Meet Samuel
Brannon.--Independence Day.--Meet a Detachment of the Battalion.--Fort
Bridger.--Report of the Missouri Company That Perished.--Reach Salt
Lake Valley, July 24, 1847.

"On June 10th, I examined a splendid grinding stone quarry on the east
side of the road as it leaves the hills and strikes the Platte, and
Brother Carrington found a very excellent coal bed on Deer Creek. The
specimens produced were good.

"At the blowing of the horn at night, I did not feel much like retiring
to bed, so walked half a mile from the camp on the bank of Deer Creek
and found Brother William Clayton fishing with a hook. He had caught
two dozen good fish. They resembled the eastern herring. Another
brother had also caught some. As they were leaving they left their
lines for me.

"I sat down for half an hour musing alone as unconcerned as though I
had been on the banks of Farmington River in my native place, when
suddenly I heard a rustling in the bushes near me, and for the first
time the thought flashed across me that I was in a country abounding
with the grizzly bear, wolves, and Indians, and was liable to an attack
at any moment from any one of them. I was away from my company and had
no weapon to defend myself, even against a badger. I thought it wisdom
to return to camp, and picking up my fishing rods, I walked leisurely
home and retired to rest.

"Next day we rode our horses into the river several times during our
journey to find a fording place, but could not find one. Our detached
company was reported at the ferry ten miles or so above us. Our hunters
brought in thirteen antelopes and the Missouri company killed three

"I started on the following morning to go forward in company with
Brother A. P. Rockwood, who was riding President {298} Young's steed,
which unexpectedly sprang upon my horse, but instead of striking him,
he took my knee into his jaw and bruised me considerably, sinking one
tooth to the bone through three thicknesses of clothing and one of them

"George A. Smith and myself then rode on to the ferrying place and
found our detachment ferrying over the Missouri company who paid the
brethren $1.50 for each wagon and load, and paid in flour at $2.50 per
cwt., while flour through this country was worth at least $10.00 per

"It was very difficult to get over the river. They carried the goods
over in a boat, but drew the wagons over with ropes by hand; and when
the current would strike them, they would frequently roll over several
times in the water, and they were likely to drown some of the horses.
One of the men would have been lost had not the brethren picked him
up with the boat. On the road the Missouri company had a stampede of
their teams, turning over their wagons, bruising women and children
and smashing their things. One ran into the river and would probably
have drowned and lost all, had not a little boy jumped out beside the
off ox, which gave him a fright and he 'sided off' and ran upon a sand
bank, dragging the others after him. The boy was knocked into the water
and hurt, but the scene ended without any loss of life.

"Our blacksmiths have been working for the Missouri company for which
they get flour, money, etc., and our hunters have been busily engaged.
They had killed five fat buffaloes, one old she bear and three cubs
and shot at two grizzly bears, but did not get them. Those killed were
black bears. Our hunters also brought into camp eight antelopes.

"Sunday, the 13th of June, was a very warm day, and the camp met for
prayer meeting at 9 o'clock, and at 10 we had a regular meeting.
President Kimball first addressed the meeting and was followed by
President Young, who remarked upon the great difference between us as
a camp and the Missouri companies who were traveling the same road. He
said, 'They curse, swear, rip, and tear, and are trying to swallow up
the earth; but though they do not wish us to have a place on it, the
earth will soon open and swallow them up and they will go to the land
of forgetfulness; {299} while the Saints, if faithful, though they
suffer some privations here, will ultimately inherit the earth and
increase in power, dominion, and glory.'

"He spoke much to our edification, and was followed by Elder O.
Pratt, after which the meeting was dismissed. The Twelve, colonels,
captains, etc., of the camp then met at President Young's wagon and
consulted about the measures to be adopted to get across the river.
It was finally agreed to go immediately to the mountains with wagons
and teams, and for every two tens to get poles and lash two or four
wagons abreast to keep them from turning over and float them across the
river with boats and ropes. So a company of horsemen started for the
mountains with teams to draw the poles.

"In the evening the flour, meal, and bacon which had been earned from
the Missouri company for ferrying them over were distributed through
the camp equally. It amounted to five and one-half pounds of flour, two
pounds of meal and a small piece of bacon for each individual in the
camp. It looked as much of a miracle to me to see our flour and meal
bags replenished in the midst of the Black Hills as it did to have the
Children of Israel fed with manna in the wilderness; but the Lord had
been truly with us on our journey and wonderfully preserved and blessed

"At daylight the next morning the first two tens were called together
to make arrangements for crossing. Some of our party did not like the
mode proposed of lashing wagons together, as the current was so strong,
so we appointed Brother Grover as our captain to direct the rafting and
concluded to put our poles into a raft and carry our goods over in a
boat and ford our wagons on the raft.

"We commenced at 5 o'clock in the morning and in four hours we had
landed eleven wagons of goods upon the north shore with our little
leather boat, and during the day we got over all the wagons belonging
to our tens, there being eleven wagons in all.

"The rest of the encampment--being twelve tens--got over only the same
number of wagons as ourselves. They floated their wagons by tying from
two to four together, but the wagons turned clear over each other,
bottom side up and back again, breaking {300} the bows, covers, and
boxes to pieces, and losing ploughs, axes, and iron that were left in
the boxes.

"Most of our company were in the water from morning till night, and all
were very weary when the work was done.

"Just as we had drawn Dr. Richards' two wagons to the shore and loaded
his goods into them, a storm struck us. I sprang into my carriage, tied
all down very tight and applied my whole strength in holding my wagon
cover on, but the rain, wind, and hail beat so heavily that it was a
task, and my bed and things were nearly drenched. It lasted only seven
minutes, but was severe on our wagons and goods, and our horses ran two
or three miles in the storm. I crossed the river, went after them, tied
them up, and returned weary, but had some pleasant dreams that night.

"I felt unwell next day from the exposures of the day before. My teeth
ached. I had suffered much from them on my pioneer journey. It was
quite windy and our companies crossed the river very slowly. Another
Missouri company came up with us.

"President Young thought it wisdom to leave a number of the brethren
here until our companies which were expected to follow us should come
up. Those who remained were to keep a ferry for the emigrants on the
road not of our people. Such immigrants were to pay $1.50 per wagon in
flour at $2.00 per cwt., and in cows at $10.00 each.

"The brethren made two new rafts on the third day of our fording the
river and got quite a number of our pioneer wagons over. I was still
unwell, but in company with Orson Pratt, I went on to some of the
bluffs to view the country, and shot an antelope. This was the first
antelope I ever killed.

"We had some strong wind and heavy rain, and in the evening many of
us went over the river and tied up our horses. When one company was
returning in the leather boat, it half filled with water, and they came
nearly sinking.

"Early on the following morning, we swam our horses over, and one mule
was nearly drowned by being tangled in a rope, but the current carried
him ashore.

"The day before, twenty men went down the river to dig out two large
canoes to cover over and make a ferry boat. The emigrants {301} were
arriving daily at our fording place, and they reported one thousand
wagons between here and Laramie. This was the 5th day spent in ferrying
our pioneer company across the river, but now we had succeeded in
getting all over, and we once more formed our wagons into a circle. Our
brethren helped some of the Missourians to cross, and ran their boat
all night in ferrying them over.

"Next day while we were still ferrying them over another large company
arrived. We gathered our cattle at 10 o'clock and harnessed our horses,
but did not start, as all were not ready, so we turned our teams out

"In the afternoon we held a council and resolved to leave nine men
to conduct the ferry and to ford emigrant companies and also our own
brethren who should come after us. The men were chosen and we met with
them again in the evening.

"President Young rebuked one who had asked to stay, but who later
wished to continue on with us. He also instructed the brethren who were
to tarry to keep together and divide their means accumulated equally
according to their labor, for each to esteem his brother as himself, in
no wise to retain that which belonged to the traveler, to be careful
of the lives and property of those they ferried, not to forget their
prayers, and to come up after us with the next company of Saints.

"The men to remain at the ferry were Thomas Grover, captain; John
S. Higbee, Luke Johnson, William Empy, Edmund Elsworth, Benjamin F.
Stewart, Francis Pomeroy, James Davenport, and Appleton Harmon.

"After seven days we continued our journey, traveled during the day
twenty and one-half miles, and had the most wretched camping ground
at night we had found on the way. President Young thought it might
properly be called 'Hell Gate.' The country abounded with alkali and
the water was extremely nauseating. Our horses and cattle, being
thirsty, drank some and left it. Some of the cattle got badly mired in
the marshes. Our hunters brought in one buffalo, one deer, and three

"Early on Sunday morning, the 20th, we hitched up without feed or water
and left our encampment of death, poison waters, and alkaline marshes
and drove three miles to a good camping {302} ground and sweet water.
This was on the Willow Spring branch, about three miles from the head.

"We halted two hours and took breakfast. President Young wished me to
go on about fifteen miles and look up a camping ground for the night.
So I went forward with George A. Smith to the head of the Willow
Spring. Here he stopped with a doctor of a Missouri company, who had
been attending a sick family, to wait for our wagons to come up, and I
rode on alone. After traveling alone several miles, Brother John Brown
came up, and we rode on together over a sandy, barren, sage country to
a creek of good water about ten miles west of the Willow Spring. We
arrived here at half past 1 o'clock, and turned our horses out to graze.

"Here we tarried till four o'clock and watched for our wagons to come
in sight, but we could see none. At length two horsemen were seen
approaching and we waved a small flag for them to come to us, supposing
they were of our company, but they turned out to be two hunters of
the Missouri company, carrying in buffalo meat to their camp. In the
distance they thought we were Indians and made off.

"I mounted my horse and put after them and soon overtook them and made
inquiries concerning our company. They said they had not seen it, but
had seen about a dozen wagons coming by themselves.

"I then concluded that our camp had stopped at the Willow Spring.
Captain Smith, who was of the Missouri company, invited us to go on and
camp with them for the night, as they did not expect to go more than
a few miles farther than the creek we were then on. We could see five
miles on the road back, and no wagons were in sight; and as it was now
five o'clock, I concluded our company would not come on, and if they
did, they would come no farther than the creek.

"We accepted Captain Smith's proposal, and went on with him to spend
the night in his camp; but instead of journeying only a miles or so, he
continued on mile after mile, finding neither feed nor water, excepting
salt and alkaline ponds until we struck the Sweet Water at Independence
Rock, so noted already in Fremont's {303} journal, and by other
travelers. This was twelve miles from the creek before spoken of.

"The Sweet Waters were sweet indeed, both to man and beast, after
traveling through so much alkali country, and there was good feed for
the stock.

"After a good supper of bacon, buffalo meat, corn bread, coffee, milk,
etc., I lay down in the tent with the Missourians, but did not rest
well. I found that there was a great difference between these Missouri
emigrants and our own, where there was no such thing as cursing,
swearing, quarreling, contending with other companies, etc., allowed or

"But to return to our pioneer company. At a late hour they came up to
the creek which we had left twelve miles back, and grass being poor
continued on four miles west of the creek, and camped for the night.
Not finding me at the creek, nor hearing from me at all, they felt
somewhat alarmed lest I was lost, or had got into trouble with the
Indians. They blew the bugle and watched for me till midnight, and
finally fired the cannon, while I was camped ten miles from them, not
thinking that I was giving them any trouble. I traveled this day a
distance of thirty miles and our pioneer company twenty.

"I arose early this morning, June 21, took breakfast, and in company
with Brother Brown rode around Independence Rock. We examined the many
names and lists of names of the trappers, traders, travelers, and
emigrants, nearly all in black, red, and yellow paint. Some had been
washed out or otherwise defaced. The greatest number was put on during
recent years, but we found some of thirty years standing. Nearly all
the companies who pass put their names on it.

"After going around and examining it, we staked our horses and mounted
it. I went forward and gained the high point on the south end of the
Rock which contains the names. I then went to the north end, which is
the highest point of Independence Rock. There is an opening or cavern
that would contain thirty or forty persons and a rock standing upon the
highest peak of about three tons weight.

"Upon this rock we climbed to the highest point and offered up our
prayers according to the order of the priesthood, praying {304}
earnestly for the blessing of God to rest upon President Young and
his brethren the Twelve and all the Pioneer Camp, the whole Camp and
House of Israel in the wilderness, our wives, children, and relatives,
the Mormon Battalion, and the churches abroad. While offering up our
prayers the spirit of the Lord descended upon us. I was the first
Latter-day Saint on Independence Rock.

"We had a view of our camp from the rock, and expected they would noon
there, so we mounted our horses and concluded to examine the country
around. We rode five miles to the northeast, went on the top of the
high bluff and saw our camp in motion. We then rode to the foot of the
mountain and traced the way to the Devil's Gate, through which the
Sweet Water runs. Here we spent but a few moments, and then hurried
back to Independence Rock. As our camp had come up, before we could
get to them, and camped half a mile east of it, I saw President Young
going up to Independence Rock, and I related to him my travels since I
left the company. He asked me to go back with him, so I turned out my
horse, having ridden him twenty miles during the forenoon, and returned
with President Young, Willard Richards, George A. Smith, and others. We
spent half an hour on the Rock and then returned to our camp, mounted
our horses and rode to the Devil's Gate, five miles from Independence
Rock. We rode as far as we could into the Gate, hitched our horses, and
walked into about the centre of the cavern.

"The Devil's Gate is about four hundred feet high, one hundred and
twenty feet wide, and fifty rods long, and the water rushes through it
with a roar. The rocks are coarse, gray granite with a vein of black
trap rock running through them. We spent about half an hour here, and
then had to back our horses out, after which we rode around it on the
south side. Some of the footmen walked over the top of it. We camped
for the night about one mile west of the Devil's Gate, on the bank of
the Sweet Water.

"A guide board was put up at Devil's Gate, stating that it was one
hundred and seventy-five and one-fourth miles from Fort Laramie, and
fifty and one-fourth from our ferry on the Platte River.

"Two more Missouri companies overtook us at noon on our next day's
travel, and they informed us that a man was drowned {305} at the ferry,
after we left, in trying to swim his horses, and that his body had not
been found.

"The camp started on again after our company had nooned; but Brothers
Young, Little, Benson, and myself went back to meet Lorenzo Young,
who had broken an axletree of his wagon, and we were behind all the

"After a journey of twenty and three-fourths miles, the pioneers camped
at night at the foot of a mound about two-hundred feet high, on the
bank of Sweet Water. Brother Kimball and myself went to the top of it
and looked down upon the camp, and it appeared to us delightful. We
offered up our prayers and the spirit of the Lord rested upon us, and
then we descended to the camp. The moon was shining beautifully. On the
24th the best horse in camp, President Young's, was shot by accident.

"On the evening of the 26th of June, after a travel of eighteen and
three-fourths miles, we camped opposite the Table Rock and near the
summit of the South Pass. I was quite astonished at the road and
country to-day, considering we were crossing at the South Pass of the
Rocky Mountains. It was the best road we had traveled over for many
days, and had it not been for the Wind River range of mountains in
full view on our right covered with eternal snow, and some snow banks
ten feet deep by the side of the road as we passed along, with the
Table Rock on the left, I should almost have thought myself traveling
over the beautiful prairies of Illinois and Missouri, except that the
country was covered with more sage than prairie grass. The road for
many miles, and also the plain of beautiful grass lying north of the
Table Rock, were strewn with very handsome cornelian stones. I saw more
in one hour this evening than ever before during my whole life, either
in the rude state or polished, in all the jewelers' shops I ever saw in
my travels.

"Elders Kimball, Pratt, G. A. Smith, and Brown had gone on to take
observation on the dividing ridge. They continued on to the Green
River, seven miles from us, which runs into the Pacific, while we were
on the Sweet Waters, that run in an easterly direction. They supposed
that we would come on to them, and as they did not return, several of
us mounted our horses to go in search of them, but we soon met Brother
Kimball returning, and {306} he informed us that the rest of the
brethren would camp on the Green River with some men from Oregon on
their way to the States.

"June 27th, 1847, was the third anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph
and Hyrum Smith.

"It was Sunday morning, but we harnessed up our teams and drove to
where Brothers Pratt and Smith had camped with Major Harris, who had
been traveling through Oregon and California for twenty-five years, and
had a wide acquaintance with the country. He brought a file of Oregon
papers and one published by S. Brannon of California. We had a great
deal of conversation with him. He spoke unfavorably of the Salt Lake
country for a settlement, but spoke of other places not far off that
were good.

"We parted with Major Harris next day, after doing some trading with
him, and in our afternoon's travel met Mr. Bridger of the Fort on the
way with men going to Fort Laramie. He was expecting us and wished to
have an interview with President Young and the Twelve. We also wished
to have an interview with him. We immediately returned to the Creek
upon which we had nooned and camped for the night, and Mr. Bridger and
his men camped with us.

"We met in council with Mr. Bridger, and spent some hours in
conversation, and found him to be a great traveler, possessing an
extensive knowledge of nearly all Oregon and California, the mountains,
lakes, rivers, springs, valleys, mines, ore, etc. He spoke more highly
of the Great Basin for a settlement than Major Harris had done. He said
it was his paradise and that if this people settled in it he would
settle with them; and that there was but one thing that could operate
against its becoming a great grain country, and that would be frost,
as he did not know but the frost might affect the corn. He conversed
with us about a great variety of subjects connected with the country;
said he was ashamed of the maps of Fremont, who knew nothing about the
country, only the plain traveled road, and that he could correct all
the maps published of the western world.

"We parted next day from Mr. Bridger who remarked that it would not be
prudent to bring a great population to the Basin until we ascertained
whether grain would grow or not. O. P. {307} Rockwell and myself went
forward to pick out a camping ground. We traveled fifteen miles from
where we nooned before we could get grass, and this made the longest
day's journey on the whole route, making twenty-three and three-fourths

"We traveled three miles on the last day of June, and camped on the
bank of the Green River at the ferry. The afternoon was spent in
building a raft, as the river was high and could only be crossed upon
rafts or boats.

"During the afternoon, the arrival of Elder Samuel S. Brannon from the
bay of San Francisco was announced in camp, and we were glad to meet
with him, and to hear from the Saints who went with him. He gave us an
account of their landing, their travels, and present settlement, which
was two hundred miles up the river from the bay. They were putting in
wheat and building up their place.

"During the following three days we were fording Green River. On the
afternoon of the second, the Twelve held a council and four men were
appointed to return and meet the Camp of Israel and pilot them. We each
wrote our wives concerning the counsel to be given the camp. I wrote
letters next day to my father, A. O. Smoot, and John Benbow, to be
taken back by the pilots. The ferrying was finished on the evening of
the third day and we moved on three miles and camped.

"The Fourth of July came on Sunday. I accompanied President Young,
Brothers Kimball, Richards, and others with the pilots to the ferry
to put them across; and when we arrived at the river we saw thirteen
horsemen on the opposite bank with their baggage on one of our rafts.
To our great joy, who should they be but our brethren of the Mormon
Battalion belonging to Captain Brown's detachment, who had been at
Pueblo during the winter. Amasa Lyman, whom we had sent to them, had
reached them with information of our movements and the whole detachment
of one hundred and forty of the brethren were within seven days' drive
of us.

"When we met these brethren there was truly a hearty greeting and
shaking of hands. We put them all over the river excepting one who
returned with our pilots to meet the following companies of the Saints.
This small detachment of the Battalion had {308} about a dozen of their
horses stolen by some horse thieves, but they overtook them and got
them all back but two which had gone on to Bridger.

"We left Green River (the headwaters of the Colorado) on the 5th, drove
twenty miles, and camped on Black's Fork. There was neither feed nor
water between this place and Green River, but similar to the last two
hundred miles, a sandy desert covered with sage brush.

"Next evening we camped on the west side of Ham's Fork, which we
crossed on the following day and drove to Fort Bridger. In the region
of the Fort, before we got on to our camping ground, we crossed more
than a dozen trout brooks, the water running swiftly but clear, with
hard, gravelly bottoms, and the whole region of country up and down
these streams was covered with grass knee deep.

"The brethren caught several brook trout which was the first I had seen
since I left England, and as we were to spend the next day at the Fort,
I calculated on a day of fishing. As soon as I had my breakfast next
morning, I rigged up my fishing rod that I had brought with me from
Liverpool, fixed my reel line and artificial fly, and went to one of
the brooks close by to try my luck.

"The men at the Fort said that there were but few trout in the streams,
and a good many of the brethren were already at the creeks with their
rods trying their skill, baiting with fresh meat and grasshoppers, but
no one was catching any.

"I threw my fly into the water, and it being the first time that I ever
tried the artificial fly in America or ever saw it tried, I watched it
as it floated upon the water with as much interest as Franklin did his
kite when he was experimenting in drawing lightning from the sky; and
as he received great joy when he saw the electricity descend on his
kite string, so was I highly gratified when I saw the nimble trout dart
at my fly hook, and run away with the line. I soon worried him out and
drew him to shore.

"I fished two or three hours during the morning and evening and caught
twelve in all. One half of them would weigh three-fourths of a pound
each, while all the rest of the camp did not {309} catch three pounds
in all, which was taken as proof that the artificial fly is far the
best to fish with.

"In the afternoon I went to Bridger's house and traded off my
flint-lock rifle for four buffalo robes which were large, nice, and
well dressed. I found things generally at least one-third higher than I
had ever known them at any other trading post I ever saw in America.

"I arose in the morning quite unwell and felt threatened with the
mountain fever, yet I mounted my horse and rode till ten o'clock; but
before I started I was called upon to administer to Brother Carter,
who was taken with the fever. There were new cases of the mountain
fever every day in camp. At ten o'clock I had to give up and take to my
bed in the wagon with distressing pain in my head, back, joint bones,
marrow and all through my system, attended with cold chills and hot
flashes through the body. We traveled over thirteen miles of as bad
road as any we had on our journey, which made it exceedingly painful to
the sick. The day seemed very long to me. When we stopped at night, I
took composition, cayenne, and a dose of vegetable pills, had a better
night than I expected; and though I was feeble in the morning, I felt
that my fever was broken up and I was recovering.

"The night of the 10th we camped one and a half miles from Bear River,
by the best stream of water we had found on the route, and a small
stream near by a valley six miles long, grass knee deep, strong mineral
springs, copper, lead, coal, and lime.

"Camp fires were discovered about three miles from our camping ground
and George A. Smith and others went over to them and found them to be
in the camp of a Mr. Miles Goodyear. He had settled at Salt Lake and
had a garden and vegetables, he said, doing well. Several Missourians
were with him going to the States.

"The subject was brought up concerning the emigrant company who
had perished in the mountains last winter. They were mostly from
Independence and Clay Counties, Missouri, and were a mob company that
threatened to drive out the Mormons who were in California, and started
with that spirit in their hearts. But it seemed as though they were
ripe for judgment. The snows {310} fell upon them eighteen feet deep
on a level, many died and others turned cannibal. About forty persons
perished. They were mostly eaten up by those who survived them. Mrs.
L. Murphy of Tennessee, whom I baptized while on a mission in that
country, but since apostatized and joined the mob, was in that company
and died, or was killed, and eaten. Her bones were sawed to pieces for
her brains and marrow, and then left strewn upon the ground.

"We spent the Sunday in camp, but some of the brethren rode out to seek
out the road and found a tar spring about fifteen miles south of our

"Early Monday morning, I rode to Bear River, and for the first time I
saw the long-looked-for Bear River Valley.

"The spot where we struck it was not very interesting. There was
considerable grass in the valley and some timber and thick brushes on
the bank of the river. My object in riding to the river before the camp
was to try my luck in fishing for trout. After fishing for several
hours, I started after the camp, having caught eight trout in all.

"The pioneers had traveled nine miles and nooned in a valley. I found
President Young very sick with the fever. The company had started on,
but President Young lay so sick that he concluded not to move from
where he was. Brothers Kimball, Benson, Rockwood, and others stayed
with him with their wagons.

"We drove without any road over hills and dales, having to make our
road as we went along. We camped at night by the side of Reddings
Cave. The valleys were beginning to grow more fertile and the air more

"I arose quite unwell in the morning. Several brethren went to meet
President Young, and the camp lay still waiting for him to come up.
Brother Kimball came at noon and a council of the whole camp was
called, and it was resolved that Orson Pratt take a company of about
twenty wagons and forty men and go on to the canyon and make a road as
they went, so we would not be hindered when we came along. There were
twenty-three wagons in all that started at 1 o'clock.

"We had found but little game for many days until yesterday, when the
hunters brought in twelve antelopes, and ten today.

{311} "President Young was better today, but decided not to move until
to-morrow. In the afternoon I walked out with Elder Richards, in search
of springs of water.

"Next morning I rode back seven miles to visit President Young and
found him much better in health and quite cheerful. The evening before,
Dr. Richards, myself, and George A. Smith went before the Lord and
prayed for Brother Young, and we had a testimony that he would recover
from that hour. I found Brother Rockwood the sickest man that had been
in our company. I tarried until near night, assisting the sick, and
then returned to our encampment.

"I started early on the morrow with my carriage and horses to go back
for President Young and Brother Rockwood. I was two hours driving seven
miles to their camp. I found them much better, and they thought they
could ride, as my carriage was the easiest vehicle in our company. I
made up a bed and took them both into my carriage, and the rest of the
wagons started and drove to the main body. The sick seemed refreshed by
their ride. After a short halt, the whole company drove four and a half
miles and camped for the night.

"Next day I again took Brothers Young and Rockwood in my carriage and
drove them during the day. We had bad roads for the sick, and Brother
Brigham was worn out and worse at night. At night I went to Weber Fork,
one mile from our encampment, and caught a trout for him.

"He was still sick in the morning, and after we had driven three miles
on to the Weber's Fork, we camped the remainder of the day because
President Young was worse. The Twelve and others went out and prayed
for him and for the sick generally, according to the order of the

"Sunday, the 18th, was spent holding meeting; and on the morrow
morning, forty-one wagons went on. With them were Dr. Richards' and
George A Smith's. Fifteen wagons remained with President Young. Two of
mine were of the number.

"In company with Heber C. Kimball, E. T. Benson, and Howard Egan, I
rode over the mountain called Pratt's Pass, with the company that went
on, and then returned to President Young.

"Next morning we started early and stopped for breakfast {312} after a
five-mile drive. I carried Brother Brigham in my carriage. The fever
was still on him, but he stood the ride well.

"After breakfast we traveled ten miles over the worst road of the
whole journey. Our camping ground at night was on a trout creek. Here
we found three wagons that had tarried in consequence of the sick.
Brothers Sherwood, Johnson, and Dewey were so sick they could not
journey, and we camped with them and baptized them for their health,
and I confirmed them. This morning Brother Pratt's company was only
eight miles further on than where we camped at night.

"We remained in camp next day because of sickness. We were on East
Canyon Creek, and the route we were taking was Reed's Pass, which we
named Pratt's Pass, in consequence of his going on to make the road.

"Next day eight miles of our journey was made, and East Canyon Creek
was reached. It was eight miles of the worst of roads, and Brother Case
smashed one of his hind wheels. We had to wait two hours to bring his
wagon up. The sick stood the journey better than we expected during the
day, considering the bad road.

"We left East Canyon Creek on the 23rd and traveled to the west five
miles up hill which brought us to the summit, and then descended the
mountain six miles through a thick timber grove. The timbers had
been cut out of the road, yet it was full of stumps and it kept each
teamster very busy to dodge the stumps and not break his wagon. One man
turned his wagon over and smashed the top all to pieces. There were two
children in the wagon, but they were not hurt.

"We nooned at a beautiful spring in a small birch grove. There was more
timber during this half day's travel than we had seen in a month, and
the valleys, both ascending and descending, were extremely fertile and
covered with vegetation to the tops of the hills.

"At the spring where we nooned we were met by Brothers Pack and Matthews
from the forward camps. They brought us a letter informing us that
it was only ten miles to the valley of the Great Salt Lake, or Great
Basin, and fourteen to their camp. They had explored the country as
far as possible and made choice of a {313} spot to put in crops. After
nooning we traveled up another very tedious hill and down into a valley
and camped for the night.

"This, the 24th day of July, 1847, was an important day in the
history of my life, and in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints. After traveling from our encampment six miles
through the deep ravine valley ending with the canyon, we came in full
view of the valley of the Great Salt Lake, or the Great Basin--the Land
of Promise, held in reserve by the hand of God as a resting place for
the Saints.

"We gazed with wonder and admiration upon the vast fertile valley
spread out before us for about twenty-five miles in length and sixteen
miles in width, clothed with a heavy garment of vegetation, and in
the midst of which glistened the waters of the Great Salt Lake, with
mountains all around towering to the skies, and streams, rivulets and
creeks of pure water running through the beautiful valley.

"After a hard journey from Winter Quarters of more than one thousand
miles, through flats of the Platte River and plateaus of the Black
Hills and Rocky Mountains and over the burning sands, and eternal sage
regions, willow swails and rocky regions, to gaze upon a valley of such
vast extent surrounded with a perfect chain of everlasting mountains
covered with eternal snow, with their innumerable peaks like pyramids
towering towards heaven, presented at one view to us the grandest
scenery and prospect that we could have obtained on earth. Thoughts
of pleasant meditation ran in rapid succession through our minds at
the anticipation that not many years hence the House of God would be
established in the mountains and exalted above the hills, while the
valleys would be converted into orchards, vineyards, fields, etc.,
planted with cities, and the standard of Zion be unfurled, unto which
the nations would gather.




In Retrospect.--First Crop of Potatoes Planted.--The Beginning of
Irrigation.--First Sunday.--Explorations South to Utah Lake.--Choice
of Temple Block.--Address by Brigham Young.--Return to Winter
Quarters.--Meet the Second Company of Pioneers.--Encounter with the
Indians.--Reach Winter Quarters, Oct. 31, 1847.--First Presidency
Organized, Dec. 27, 1847.

As the valley presented itself to view before the gaze of this sturdy
band of pioneers, President Young expressed his full satisfaction
with the place. The Lord had shown him the view before in a vision;
and now as he lay upon his bed (still physically indisposed) in Elder
Woodruff's carriage, the Lord also showed him many things concerning
the future of the valley; and with one united testimony, the pioneer
company felt that they had reached their destination. They could now
rest the soles of their feet in peace and be free from fury of angry

That was sixty years ago; and in view of the great change which has
been brought about, we are led to exclaim, "What hath God wrought!"
Then, sage-brush plain, with no inhabitants excepting the wandering
Lamanite, not a building, not a fence, not a furrow, the silence of
a barren desert reigned supreme. To-day, a mighty city of 100,000
people stands, with a Temple of the Lord, many houses of worship and of
learning, modern inventions, and all other evidences of civilization.
It is one of the most beautiful cities in all the land, where the weary
traveler and the home-seeker from nearly every land and clime have
found a place of rest. What a debt of gratitude these busy thousands
owe to the pioneers of sixty years ago will not be fully known until
they are quickened by a perfect understanding of man's relationship to
God and man, and the purposes of a Supreme Being.

Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, and a number of others had entered the
valley two days before and had already plowed by the side of two small
streams nearly five acres of land. After gazing a short time over the
valley, the company moved over the {315} table-land into the valley
about four miles to the encampment of their brethren. Brother Woodruff
had one-half bushel of potatoes, and before eating his dinner, he
planted them in the earth and hoped, by the blessings of the Lord, to
save enough for seed the following year.

There were no idlers in the camp, all were busy as bees. They dammed up
one creek, and before night had spread the water over a large tract and
irrigated the parched ground. This was the beginning of irrigation in
the Salt Lake Valley, July 24, 1847. Since then the work of irrigation
has spread abroad in all the arid regions of the West from Nebraska
to California. The various methods of utilizing the water have been
studied and improved. Irrigation has occupied the attention of great
minds assembled in Congresses to discuss the subject, and has been
considered in the legislative halls of the nation; but the pioneers in
this enterprise were the little band of faithful and great men led by
the Prophet Brigham Young to the Valleys of the Mountains.

Of the future, Elder Woodruff records the meditations of their minds
on that occasion thus: "Thoughts of pleasant meditations ran in rapid
succession through our minds in anticipation that not many years hence
the House of God would be established in the mountains and be exalted
above the hills, while the valleys would be converted into orchards,
vineyards, and fields planted with cities, and the Standard of Zion be
unfurled for the gathering of the nations." Such positive utterances
show how deeply convinced were the pioneers that God had led them to
the valley. They knew the future in general, as well as we of to-day
know the past in detail. They said that the Lord had shown it unto
them, and the fulfillment of their predictions proves that He did. It
would indeed be a wilful unbelief on the part of the descendants of
these pioneers to doubt the inspiration which guided President Young
and his associates in the settlement of the Salt Lake Valley.

Toward the evening of the 24th, as if to give hope of future moisture,
the Lord sent a beautiful thunder shower, and it rained for a short
time over the entire valley. President Woodruff says: "We felt thankful
for this, as it was the general opinion that it never rained in the
valley during the summer season." Thus closed the day, the great
Pioneer Day, to be celebrated each {316} year by thousands and indeed
by millions yet unborn.

The following day was Sunday, and the pioneers met for worship at about
10 a. m. The first sermon delivered in the valley was by President
Geo. A. Smith, and Bro. Woodruff writes that, "It was an interesting

President Heber C. Kimball and Ezra T. Benson also spoke in the

At 2 p. m., the Sacrament was administered. The congregation was
addressed by Elders Wilford Woodruff, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards,
and several others with closing instructions by President Young in
which he warned them against breaking the Sabbath. They must not
work, fish, or hunt on that day. He warned them against sin of every
kind, and thus there was begun the work of God in the Valleys of the

On Monday the 26th President Young and several brethren ascended the
summit of a mountain on the north which they named Ensign Peak, a name
it has borne ever since. Elder Woodruff was the first to gain the
summit of the peak. Here they unfurled the American flag, the Ensign
of Liberty to the world. It will be remembered that the country then
occupied by the Saints was Mexican soil, and was being taken possession
of by the Mormon Battalion and pioneers as a future great commonwealth
to the credit and honor of the United States.

Elder Woodruff soon became active in exploring the valley, and
penetrating southward to the Utah Lake. He came in contact with roaming
Indians but found them friendly and desirous of trading with the
whites. After exploring a couple of days, and seeing the new land, with
here and there a herd of mountain goats, sheep, and antelope, he and
his brethren returned to the pioneer encampment.

Four days after the arrival of the pioneers in the Valley, they
selected the site upon which to build the Temple of the Lord. President
Young called the Twelve together on this important occasion, and all
were united in the choice of the Temple Block. Those who were present
on that occasion were President Brigham Young, Elders Heber C. Kimball,
Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Amasa
Lyman, and Ezra T. Benson.

At that time it was moved and carried that the Temple lot {317} should
contain forty acres, but later it was deemed too large a tract to care
for properly, and the lot was limited to the ten acre block upon which
the Temple now stands.

The city was laid out in blocks of ten acres, divided into eight
lots, of equal size, one and a fourth acres in each. President Young
expressed a desire that the houses be built in the center of the
lot, so that in case of fire the neighbors' houses would not be
endangered, being so far apart. The design of President Young was that
no speculation in lands by the brethren should be allowed whereby the
first comers should enrich themselves at the expense of their brethren
who should follow.

Close up to the city limits, the farming land was parceled out in
five acre plats, joining them a little farther out into ten acres,
and outside of these, twenty acre fields. This arrangement prevented
any one man from holding a large tract near the city, and by so doing
prevented speculation by the individual to the detriment of the whole

The city could easily extend its borders without purchasing much land
from any one individual. In other words, the interest of the whole was
to be uppermost in the mind of each man, and the spirit of greed and
avarice seldom asserted itself on the part of those noble founders of
Utah's great commonwealth.

I have heard my respected step-father, Jesse W. Fox, say that he
surveyed many of the cities and much of the land between Logan and St.
George, a distance of over 400 miles, and the desire to select a town
lot or a farm lot in any of the places for speculative purposes never
entered his heart; and if any one asked him to select one for him he
promptly refused, saying that those who owned the land should be the
builders on it and that no one by his assistance should ever speculate
at the expense of the poor Saints coming to the Valley to serve God and
keep His commandments.

This was the spirit and sentiment of President Young, Elder Woodruff,
and all those noble men, and it was generally shared throughout all the
camp of Israel. Indeed, it is the spirit of the Gospel of Christ.

On July 29th, about one hundred and forty of the Mormon Battalion came
into camp with one hundred Saints from Mississippi. Captains Brown,
Higgins, and Lieutenant Willis of the Battalion {318} were among the
number. They were met about four miles out by President Young and
party, and received from them a hearty welcome to the home of the

They brought with them sixty wagons, one hundred head of horses and
mules, three hundred head of cattle, all of which served to strengthen
very materially the settlement of the Saints. While some were
exploring, others were plowing and planting so that in less than a week
from the 24th of July they had fields planted with potatoes, corn,
beans, peas, and buckwheat.

What a busy, hopeful, energetic scene the Pioneer Camp must have
presented at that time! They visited the warm and hot sulphur springs
on the north, and bathed in the latter.

A number of the Utah Indians visited the camp, and the subject of
the course to be pursued in dealing with them was discussed, and the
counsel to feed them and not fight them has been followed by the
Latter-day Saints from that day to the present. Had this policy been
pursued by all the whites, much blood and treasure would have been
saved to the nation; and it is safe to say that many lives and much
property have been saved the people by the course of peace and love
pursued by the Latter-day Saints toward their red brethren.

Sunday, August 1st, the Saints assembled for worship and were edified
by discourses from Elders Kimball, Pratt, Lyman, and others. Elder
Willard Richards read a letter from the commanding officers of the
Battalion highly commending the deportment of the Mormon volunteers in
the American service. The revelation given to President Young at Winter
Quarters was read to the assembly and accepted as the word of the Lord
by their unanimous vote.

In the evening the Twelve met in council and decided that Brother
Ezra T. Benson and three others should return east until they met the
company following the pioneers, ascertain their welfare, and bring on
the mail.

Elder Woodruff joined with Elder Geo. A. Smith in cutting and hauling
logs for their cabins while awaiting also the preparation of adobes for
their more permanent dwellings. Brother Woodruff reports his first day
at chopping logs as very fatiguing. Many of the horses belonging to the
pioneers were exposed to the {319} Indians, but none was stolen, "and
this," writes Elder Woodruff, "increased our confidence in the Indians."

About this time President Young felt impressed that he and the brethren
of the camp should renew their covenants by baptism. August 6th, the
Twelve were rebaptized by President Young. Elder Kimball baptized
President Young and the latter confirmed his brethren and re-sealed
upon them all their former blessings. Following this, the brethren
selected their inheritances. Brother Woodruff's was the corner
diagonally across the street from the south-west corner of the Temple
Block, facing the east and north.

In the evening Elder Kimball baptized fifty-five members of the camp.
Elder Woodruff assisted in their confirmation. August the 8th the
general work of rebaptizing continued. Elders Kimball, Snow, Lewis,
Goddard, Everett, and Shumway did the baptizing, while President Young
and the Twelve confirmed. "This made 288 in all who had been rebaptized
during the last three days. The camp assembled as usual at 10 o'clock
for public meeting and was addressed by Heber C. Kimball, much to our
edification. I followed and was never blessed with greater liberty of

The practice of the Saints coming into the Valley to renew their
covenants by baptism was followed for many years, but later, when the
organizations abroad became more perfect, and the Saints came with
speedy and direct transportation from their native lands to the stakes
of Zion, this practice has been discontinued as not being of the same
necessity as in the early pioneer days.

Sunday, August 15th, Elder Woodruff attended the services and reported
a lengthy and very interesting discourse by President Brigham Young.
On the 11th a little child of Brother Crow was drowned and President
Young offered some consoling remarks bearing upon this sad event, and
he also spoke upon the resurrection. Much of his discourse was upon
the authority of the priesthood, from which we quote a few lines:
"Brother Joseph received the Patriarchal or Melchisedek Priesthood from
under the hands of Peter, James, and John. From those Apostles Joseph
received every power, blessing, and privilege of the highest authority
of the Melchisedek Priesthood ever committed to man on the earth.
Some have had fears that we had not power to {320} obtain revelations
since the death of Joseph, but I want this subject from this time and
forever to be set at rest. I want the Church to understand from this
day henceforth and forever, that an Apostle is the highest office
and authority that there is in the Church and Kingdom of God on the
earth. Joseph Smith gave unto me and my brethren, the Twelve, all the
priesthood, power, and authority which he held, and those are powers
which belong to the Apostleship. We shall take time, and each step the
Saints take, let them take time enough to understand it. Everything at
Nauvoo went with a rush. We had to build the Temple with the trowel
in one hand and the sword in the other, and mobs were upon us all the
while, and many crying out, 'Oh! the Temple can't be built.' I told
them it should be built. This Church should not fall; and the Lord
said if we did not build it we should be rejected as a Church with our
dead. Why did He say it? Because the Saints were becoming slothful and
covetous, and would spend their means upon fine houses for themselves
before they would put it into a House of the Lord; but we went at it
and finished it and turned it over into the hands of the Lord in spite
of earth and hell, and the brethren were so faithful that we labored
day and night to give them their endowments.

"When I look upon the great work the elders of Israel have to perform,
and look around upon them, and see them vain and foolish, it makes me
sorrowful. They forget their calling. O, ye elders of Israel, think
for a moment what manner of persons ought ye to be--men who hold the
priesthood and keys of salvation, who have power to go to the nations
of the earth and say to the people, 'We have salvation for you if you
will receive it, and celestial glory awaits you; or condemnation, if
you reject it.' It is no trifling affair to have power put into your
hands to deal with the eternal destinies of the sons and daughters of
Adam who form the nations of the earth."

In the afternoon Elders Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow edified the people
under the influence of the spirit of the Lord. In conference of the
leading men, they gave to the city the name of "The City of the Great
Salt Lake." It has since been abbreviated to Salt Lake City. The stream
running westward was given the name of "City Creek," which it still
bears; the river on the west, "Western Jordan," to distinguish it from
Jordan in Palestine; the {321} two streams from the mountains on the
east, "Great Canyon Creek" and "Little Canyon Creek." In the main,
these names have been preserved. It was also decided to fence the city,
and to appoint a president, and high council for the new stake of Zion.

Elder Woodruff and his associates were occupied until August 26th in
setting things in order and preparing for the pioneers' return to
Winter Quarters.

On the way, they met Elder Benson as a messenger from the moving camp
of Israel, and later on met the camp itself in different bodies,
chiefly in charge of Elders Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor. The whole
company consisted of 600 wagons. President Woodruff met his father in
the train but his step-mother had gone back to Iowa to live with her
daughter Emma. On the journey many interesting meetings were held and
much choice instruction given and some reproofs meted out, especially
by President Brigham Young. It was a constant schooling. Like ancient
Israel, the Saints were not free from faults, and needed training and
reproving to prepare them for greater things.

Brother Woodruff recorded in his journal nearly all the counsels,
teachings, and ministrations of President Young which occurred on
the journey. A few incidents of an exciting nature occurred on the
route. On the 10th of September, near the Sweet Water, the horses were
stolen, and also those belonging to the Saints on their way to the
Valley. Of this episode Elder Woodruff writes: "The alarm was given
early next morning that a lot of our horses and mules were stolen.
Bells were found cut from the horses, also lariats cut off, an arrow
picked up, and other signs of Indians were in evidence. The trail was
finally found and a company of 200 horsemen started in pursuit of the
Indians. It looked gloomy to see so many women and children here in the
mountains with their horses and cattle stolen. Thirty horses were taken
from the pioneer camps, and twenty from the other camps.

"The company remained together during the day, and in the evening
assembled for meeting and was addressed by Orson Pratt. Heber C.
Kimball, and Brigham Young. During the evening, two of the brethren
returned from the pursuit of the Indians and brought back five of the

"Next morning we parted with our friends who were going West, and those
of us who had not lost horses divided with those {322} who had. As we
journeyed on, we met the remainder of our brethren returning from the
Indian chase, but with no more of the horses that were stolen. The
enemy had taken forty three."

Ten days later, on the morning of September 21st, another exciting
disturbance with the Indians took place. He writes: "About 9 a. m. the
call was made to get our horses. I started for them in the timber,
one-half mile from camp. When about two thirds of the way one of the
most exciting scenes occurred. I heard several reports of guns in quick
succession. At the same time, our guard cried out, 'Indians! Indians!'
In less than a minute the timber and bluffs were lined with mounted
Indians charging with all speed upon our guard, horses, and camps.
They shot at several of the guards but missed them. The Indians took
a couple of the guards and tried to carry them off by force, but the
guards knocked them down with their fists and escaped. Some of the
brethren snapped their guns at the Indians but the guns missed fire and
no blood was shed.

"As soon as I heard the report of the guns and the cry of Indians, and
saw them driving off horses, and gathering thick and fast upon every
hand, I ran to camp with all speed and gave the alarm, calling upon
all to gather arms and mount their horses. Brothers Kimball, Rockwood,
Matthews, and several others sprang to their horses with guns and
pistols in hand and ran to stop the horses the Indians were driving
away. One party of Indians had driven about a dozen horses and mules
over the hills. Brother Kimball took after them. Two Indians had gone
over the bluff with my horse and mule. Brother Rockwood went after
them, and at the same time about 20 of our horses came rushing toward
camp, frightened by the Indians. With great exertion President Young
and one or two others succeeded in getting them stopped and turned them
into camp.

"As soon as I arrived in camp, I opened my trunk, took out my belt
containing 8 pistol shots, buckled it on as soon as possible, put a
saddle and bridle on a broken down horse, for want of a better one,
and mounted without spur or whip and gave chase after my own horses. I
could not go fast over rough roads with a poor horse, but went as fast
as possible. As soon as I began to ascend the bluffs, I saw Indians
gathering thick on every hand, closing in between me and the camp. As
I passed one Indian, {323} he was priming his gun, but I continued
the chase. While going up a ravine with steep bluffs on each side, an
avalanche of some thirty Indians rushed down upon me and hedged me in
so that I could not get out. Within a few feet of me a large Indian
drew a gun on me. I presented a sixshooter at his breast and gave a
yell, which I had no sooner done than he gave a whoop and ran up the
hill, all the other Indians following his example.

"As soon as my horse and mule got over their fright and were out
of sight of the camp, they tried to return to it, and troubled the
Indians in driving them. Brother Rockwood soon came near them, and
when the Indians found they were overtaken, one stopped and professed
friendship, while the other tried to drive the horses on. Brother
Rockwood fired his pistol at him and the Indians both ran away, and we
soon caught the horses. While this was going on, nearly forty Indians
surrounded Brother Kimball and some of the brethren started to his
assistance. Indians were also on every side of me until I got to the

"The brethren who were with me having gone to the assistance of Brother
Kimball, the camp was left with but few to protect it, so that when I
arrived I found one hundred and fifty warriors had gathered around it,
all dressed in the greatest war style. The old chief then addressed us
and said they were good Sioux, and they had taken us to be Crows or
Snakes. When they found they could get no more of our horses and that
three had been retaken, they professed friendship. There were eleven
horses in all taken by the Indians who numbered about 200 warriors,
well mounted, while there were not more than 20 of our men engaged
in stopping and retaking the horses. Brother Gould took one of the
Indian's horses and an Indian brought back Brother Woolsey's horse and
exchanged for him. This, with my two horses, were the only ones taken
during the skirmish.

"When the Indians gathered before our camp, they saw that we were
armed, and knew that we had treated them kindly on our way to the
Valley. The old chief then proposed that we smoke the pipe of peace;
and that if our chief, pointing to President Young, would go to their
camp, they would smoke with him and give up the horses they had taken.
Brother Brigham was not well, and we did not think it prudent for him
to go.

"While engaged in the above conversation with the Indians, {324}
Brother Kimball who had been out on the chase, returned bare headed,
having dropped his hat. He was accompanied by Brother Benson, and in
riding into camp rushed his horse through the midst of the Indians.
They feared some treachery, or that he was an enemy. They leaped upon
their horses and dashed away from the camp, some even running into the
creek. As soon as they saw that no harm was intended, they returned and
took their places, having a hearty laugh at their fright.

"Brother Kimball volunteered to accompany the chief into his camp, in
place of President Young, that we might get our horses. Brother Stephen
Markham and myself volunteered to go with him, so we three mounted our
horses and started on the expedition. We took a Frenchman with us who
could speak a little of the Sioux language.

"The Indians told us their camp was one mile away, but we traveled
seven miles over bluffs and valleys before we came in sight of it. The
camp was three miles distant yet, so we halted and waited for them.
When they came up to us they pitched about one hundred lodges. They
numbered about six hundred, men, women, and children, and brought with
them about one thousand horses and mules, all of which we supposed were
stolen from emigrants and from Indian tribes.

"Their camps presented a very picturesque and amusing appearance. Among
their horses we readily recognized our own, which were stolen on the
night we camped with Brother Grant's company. We lost nearly fifty head
that night and here they were in the drove which these Indians had.

"The old chief called together the war chiefs and placed them on his
left hand, and ourselves on his right, and sat down upon the grass,
filled a long pipe with kinnikinic, smoked it, and passed it to his
chiefs. They smoked and passed it to us, and we each smoked in turn.
The old chief then told us to pick out our horses, which we undertook
to do, but found it no easy task to pick out a few horses from among
one thousand others scattered for nearly two miles up the creek. After
a laborious search, we got all but two that were stolen that morning.
We spoke to the chief about the two horses they still had in their
possession, but while they acknowledged they had them, they gave us no
encouragement that they would let us have them upon our arrival {325}
at Laramie, but would only let us have one of them now. The brethren
presented the chief with three bushels of salt and we then returned to
camp. Thus ended the exciting scenes and business of the day."

In a subsequent effort to regain these stolen horses they were
unsuccessful. It appears that the Indians did not fulfill their
promise, but spirited the horses away where they could not be found.

On the 2nd of October, Brother Woodruff and Luke Johnson started out in
search of some buffalo meat. He writes of this as follows: "We started
at day break, and the wolves, whose cries had rent the air during the
night, were slinking away in all directions as we rode along, and the
beautiful swans were floating upon the water, adding charm to the
scene. Soon, a large herd of buffaloes was in sight. We left our horses
and stole upon them as stealthily as we could. The picket guards were
frightened several times, but we managed to reassure them. There is no
well disciplined army of men more particular to have an old experienced
guard on a close look out than a herd of buffaloes." After an exciting
hunt they succeeded in getting only one cow. On the 8th they had a
beautiful view of a herd of elk, but did not succeed in procuring
any. On the 17th they organized a hunting expedition and succeeded in
killing two buffaloes, which supplied them with meat for a short time.

On the 19th they were met by the police from Winter Quarters, who were
led by Brother Hosea Stout. These brethren escorted the pioneer company
back, and they all arrived on the banks of the Missouri, October
31st, 1847. A few days previous to Brother Woodruff's arrival, Sister
Woodruff had given birth to a daughter. Mother and child were doing
well, and all were cheerful and happy.

The eventful year of 1847 was now drawing to a close, and ere it
became merged into eternity, one more great event had been catalogued
in the great book of God's purpose for fulfillment. On December 5th
in a council held at Elder Orson Hyde's, President Brigham Young was
chosen and sustained by the counsel to be the President, Prophet, Seer,
and Revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
with Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards as his first and second
counselors. {326} Father John Smith, uncle to the Prophet Joseph,
was chosen the following day to be the Presiding Patriarch of the
Church. This action was ratified by the unanimous vote of the general
conference held in the Log Tabernacle, December 27th, 1847. About 1,000
souls were assembled, and with one united vote sustained these brethren
in the First Presidency, and in the Patriarchal office of the Church.

The Apostles present at the council and the conference were Brigham
Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards,
Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Amasa Lyman, and Ezra T. Benson. Of
the event, President Woodruff wrote in his journal:

"From President Young's teachings we learned that it was necessary
to keep up a full organization of the Church, through all time, as
far as could be, at least the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve,
Seventies, and Patriarchs, over the whole Church."

The affairs of the Saints at Winter Quarters were prosperous, and
prospects bright for the New Year.




In Winter Quarters.--Battle of Nauvoo Commemorated.--Organization of
Pottowatamie County.--Bids President Young and Saints Good-by.--Journey
from Winter Quarters to Nauvoo.--From Nauvoo to Maine.--A Letter to His
Wife.--Healing the Sick.--Discovery of Gold in California.

During the first three months of the year 1848, Apostle Woodruff
devoted himself to the usual routine of business incident to
frontier life. They were laying the foundations of a commonwealth
and strengthening the religious organizations which were to play an
important part in the social and religious life of the people. There
were frequent meetings of the Twelve and the Presidency, and the
future aspects of both the people and the country were under daily

It was during the early part of this year that petitions were sent
to the Iowa Legislature, one asking for a county on the Pottawatomie
tract of land, and the other for a post-office. Elder Henry Miller
was the bearer of these petitions. About the same time the question
of a disposition of the Nauvoo Temple came up, owing to the recent
arrival from that city of Almon Babbit, Hyrum Kimball, and John Snyder.
President Young was firm in his view that the Temple there should not
be sold.

The battle of Nauvoo, which had been fought on September 12th, 1846,
was commemorated on this anniversary by those who had taken part in
the engagement. They wore a red badge on the left arm, as they had
done during the contest, to distinguish them from their enemies.
The disparity in numbers between the Latter-day Saints and their
enemies,--about 100 of the former and between eight and ten hundred of
the latter--was so great that the Saints felt that they had been the
recipients of Divine favor, especially in view of the fact that only
three of their number had been lost.

About the middle of the same month, Orson Hyde returned from the East.
News also came at the same time of the success which the missionary
work in Wales was achieving, principally {328} through the labors of
Captain Dan Jones. While the opposition there was intense, the struggle
redounded to the spread of the Gospel and the increase of Saints
through baptism.

March 1st was the 41st anniversary of Wilford Woodruff's life. A
few days later, on the night of March 15th, he records a remarkable
dream in which he passed in spirit through the air from state to
state, escaped from his enemies and passed on to heaven. "I saw,"
he says, "Joseph and Hyrum and many others of the Latter-day Saints
who had died. The innumerable company of souls which I saw seemed to
be preparing for some grand and important event which I could not
understand. Many were engaged in making crowns for the Saints. They
were all dressed in white robes, both male and female."

About this time Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal the death
of John Quincy Adams, and made special mention of the death of John
Adams and Thomas Jefferson, men in whose life and attainments he had
taken great interest. His life was not confined to the limits of his
personal activity, as he took a deep interest in all that was going on
throughout the world.

On the 27th of March, the leaders of the Church met in council for
the purpose of establishing a political organization of Pottawattamie
County. The relations of the Church to political questions were
carefully considered, and from the outset it was determined to keep
separate the religious and political organizations of the new county
which they were bringing into existence. They were a religious body
of men in whose minds religious influences were dominant. It would
have been the most natural thing, perhaps, in the world, for them
to establish a politico-ecclesiastical government; however, they
recognized from the outset, the constitution of their country,
respected the forms of civil government, and so separated it from
their religious organizations that non-Mormons who should thereafter
settle in their midst, might enjoy with perfect freedom their political
rights. This, however, did not mean as some non-Mormons thought it
ought to mean, that they should be elected to office, and the failure
to recognize them became a source of disturbance.

As the time for holding the annual conference for April approached,
there appeared before the leaders several Pawnee chiefs asking in
behalf of their people who were starving for food, {329} for one
hundred bushels of corn. The request was granted, the corn loaded upon
the backs of the mules belonging to the Indians, who returned to their
people with feelings of joy and appreciation. The spirit begotten by
such an act of generosity opened the hearts of the Saints for the
enjoyment of their conference, and fitted them more perfectly for
the worship of God. President Young commented upon the organization
of the Presidency which he said might have been effected the first
conference after the Prophet's death, but it was not wisdom to do so.
The authority and keys had been committed to the Twelve, and the Saints
in following Brigham Young and the Quorum of which he was president,
fully demonstrated their spirit to discern where the presiding
authority of the Church was to be found. The interval between the death
of the Prophet and the organization of the new Presidency gave the
Saints ample opportunity by experience to confirm their belief in the
leadership of President Young and his council. Before the conference
closed, officers of the high priests and elder's quorum where chosen,
also a high council for the Church in Pottawatamie County.

Special attention was also given at that time to the condition of the
poor, particularly to the families of the soldiers who had enlisted in
the Mormon Battalion. A special committee was appointed to locate the
poor and provide for their wants. A call was made for teams and wagons,
and a hearty response was given. After the conference, Philo Dibble
exhibited his paintings of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith,
and of Joseph's last address to the Nauvoo Legion. There are many of
the present generation who will remember Elder Dibble's efforts to
preserve and disseminate the early history of the Church by exhibitions
of his art, which he gave for the benefit of the Saints for many years
throughout the stakes of Zion.

Soon after the close of conference three of the Battalion boys
arrived from Salt Lake Valley, popularly know as "The Valley," and
gave encouraging reports from the Saints there. They brought with
them letters to the families that remained in Winter Quarters. At
about this time an effort was made to move the bodies of the dead to
a new cemetery which had been selected. The graves of many were so
marked that they might be identified in years to come. There, two of
Wilford Woodruff's sons, {330} Joseph and Ezra, were buried in a grave
designated No. 34, and marked "J. E. W."

While the spirit of gathering to their new found home in the tops of
the mountains was uppermost in the minds of those at Winter Quarters,
the leaders kept constantly before them their mission of carrying the
message of the new revelation to the nations of the earth. Apostle
Woodruff was preparing for a mission to the East, and Orson Pratt,
to England. These men were specially fitted by nature and experience
for missionary work, and their talents were fully recognized and made
use of. At the same time President Young was making preparations for
another journey across the plains to Salt Lake Valley.

These were busy days at Winter Quarters. All were full of hope and
grand expectations. On Sunday, April 14th, President Young in an
address prophesied that the Saints would never be driven from the Rocky
Mountains, unless they were guilty of insurrection among themselves,
and he had no fear of that. In the midst of preparations, a steam-boat
arrived on the Missouri River at Winter Quarters loaded with groceries
and general provisions needed by the people. The same steam-boat
afforded Orson Pratt an opportunity to embark on his mission to
England. A few days later another steamer came with 150 Saints from
England. These were accompanied by Elders Franklin D. and Samuel W.
Richards on their return from the British mission.

On Friday the 26th day of May, 1848, President Young began his second
journey to the Rocky Mountains. Elder Woodruff writes: "In company
with Orson Hyde, E. T. Benson, and others, on the 22nd of June, I rode
out to the Horn to meet Presidents Young and Kimball and the Camp of
Israel. We found on our arrival that all had crossed, and that Lorenzo
Snow and Zera Pulsipher, captains of hundreds, had gone on, each with
his hundred. There were about 600 wagons in all and they made a grand
encampment--a beautiful sight, indeed. I spent a little time with
President Young; went through the camp, and on the following day bade
good-bye to the Saints and returned to Winter Quarters."

The efforts to provide the necessary equipments for this second
exodus across the plains brought its hardship to those who remained.
The latter were without sufficient means to meet {331} their wants.
President Richards was at this time sick and in straightened
circumstances, so that he was unable to accompany the Saints on their
westward journey.

Those who remained were naturally weakened in their ability to defend
themselves by the departure of the strongest--those best able to endure
the journey. They naturally feared their weakened condition and the
danger from Indians, to which they were subjected. On the 14th there
was a bugle sound "To arms!" The report came that the Indians were
coming upon the people. The alarm, however, was not justified, although
the people were greatly disturbed in their feelings by such excitement.

It was distinctly the Indian's country in those days, and the Saints
had no one but themselves to look to for protection. The forces of the
United States government were then engaged in Mexico. It is interesting
at this point to observe that where the city of Omaha now stands the
Saints were once busily engaged cultivating the soil and providing
means for their expected journey westward, although Winter Quarters was
a few miles north from the present site of Omaha.

On June 21st, 1848, Elder Woodruff with his family, and several others,
eleven in all, started upon his Eastern mission. They first went to Mt.
Pisgah where they found a number of the Saints to whom they preached.
There would naturally be some misgiving as to the faith and continuity
of those who remained some distance in the rear of the Saints, those
who were unwilling to follow the lead of President Young and the Twelve
would naturally discourage the more timid ones.

It was during this journey, and on the 5th of July, that Elder Woodruff
records a miraculous escape by one of those spiritual impressions that
frequently came across his life. He had tied his mules to an oak-wood
tree beside which he was camping. His children were sleeping in the
wagon, and he felt impressed to move from his camping-ground, so he
moved his children into a house. Only a short time elapsed when a
thunder-storm swept over the place in great fury. Of the circumstance
he writes: "We had just retired when the storm reached us in great
fury, and in a moment the large oak came thundering down to the ground
with a terrific crash. Had I not moved my mules, it would probably have
killed them. Had I not moved my carriage, it would have {332} been
crushed to atoms, and we would have been killed, as the tree fell where
my carriage stood. It just missed Brother Kingsley's wagon. I consider
my impression an interposition of Providence to save our lives."

On the 9th, they arrived at Nauvoo and went through the Temple from
basement to steeple, and again gazed on the once beautiful, but now
desolate city of Nauvoo. While at the city, in the home of Almon
Babbit, Elder Woodruff met a man who had come from Michigan to hear the
gospel, and to whom he preached for one hour and then led him down into
the waters of the Mississippi. During the same day, in a house built by
George A. Smith, and occupied by Elder John Snyder, he confirmed the
man whom he had just baptized and ordained him an elder and sent him on
his way rejoicing.

Before leaving Nauvoo on his eastward journey, he sold his mules,
carriage and harness and took steamer down the river to St. Louis. From
this point Elder Woodruff boarded a steamer for La Salle, Illinois, and
thence to Louisville, where he visited his brother-in-law and sister,
Luther and Rhoda Scammon. Here death, for the fourth time, entered his
family circle and called to the spirit world an infant of nine months.

Here Elder Woodruff's industrious nature asserted itself, and he went
into the wheat field pitching bundles of grain. After leaving his
kinsmen he continued his journey by wagon, rivers, lakes, and railways
via Chicago and arrived in Boston on August 12th, 1848. The journey, by
the route which he had taken from Council Bluffs, covered a distance of
2,595 miles. He remained some time preaching the gospel at Boston and
then continued his journey to Portland, Maine. From there he went to
Scarboro where he met other relations. It was a happy reunion after a
separation of eight years.

The return of Apostle Woodruff to the East would naturally awaken
within him the keenest satisfaction over the opportunity it afforded
to meet, after years of strenuous life and marvelous adventure, old
friends and kinsmen. To them, his affections first turned, and he
told all the wonderful things which God had wrought in the gathering
of the Saints to the Valleys of the Mountains. From Maine he returned
to Boston, went on to New York, and a little later took up his labors
in Philadelphia. {333} It was here he called on Colonel Kane, a tried
and true friend to the Mormon people in the hour of their sorrow. By
Colonel Kane he was most cordially welcomed.

To his wife who remained with her people in Maine, he wrote on October
18th, 1848, this very significant letter: "I have been much blessed by
the spirit of God since I saw you. I have felt more of the presence and
power of God in me than I expected to enjoy on this Eastern mission. I
have felt that someone has prayed for me much of late. I wonder if it
was Phoebe! I know how often you pray for me, and I feel its power and
prize it much. I have never felt such a desire to prove worthy of your
confidence and trust, and shun every appearance of evil, keep out of
the path of all temptation, and do right in all things. I have had much
of the spirit of secret prayer, have poured out my soul in supplication
to God with tears of joy, and at the same time the visions of my mind
have been opened so that I saw clearly my duty to my God, to my wife,
to my children, to the Saints, and to the world at large. I have also
seen the awful and certain judgments of God, which like a gathering
storm are ready to burst upon the whole Gentile world, especially
this nation which has heard the sound of the gospel but rejected it,
together with the testimony of the servants of God; has stoned and
killed the prophets; has become drunk with the blood of martyrs and
Saints; and finally has driven the entire Church with the priesthood
and keys of eternal life out of its midst into the wilderness and
mountains of Israel."

At New Haven, on the 21st, a remarkable case of healing occurred, of
which Elder Woodruff writes as follows: "A sister Turtle was very low
with yellow fever. Some of Job's comforters had called upon her and
reproached her for being a Latter-day Saint, and had asked her why
she did not get her elders to heal her. While under this strain and
reproach she cried out, 'O, that the Lord would send Brother Woodruff
here!' It was only a few moments before she received a note from me
saying that I was coming to see her. When I came, we laid hands upon
her and she was healed, and I returned home praising God. The following
day, Sunday, Mr. Smith Turtle and his wife, who had been healed the day
before, were present in our meeting.

"On the 23rd of October, 1848, I ordained Jairus Sanford {334} a high
priest. He was nearly 86 years of age. He had been liberal with his
means and faithful in his duties. I left the aged patriarch rejoicing
in God and went on my way to North Haven."

On the 25th of October, Elder Woodruff arrived in Boston by rail and
found himself in the midst of a grand demonstration. The people were
celebrating the inauguration of a new water system by which the water
of the Long Pond was conveyed into the city of Boston. The procession
covered a distance of seven miles, requiring two and a half hours to
pass any given point. Of that occasion Elder Woodruff writes: "At the
close of the speeches the mayor arose and said: 'Fellow citizens, it
is proposed that the water of Lake Cochitreate be admitted into the
city of Boston. All those who favor it say, 'aye.' The response was
in a voice of thunder. At a given signal a column of water 8 feet in
diameter shot up 80 feet in the air and fell into a great reservoir."
In the evening there were fire-works and other illuminations. This was
considered at this time the grandest celebration ever witnessed in any
American city.

On the following day, October 26th, Elder Woodruff went to New Bedford
with Brother Nathaniel Coray. It was there he read with feelings of
deep sorrow the burning of the Nauvoo Temple by a mob. He then went
to Maine where he had parted from his wife earlier in the year, and
returned with her to Cambridgeport on the 17th of November. Here he
took a house for his family, and finished the labors of the year in
Boston and its vicinity. Here he compiled a brief account of the
current events among the nations of the earth. He read history in the
light of God's recent revelations, and out of it he extracted the signs
of the times.

The year had been a trying one to the Saints in Utah who were greatly
distressed because of the cricket plague, from which, however, they
were measurably relieved by the miraculous destruction of these insects
by the sea-gulls.

Gold had been discovered in California by members of the Mormon
Battalion, and by others, a circumstance which created a feverish
excitement throughout the Eastern States. The rush to California again
brought the Saints in Utah into conspicuous relations with the outside
world. That meant financial relief to the people in Salt Lake City.

{335} In his journal he records the fact that Captain Dan Jones by his
labors in Wales was adding to the Church many persons each month. Elder
Orson Spencer gave very encouraging accounts of the work throughout the
British Isles.

It was at this time that Almon Babbit called upon Elder Woodruff
and sought to induce him to go to Washington for the purpose of
accomplishing certain things which he said would be favorable to the
Latter-day Saints. "After hearing him, I concluded that he was working
on his own account and without the counsel of the President of the
Church. I therefore concluded that my health, calling, and the spirit
within me would not permit me to leave the mission upon which I was
sent, to go to Washington." Subsequent events proved the correctness of
his impressions.

Concerning the events of the year he remarks: "At home new towns were
laid out, both to the north and south of Salt Lake City. Elders were
arriving from the Sandwich Islands. Walker, the Indian chief, visited
the Saints in the Valley and expressed friendship for them and his
antipathy toward the Spanish. Brothers Brown, Browett, Allen, and Cox
were killed by the Indians in the California mountains, while they were
exploring the country. These brethren I baptized in Herefordshire soon
after I commenced preaching at John Benbow's. Brother Browett had been
an especially earnest, true Latter-day Saint, and I know nothing to
the contrary of the others. They went into the army as soldiers in the
Mormon Battalion and died in the cause of their country."




Letter to Orson Pratt.--Baptism of His Father-in-law, Ezra
Carter.--Labors in New England.--Meets Dr. John M. Bernhisel.--Healing
the Sick.--Interview with Col. Kane.--Hears Indian Chief.--Release
from His Mission.--Return to the Valleys.--Conditions at the
Frontier.--Stampede on the Plains.--Brigham Young Appointed
Governor.--Salt Lake Temple Planned.--Salt Lake City Given a
Charter.--Visit to the Southern Settlements.--Fourth Celebrated
at Black Rock.--Celebrating of Twenty-fourth.--Death of His
Stepmother.--Judge Brocchus Speaks in Conference.--Beautiful Words of
Patriarch John Smith.--A Vote To Discontinue Use of Tea and Coffee.

The beginning of the year 1849 found Wilford Woodruff actively at work
in the spread of the gospel. It was a glorious message which he was
bearing to the people of the East, and he gave to it all the ardor of
his intensely religious nature. Nor was he less concerned about the
integrity and devotion of his wife to the faith they had espoused. His
family was carefully instructed in the duties and sacraments of the
Church. On the 15th of the month he wrote a lengthy letter to President
Young and Council in which he reported his travels and labors. He
prepared a historical sketch for the historian's office, and wrote to
Orson Pratt, who was presiding over the British mission, as follows:
"I am 42 years old today, March the 1st, 1849. How peculiar such
figures look to a man while counting up his years in this probation.
The very sight of them crowds on to his mind a flood of thoughts more
than tongue can utter or pen describe. The last sixteen years of my
life have been passed endeavoring to preach the gospel and build up
the Kingdom of God in association with my brethren. The past is gone,
I have no desire to recall it. I would not wish to live my life over
again if I could. I feel like looking forward and not backward.

"While the Jews were high-minded and in the height of their power, the
Son of God, in lamb-like meekness, bowed to the ordinance of baptism
and all other rites of the gospel and commandments of His Father. He
was looking forward to a time when He {337} should make His second
visit to His brethren after having overcome death and the grave. At
the present day, while emperors, princes, kings, lords, nobles, and
great men of the world have been making a wonderful effort to maintain
their dignity, and appear to good advantage before the world, many of
the noblest spirits that ever dwelt in the flesh, like Jesus and the
Apostles, have been meekly submitting to the ordinances of the gospel,
and like little children have submitted to the authority of the holy

During the month of March Elder Woodruff visited Cape Cod, preaching
to the Saints and strangers, the latter including sea-captains,
sailors, and fishermen. There he also organized a branch of the Church
with 21 members. Upon his return home to Cambridgeport, he found his
father-in-law, Ezra Carter Sr., awaiting him. On the 22nd of March
Father Carter was baptized, his wife having received the gospel before
this. Elder Woodruff records these events as the fulfillment of
prophecy by Father Jos. Smith, the patriarch, who, in blessing him and
his wife years before, promised that their household should receive the
gospel and stand with them in the Church. Elder Carter lived to be 96
years of age. His old home, in a beautiful rural district of southern
Maine, still stands. It is near the roadside as you go from Saco to

On the 12th of April he started a company of Saints for Zion. There
were 71 all told, 50 of whom were from Philadelphia. From Philadelphia
he visited Saints in the neighboring towns. At Hornerstown he baptized
three members of the Woolf family. They had been believers for a number
of years, having been visited by the Prophet and a number of the
Twelve. Leaving Pennsylvania he traveled through New Jersey to New York
where he met T. D. Brown, just returning from England. From New York he
went on to Cambridgeport to his family.

After journalizing the calamities occurring in St. Louis, New Orleans,
California, and other parts of the world, Elder Woodruff started on a
visit to Fox Islands where he had introduced the gospel twelve years
before, having baptized nearly one hundred people. He passed many weeks
on the Islands but with much less success than upon the first mission
there. From here he went to New Brunswick, Canada, performing a large
part of the {338} journey on foot. One day he walked 35 miles, carrying
a heavy load part of the distance.

Arriving at the ferry of Beauburs Island, he crossed in a boat and
walked a mile through a pleasant grove to the home of Elder Joseph
Russell, who for eleven years had been the owner of the entire island,
which is a mile and a half in length, by a half a mile in width. Elder
Russell was a ship-builder and had constructed 23 ships with a tonnage
of 650 tons each. He was a man of considerable wealth, worth at that
time, at a low estimate, $30,000. He was liberal with his means and
faithful in the discharge of his duties to the Church. At that place
there was a small branch of the Church over which he presided.

On the 28th he went with Elder Russell and son to Bedque. While here
he received word that Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, and Franklin D.
Richards had been chosen members of the Twelve Apostles.

On the 5th of August, Elder Woodruff set out upon his return to
Cambridgeport, Elder Russell having first contributed $1,500 with which
to aid the Church in its newly chosen home. He remained but a short
time at home, when he started for Fall River and New Bedford to visit
the Saints in those places. On his return from his trip to the South,
he met at Cambridgeport, Dr. John M. Bernhisel, who, after giving an
account of affairs in the Valleys, informed Elder Woodruff that he had
come to Washington as our representative, bearing a petition for a
Territorial Government.

Under date of July 25th, 1849, the President of the Church wrote
Brother Woodruff a statement of conditions of the Church in the Valleys
and expressed their desire to be admitted into the Union as a sovereign
state. In that letter the President remarked: "The next time that you
encounter the hardships, privations, and toil over the plains and
mountains, you will meet with a very different reception from that
which you did on your first arrival here. Friends will greet you, the
products of the earth will be administered for your comfort. We shall
be very happy to see you again."

During the remainder of the year 1849, Elder Woodruff visited the
eastern branches, preaching the gospel and comforting all who would
listen. In Cape Cod an aged lady of 84 years was {339} instantly healed
by his administrations. She immediately arose from her bed of sickness
and went about her work.

He again went to Philadelphia where he had several visits with Colonel
Kane with whom he talked over the situation relative to a Territorial
Government. The following he quotes as the words of Col. Kane: "I
applied, according to the wish of President Young for a Territorial
Government, and had my last, sad, and painful interview with President
Polk. I found he was not disposed to favor your people, and had men of
his own stamp picked out to serve as governor and in other positions,
many of whom would oppress you in any way simply to fill their own
pockets. President Polk was unwilling to appoint men among yourselves,
and I saw it was absolutely necessary to have officers of your own
people to govern you, otherwise you would be better off without any
government at all. It was necessary for me to use my discretion and I
therefore withdrew the petition."

On December 3rd, he paid a visit to Gerard College of Philadelphia.
On the 15th of the month he attended a meeting there where a Mr.
Koh-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bow, chief of the Ozebwa nation, delivered a lengthy
and spirited address in behalf of the American Indians, in which he
appealed to the citizens to induce the government to give the Indians
a territory they could call their own, and to forbid the encroachment
thereon of the whites. He censured the white men in no uncertain terms
for their pretended Christianity and religious professions, while in
reality they were filled with deceit, hypocrisy, and wickedness.

The year 1850 witnessed a change in the character of Elder Woodruff's
labors. Missionary work was in harmony, not only with his spiritual
nature, but with the grand conceptions which he entertained for the
future of the Church with which he had associated himself. Upon his
return from Cambridgeport, he received a letter from the Presidency in
which he was required to return to the Valley, and to bring with him
all the Saints he could gather, and such means as could be collected
from their properties and from contributions in the East. The Saints
in the Valleys of the Mountains were so far removed from manufacturing
centers that they felt the necessity of home manufacture, especially
in the establishment of woolen and cotton factories in order that they
might be self-supporting. The New England states {340} where Elders
Woodruff's labors had been directed contained many factories, and it
was the operatives from these factories whose services would be needed
in the new enterprises at home.

On the 2nd of March, he went to Maine where arrangements were made to
gather with him to the Valleys of the Mountains his wife's people.
His wife's brother, Ilus F. Carter, had bought ten wagon loads of
merchandise which was sent with Elder Woodruff. Mr. Carter, however,
returned from the Missouri River to his home in Maine on account of
ill health. A number of the brethren had engaged in gold-mining in
California and sent money to their friends in the East to assist them
in their emigration. The manufactured products of the East were greatly
needed by the Saints in the Valleys, and the money sent from California
became very helpful in providing a stock of goods that would contribute
to the comfort of the earlier settlers whose supply of clothing by this
time was almost entirely depleted.

On the 23rd of March, Elder Orson Pratt arrived from England on
business, intending to return before going to the Valleys. He found
Elder Woodruff busily occupied in the purchase of such merchandise as
would be most helpful to those who had gathered. About the same time,
Elder John Taylor and Curtis E. Bolton were on their way to France;
Lorenzo Snow and Joseph Toronto to Italy; Erastus Snow and Peter Hanson
to Denmark; Franklin D. Richards and several others to England. Elder
Erastus Snow sailed from Boston to his field of labor on April 3rd.

By the 9th of the month, Wilford Woodruff with his family and
relatives, and with about 100 other Saints left for New York where
they were joined by another 100, making all told 209 people. Their
baggage amounted to 42,000 lbs. On their way to Pittsburg, they passed
through Philadelphia. At the former place they secured passage to St.
Louis where they arrived on the 1st day of May. From St. Louis to
Council Bluffs they took passage on the steamer, _Sacramento._ They
left St. Joseph on the 12th of May and Ft. Kearney on the 15th, and the
following day Elder Woodruff went to Kanesville to visit Elder Orson
Hyde. On this journey they were accompanied by Elder Orson Pratt.

This frontier town was a busy place in those days. The Saints were
constantly coming and going, and the people were generally in a state
of excitement, and the very nature of the circumstances {341} gave
rise to some discontent. The well-to-do hurried on to the Valleys,
and the poor were left to make such arrangements as they could for
present support and their future emigration to the Zion of their God.
Provision, of course, for the emigration of the poor was made wherever
possible, but yet their numbers were so great as to bring distress
to the people of Kanesville. President Woodruff explained that he
had received counsel from the Presidency to stretch out his arms and
gather all he possibly could to Zion. He had baptized, while on this
mission, about 200 people. Every effort was made to pacify those who
were discontented in this frontier town. The fact, however, that the
authorities had instructed him to gather all he could was the guiding
motive in bringing with him to Kanesville the poor, as well as those
who were in fairly good circumstances.

Elder Woodruff, when counsel came to him, never quibbled, never
doubted, never stopped to ask his file-leaders the whys and the
wherefores. He was like Adam when the angel said to him: "Adam, why
dost thou offer sacrifice?" And he answered, "I know not save that
God has commanded me." He was also like Nephi of old who uttered the
memorable saying: "For I know that the Lord giveth no command unto
the children of men save that He shall prepare the way for them to
accomplish the thing which He commandeth them."

On the 21st of May the company starting to Zion was organized into
hundreds, fifties, and tens with a captain over each. Robert Petty,
Leonard W. Hardy, Edson Whipple, Joseph Hall, James Currier, Miner
Atwood, and two others whose names are not given, were appointed
captains. Some of the teamsters of this company did not belong to
the Church, and in time became unruly. The ring-leader, however,
was discharged, and later the others also. On the 9th of July,
Lucy Johnson, Matilda Hardy, a Sister Snow, and Emily Huntington
died. Deaths this year, 1850, on the plains were frequent and Elder
Woodruff's company suffered with others. On the day following, Elder
Woodruff baptized fourteen in the Platte River, among them his wife's
niece, Sarah E. Foss. On the 15th, a few days later, a severe thunder
storm arose and Brother Ridge, from Staffordshire, England, and his
oxen were killed by lightning.

The 30th of the month witnessed one of those scenes not {342} uncommon
to the plains in the early days of emigration by ox teams. Those
who have not witnessed a stampede can hardly imagine the scenes of
confusion and dangers to which it gives rise. There were often thirty
or forty teams close together. These teams consisted of from two
to five yoke of oxen. The wagons they drew were loaded with women,
children, and merchandise. The stampede generally took place without a
moment's warning and the cattle ran in all directions.

Writing of this scene Elder Woodruff says: "Our stampede commenced in
the following manner. While my son Wilford was mounting his horse,
William Murphy struck the horse with a whip which started him to run.
Wilford was thrown over the horse's head to the ground. The saddle
turned under the horse and as a result he ran away. As he approached
one of the wagons, a Mr. Cannon's team became frantic and started off
at a great speed. In a moment twenty or thirty teams followed the
first that stampeded and the whole company was rushing apparently
onward into the jaws of death. On my carriage was a fine black steed,
and in it were Rhoda Foss and Susan Woodruff. We were at the head of
the company, and when the stampede commenced, I was by the side of my
carriage. I saw Mrs. Woodruff rush into the midst of the scene with
many other women and children. Their lives were in constant danger. I
told Rhoda to let my horse run into the bluffs, and do the best she
could. I gave him a cut to start him on to a run and left them to the
care of Providence. I then rushed into the midst of the stampede in
order to save the lives of my wife and as many others as possible, but
I had hard work to save even my own life. Mrs. Woodruff soon found an
opening and fled out of the midst of the scene. Brother Petty's wagons
were turned over. My family wagon with four yoke of oxen ran over one
of his wagons, and a wagon ran over one of his children. Prescott Hardy
was knocked down by his own team and badly injured in the thigh and
arm. Wherever I saw women and children in danger, I did what I could to
rescue them. However, only little can be done at such times, and each
one must dodge the best he can to save his life if possible.

"When I found I could do no more, I ran forward to see what condition
my family carriage and wagon were in. I found {343} my noble horse
still running, but on three legs. One of the ox-teams had run on to
the horse and carriage, bent one of the axles and smashed one of the
horse's legs. Rhoda was thrown out of the carriage and Susan was lying
upon her back with her feet hanging out between the wheels. She held
on, however, till I came and rescued my daughter. Later I had to shoot
my horse to put him out of his misery. It was very painful to have to
do so. It was a miracle that no one was killed, and there was really
but little damage done to oxen and wagons."

Barring some break-downs and delays, the company arrived in Salt Lake
City, October 14, 1850. Soon after their arrival, Elder Woodruff
moved from the old Fort into his house near Temple Block. He was also
occupied in disposing of ten loads of merchandise sent out to the
Valley by his brother-in-law, Ilus F. Carter. In the Council he read to
the brethren the speech of Mr. Copway (Koh-Ge-Ga-Gah-Bow), the Indian
chief, and the views of Col. Kane on the government of Deseret.

Wilford Woodruff's work at this time as a missionary had given him
distinction and he was frequently regarded by his brethren as the
"Herald of the Gospel." The following winter two vacancies occurred
in the legislature by the death of Newell K. Whitney and Cornelius P.
Lott. Governor Young appointed Elders Woodruff and Charles C. Rich to
fill these vacancies, and thus began the experiences of Elder Woodruff
as a legislator.

The new year, 1851, witnessed the dedication of a new school house
in the Fourteenth Ward of Salt Lake City--the ward in which Elder
Woodruff first located and where he built his home on what was
subsequently known as the old Valley House corner. The people were
poor in those days, but they nevertheless did all that a community
could under similar circumstances to promote education. They needed
both schoolhouses and meeting-houses, but their condition generally
compelled them to make one building answer a double purpose.

The country to which the Saints had come was a wilderness, and the
surroundings of the people were such that it was not always easy to
keep men and women under proper restraint, especially young men who
in a wild country naturally were prone to be uncouth and sometimes
profane in their language. The Puritan spirit of the early pioneers
was so intense that an effort was made {344} to check evils in their
incipiency and to wage a crusade against them as fast as they made
their appearance. Profanity was one of the evils that could not be
endured. The Authorities on the 12th of January, in a congregation
of the Saints, called attention to the use of such language, and the
whole congregation voted to "put down swearing" throughout the City
and the Territory. Into the reform movement, Elder Woodruff threw all
his energies and preached with all the ardor of his soul against the
improper use of words that profaned the name of Deity.

The time had come to erect another temple for the holy ordinances that
are peculiar and confined to that sacred structure. The work should
be begun as far as possible with the absence of every semblance of
evil; and on January 19, President Young announced to the congregation
assembled that the time had arrived for the erection of a temple.
Truman O. Angel was appointed architect, and during the day plans
for the new Temple were submitted for inspection in the Seventies'
Hall. That building now stands on State street in a good state of

On the 28th, news of the appointment of President Young to be the first
governor of Utah reached the people. This appointment gave universal
satisfaction. When the news came, President Young was about fifteen
miles north of the city. The leaders and a band went out to meet him;
and upon his arrival in the city, he was welcomed by a salute of ten

About this time, on February 2nd, a pretender arose who styled himself
Elijah, and a Mr. Bateman spoke for about 9 minutes in his behalf. The
new Elijah, however, received no encouragement.

It was about the same time also that there began those regular weekly
meetings of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles which have continued to
the present time. The object was to keep the Twelve in harmony with
one another, that each might know what the other was doing, that there
might be uniformity, and that they might be actuated by a spirit of

Early in February of that year, the legislature granted a charter to
the community that was to be known as a municipal organization under
the name of Salt Lake City. Concerning the charter President Woodruff
writes that President Young said: "We do not want the Church to pass
laws to punish crime, but {345} to try members only on questions of
Church fellowship. If the members transgress the laws of the land, turn
them over to the authorities of the land. We want to protect the Church
also in its rites of worship and protect every other sect that comes
here. When the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ, will their people all be members of the Church
of Jesus Christ by obeying the Gospel? No, not one-eighth part of them.
No more than a telestial kingdom is a celestial one, and they stand in
about the same relation to each other."

Elder Woodruff, on the 23rd of April, in company with a party of
about forty men with twenty wagons entered Utah Valley. This was his
first visit to the settlements there. He met the Indian chief Walker.
He thought him rather an ugly looking specimen for an Indian chief.
Later on the company reached Sanpete valley. Here there were about one
hundred families located. These families were engaged in farming. They
had erected a schoolhouse and had commenced a council house.

Passing on from Sanpete, the company went through Sevier Valley to
Marysvale and on to Cedar City. "We passed over the worst road the last
few days that I ever knew. We had to draw our wagons up and let them
down with ropes in places where the roads were so bad, and at places
the slant was so great that we had to hold our wagons up to keep them
from turning over." In the valley near Cedar City the company was
met by President George A. Smith who at that time had charge of the
southern settlements. The settlers had been there only three months.
They had enclosed a fort of 19 acres, plowed and sown 1,000 acres with
wheat, had fenced 600 acres, built a sawmill, and erected the first
story of their council house. The little community welcomed President
Young and party by the firing of a cannon and by waving the stars and
stripes. This small settlement of pioneers had about one hundred men.

The discovery of coal and iron ore in the vicinity of Cedar City
awakened in the Latter-day Saints a special desire to establish iron
foundries. Men had been called to this work as a mission. Among the
one hundred, there were perhaps thirty who were discontented. Part of
them desired to return to Salt Lake City to get their families, and
others to abandon the mission at Cedar {346} entirely. Apostle Woodruff
records the following words of President Young to these men: "If you
were now on a mission to France or England or to any other part of
the earth, you would not sit down and counsel together about going to
get your families, or about going home till your mission was ended.
This is of quite as much importance as preaching the Gospel. The time
is now come when it is required of us to make the wilderness blossom
as the rose. Our mission is now to build up stakes of Zion and fill
these mountains with cities, and when your mission is ended you are at
liberty to go. Only do what is right. When I go on a mission, I leave
my affairs in the hand of God. If my house, flocks, or fields are lost
in my absence; if my wife or children die, I say, Amen, to it. If they
live, I say, Amen, to that and thank the Lord." The words of President
Young removed much of the discontent and most of them remained to fill
their mission in honor.

In speaking at this time of the Indians in that section the President
said: "These Indians are the descendants of the Gadianton robbers
who infested these mountains for more than a thousand years." At the
conclusion of this visit, the party returned to Salt Lake City which
they reached on the 24th of May, 1851.

Elder Woodruff's journal contains many of the discourses preached by
President Young in those days on subjects of practical religion, home
industry, prayer, financial integrity, farming, tithing, and kindred
subjects. His talks contained just such subject matter as one would
expect to hear from a leader whose mission it was to make the desert
blossom as the rose. Elder Woodruff, here and there, used stenographic
characters in making notes in his journal. He was not a stenographer,
however, but he was so accustomed to writing the sermons in long hand
that his memory was trained for the work, and a large measure of
accuracy was given to these journalistic efforts.

To this work he had been called by President Young soon after the
martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. The day would come when the details of
that early history would be in great demand among those who would love
to know the beginning of the work of God in this dispensation. "Some
day," said President {347} Young, "I shall look to you for my journal."
This work was so carefully done, and the devotion of Elder Woodruff was
so great towards his brethren that one is impressed by the splendid
fidelity with which he honored the call.

On the Fourth of July of 1851 the Saints joined in a celebration
at Black Rock on Salt Lake. "The procession was led by the general
authorities with the Nauvoo Legion as an escort. It consisted of
140 wagons which reached Black Rock at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
Patriotic speeches were made, and after the meeting, social pastimes
were indulged in, and many enjoyed a bath in the lake. It was as
pleasant a Fourth of July as I ever spent, and my family was with me.
Next day we returned to Salt Lake City."

Those were happy days. The simplicity of their faith, the candor of
their words, and the friendship of their lives produced a remarkable
unity which in itself was both inspiring and joyful.

The Twenty-fourth of July was honored by a celebration. There was music
by the Nauvoo brass band. The citizens came out in great numbers. There
was a procession at the head of which the aged fathers and mothers were
placed--men and women whose frames were shaped by the hardships and
struggles of those early days. The procession ended at the bowery where
there were speeches, instrumental music and singing. "The songs of
Zion were sung not in a strange land, nor were our harps hung upon the
willows. The shades of evening came over the city and there had been
no accident to mar the proceedings of that hallowed day. There were no
curses, no drinking, no rabble, no strife to mar the occasion." There
was, perhaps, a little Church mixed up with the State in those days.
Men had conceived the idea that God should be honored as much in the
administration of civil as of religious affairs.

The harvest season followed the Twenty-fourth and Elder Woodruff was as
enthusiastic and energetic on the farm as he was in a celebration or as
he was in preaching the Gospel abroad. He was a model of industry. His
little twenty-acre farm just south of the city was under a high state
of cultivation. With a cradle in his hands, he went to the work of the
harvest with singular pleasure. His restless nature often carried him
beyond {348} his strength, but he loved to work. He always worked, and
with him one kind of work was as honorable as another; for God honored
honest toil.

At his home on the farm, there lived with him his aged father. The
stepmother had remained with her daughter in Iowa. About this time,
he received word that she had died on the 20th of March and that his
brother Azmon's wife had also died on the 3rd of January of that year.
His brother also wrote him relating the sorrow and trouble he had
encountered ever since he had left the Church. His letter bore evidence
of humiliation and repentance, much to the joy of his faithful brother

On the 7th of September, there was a general conference of the Church.
After addressing the Saints upon practical affairs and the daily duties
of life, President Young said: "No better man than Joseph Smith ever
lived on this earth. Hear it, O, ye heavens, O, ye earth, and all
men! It is my testimony that he was as good a man as ever lived, save
Jesus." In harmony with these words, Willard Richards related his
testimony to the mob in Carthage at the time of the Prophet's death to
the effect that they were Prophets of God, and two of the best men that
ever lived on earth.

During this conference, Judge Brocchus of the United States court in
Utah, requested the privilege of speaking. The request was granted and
he proceeded to cast unsavory reflections upon the character of the
Saints. This President Young resented in strong terms. In the course
of his remarks, the Prophet said to those who were going on missions:
"Don't go and tell the people of different denominations that because
their sins are not forgiven that they are always going to dwell in
hell; for if they are honest, they will have a glory greater than many
who carry the gospel to them. There are good people among all sects,
Gentiles, Jews, and heathens. They act according to the best light they
have. What is the condition of the people of this country? Light has
come into the world, and many men love darkness rather than light. They
reject that light, fight the prophets, and shed their blood. For this
they will be damned."

At this conference N. H. Felt and John Banks were appointed traveling
bishops. E. T. Benson, J. M. Grant, and Orson Hyde were called on
a mission to Kanesville to gather out all the Saints {349} in that
region. Elder Woodruff here records the remarks made by Patriarch
John Smith, uncle of the Prophet, and father to President George A.
Smith. He had been a member of the Church since 1832. "I was ordained
an elder under the hands of Joseph Wakefield. The Smith family was
called to bring forth this work. My team hauled the first load of stone
for the erection of the Kirtland Temple. My son George A., drove that
team. There were four brothers of us on the stand at Kirtland. I am
now left alone. I was in jail with my nephews, Joseph and Hyrum, the
night before they were killed. Next day three guns were snapped at me.
I could not weep for a long time; when I could, I wept much. I have
labored much from that day till this. Now pay your tithing, make your
measures good when you sell anything, and fulfill all your covenants if
they are properly made. Then we shall prosper in this Valley. I am an
old man and cannot say much."

When the pioneers returned to Winter Quarters from Salt Lake Valley,
father John Smith was left in charge of the Church here. He was a man
of the utmost honor and of sterling integrity both to God and man.
Three generations of this man have been apostles in the Church.

It was at this conference that all the brethren and sisters voted to
discontinue the use of tea, coffee, and tobacco. It was then adjourned
until October 6th.



THE YEARS, 1852, '53, '54.

Discourse of Brigham Young on Sin.--The Descendants of Cain.--Edward
Hunter Chosen Presiding Bishop.--Parowan Stake Organized.--David
Patten.--Talk on Dancing.--Death of Willard Richards.--Jedediah M.
Grant Chosen Counselor to Brigham Young.--Journey South.--Walker, the
Indian Chief.--John Smith, Son of Hyrum Smith, Called To Be the Head
Patriarch of the Church.--Visit North.--Legislature.--Philosophical

The beginning of the year 1852 found Elder Woodruff actively engaged
in the legislative business of the new Territory. There was much to
be done. The foundation of a new commonwealth was being laid, and the
principles of civil government were emphasized and kept separate from
the religious organization. About three years and a half had elapsed
since the pioneers entered Salt Lake Valley. In 1852 the census
showed that there were all told in Utah, 11,354 souls. Counties were
established with proper organizations, and judges appointed for the
administration of laws therein.

Elder Woodruff kept in his journals the civil and religious movements
of those early days. Extracts from prominent sermons were written,
especially those delivered by President Young. The following is a
partial extract of a discourse by him on the subject of Sin. "If you
sin against God, go to Him for forgiveness, if that sin is not unto
death. There is a sin unto death which we are told we need not pray
to have forgiven. If you sin against your brother, go to him for
forgiveness. Ask forgiveness at the hands of the innocent. If you sin
against your family, your parents, your husband, your wife, or your
children, seek forgiveness at their hands; for what is done in secret,
He will forgive in secret. In seeking forgiveness for sins that are
secret, go no farther than is necessary to be forgiven of God. But
where sins are committed openly, forgiveness should be sought openly."

The Saints had not forgotten the troubles which their shortcomings and
neglect of the things of God had brought upon them in days gone by.
The leaders understood very well the necessity {351} of avoiding the
troubles of the past by keeping themselves in harmony with God's will.
They knew that sin meant trouble not only for the individual but for
the Church. The authorities felt that if the people could be kept from
sin there would be love and union and prosperity in the new homes which
they were establishing in the Rocky Mountains.

The attitude of the Saints on the question of slavery had been a source
of trouble to them in Missouri. There was naturally throughout the
United States some interest in the position which the new Territory
should take upon that question. In those days the influence of the
South was predominant, and the pro-slavery party was asserting itself
wherever possible. The lines were drawn more distinctly between the pro
and anti-slavery communities. In those days men might have regarded
it as good policy to keep friends with the South and the democratic
party. To be pronounced for or against slavery was sure to invite the
opposition of the North or of the South.

President Young felt it, however, to be his duty to make plain the
attitude of the Mormon people in Utah on the subject. In an address
to the legislature he said: "The Lord said I will not kill Cain, but
I will put a mark upon him, and that mark will be seen upon the face
of every negro upon the face of the earth; and it is the decree of
God that that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cain until the seed
of Abel shall be redeemed, and Cain shall not receive the priesthood,
until the time of that redemption. Any man having one drop of the seed
of Cain in him cannot receive the priesthood; but the day will come
when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which
we now have. I am opposed to the present system of slavery."

Elder Woodruff writes extensively in his journal of the teachings of
the President. In one of his discourses the Prophet declares that God
has passed through all the trials and experiences that we have, and the
Savior likewise. On another occasion, he speaks of the responsibilities
of parents; the desirability of a prayerful spirit that they may not
only receive the noble spirits from the spirit world, but that they may
enjoy the influence of the Holy Ghost which should be the inheritance
of every child born into the world.

From a report of the tithing in those days it also appears {352} that
from October 1848 to April 1852, there was paid in, $353,755.69, a
creditable showing when the hardships of those times and the limited
numbers of Saints are taken into consideration.

It was at this conference, April 1852, that Edward Hunter was chosen
and set apart as the Presiding Bishop of the Church. Many people will
remember the quaint words and sayings of Edward Hunter. When asked to
select his counselors, on that occasion, he arose and said: "I select
for my counselors Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball."

On the 23rd of April, 1852, Wilford Woodruff accompanied the First
Presidency on a tour through the southern settlements as far south
as Cedar City, which they had visited once before. On this trip they
organized the Iron Company for the purpose of developing the iron
deposits of that region. The rodometer showed the distance from Salt
Lake to Cedar via Sanpete Valley to be 314 1/2 miles. It was on this
visit that the Parowan Stake was organized, with John L. Smith as
president, John Steele as first, and Henry Lunt as second counselor.

On the 28th of August, 1852, a special conference was held and about
one hundred missionaries were called to Europe and other parts of
the world. The following October witnessed the call of still other
missionaries. In speaking of their blessings President Woodruff
said: "The spirit and power of God rested upon us in a great degree.
The heavens were opened, and our minds were filled with visions,
revelations, and prophecy, while we sealed great blessings upon the
heads of the elders and foretold what would befall them by sea and by
land; that they would do a great work and gather many Saints and much
wealth to Zion."

Before the close of the year, there were special meetings of the
Council of the Twelve in which the importance of keeping a history
of the Twelve was emphasized, and Elder Woodruff was at that time
appointed to write a history of his Quorum. Speaking of the Twelve at
this time he says: "There has not been a death in the Quorum of the
Twelve Apostles except that of David Patten, who fell a martyr to his
religion, according to the special request he made of the Lord that he
might die that death. I lament the fact that David Patten did not leave
a record of his life, for he was a true prophet, an apostle, and a fine
man. Many {353} miracles were wrought by him. He once told a rich man
in Tennessee who fought the work of God, that he and his family would
yet beg for their bread. Robert C. Petty saw that same man cry at a
blacksmith shop because the blacksmith would not sharpen his plough on

Speaking upon the principle of writing a history he said that since
he had been a member of the Church he had been inspired to write not
only of his own acts and life but to write the sermons, teachings, and
prophecies of the Prophet Joseph, President Young, and Council of the
Twelve Apostles as far as he was acquainted with their labors.

When the new year of 1853 opened Wilford Woodruff gave expression to
those noble inspirations which characterized his life. In his journal
he writes: "A new year in a new era! How time flies, and how wonderful,
how magnificent are the events which are borne upon its wings! It is
the opening of a dispensation that includes all other dispensations
since the world began. The events of the one thousand years past pale
into insignificance compared with the work of the present time."

On New Year's day Wilford Woodruff, with other members of his Quorum,
all being present, except Orson Pratt, marched in a body to the homes
of Presidents Young, Kimball, and Richards, and to the home of Father
John Smith, the patriarch, in the order named and with loving respect
wished them a happy and prosperous New Year. Each of the Presidency
and Father Smith pronounced their blessings, and in return the Twelve
blessed them. In the evening of that day, the Presidency and the Twelve
dedicated the Social Hall for social purposes, and with about two
hundred of the Saints joined in a dance with praise and thanksgiving to
the Lord.

The 14th of February, 1853, witnessed the dedication of the site of the
Salt Lake Temple. The Presidency and the Twelve broke the ground with
a pick. It was an occasion of great joy among the Saints, as a temple
meant so much to their hopes and faith. On April the 6th, the four
corner-stones were dedicated, and speeches were delivered. Forty years
thereafter, Wilford Woodruff, more than 86 years of age, presided at
its completion and dedication.

On the 25th of August Elder Woodruff went with members {354} of the
Twelve to locate a new Weber settlement. The people there were growing
dissatisfied and changed their location several times. At the October
conference, following, Wilford Woodruff and Ezra T. Benson were
appointed to select fifty families to settle in Tooele Valley. The work
in that valley engaged his time largely during the remainder of the
year until the 12th of December, when he again took up his work in the
House of Representatives.

The new year of 1854 dawned upon the Sabbath day. In the afternoon the
Saints were addressed by Apostle Woodruff. On the evening of the 2nd
there was a dancing party given in the Social Hall. The parties there
were attended by the leaders, and an effort was made to give to those
occasions an innocent joy and a high social quality that would uplift
the dance and make it a suitable place for Saints, and not allow it
to be the exclusive pastime of the sinners. In those early days there
was a much greater opposition on the part of the different religious
denominations of the world than there is today. This practice, from the
outset among the Latter-day Saints of taking their religion with them
into the social life was one of the alleged faults which the religious
world condemned. In those times when there were so many difficulties,
so many hardships different from those which the people had to
encounter in the East, the dance was about the only sort of amusement
which the Saints could enjoy.

The following are the words of President Young which give his views of
the ball room, and which he gave on the evening of the 2nd: "I consider
this a suitable place to give some instructions. The world considers it
very wicked for a Christian to hear music and to dance. Many preachers
say that fiddling and music come from hell, but I say there is no
fiddling, there is no music in hell. Music belongs to heaven, to cheer
God, angels, and men. If we could hear the music there is in heaven, it
would overwhelm us mortals. Music and dancing are for the benefit of
holy ones, and all those who come here to-night who are not holy and
righteous and do not worship God have no right to come here."

Men and women were taught that in all they did on the week day as upon
the Sabbath they should honor God. If, {355} later on, excesses in
dancing and its improper practice were corrected by a Prophet of God,
John Taylor, it was because of the excesses and the improprieties of
certain classes, and not because of the ball room itself. To him, there
was great objection in permitting the dance room to become a financial

In the year of 1854 President Willard Richards was suffering from
palsy, and the attention which he received at the hands of Elder
Woodruff was characteristic of the latter's tender regard and loving
administration for those whom he esteemed. Besides giving his attention
to the sick, he also began the work of teaching and preparing the young
men for their duties in the office of the lesser priesthood. He was
especially solicitous of the training of his young sons, especially
Wilford junior.

Those were days of extreme sociability and neighborly love. In his
journal Elder Woodruff writes of a visit to his home of Ann Whitney and
Eliza R. Snow: "I read over several of the old sermons of Joseph that
were not recorded anywhere except in my journal. We passed a pleasant
evening together, and before they left they sang in tongues in the pure
language which Adam and Eve spoke in the Garden of Eden. This gift
was obtained in the Kirtland Temple through a promise of the Prophet
Joseph Smith. He told Sister Whitney if she would rise upon her feet
she should have the pure language. She did so, and immediately began to
sing in tongues. It was nearer to heavenly music than anything I ever
heard." This beautiful gift Sister Whitney retained throughout her life
time, and upon appropriate occasions exercised it to the edification
and joy of the Saints.

In those days Elder Woodruff found some time in the midst of public
duties to devote to the reading of good books, among them was the first
volume of the life of Benjamin Franklin, and into his journal he copied
Franklin's rules of perfection. Whatever was high-minded, choice, or of
value as discipline, Wilford Woodruff cherished.

On the 11th of January of that year President Willard Richards died.
He had been a sufferer for many years, but through faith his life had
been prolonged. Of him Elder Woodruff writes: "He is the first of the
Twelve or of our Presidency who has died in the faith a natural death.
All who have gone before in full fellowship have died martyrs." He and
President {356} Richards had formed a strong attachment for each other,
and they had traveled together quite extensively in their missionary
labors and pioneer work. At the time of President Richard's death,
President Young was too ill to attend the funeral.

The following month of March Elder Woodruff visited Tooele City,
Grantsville, and other places in Tooele Valley, the colonization of
which had been largely intrusted to himself and Elders Benson and

On the 27th of that month, he returned to Salt Lake City and met with
the Twelve at his home. Here, the missionaries who were going to
England had been set apart, and Franklin D. Richards was called to
preside over the European mission.

The April conference which followed was one of considerable importance.
It became necessary to select someone to fill the place made vacant
by the death of Willard Richards. President Young asked the Twelve to
suggest some man for the place, but they considered it his privilege
to choose his own counselor, and so informed him, at the same time
promising to endorse his selection. When the authorities were
sustained, Jedediah M. Grant was taken into the First Presidency of the
Church. He had been a faithful and distinguished elder, and was loved
by all the Saints.

It was at this conference that the question of Consecration was
presented. Speaking of that subject, President Kimball said: "I want
all I have to be secured in the Kingdom of God." They knew the dangers
and temptations of wealth, the selfishness which it begets, as well as
its destruction of brotherly love.

At the same conference, President Kimball spoke on Plural Marriage and
declared its divine origin. "Many of you have fought it," he said,
"you may continue to fight it until you go down into your graves, and
it will still continue to be the work of God, and will still continue
through all Eternity."

At that time Elder Parley P. Pratt was appointed to establish a stake
of the Church at Horner's ranch in California. Erastus Snow was called
on a mission to St. Louis, and Orson Pratt to Cincinnati. Joseph F.
Smith, then a boy less than 16 years of age, was called upon his first
mission to the Sandwich Islands.

On the 3rd of May, a party of the leaders, of which Elder Woodruff was
one, started on a tour of the southern settlements. {357} Their first
day's drive was to Union Ward, where the Saints had been counseled to
build their homes within a fort, as a protection against the Indians.
It appears that to some extent this counsel had been ignored by the
people there. In speaking of that fact President Young said: "I am
responsible for the counsel I give. If you want to know any more
concerning it--do right; pray to the Lord, that you may have His mind
revealed and may understand the truth and know for yourselves what lies
before you--then you will not question these things, but will go to
work and do them with all your might."

In those days there was a special anxiety to protect the people, who
were scattering out to form new settlements, against the attacks of the
Indians. The people noted the special supervision of their leaders who
were constantly directing the settlements which were in time to come to
be the strongholds of the Latter-day Saints. Every detail was thought
out, and nothing escaped the vigilant watch-care of their Prophet. In
his journal Elder Woodruff recorded the remarks of President Young
spoken to the people of Pleasant Grove: "Your stacks are so placed that
one Indian could fire the whole place, and others could shoot you down.
While you were fighting the fire they could kill every man, woman, and
child in this place."

The party continued the journey from here to Provo, Springville, and
Payson. When they reached Payson they were approaching the Indian
country, and the Indian question was discussed. President Young
counseled the Saints to feed the Indians and treat them kindly. When
the company reached a place about fifteen miles south of Payson an
organization was effected: Robert T. Burton was made captain of the
guard; W. Woodruff, historian; Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor,
chaplains; Edward Hunter, chief bishop; and Dr. Sprague, physician and

After leaving Nephi, Elder Woodruff makes this interesting record:
"The next day, May 11th, we rode to Chicken Creek and spent the night
near Walker and his band. President Young and council tried to talk
with him, but he was sulky and not disposed to talk. When we first
formed our corral within forty rods of his camp, he gathered all of his
warriors and made quite a display, but we did not go to meet them, so
they turned their horses out and went to their tents.

{358} "When we called upon Walker, he lay down in the dirt and was
averse to talking. Brother Young manifested great patience even when
almost any other man would have been exhausted. He went to him and
lifted him out of the dirt and finally drew from him a conversation.
Walker said he had no spirit, he had no heart, he did not wish to
talk. 'I want to sit still and hear President Young and others talk.'
President Young gave him some tobacco. The chief said when he had
plenty of tobacco all his friends would come and smoke with him, but
when he had no tobacco they would stay away from him. President Young
then said: 'I have brought some beef cattle for you. I want one killed
so you can have a feast while we are here.' Walker then wanted the
Mormons to sing before the parties took a smoke. The chief said, 'Ezra
T. Benson came, and his heart was good. Diminick Huntington came, and
his heart was running.' We then sang, and when this was done Walker
said, 'I have not got the spirit of the Lord. If there is anyone here
who can give me the spirit of the Lord I wish he would do it.' Speaking
further, the old chief said, 'White people in heaven are happy.' An
Indian by the name of Tulpidge then spoke amid much crying and tears.
He was the Indian who had his wife killed. He said Diminick Huntington
had been good to him, and he had not seen him since his child's death.
He said: 'We now have good hearts and the Mormons who are now here have
good hearts. We can lie down in peace without fear, and I want to live
in friendship with this people.'

"We now left the Indian camp and returned to our wagons, but President
Young had another talk with Walker the same day. On the following day
we again visited Walker's tent, but the chief was still sulky and would
not talk. He left his tent and went into the willows while the others
talked. The Indians had a sick child which they wished the elders to
administer to. President Kimball with Elders Benson and Wells did so,
and Dr. Sprague left some medicine for the child and for others who
were sick. The Indian said if his sick child died he would have to
kill an Indian child or a Mormon child to go with it--this is their
tradition. The interpreter told him he must not do it as that was
wrong; that when a Mormon child died we did not kill another to go with
it and they must not do it. The Indian said that {359} if the child got
well, he would go with us. He said Walker was a great chief, and that
President Young was a great chief.

"Peteetnet spoke and said they would be good and not steal, neither
would they kill anybody, and that anyone could go alone and not be
killed. Walker wished President Young to write a letter that he might
show to the people and let them know that we were at peace with each
other. This, President Young did. Dr. Sprague gave them some medicine,
and after a talk of peace and good will from the old chief we shook
hands and smoked the pipe of peace. Walker received his presents. We
killed a beef and made a great feast for the Indians. They traded
blankets for horses and bought two Indians who were prisoners. After
making peace we left them and rode on to Sevier River. Walker,
Squashead, and many others went with us and spent the night on the
Sevier. We made a raft and took our wagons over in an hour and a half.
Next day we reached Fillmore, a distance of thirty-five miles."

From Fillmore the party passed through Beaver and Parowan to Cedar
City. Here they visited the Iron Works and saw some of the products.
Erastus Snow was present and explained to them the difficulties to
be contended with in the manufacture of iron, as they were so far
from railroads. During this trip the company visited Harmony and then
returned to the North, reaching Salt Lake the 30th of the month, having
traveled a distance of 574 miles.

June the 27th, 1854, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph and
Hyrum, was observed. The Church held a general conference, according to
previous appointment. Elder John Taylor was called on a mission to New
York, while other elders were called to different parts of the world.
John Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, was on that day called to the position
of presiding patriarch of the Church. He was the fourth to occupy that
place in this dispensation.

During those busy times of travel and teaching, Elder Woodruff also
found time to farm his land. He records that on that year he raised 369
bushels of wheat, 400 bushels of potatoes and 200 bushels of corn.

On November 27th, he set out upon a visit to the settlements in the
north. On the 2nd of December, he paid his first visit to Ogden,
where he found a large colony of Saints on the east side {360} of the
Weber River. Here he counseled the people respecting the payment of
their tithing, the Poor Fund, the establishment of schools, also the
building of a wall around the city for protection against attacks by
the Indians. At this time he also visited North Ogden, then called
Ogden Hole, seven miles north of Ogden City. It was at that time one of
the most flourishing settlements north of Salt Lake City. There were
forty-seven families and a school with fifty pupils. The people here
raised in 1854, 16,000 bushels of wheat.

On the 4th of December, Elder Woodruff visited Willow Creek, now
Willard. From there he went to Box Elder, later known as Brigham City,
which was then chiefly settled by Saints from Scandinavia and Wales.
Returning, he reached home December 9th. On the next day he listened to
Charles C. Rich, who gave an account of the rise and progress of the
settlement of the Saints in San Bernardino.

On the 11th of December the legislature met. The Council then consisted
of four members: Heber C. Kimball, Daniel H. Wells, Orson Pratt, and
Wilford Woodruff. The House had nine members: Albert Carrington,
Leonard E. Harrington, Aaron Johnson, Isaac Morley, John A. Ray, Geo.
A. Smith, Lorin Farr, and Erastus Bingham. At that time there were only
seven counties, viz., Salt Lake, San Pete, Millard, Iron, Davis, and

On Christmas day of that year, there was some excitement created by a
drunken brawl among the soldiers who were quartered in the heart of
the city. Some of the citizens became mixed up with it. Some of the
soldiers fired upon the people who threw stones at them. The officers,
however, with the aid of the marshal and mayor restored peace. In the
evening, Col. Steptoe and Judge Kinney gave a ball and invited the
Presidency and Twelve. Of the occasion Brother Woodruff writes: "It was
a splendid affair. We had a good supper and a splendid dance."

In order to give some intellectual pastime, a Philosophical Society was
organized to which the leaders gave special attention and encouragement
to those who were anxious to improve their minds.

Closing his journal for that year Elder Woodruff notes that he traveled
over 1,800 miles, attended 47 meetings, and preached 44 discourses. He
also attended two general conferences, and passed twenty days in the




Education Promoted.--Adventurers.--Endowment House.--President Young
Speaks of the Resurrection.--Death of Judge Schafer.--Provo.--Work
in Educational Societies.--In the Legislature at Fillmore.--Words of
Confidence from Kanosh, an Indian Chief.--Some Peculiarities of Wilford

The first day of the year 1855 was observed by a social entertainment
which the Governor and the Legislature of Utah gave in the new Social
Hall. "It was the most splendid party up to that date ever gotten up
in the Territory. The United States judges and military officers were
invited. Dancing commenced at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and closed
with a supper at mid-night."

These hardy pioneers had grand ambitions in their humble homes, amid
humble surroundings. They established a grammar school under the
direction of Orson Hyde. They also organized a Universal Scientific
Association for the study of science, the promotion of education,
and the accumulation of a library and museum. They already had their
Philosophical Society and later organized a Horticultural Association
for the purpose of encouraging the growth of fruit in the Territory.

On the 4th of February, at the Sunday meeting, some attention was given
to the attitude which the Saints had taken toward a host of new comers
who were not of their faith. Most of them belonged to an adventurous
class and were unscrupulous men. Against them the Saints were warned.
This warning created considerable excitement among them. The new comers
were angry, but the Saints were firm. In time excitement quieted down.
Some of the outsiders soon learned that there was a social barrier
which they could not break down. They were not here to establish homes,
and many were disappointed when they could not prey upon the homes of
the Latter-day Saints.

As spring approached new problems arose. The new country was a kind
of experiment station, and the people were anxious to get all kinds
of seeds that they might experiment with the soil and climate. Elder
Woodruff was among the first to introduce fruit {362} trees. He
obtained thirty-one different kinds of choice applegrafts. The future
began to look more hopeful. They had in mind a grand commonwealth,
which by their faithful industry they would establish. They were
spreading out over the Valleys of the Mountains and establishing homes.
They were a happy people, full of hope and grand expectations--if the
soil responded to their efforts.

The political situation became disappointing. At first Brigham Young
had been appointed Governor, and had given satisfaction. He was beloved
by his people; and respect for their local self-government and their
wishes would have continued him as such, but men were not slow in
circulating evil reports and in creating prejudice and hatred in the
hearts of those who leaned toward the Latter-day Saints. The word came
that another was to succeed Brigham Young as governor.

Announcement was made that on February the 18th President Young
would give the views of our people concerning the government of the
United States. On that date the Tabernacle was crowded, and there
were probably one thousand people on the outside who could not find
entrance; but President Young was sick and unable to attend. His
statement, however, to the people was read in which he expressed
loyalty to the Constitution and laws of the country, but disapprobation
towards those who were severe, and towards men in high places who
disregarded the rights of the people here. The address was published in
the _Deseret News_ and later on, in the _Journal of Discourses_.

On February 18th John Smith received his ordination to the office of
Patriarch of the Church, he having been previously called to that high
station on the 10th of March, 1853. Elder Woodruff records the death of
an old friend, Joseph Russell, who was faithful and true, and who had
given nearly all his means amounting to about $7,000.00 to the Church.

The conference of that year began on April 6th, with about 12,000
people in attendance. Times were somewhat exciting, and there was a
pronounced demonstration on the part of the Saints in the matter of
their adherence to the work of God. At that time about one hundred
missionaries were called. A little later on in the same month the
Deseret Theological Society was organized.

On May the 15th, the Endowment House was dedicated. To the older of
the present generation its sacred precincts, its rites, {363} and
ordinances are among the most cherished memories. Apostle Woodruff was
present at its dedication; and later in life when the Temple supplanted
it, he ordered it removed. On the day following its dedication, Geo,
Q. Cannon gave an interesting account of his mission to the Sandwich

On the same date President Young in speaking of the resurrection, as
recorded by President Woodruff, said: "The identical particles of
matter in which we have honored our spirits, our tabernacles, in which
we have suffered, traveled, labored, and built up the Kingdom of God
would be the identical bodies resurrected, and no others. They will be
raised from the grave to immortality and eternal lives. Evil was placed
upon the earth that man might know the good from the evil, for without
an experience in those things, men could not know one from the other.
Upon the earth the devil sowed the seeds of death in everything, so
that as soon as Adam and Eve began to eat of the fruit of the earth
they received into their systems the seeds of mortality--death. Their
children thus became mortal and subject to pain, sorrow, and death.
By this means they were redeemed and partook of life, peace, and
happiness, and they would know how to prize them. Father Adam would
never cease his labors to redeem his posterity and exalt them to all
the glory they were capable of receiving. Yet man has his agency to act
for himself--choose good or evil, and to be rewarded according to his

On May the 19th Elder Woodruff set out upon another visit to the
southern settlements in company with President Young. At Cedar City
they found the iron works in full blast. They were making good iron,
casting pipes and other necessary appliances needed by the people.
While there, they organized a stake of Zion comprising Iron County.
On reaching Lehi on their return they had an interesting visit from
Aropene, an Indian chief. This was the latter part of May, and by this
time the crops and gardens had almost entirely been destroyed by the

In his journal of June 30th of that year he records the funeral of
Judge Schafer, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court of
Utah. The funeral was held on that day. The Saints turned out in
large numbers and showed great honor to the judge whose justice and
uprightness were so greatly respected.

On July the 13th Elder Woodruff attended the conference {364} in Provo
with Presidents Young, Kimball, and Grant. During the conference, they
had a visit from an Indian chief whose English name was High Forehead.
He and others of his tribe addressed the congregation, expressing their
confidence in President Young and the people over whom he presided.
There was in those days a class of people in Provo whose conduct was
not entirely satisfactory. It was a gathering place for many uncouth
miners, whose habits of drinking and gambling did not give Provo a very
good name. Speaking of the town, Apostle Woodruff says in his journal:
"There was a strange spirit in Provo and many had not the spirit of
God." Many of the early inhabitants of the town will find in that
remark something of the spirit of charity.

On Elder Woodruff's return to Salt Lake City he speaks of the
excellent times they had in the Polysophical Society as well as in the
Universal Scientific Society. These social gatherings for intellectual
improvement afforded the progressive men of those days some opportunity
to satisfy their desires for education. Elder Woodruff rarely failed in
his journal to give an account of the doings of those societies, and
to express the great delight he had had over the information imparted
by the lectures. In his journal he says: "On September 13th we met in
the Social Hall under the organization of a Pomological Society. The
house was well filled and the subject discussed was the organization
of a Horticultural Society. A committee was appointed to draft the
constitution and by-laws to govern said society. I was chosen chairman
of this committee, and subsequently president of the society which did
much to promote the culture and growth of fruit in the Territory."

The spirit of Wilford Woodruff was pre-eminently missionary in every
aspect of his life. If he raised fruit, it was in fulfillment of a
mission to promote an industry. When he sat in the legislative halls,
he regarded his work as a grand mission for the establishment and
spread of the principles of civil government. It all made him an
enthusiastic worker. If he farmed, he did it as much to teach others
how to farm as to obtain a livelihood from it. With him, all life and
labor was a mission. It was all in the spirit of a teacher and he was
conscientious in the extreme about what and how he would teach. In
attending a {365} quarterly conference at Farmington in October, 1855,
he writes in his journal: "After retiring to bed I prayed to the Lord
to show me what we should teach the people, and this I received as an
answer. 'Let my servants obtain the Holy Ghost and keep My spirit with
them and that will instruct them what to teach the people continually.
Instruct the people to keep My spirit with them and they will be
enabled to understand the word of the Lord when it is taught unto

It is quite natural, therefore, that he should keep a careful account
of missionary work both at home and abroad. He notes in the fall
of that year that Nathaniel V. Jones returned from his mission to
Hindoostan, also the appointment of Lorenzo Snow, Ezra T. Benson, and
Phineas Young to England.

Elder Woodruff was appointed as a missionary, in connection with Elders
Orson Pratt, and Parley P. Pratt, to travel throughout the Territory.
He speaks of this event as giving him much pleasure and adds: "It is
the first time since the organization of this Church and Quorum that
I have had the privilege of being associated with these two men on a
preaching mission. We have met but little except in conference from
time to time." He mentions about this time the death of Orson Spencer
who had died in St. Louis. Of him he says: "Many friends mourn his
loss. He was a firm pillar in the Church and Kingdom of God."

Having been again elected to the legislature, Elder Woodruff set out
for Fillmore which was then the capital of the Territory. He went in
company with Lorenzo Snow, Loren Farr, and Jonathan C. Wright. While
in Fillmore, in January, 1856, he reported and wrote in his journal
an account of an excellent discourse preached by President Young. The
following was taken from his journal: "It is our duty to make every
sacrifice (if it may be called a sacrifice) required of us by our
Father in Heaven, that He and His holy angels may know our integrity.
I see a thousand weaknesses in myself that I now regret, and it is
so with all those who have the spirit of God, and they will try to
overcome them. People may be guilty of various sins, and do you think
they can be forgiven in a moment. No, every Latter-day Saint knows
better. This would be sectarianism. The religion of the world is that
a man may commit murder, and when on the {366} gallows, he can repent
and be forgiven and go straightway to Abraham's bosom. It is a false
doctrine. It is not true. Some may say that they cannot overcome their
passions when they are tempted and tried, they cannot help scolding,
swearing, etc., but I tell you they can help it, and must overcome
it sooner or later or they cannot be saved. We should improve day by
day, be a better man or woman to-morrow than we are to-day. Mothers,
when you are cross and attempt to correct you children, conquer
yourselves first. Fathers, when you feel angry passions rise, then
you need the grace of God to bring yourselves into subjection to Him
that you may gain victory over your feelings. Live so that you may
have the revelations of God concerning you in all things--that you
cannot be deceived. When Sidney Rigdon claimed to be the leader of the
people, the people knew not his voice. Parents are under the greatest
obligation to live their religion, so also the young men and women,
that when they marry and have a posterity their children may be born in
holiness and righteousness, and it will then be hard to make anything
out of them but Latter-day Saints."

On January the 16th, Kanosh, an Indian chief, made an address to the
brethren, as follows: "I am just beginning to get my eyes opened. I
know that President Young's talk is good. What he says is so. He tells
us more good, and I am like the sun just rising in the East, and so
with my people. We have been in the night, I have had eyes but I could
not see, and ears, but I could not hear; and this has been the case
with my people. Our hearts could not understand, but now our eyes
see, our ears hear, and our hearts understand. All that Brigham and
Heber have said is straight; but when I talk with Col. Steptoe and
his men, he is not straight, I would not believe, for a tenth part of
their talk is not straight, and so it is with the Spaniards, and with
all the white men until I saw the Mormons. They are the first to tell
me the truth. You are here to make laws. I hope you will make good
laws to punish the guilty and spare the innocent. I wish to do right
and have my people do right. I do not want them to steal nor kill. I
want to plant and raise wheat, and to learn to plough, and do as the
white people do. I want to learn to read and to write, and to have my
children learn so that we may understand what you say to us." This is
beautiful manifestation {367} of the confidence which the better class
of Indians had in the Mormon people.

After the adjournment of the legislature, and on the 26th of January,
a large mass meeting was held in Salt Lake City to consider the
establishment of a mail and passenger service between the Western
States and California. Governor Young was chosen chairman. A committee
was appointed to draft resolutions regarding the project. About this
time the _First Reader_ published in the _Deseret Alphabet_ was gotten
up. To this work Elder Woodruff gave much of his time. During the month
of February he reports in his journal that three boys had been killed
by the Indians who had driven off a number of horses and cattle.

On the 3rd of March Elder Woodruff was called on a mission to the
East to secure type for the _Deseret Alphabet._ On the 7th of April,
during the spring conference of that year, he was appointed assistant
historian of the Church. In those days missionaries were usually called
at conference, and that occasion had in it surprises for many who were
called to go on a mission without a moment's notice. At this time
Elders Orson Pratt and Ezra T. Benson were called to England to preside
over the European mission.

There was, too, a humorous side to Wilford Woodruff's nature,
notwithstanding the seriousness which he possessed. It seems that
in one of the Sunday meetings President Jedediah M. Grant found it
necessary to refer to some thefts which had taken place a short time
before. Among other things stolen was some flour that had been taken
from Elder Woodruff's home. After concluding his rebuke for these
things President Woodruff arose and said: "If they have taken the flour
because of hunger and will ask the blessing upon the bread when it is
made, and send me home the bags, I will bring no accusation against
them." The bags were put in a sack and brought to his home next morning.

A circumstance somewhat of the same nature as that referred to,
occurred in which the writer was a witness. He and one of his
companions were chasing a flock of tame ducks up the street along Elder
Woodruff's fence. The latter saw them and came out. He being a nervous,
quick-spoken man, the boys expected a scolding. "Boys," he said, "if
you will let those ducks alone, I {368} will give you some apricots."
They hardly knew how to compose themselves--so great was their
surprise--but they went with him to the orchard, one of them filling
his hat and the other a bucket. Nothing further disagreeable was said,
but the boys never thereafter chased the ducks.

On the 22nd of April of that year, the missionaries who were called
on missions left the city for their fields of labor. It was a greater
effort in those days to take a mission. The sacrifice was greater for
all concerned. The dreary plains had to be crossed again, and the
expense was naturally very great. At this time George A. Smith and John
Taylor went to Washington to urge claims of Utah for admission into the
Union. A few days after the missionaries left, Apostle Woodruff was
poisoned in consequence of skinning an animal which had been killed by
poison. His system became so infected that his life was despaired of,
but his faith was so unceasing and so disassociated from all doubt that
through administration he was healed. Brother Woodruff records in his
journal the blessing which President Young pronounced upon his head, as
follows: "Brother Woodruff, I say to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
that you shall not die, but you shall live to finish your work which
was appointed you to do upon the earth. The adversary has sought many
times to destroy your life but the Lord has preserved you, and will
preserve you until your work is done."

On his recovery he makes record of a letter received from the chief
gardener of Queen Victoria, who desired to open a correspondence with
the Horticultural Society of Utah. Such matters were of course highly
interesting to the people here, because those were days of experiments.




Hard Times Were Difficult for Some To Endure.--Recording Church
History.--Dedication of Historian's Office.--First Hand-cart
Company.--The Reformation Inaugurated.--Death of Jedediah M.
Grant.--Suffering of the Hand-cart Companies.--Heber C. Kimball's Dream.

The year 1856 found the people engrossed in the labors incident to
pioneer life. They were beginning to appreciate more than ever the
wonderful resources of their new Zion. The growing opportunities to
accumulate means were absorbing the more progressive classes. The
social life of the people, however, was not neglected, and there were
picnics and celebrations. The Fourth and the Twenty-fourth were great
days. The out door amusements of those times were more enjoyable
because of the general surroundings. This year the Fourth was ushered
in by the firing of cannon and the ringing of bells. There were
processions and orations that pleased and inspired the people. The
canyons were near by and they were agreeable resorts in days when
there were few groves. These occasions helped the people to forget
many of the hardships incident to pioneer life. Some could not easily
endure the trials of those days because they had not sufficient faith
to penetrate in the least the future. To them all was darkness and
hardship. Some were discouraged.

About this time, one of the chief clerks in the Historian's Office
became weary of the hardships of those days, was a victim of despair.
He entertained doubts of the truth of the work; and though he was
treated well by all the brethren, he was nevertheless unhappy and
returned to England to take up again the life in which he had been
reared. Apostle Woodruff wrote of him thus: "He could not stand the
hard times, and did not know whether Mormonism was true or not, so he
returned home. He had taken a very honorable course in all his business
dealings." The man was respected and spoken well of. He felt that he
had made a mistake, but he was honest and honorable. He never sought to
shift the burden of his own unhappiness and discontent on to the {370}
shoulders of others. He aimed to be fair and wanted to do what was
right. The man had not the faith to support him in the trying ordeals
of those early years in Utah. It was one circumstance out of many; and
like some others who left the Church, he never felt it his duty to
bring reproach upon those whose faith he could neither understand nor
appreciate. The man was not hindered in the execution of his wishes. He
was wished God speed, and his old-time friends would still be friends,
even though there might be a great disparity in the matter of faith.

In those days, Elder Woodruff was occupied largely in the historian's
office reading Church history to President Young. From the beginning of
the Church in Utah, President Young had felt the importance of keeping
an accurate and extended history of God's dispensation in the Valleys
of the Mountains. Many important things connected with the Church in
its infancy had not been recorded, and were then even becoming matters
of hearsay.

On the 6th of September, 1856, a large number of missionaries were set
apart and the burden of the instructions to them then was the keeping
of a journal. The special instructions on that occasion were given to
them by Parley P. Pratt and Wilford Woodruff, the latter outlined in a
general way what should make up a journal. The record was to be "full,
correct, and proper." Matters were to be so fully given that future
generations would not be at a loss to understand them. They should be
so correct, that credence could be given to what was written, and so
proper that inappropriate and irrelevant matters should not fill up and
make a journal tedious and of no consequence, except, perhaps, to the
one who wrote it. All official acts in the exercise of the authority of
the priesthood should be carefully kept. Whenever it became important
for the Church to give a history of any event, it should be able to put
its hands on the records of those who took part in them.

Parley P. Pratt said: "I have reflected upon this subject for years to
know what a man should write, and have come to the conclusion that he
should write his official acts in the priesthood. I am sorry that I
have not kept more of a journal than I have. I wish I had written every
man's name that I ever baptized, or administered to in any manner. In
setting forth the hand dealings of God with this people, the elders of
the Church become personal {371} witnesses for God, and every event
which is a manifestation of God's power in their lives and ministry
should be recorded." They fully appreciated the fact that though
an event may not be of great importance to-day, it may be valuable
to-morrow in the light of all that follows it.

On the 10th of September, Apostle Woodruff and the clerks in the
historian's office moved to their new office, which was an imposing
building in those days, and which still stands on South Temple Street
between State and Main Streets. Elder Woodruff was mouth in the
dedication of this building on September 15th, 1856. Elder Woodruff
records this blessing in his journal and exclaims therein: "Wilt thou
bless, O Lord, with thy holy spirit this building, that we may never
profane thy name in this house, or dishonor the holy priesthood, or
bring approach upon thy cause, or grieve thy holy spirit in any way.
Bring to our remembrance all things necessary to be written in the
history of the Church, and cause that papers and documents that are
necessary may be brought to us that we may be enabled to compile a
correct, useful, and proper history."

On the 26th of the same month, the two first hand-cart companies
entered Salt Lake Valley. They were in charge of Edmund Ellsworth
and Daniel Duncan McArthur, the former was the husband of President
Young's oldest daughter. Elder Ellsworth died some years ago, but
Elder McArthur, at this writing, 1909, still lives in St. George in
the 86th year of his age. For some years he was president of the St.
George stake of Zion. These companies of Saints were met at the mouth
of Emigration Canyon to the east of the city and were escorted with
much display and honor to the city. President Young and the general
authorities went out to meet them. Bands of music enlivened the
occasion, and the presence of many Saints gave great distinction to the
scene. They had pushed and pulled their hand-carts from the Missouri
River, over a thousand miles. They had waded the streams, climbed the
mountains, and had made better time than either the ox or the horse

This new method of crossing the plains had been first suggested
and decided upon in England during the presidency in that mission
of Franklin D. Richards. It was, in a measure, an outburst of the
enthusiastic desire and spirit of the people there {372} to gather with
their religious comrades in the Valleys of the Mountains. The first
companies had fared measurably well, but those who came later, and were
the victims of an unusual and extraordinary winter, suffered greatly.

At this place in Elder Woodruff's journal, he records a dream related
by Daniel H. Wells and the latter's interpretation of it. He saw in
his dream a butcher's cleaver in the heavens, from which he was led to
predict the near approach of war and bloodshed in the nation. The time,
he declared, was nearer than people imagined.

The completion of the Historian's Office this year was followed by
the dedication of the Endowment House on October 2nd. The leading men
of the Church met at the baptismal font where the dedicatory prayer
was offered by Heber C. Kimball. Elder Woodruff says: "It was full of
sublimity and prophecy which found its fulfillment in the history of
the font and the building." It would be difficult even to estimate the
sacred influence which that building has exercised upon the lives of
untold thousands who felt themselves within its sacred precincts in the
presence of their God. The purity that went out from that sacred house
into the lives of those who were married there has been the guiding
star and the savior of thousands of men and women in the Church. How
strange, how remarkable, that a place with such sacred and uplifting
influence should be made the object of vicious attacks by those who
were the enemies of the Church and its persecutors!

The completion of the font signalized the importance of the so-called
Reformation in the Church which began in that year. President Young
entered the font and baptized his counselors, Heber C. Kimball, and
Jedediah M. Grant. Later Elder Woodruff and others were baptized;
and the privilege extended to all the Saints throughout the Church
to renew their covenants. There was a spirit of trouble brewing; a
growing opposition throughout the United States toward the Saints was
felt by the leaders, who were impressed by the spirit of reform. It
was important that the people should be so upright and chaste in their
lives that the Lord should have no occasion to punish them for their
shortcomings. It was a time of revival in the observance of the duties
and the ordinances in the Church. The people were called upon {373} to
repent. Questions touching their morals and the manner of their worship
were put to the people both in public places and in their homes. The
people generally were asked to renew their covenants by baptism.

An excerpt from the journal of Elder Woodruff illustrates something of
the spirit of those times. After explaining to a certain individual
that he considered it a privilege to be re-baptized, the man professed
his immunity from sin.

"In all the trials incident to the pilgrimage and pioneer life, have
you never sworn nor used bad language?"

"No sir," was the prompt reply.

"Have you never broken the Sabbath day?"

"No sir," came the quick response.

"Have you never cheated your neighbor in trade?"

"No sir," thundered the unrepentant man.

"Then, for heavens sake, go off and do something. You are the only
perfect man I ever saw, and hope never to see another in this life."

Subsequent events, however, proved that the man who was so
self-assertive was the very sort of an individual who was greatly in
need of repentance.

From the days of the gold excitement in California, there had been an
influx of adventurers into Utah. Most of them were men of reckless
lives, men of improper habits. Their influence became greatly
detrimental to many of the Saints. It must be counteracted, and the
so-called Reformation was to be the means of setting the people right.
It was to be a time of repentance. Every responsible position that
men held, whether ecclesiastical or civil, called for the most devout
obedience to God's law. Men who were legislators observed the ordinance
of baptism that they might more conscientiously and more uprightly
enact laws for the happiness and welfare of the people.

The October conference which was then at hand was devoted to the
proclamation of repentance throughout the Church. The new zeal was felt
everywhere, both at home and abroad. There were frequent visits from
house to house. The leaders of the Church were foremost in the new
move. A special call was put upon Jedediah M. Grant. To him the work of
the Reformation was a special mission. He was by nature a most zealous
man, {374} and this special call increased his zeal. He gave to the
work all his energies and carried more the burden of that mission than
any other man of his time. It proved too much for his physical nature,
which could not bear the incessant labors, and consequently on the 1st
of December, 1856, he departed this life.

Of him Elder Woodruff writes in his journal: "He died December 1st,
1856, twenty minutes past 10 o'clock. He was aged forty years, nine
months, and seven days. We went immediately to his house where we found
his wives and children weeping bitterly. Jesse C. Little, Leonard W.
Hardy, Daniel H. Wells, Doctors Sprague, and Dunyon, and Israel Ivins,
stood by him as he breathed his last. As I gazed upon his tabernacle of
clay, I felt to exclaim, a mighty man in Zion is laid low, a valiant
man in Israel and a great champion of the Kingdom of God is taken from
us! We feel his loss deeply. For two months it seemed as though he had
been hurried to close up his work. He had been preaching for several
months calling upon the people to repent. His voice had been like
the trumpet of the Angel of God. He has labored night and day until
prostrated by sickness. He called at the Historian's office on the 19th
of November which was his last day out. During his sickness, he beheld
a glorious vision from which he related to the brethren all he had seen
of the spirit world."

Of President Grant, Elder Woodruff records the following testimony by
Brigham Young: "We have no cause to mourn for Brother Grant. He is
well off. He has lived in advance of his age and is better fitted for
eternity in the forty years of his lifetime than many would be in one
hundred years."

Elder Woodruff records among the closing events of those years the
sufferings and other experiences of the hand-cart companies. He tells
of the anxiety about those who were overtaken by the storms in Wyoming.
Relief parties were sent out, provisions were forwarded, and at the
fire sides of the Saints, there were fervent prayers for the protection
of their unfortunate brethren and sisters struggling to reach the land
of Zion--the goal of their ambition, and the object of their devotion.

On the 12th of October, 1856, Elder Woodruff records the ordination of
Leonard W. Hardy and Jesse C. Little as the first and second counselors
to the presiding bishop. Edward Hunter. {375} About this time,
Frederick Kesler was ordained bishop of the 16th ward, a position which
he held with honor for nearly one-half century.

Through all the latter months of 1856, the work of the Reformation was
going on. There was quite a universal spirit favoring the highest and
purest standard of life. Men of a sensitive and a religious nature
found within themselves an excessive conscientiousness that sometimes
made them imagine they were sinners because of a state of perfection
they saw, but could not feel. Such a condition brought with it doubts
and misgivings. Some of the very best men in the Church felt their
unworthiness and shrank from responsibilities which they imagined
others could fulfill better than they. President Woodruff records at
this time that he and Lorenzo Snow called upon President Young and
offered to surrender their apostleship. They had received it at his
hands and were willing to give it up in favor of any one that the
President might think more competent and more worthy. President Young
expressed his perfect satisfaction with them and his confidence in
their integrity and labors, and gave them every assurance of his love
and blessing.

There were those, however, in those days who were not so conscientious
and by nature so upright. They took advantage of the repentant and
humble condition of others. They exercised authority that was unjust
and harmful. The dangers of the excesses of a certain class began
to be felt and restraint was put upon them. When the movement had
accomplished the good intended and dangers arose, the Reformation
subsided and has gone into history with a mixture of evil with a vast
amount of good. Elder Woodruff records his belief that the Reformation
had a great effect for good upon the lives and the conduct of the
people. It also had a tendency to separate those who were insincere and
untrustworthy. It was a judgment upon the Saints that they themselves
pronounced in their willingness or unwillingness to be in harmony with
the spirit of the times.

The spirit of the leaders at that time when the call to repentance was
loudest was one of the most enthusiastic and God-fearing character.
They felt themselves in the presence of heavenly beings and constantly
answerable to God for the condition of the people Elder Woodruff speaks
of a tongue lashing which {376} he received from one of his brethren
who did not take kindly to the spirit and methods of the times. The man
did not care to have his conduct brought into question. He had repented
and been baptized once and the repetition of repentance was not in
harmony with his feelings, and he resisted the call made upon him by
his brethren who did not hesitate and who were not easily brushed aside
in their purpose and determination to bring about a reformation. To
those who did not take kindly to the spirit of those times, it looked
like an invasion of their personal liberty.

In his journal, Apostle Woodruff records a dream related to him by
Heber C. Kimball, which reflected not alone the latter's views of the
times, but the general spirit among the leaders. The dream runs as

"I dreamed that I was traveling with a companion, and we came to a
powerful, rapid stream of water like the Niagara River. The waves
were rolling very high and increasing in size. They had been muddy,
but were getting clear. As we came to this rushing stream, we did not
know how we should get over it. I turned my eyes a few moments from
my companion, and when I looked back I saw him on the other side of
the river and climbing a steep hill. I did not know how he got there.
I wanted to cross, so I called to him as loud as I could to stop and
wait for me, but he paid no attention to me, but went on as fast as he
could. Then a person came to me and said you have an iron rod in your
hand, which I perceived I had. It was several feet long. The angel said
to me: 'You must use this rod and feel your way over the river.' Then I

"I considered my dream and interpreted it as follows: My companion was
J. M. Grant, who had suddenly died and left me, and was on the other
side of the veil. The waters mean the people. They are increasing in
strength and growing better and clearer. The iron rod is the word of
God, which I must cling to till I get through life. I consider there
are great things awaiting this people."



CELEBRATION OF 24th, 1857.

Words of Brigham Young.--Talk by the Indian Chief,
Aropene.--Assassination of Parley P. Pratt.--Return of Thomas B. Marsh
to the Church.--Celebration of the Twenty-forth in Big Cottonwood
Canyon.--News of the Army's Approach.

The year 1857 made its appearance in the midst of an unusual and
extraordinary snowstorm. The ushering in of the new year in such a
manner was portentous of the stormy and extraordinary experiences
of the Saints. Elder Woodruff records that he passed most of the
day in company with President Young and Franklin D. Richards. They
were actively engaged in compiling Church history. It is remarkable
how completely attached to the leaders of the Church Elder Woodruff
was. His trust in them was both complete and sublime. He never found
occasion to suppose for one moment that these leaders ever proved
unworthy of the trust he imposed in them. In his mind, Brigham Young
was a Prophet of God, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, as truly and
perfectly as was Samuel of old, or Peter, or Paul. His reverence and
respect for the living oracles were as perfect as for the dead. The
words of both Joseph and Brigham, he was always careful to write down
in his journal. In time when the sermons were recorded by reporters of
the Church, he confined his record to sayings that were made when there
was no reporter present.

On the 11th of January, in the Eighteenth ward, President Young
addressed the people and from his sermon Elder Woodruff records among
other things these words: "It is sometimes taught among us that we
should follow Brother Joseph or Brother Brigham, or some other leader,
and do as they say, and that is all that is required. Now this is in
one sense a false doctrine. No man should trust solely the testimony of
another. He should have a direct testimony from God for himself. Then
obedience is intelligent and not blind. I might have listened to Joseph
Smith testify to the truth of the Book of Mormon until I was as old as
Methuselah, and in the end I would have gone away in darkness had I not
{378} received a testimony from God that he was a prophet and that he
knew by revelation whereof he spoke. Men should get the spirit of God
and then live by it."

In those days there was a strong sympathetic interest in the welfare
of the Indians. The better ones among them were feeling constantly
greater confidence in the people and in their leaders. They had a real
friendship for those white men who treated them, not only kindly,
but with high consideration for their rights. The Indian felt that
there were reasons why he should command respect as well as receive
justice. Aropene seems to have been a chief specially favored among the
Indians and respected by the Saints. In the early part of that year,
Elder Woodruff records that this chief delivered a strong discourse to
the Saints in which he exhorted them to respect the counsel of their
leaders and to abstain especially from the use of liquor, and to do
right in all things.

On the 17th of February of this year, Elder Woodruff addressed a
meeting of the bishops and gives in his journal a brief synopsis of
his instructions to them. "No man should boast of the authority and
power of the priesthood, or contend about the comparative greatness of
a seventy or a high priest. Men should not boast of that power until
they have received some manifestation of it, and when they receive
it they will not feel like boasting about it. Its power will create
humility and not pride. It is seldom that I have seen the power of the
priesthood made manifest among the children of men in our day to any
very great degree. There are, however, some instances. One was when the
Prophet Joseph beheld the sick and the dying in his dooryard, and when
they were also strewn along the banks of the river for two miles. He
arose and shook himself like an old lion and commenced at his tent door
and healed all the people who were not dead on both sides of the river,
by the power of God, and his voice was as the voice of God and the
earth almost trembled under his feet as he went along commanding the
sick to arise and be made whole. It was also made manifest by Joseph
while in prison and in chains in Missouri.

"Again, David Patten was taken by an armed mob under a United States
warrant. When he was surrounded by about forty {379} such men who were
acting under the garb of law, and who forbade him to say one word in
his own defense, he arose in the power of God and held them fast to
their seats until he had addressed them for about one-half hour. He
told them that they were cowards, rascals, and villains, and proved it
to them and they had not the power to harm one hair of his head, and
they let him and Warren Parish go free.

"This power was again made manifest by President Brigham Young on the
banks of the Missouri River at Winter Quarters, when the merchants
brought up goods to sell to the brethren who were going to the
mountains. Old Major Miller, the Indian agent, was there, surrounded by
officers. In order to show his great authority, he told the merchants
who owned some alcohol not to roll a barrel off the boat or he would
knock the head of the barrel in and pour the liquor upon the ground.
President Young thereupon stepped up and told the men to roll it out.
Miller and his officers turned pale, and the liquor was rolled out and
nobody was hurt. Other instances might be named where the power of the
priesthood has been strongly manifested. These men never boasted of it,
and they never will."

March 1st brought Elder Woodruff to his 50th birthday. About this
time he recorded in his journal instructions from President Young
upon the importance of keeping a journal. The President quotes from
instructions from the Prophet Joseph on the subject. He shows that the
written testimony of the things of God is quite as important as the
spoken testimony, that the world will be judged by what is written in
the books, and that where it is the duty to record the manifestations
of the spirit of God and men neglect to fulfil that duty, the spirit
will be withdrawn from them. "Were you to be brought before the civil
authorities and accused of a crime or a misdemeanor, you may be
punished if you cannot prove from your journal that you were somewhere
else and are innocent. Your enemies may prevail against you."

These words from the lips of Brigham Young in those early days are
significant because of the position the enemies of the Church sought
to place him in. How often he was subject to accusations which were
laid at his door and which the enemies insisted were true if he could
not prove his innocence. How often {380} that has been the case in the
history of the Latter-day Saints concerning whom, in the minds of their
enemies, there are no presumptions whatever of innocence. The order of
proof with them has been different too often from that followed by the
world in the administration of law and justice. From these admonitions
of the Prophet it may be seen that so far as the Latter-day Saints are
concerned, they may often be compelled to prove their innocence, for
their enemies will not treat them with the fairness with which they
treat one another, and regard men as innocent until they are proven

Just before the opening of spring conference, on March 23rd, President
Woodruff officiated in the dedication of the baptismal font which
had been erected by the people of the Fourteen Ward. The semi-annual
conference in those days created a great deal of interest as well as
anxiety because of those whose names were announced for the first time
as missionaries to the nations of the earth. As the list was read
at the close of conference, a profound silence fell upon the entire
congregation, as wives and mothers, as well as fathers and husbands,
never knew when the minute call would come to them or to their

This spring the missionaries adopted the hand-cart method of crossing
the plains. They were an enthusiastic body of men who on the 23rd of
April hitched themselves to their carts and made their way through the
canyons and over the mountains to the Missouri River and other terminal
points, from which they adopted a more convenient method of travel.

Elder Woodruff records in his journal on June 23rd that the "eastern
mail arrived bringing the sad news of the assassination of Elder Parley
P. Pratt, who had been killed near Ft. Smith in Arkansas, by a man
named McLean."

Apostle Woodruff was always careful in his journal to say something
of the lives of men and women whose integrity to God he knew and
esteemed. He rarely failed to record his testimony of those who were
valiant when anything important occurred in their lives, or when they
died. Of a Sister Vose who had just come to the Valleys he said: "She
was seventy-seven years of age and rode 1,200 miles in twenty-three
days, at least one-half the distance by team. She has been a member of
the Church almost {381} from the beginning, and has given thousands
of dollars to build up the Kingdom and to assist the elders in their

Just about this time, he records the return of Thomas B. Marsh to the
fold. This man had once been president of the Twelve Apostles. He had
forsaken the Church and in time he was forsaken by his family and
his friends. There still, however, remained within him a lingering
testimony of the spirit that had once led him to a higher and better
life. He appealed by letter to President Young to be restored to
the Church. The request was granted by the President who said: "Let
him be baptized and confirmed and then come to the Valleys." This
brother reached Salt Lake City, and on the 16th of September, 1857,
was presented by President Young to the congregation in their Sabbath
meeting. As they gazed upon him, they saw a wreck--a relic of his
former self. He was now crippled and palsied in body, miserable and
unhappy in his spirit. When he arose, he called the attention of the
Saints to himself as an object of pity and commiseration, and warned
the Saints against apostasy and asked them to forgive him. President
Young put his request to a vote and he was unanimously received into
the fellowship of his brethren and sisters. A few years later he died
in Ogden.

The approach of mid-summer awakened in the hearts and feelings the
patriotic spirit of a devoted body of pioneers, who loved their
religion and who consequently loved their country. The Fourth of July
was celebrated as usual by a "splendid military performance." The
procession disbanded before the Governor's office at noon.

They loved their country and they also loved their religion. Their
advent into the Valleys of the Mountains was a mile-stone in what
to their minds was the greatest historical event of modern times.
That event must not be forgotten. Future generations must hold it in
sacred remembrance, for it was God's history which the world some time
would recognize by appropriate and almost universal observance. The
remembrances of the pioneer journey were green in the memories of all
but the little children. The Twenty-fourth of July recalled the scenes
at one thousand camp firesides on the plains and in the mountains. It
reminded them of suffering, recalled their hopes, and strengthened
their {382} faith. They were witnesses of God's providence in
dispelling fears that human courage could not overcome, and in removing
obstacles that seemed to them insurmountable.

On the 22nd of July, 1857, a great procession of people might have
been seen wending their way along the eastern hillsides of the Salt
Lake Valley on their way to a lake in Big Cottonwood canyon. The
night of that day, they camped at the granite quarry from which the
rock was then already being hewn for the foundation of the Temple. On
the following morning, President Young and the leaders of the Church
led the procession up through the canyon to a place selected for the
celebration. The first arrived at noon and the last came in about
midnight. Of this occasion President Woodruff writes: "This was a great
turnout. The company numbered 2,587 persons, 468 carriages and wagons,
1,028 horses and mules, and 332 oxen and cows. Flags were raised upon
the highest peaks and the stars and stripes were unfurled upon the
highest trees. The surrounding scenes of mountains, valleys, lakes,
woods, and meadows made the sight the most interesting I ever beheld.
We had prayer at night and an address from President Young. There were
five bands in attendance to discourse sweet strains of music."

Next day being the Twenty-fourth, ten years had passed since the
faithful pioneers entered the Valleys of the Mountains. The day was to
be celebrated in an enthusiastic manner. The program consisted of the
firing of cannon, speeches, songs, recitations, and music. They were
also there to render their thanks-giving and praise to God for His care
over them, and above all for the testimony of His spirit, which burned
within them. Some engaged in trout fishing, others roamed over the
hills, and there were social pastimes that promised a great day for the

At noon, Bishop Smoot, Judson Stoddard, Judge Elias Smith, and O. P.
Rockwell arrived in camp. The first named two brought the unhappy news
with them from the East that the government had withdrawn the mail
contract, and were sending a new governor, judges, and 2500 troops to
Utah to suppress an insurrection that had never existed. The action of
the government was based upon the falsehoods sent broadcast by Judge
Drummond and other unprincipled men.

{383} President Young met the issue in a spirit of indignation and with
a determination not to submit to another injustice. At day-light, on
the 25th, the company broke up and commenced their homeward journey.
Their joy and enthusiasm had now been turned to wonderment, anxiety,
and sorrow. The approaching army was the theme of their conversation.
Dark clouds hovered over them. A new problem had to be solved. What was
to be done? Where could they go? What was to be the result of another
injustice perpetrated against them? Their faith was again brought to
their service. They exercised it by humiliating themselves in prayer
and fasting. The spirit of joy had been transformed into one of the
greatest solemnity.



WAR TIMES, 1857.

Deposit of Church Records in Temple Foundation.--Approach of
the Army.--Present of a Team.--John D. Lee.--Visit of Captain
Van Vliet.--Lot Smith.--Col. Alexander Writes President
Young.--Communication from Governor Cumming to Governor
Young.--Miraculous Escapes.--High Price of Salt at Army
Headquarters.--Prediction of Calamity to the Nation.--A Poetic Tribute
by Eliza R. Snow.

Apostle Woodruff was asked by President Young to notify the Twelve
to meet at the Temple foundation, on August 13th. The purpose of the
meeting was to deposit the works of the Church in the foundation of
the Temple and to dedicate the corner-stone containing the deposit.
About 7 o'clock in the morning, President Brigham Young, Heber C.
Kimball, Daniel H. Wells, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Erastus Snow,
Franklin D. Richards, also Elders Truman O. Angel, Alonzo H. Raleigh,
Benjamin F. Mitchell, Jonathan Pugmire, Jr., Edward L. Parry, Henry
Maiben, Jesse C. Little, Albert Carrington, John Lyon, Joseph A. Young,
and Brigham Young, sons of Brigham Young, met on the grounds where
President Young and Wilford Woodruff packed about 65 books, chiefly
Church works, and a number of coins in a stone box, whose dimensions
were as follows: length 2 1/2 feet, depth 20 inches, and width 19
inches. At 15 minutes to 8 o'clock the lid was put on, soldered with
lead and covered with plaster of paris. The stone box was turned bottom
side up and placed in the south-east corner. After this a dedicatory
prayer was offered by President Young.

Three days later, President Young delivered a discourse to the
thousands who had congregated for the purpose of receiving instructions
with reference to the policy to be pursued respecting the approach
of the so-called Johnston's army. There was naturally a great deal
of anxiety and heartfelt prayer over a situation that seemed to
forebode nothing but evil and misfortune to the Saints. The vast
multitude, however, with uplifted hands pledged {385} their support to
the President and the leaders of the Church. It was one of the most
important days, says Elder Woodruff, ever witnessed in Israel.

On September 5th, a messenger arrived with the news that General
Johnston was at Ash Hollow, with nearly 2,000 men who were traveling
fifteen miles per day. The people were promised that, if they would
follow counsel, they should never be driven from the Valleys.

The spirit of the times, and the willingness of men to make any
sacrifice are well illustrated in a little circumstance which at this
point Elder Woodruff records in his journal. President Young had sent
for him and asked if he had a team, to which the latter replied: "'Yes,
I have a pair of small ponies.'

"'Can you spare them?' he asked.

"I hesitated a moment and then answered, 'Yes, I can do anything that
is wanted.'

"President Young then said: 'I have a pair of good horses which I wish
you to have as you are laboring here in the Historian's Office.

"I was taken by surprise, but accepted them and felt very thankful.
They were a fine, large team of sorrel horses."

The Saints now realized that though far away in the Valleys of the
Mountains, they were nevertheless the objects of hatred by many
throughout the nation. Men sought popularity among the masses by
denouncing them. At this time, Stephen A. Douglas was receiving
"honorable mention" for President of the United States. He had known
President Joseph Smith in the early days of the Church, and had
defended him against the injustice of his enemies, but he knew how
unpopular the people were and sought the support of the masses in a
bitter denunciation of the Saints. Elder Woodruff says that Sunday,
August 30th, President Young, himself, and others were engaged in
a discussion of the Douglas speech, which was answered by Albert

Captain Van Vliet of the United States army reached the city on the
8th of September, and at once had an interview with Governor Young.
The next day he met with the Presidency and the Twelve and presented
a letter of introduction to Governor Young which was read to those
present. Little, it seems, was said on {386} this occasion, but there
was a deep-seated anxiety in the hearts of all those present. Later
in the day, the President introduced the Captain to his wives and
children. He then escorted him through his orchard and garden, and then
went with him to Albert Carrington's orchard, where he introduced the
Captain to Mrs. Carrington. He asked her if she was willing to destroy
her beautiful orchard and leave it desolate for her religion's sake.
She said she was, and would remain up nights to do so if it became

The Captain was much impressed by the thrift and industry of the
Latter-day Saints, and in his interview with President Young said:
"The Mormons have been lied about more than any people I ever knew."
He admitted his belief that Judge Drummond's lies, charging the Saints
with burning court records, led to the sending of the army to Utah.
Governor Young thereupon told Captain Van Vliet of the impositions that
had been heaped upon the Latter-day Saints, and said that the people
did not wish to fight the United States. "If we are driven to it, we
shall put our trust in God and do the best we can. He has set His
kingdom upon the earth and it will never fail; and if they drive us to
fight, God will overthrow those who do so. We are the supporters of the
United States Constitution. We love the Constitution and the laws of
our country, but it is the corrupt administration of these laws that
we suffer from and not from the laws. If the laws had been enforced
in Missouri, Governor Boggs would have been hanged and many of his
friends who took part in killing and driving the Saints. The government
officers who have been sent here have no interest in common with ours.
They have sought to destroy us. Captain Van Vliet, we have treated all
men who have been sent to us as government officials as well as we have
you, and will treat them well; but if they drive us to fight, we shall
put our trust in God and do the best we can."

The Captain, who was deeply impressed by the statement of Governor
Young, felt thoroughly convinced that he meant every word he said.
On the 13th he attended services in the Tabernacle and listened with
attention to sermons from John Taylor and President Brigham Young. On
the evening of that day, the Captain had another interview with the
leaders, in the course of which he said: "If our government pushes
forward this thing and {387} makes war against you, I shall withdraw
from the army, for I will not take a hand in shedding the blood of
American citizens."

Upon the departure of Captain Van Vliet, Elder Woodruff presented
him with a box of peaches which he had raised in his own garden. The
Captain was accompanied by Dr. Bernhisel. The two departed together for
the East for the purpose of reporting conditions in Utah.

All the time these agitations were going on, the Saints pursued the
even tenor of their ways, raising fruit and grain. There were home
missionaries among them preaching home industry and self-support.

The purpose of the authorities was to impede the progress of the army
and so delay it that the government might have an opportunity to make
an investigation into the real condition of affairs in Utah, and after
learning them, withdraw the army which was then approaching Salt Lake
City. A body of men under the command of Daniel H. Wells and Lot Smith
had been sent to the front to stop the progress of the army. This
they did by stampeding the cattle and horses. They were enjoined by
President Young to avoid the shedding of blood except in self-defense.

Those who had thus volunteered to act in the defense of their homes
and their liberties were without sufficient equipments and provisions
to sustain them in their defensive warfare. They had no well-equipped
commissary like that with which an army is provided. The teams and
wagons were a part of the equipment which belonged to the farm. They
were needed at home. Very naturally in such an emergency they suffered
great privations and were anxious that the difficulties and dangers
might end as speedily as possible.

Before Captain Van Vliet had left, he promised to hasten to Washington
and speak in our favor. President Young told him that the Lord would
bless him in so doing, for he felt that He had sent him to Utah. On his
return, the Captain endeavored to persuade the army to remain at Ham's
Fork for the winter, but the Tenth regiment swore it would come on at
all hazards. The Captain then informed them that if they did, they
would get a different reception from anything they had ever encountered

Just at this time, when the advance of the army was the all-absorbing
{388} topic and the dangers of its approach weighed heavily upon the
leaders, John D. Lee added to their distress the news of the Mountain
Meadow massacre. He had reached Salt Lake City from his home in Harmony
on the 29th of September, 1857.

At this place in his record and at this time, Apostle Woodruff gives
the account of the Mountain Meadow massacre which John D. Lee gave to
President Young: "A company of California emigrants of about 150 men,
women, and children, many of them belonging to the mobbers of Illinois
and Missouri, had been massacred. They had many cattle and horses with
them. As they traveled along south, they went damning Brigham Young,
Heber C. Kimball and the heads of the Church, saying that Joseph Smith
ought to have been shot long before he was. They wanted to do all the
evil they could, so they poisoned beef and gave it to the Indians and
some of them died. They poisoned the springs of water and some of the
Saints died. The Indians became enraged at their conduct and surrounded
them on a prairie. The emigrants formed a bulwark of their wagons,
but the Indians fought them five days until they killed all their
men--about 60 in number. They then rushed into the corral and cut the
throats of their women and children, except some eight or ten children
which they brought with them and sold to the whites.

"The Indians then stripped the men and women of their clothing and left
them in the broiling sun. When Brother Lee found it out, he took some
men with him to the place and buried their bodies. It was a horrible
task. The whole air was filled with an awful stench. The Indians
obtained all their property, cattle, horses, wagons, etc. There was
another large company of emigrants who had 1,000 head of cattle. They
were also damning both Indians and Mormons, but were afraid of sharing
the same fate. Brother Lee had to send interpreters with them to the
Indians to try to save their lives."

The foregoing statement from the journal of Elder Woodruff which was
recorded at that time is of special importance in view of the fact that
the enemies of the Church for years endeavored to fasten upon President
Young some responsibility for that awful affair. There is nothing in
the statement whatever which bears the least semblance of deception.
It was one of those straightforward {389} records which characterize
Elder Woodruff's journal from beginning to end. Then the character and
integrity of the man are both guarantees of the truthfulness of the
statement made by John D. Lee to President Young as recorded in Elder
Woodruff's journal.

If President Young neglected at this time to give the report of John
D. Lee as much attention as it perhaps should have received, and if an
investigation was not immediately instituted, there is ample excuse to
be found in the circumstances of those times. The army was pressing
upon the people and uttering dire threats as to what would take place
when it reached the Valleys.

Immediately following the record of John D. Lee's visit, Elder
Woodruff says in his journal: "An express came in at night saying that
the troops were near Bridger and had formed into three bodies while
traveling. General Wells sent word to President Young to let them come
on to Echo Canyon and there give them battle. At 6 o'clock on the
morning of the 30th the drums beat, and an army of soldiers, some 400
in number, paraded the streets. They were in readiness to march at a
moment's notice to the seat of war. We had at this time about 800 men
in the mountains. It was a solemn time; for the armies of the Gentiles
were making war upon us because of our religion, and we had to defend
ourselves against a nation of 25,000,000 people, and the war had just
commenced. We had to trust in God for the results. We resolved to do
what we could and leave the work in His hands. All were anxiously
awaiting the arrival of the express. I told President Young that I was
on hand at any moment to go into the mountains when he would say the
word. I went up in the evening to the President's office and learned
that the California mail had arrived. I heard some letters read. One
stated that the government had made arrangements to send light draft
boats up the Colorado with men and arms against us from that point.

"Next morning, Oct. 1st, I arose early and looked for an express signal
flag but saw none. There was a great deal of anxiety throughout the day
while we were waiting, for the express had arrived late. Word came from
General Wells respecting the conditions existing at the seat of war."

The time for conference was now approaching, but the agitation {390}
among the people about the approach of the army was so great, and there
were so many of the men absent, that the meetings were not largely
attended. The conference continued only two days, the time being
occupied by President Young and members of the Twelve.

On Oct. 8th an express arrived with the news that Captain Lot Smith had
burned up fifty of the government wagons, but gave to the teamsters all
their arms and ammunition. One deserter from the army came in reporting
that rations were short among the soldiers. To each man, he said, there
was allowed only three biscuits, two cups of coffee and a small piece
of beef per day. Elder Woodruff writes: "The enemy is in a close place.
Their provisions are rapidly diminishing and there are prospects of
starvation. We have prayed that the Lord would lead them into the pit
which they had prepared for the Saints, and the Lord heard our prayers
and our enemies are now in a trap and are suffering humiliation without
us harming a hair of their heads."

The express which arrived on the 16th of October brought a threatening
letter from Col. Alexander to President Young. He threatened
extermination if the Saints resisted, and expressed confidence in his
ability to carry out the orders of the government. Governor Young sent
the Colonel a strong reply; wanted to know why he spent an entire
month on Ham's Fork if he was confident in his ability to carry out
orders. He gave the Colonel to understand that on our part there was no
surrender. "We shall trust in God and go ahead."

The Sunday following, President Young addressed the Saints and declared
his belief in their ability to keep the enemy back, and counseled the
people to go on with their farming, fruit raising, etc. President
Kimball arose and prophesied that if the Saints would hearken to
counsel they would continue to live in their own homes in the valleys,
produce crops, and remain until they returned to Jackson County,
Missouri. President Young thereupon shouted out, "I believe it." At the
same time, communications were coming in from the army, but they only
received from him the same determined answer that the army should not
enter Salt Lake Valley until conditions had changed and the sentiment
of bitterness and hostility had been allayed.

{391} About the same time Governor Cumming arrived at the headquarters
of the army and sent a communication to Governor Young, in which he
declared himself the Governor of Utah. At the same time he charged
with treason all who opposed his and the army's movement. Mr. Cumming
no doubt felt some misgivings from the fact that the horses and mules
belonging to the army were dying by the hundreds, and the soldiers were
short of provisions. The difficulty of the situation was rendered worse
from the fact that there existed both among the officers and soldiers a
pronounced division. Some of them openly declared that Governor Young
was perfectly justified in his course in defending the rights of the
people of Utah.

In December the Mormon soldiers were disbanded and allowed to return
home for the winter, and the change was welcomed by them. Their
provisions were not more than half their actual wants, and there were
no comforts on the frontier. In summing up the condition of affairs
at the close of the year Apostle Woodruff writes: "The expedition of
the season is now entirely closed, and we have clearly seen the hand
of the Lord made visible in our behalf. An army has been sent by the
United States to make war upon us for the sole purpose of destroying
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church has been
driven from the confines of the United States into the Rocky Mountains,
then a Mexican Territory, with the hope of the nation that we should
perish; but as soon as they found that we were to live and prosper
they became alarmed and resolved upon our destruction. As soon as this
intention was known to us, the leader of the Church and Kingdom of God
arose up in the strength of Israel's God and proclaimed Israel free. In
this, his counselors, Heber C. Kimball and D. H. Wells, with the Twelve
Apostles, sustained him, and all the people said, 'Amen.'"

Continuing, Elder Woodruff wrote: "From two to three thousand of the
brethren, who went into the mountains under the command of Gen. D. H.
Wells to hedge up the way of the enemy, have arrived. Our brethren made
large entrenchments and ditches and piled up large masses of rocks
above the narrow passes for the purpose of rolling them down upon the
enemy; but the Lord has fought our battles and hedged up the way. When
the army {392} reached Ham's Fork, 150 miles from our city, the storms
and cold killed their horses, mules, and cattle, by the hundreds, so
that when the whole army got together with the governors and judges,
whom the government had sent to rule over us, they had not teams enough
left to draw one-third of their train and were obliged to stop and pass
the winter in the storms of the mountains. Their wisdom seems to be
taken from them, and our brethren have been able to herd them like a
herd of cattle. The soldiers shot grape and musket and many balls at
our men from time to time, and those balls fell like hail around the
servants of God, but not a drop of their blood has been shed, neither
did the brethren return fire upon the enemy even in a single instance.
Fear had so taken hold of the soldiers that they would flee into the
main body of the army at the approach of a small number of our brethren.

"Through all this President Young has been as calm as a summer's day.
The army of Zion is now returning to its home with the same spirit of
composure and quietude that it carried with it into the mountains. As
the men passed, on their return, by President Young, they gave him a
quiet salute and went silently to their homes, while President Young
gazed upon them with thanksgiving and praise to the God of Israel."

President Woodruff here relates the circumstance of a Brother Maxwell
who had been in charge of a small scouting party: "After going into
camp for the night, Elder Maxwell felt strongly impressed that danger
confronted him and his companions, and so informed them. He said they
would have to leave, but some were opposed to his recommendation and
they retired to rest. The same impression, however, increased upon
Elder Maxwell until he promptly arose from his bed and said they must
all leave or serious trouble would befall them. His brethren quickly
followed, and it was only a short time when a hundred men surrounded
the place of their encampment with the expectation of taking them

"At another time, Col. Allen of the Mormons, fell a prisoner in the
hands of the enemy. Col. Johnston threatened to hang him. At the camp
fire at night Col. Allen took off his boots and pretended to warm his
feet. Suddenly, he leaped by the guard and ran into a herd of cattle.
His pursuers became confused and he made {393} good his escape. He ran
thirty miles to the camp of his brethren, in his stocking feet."

During these trying circumstances in the army, President Young sent
some salt which they needed very much. One of the sacks of salt which
was sent, however, was lost, and later picked up by a traveler who
sold it to merchants for twenty dollars. They in turn sold it to the
soldiers for two hundred dollars. Ben Simons, a Cherokee, took to the
army nine hundred pounds of salt, which he sold for two dollars and a
half a pound, or a total of two thousand two hundred and fifty dollars.
He sold them service berries for one dollar a pound. It will be seen
that the expedition was becoming a very expensive piece of folly.

As the year was closing, the legislature convened, and Elder Woodruff
was again a member of that body. In his journal, speaking of these
times, he prophecies: "The judgments of God will now begin to rest
more fully upon this nation and will be increased upon it, year by
year. Calamities will come speedily upon it and it will be visited with
thunder, lightning, storms, whirlwinds, floods pestilence, plagues,
war and devouring fire; and the wicked will slay the wicked until the
wicked are wasted away."

His journal closes with a copy of the poem dedicated to him by Eliza R.


  "With true respect, and as a tribute due
  To friendship, Brother Woodruff, unto you,
  As one more blessed than most your fellow men,
  I now address the effusion of my pen.

  You were appointed, ere your mortal birth,
  To an apostleship upon the earth;
  The Lord our God has His eye on thee,
  With watchful care from earliest infancy.

  You were preserved, midst Babylonish night,
  From atheistic and sectarian blight;
  From manly rectitude you did not swerve,
  The Priest of Baal you never stooped to serve.

  {394} From heavenly courts, the light that's shining now,
  Shone on your path, and mantled o'er your brow;
  Eternal visions opened to your view,
  You loved the truth and found salvation, too.

  You then with joy the Gospel banner bore
  To distant lands and on your native shore,
  In truth's defense most valiantly you stood,
  And cleared your garments of the Gentiles' blood.

  One of the chosen Twelve, who're called to stand,
  To turn the Gospel key for every land;
  Your name in honor, as a faithful one,
  To future generations will be known.

  With heart inspired, rich matter to indite,
  In Zion now your business is to write,
  With skill you wield the ready writer's pen;
  'Tis yours to immortalize the deeds of men.

  Full many a righteous act and gifted word
  By Saints performed from lips of prophets heard,
  Had slipped the mem'ries of judicious men,
  But for the promptings of your faithful pen.

  The Church historian's labors to divide,
  As his assistant coupled side by side,
  You write for Zion, where her history's known,
  Inscribing her's, perpetuates your own.

  Faithful to God, to your brethren true,
  Integrity has twined a wreath for you,
  Of never-fading laurels, which will be,
  A glorious coronet eternally.

  In that blessed world, where light and knowledge dwell,
  Your blessedness no earthly tongue can tell,
  Where heaven's effulgence will your head surround,
  And you with everlasting glory crowned.

  {395} Filled with immortal majesty and might,
  Associated with the Gods of light,
  With gifts and powers of endless lives you'll be,
  Progressing on and on eternally."




President and Congress of the U. S. Memorialized.--Words of Brigham
Young.--Arrival of Col. Kane.--Governor Cumming Reaches Salt Lake
City.--Migration Southward.--Delegates from Nicaragua.--Want Mormons To
Move to Central America.--Proclamation from President Buchanan.--Peace
Commission.--President of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing
Society.--Indian War Threatened.--A Striking Dialogue.--The Mob
Element.--Mogo's Deception.--Attacks on President Young.--Greeley
Visits Utah.

New Year's day, 1858, was celebrated in the evening by a social
gathering at Ballou's Hall, in the Fourteenth Ward. Brother Woodruff
addressed the assembly, made reference to the critical conditions then
confronting the Saints, but prophesied good for the future and declared
the overthrow of all who fought against the people of God.

On the 5th of January he records a Memorial passed by the legislature
in which the wrongs inflicted upon the Saints were set forth, and
Congress was asked to investigate the condition of affairs in Utah. On
the 16th of the same month a mass-meeting was held in the Tabernacle.
Resolutions were adopted and a Memorial sent to the President and
Congress of the United States.

About the same time Elder Benson and others returned from England and
from the States where they had been on missions. They reported that
persecutions were rife against the Saints, even in England, where the
elders were assaulted with sticks and stones in the hands of street

On February the 3rd the California mail brought the news that President
Buchanan recommended a strong force against the Saints. Later advices
brought word that a steamer was to bring four thousand men by the
southern route; four thousand more were to come from Oregon; and two
thousand, from the Missouri River. There were then at Fort Bridger two
thousand, making in all an army of twelve thousand men. In his journal,
Elder Woodruff writes: "The trials and sacrifices the Saints may be
{397} called upon to pass through, I do not know, but I pray the Lord
to give us grace according to our day."

President Young and the brethren were busily occupied in preparation
either to meet the foe or burn the city and leave it desolate. Grain
was sent to the mill and ground, and preparations were made for caching
it in the earth. While the Saints were preparing to fight, they were
also engaged in prayer and in temple work. The Endowment House was
visited by hundreds who came there to receive its blessings.

On the 15th of February he records this in his journal: "I walked up
to the Historian's Office and then to the President's where I found
President Young, D. H. Wells, Chas. C. Rich, and Chas. Wandell.
President Young said: 'All our sufferings in this life are for our
good that we may learn the contrast between good and evil. Jesus
descended below all things that He might rise above all things. All men
who receive the same glory must abide the same law. Some are alarmed
because so many of my family are sick. I have as good a right to be
sick as any body. I do not wish to escape affliction, sickness, pain,
or sorrow any more than others escape them; for if we make a right use
of them they will return to us in blessings. I made up my mind years
ago to be governed by certain principles. I resolved that I would never
be controlled by my passions, by women, nor by anger, but that I would
govern myself. This resolution I have endeavored to carry out in my

These were times that tried mens souls, and it was quite natural that
they should turn their eyes inwardly and examine their own hearts to
see if they were true to God and His cause. Such remarks indicate the
rich, deep, and beautiful spiritual natures of the men whom the world
has misjudged and illy treated.

On February 15th Apostle Amasa Lyman reached the city, bringing with
him a messenger direct from Washington. It was no less a personage
than their old-time friend, Col. Thomas L. Kane. They had made the
journey from San Francisco in twenty days. Col. Kane brought with him
dispatches from national head-quarters to Governor Young and the army.
President Young immediately called a council for 7 o'clock, and Col.
Kane was presented to the brethren by Joseph A. Young. The Colonel was
very weary from his long journey. He reached the {398} home of Governor
Young at 8 o'clock, and after an introduction, addressed those present
as follows: "Governor Young and Gentlemen: I come as an embassador
from the chief Executive of our nation, and am fully prepared and duly
authorized to lay before you more fully and definitely the feeling and
views of the citizens of our common country and of the chief Executive
towards you, relating to the present position of officers in this
Territory and of the army of the United States now camped upon your
borders. After giving you the most satisfactory evidence in relation
to matters now pending and concerning you, I shall call your attention
to the poor soldiers who are now suffering in the cold and snows of
the mountains, and request you to render them aid and comfort. I shall
ask you to assist them to come here, and to bid them a hearty welcome
into your hospitable valley. Captain Van Vliet made a good report about
you, and used his influence to have the army stop east of Bridger. He
has done a great deal in your behalf. You all look very well. You have
built up an empire here in a short time."

When asked if Dr. Bernhisel had taken his seat in Congress, he said:
"Yes, he was opposed by the Arkansas members and a few others. They
were foolish, for had he been refused his seat, it would have been
a declaration of war." The Colonel conversed further on matters
pertaining to the government and answered questions put to him by
Governor Young.

Governor Young then spoke for some time expressing his gratitude for
the visit of Col. Kane, and also occupied some time in speaking upon
the principles of righteousness which control the actions of the
Latter-day Saints. "They are in the hands of God. He will preserve His
people." President Young then related to Colonel Kane how the Lord in
a marvelous manner had placed means in the hands of himself, President
Kimball, and other while on missions and elsewhere engaged in the work
of God. These instances, he declared, were just as miraculous as those
related in olden times by Peter and Paul.

After a late hour in the evening, the interview closed and all present
felt that the visit of Colonel Kane was full of promise for the peace
of Utah and the safety of the Saints. Elder Woodruff records several
enjoyable visits which he had with Colonel Kane during his sojourn in
the city.

{399} March the 1st Elder Woodruff reached the fifty-first milestone
in his life and celebrated the occasion by fitting out his son-in-law,
Robert Scholes, to relieve the guards then in the mountains. He,
himself, spent much of his time, however, in the Historian's Office in
writing biographies of the leading men. They were called in to have
read to them the history of their lives; and President Young, himself,
often listened to many of the biographies and other items of Church

At this time he records the troubles that the Saints had with the
Indians in the North in which two or three of the former were killed
and many cattle were driven off. A little later trouble arose with the
Indians in Rush Valley. Elder Woodruff sent his son Wilford with a team
to help move the women and children of that locality to Tooele Stake
for safety. During the son's journey he was lost in a heavy snow-storm
and was compelled to plow his way through snow and mud nearly two feet
deep to accomplish his mission. When the father heard of the son's
predicament, he went on horseback to meet him but found him safe, he
having been preserved from death by the blessings of the Lord.

Although the presence of Col. Kane greatly relieved the situation,
the people, nevertheless, felt considerable anxiety as to the final
outcome. They sent, however, relief to the United States soldiers and
prepared to let them come peaceably into the Valley. In the event,
however, that all hostility could not be eliminated from the army,
the people prepared to burn the city, leave it desolate, and move
southward. Throughout the city there was the greatest activity. People
were packing up their provisions and such household goods as they could
take with them with the view of moving to the south.

In the midst of all this excitement the 6th of April arrived. The
annual conference of that year lasted only one day on account of the
hasty preparations which the people were making for their exodus
southward. Elder Woodruff's wives, Sarah and Emma, had already moved to
Provo. Many others had left their homes and taken up their journey.

On April 6th he writes: "We shall evacuate the city of Great Salt Lake
and leave it, if needs be, in the hands of our enemies. We may burn
our habitations and lay waste everything we possess, {400} inasmuch
as our enemies are coming upon us intent upon our destruction. We are
determined to worship God and acknowledge His hand in all things. The
roads are lined with men, women, children, teams, and wagons,--all
moving south."

On the 7th of April Elder Woodruff loaded his wagons with goods and
with records from the Historian's Office and began his journey to Provo
in a heavy snow-storm. It was so severe that the people suffered,
and some nearly perished by the way. The horses and cattle suffered
intensely. Some unhitched their teams, leaving their loaded wagons in
the mud, and made their way to various places of shelter. His first
day's journey was twelve miles south to Union Ward, where he remained
all night in the home of Martesia Smith. The storm was so bad the
following day that he was compelled to remain in doors. The roads were
so bad that he unloaded two of his wagons and returned to Salt Lake. On
the 11th he attend services in the Tabernacle.

The 12th of April, 1858, witnessed the arrival in Salt Lake City of
Governor Alfred Cumming, who was accompanied by Colonel Kane. Both
were escorted to the city by a Mormon guard. The Governor expressed
regrets that the people were moving, and begged them to discontinue
their exodus. There were, however, some doubts as to the Governor's
sincerity, especially in view of the fact that the Saints had been
betrayed so many times, either by pretended friends or open foes. They
decided, however, to carry out their program, and continued the work of
moving to Utah Valley.

During the remainder of April, May, and June, Elder Woodruff and
other Church leaders were busy in their preparations for the journey
south and many trips were made to and from Provo. Council meetings
were held and the work of evacuating the city went steadily on. Yet,
they had faith that God would somehow bring about the fulfillment of
those prophesies which declared peace and safety, and that they would,
accordingly, in the end, remain in their homes.

Added to the troubles which they were under in consequence of the move
southward, word came that the Indians at different points were making
trouble for the people, and speculators thought they saw an opportunity
to make money from the Saints by purchasing their homes in these the
hours of their distress. Important {401} events followed in swift
succession. Two delegates from Nicarauga called on President Young for
the purpose of persuading him and the Mormons to buy land in Central
America, and emigrate with the Saints to Nicarauga. Their efforts,
however, were unavailing. President Young was firm in his conviction
that it was God's purpose that the Saints should inhabit these Valleys
of the Mountains. He further saw that there was a growing opposition
to the policy of President Buchanan. General Houston had taken a bold
stand against the action of the government and boldly defended the
rights of the Latter-day Saints. President Young records it as his
opinion at that time that Houston was the only man in the United States
Senate who had the moral courage of his convictions.

The coming of other armies from different directions complicated the
situation. They must be stopped. The presence of thousands of soldiers
in Salt Lake Valley would make trouble even under the most favorable
circumstances. Col. Kane hurried, therefore, to the East and succeeded
by his prompt and faithful efforts in stopping the other armies until
matters could be adjusted.

At this time there came a Peace Commission with the proffer of peace
and a pledge that the army should not molest the Saints in any way by
coming into the Valley. But with this Commission President Buchanan
sent a proclamation charging the Saints with treason and other crimes,
and then forgave them without an acknowledgement on their part, or a
plea for pardon.

It was evident to all that President Buchanan had committed a blunder,
and that he was anxious to extricate himself the best he could from a
situation that was proving daily more embarrassing to him. Each step he
took made him more ridiculous in the eyes of fair-minded men and more
open to condemnation by those who opposed him. He had believed the lies
of the federal officials, acted upon their falsehoods and squandered
the nation's money without taking any steps to learn whether he had
been imposed upon or not. Brigham Young said President Buchanan had
manifested more folly in his official acts than any other man that ever
occupied the presidential chair.

The Peace Commission sent out to adjust matters consisted of Senator
elect Powell from Kentucky and Major McCullough {402} from Texas. After
several meetings in Salt Lake City, they visited Provo and were treated
as all had been before them, with the utmost respect and courtesy. They
had an opportunity to witness the action of the Saints in moving from
their homes and their preparations to destroy the city which they had
founded. These concessions on the part of the government brought about
a change of policy.

From July 1st to July 25th Elder Woodruff was occupied in moving his
family back to Salt Lake City and in harvesting his grain. It was quite
natural that this strain upon President Young should tell against his
health. He had been poorly for some time and sought rest in Cottonwood
Canyon. Brother Woodruff also found himself impaired in health. The
relaxation after months of great strain resulted in something of a
general collapse of their physical strength.

It will be remembered that Colonel Alexander of the U. S. army had
formerly been arrogant in his demands on President Young. On the 9th
of August he called upon the President and manifested toward him a
friendly spirit--a spirit that breathed peace and good will. A great
change had come over the Colonel.

The time of the leaders during the month of August, 1858, was taken up
quite largely in entertaining the officers of the United States army
and in receiving visits from them. Many strangers also called upon
the authorities at this time. The situation, however, was more trying
in one respect as the army had its camp followers. Along with it came
adventurers, and drunkenness was common in the streets and several men
lost their lives. Of these times Apostle Woodruff says: "Thus we have
the fruits of civilization as manifested by the world, and introduced
into our Territory. Until the army and its attendants came here, we had
no such scenes enacted in our midst. For the first time we now have
drunkenness and gambling, street broils, and murders are of frequent

The Saints, however, made every endeavor to pursue again the even tenor
of their way. President Woodruff returned to his work of compiling
Church history. As the fall of the year approached, preparations were
made for a State Fair. He was chosen as President of the Deseret
Agricultural and Manufacturing {403} Society, and made special effort
to put on exposition the fruits of the industry of the Latter-day

In the midst of peaceful prosperity, there was agitation among the
Indians. Brother Josiah Call was killed by the red men in Sanpete
County. The Indians had awakened within them a strong resentment toward
the soldiers whom the Indians declared had treated them wrongfully.
Aropene, the chief, who had formerly addressed the Saints in their
public meetings, declared his intention to make war upon the army,
and that no man could stop him in his determination to fight. The old
chief had been outraged because the soldiers had killed one of his
best men. Upon learning of the chief's wrath and intention, President
Young immediately sent him a letter by a messenger, Jeremiah Hatch. In
the letter he explained to Aropene how wrong it was to shed blood, and
asked him to live in peace with all mankind. The letter evidently had
a persuading influence upon the mind of the old chief, who was calmed
thereby, and he accepted the counsel of his faithful friend, Brigham

A circumstance at this time arose which had a tendency to create a
misunderstanding between the Indians and the Latter-day Saints who had
fed the Indians for ten years past without remuneration. Dr. Forway had
been appointed Indian agent and a large sum of money was placed in his
hands with which to care for the Indians. The temptation to use this
money for personal advantages was so great that he insisted that the
Saints should continue to feed the Indians as they had done before. To
this request an exception was taken. The money belonged to the Indians,
and the Saints insisted that the Indians should have the use of it.

Elder Woodruff records under date of November 12th, 1858, a
conversation between Captain Woolf, of the United States Army and
one of the elders, which breathes faith, integrity, and the spirit
of those times. The captain asked: "Are you a Mormon?" "I am." "I
suppose you are an out and in Mormon, just as it suits you." "I am a
thorough Mormon and believe in all the principles of our religion."
"What, polygamy and all?" "Yes." "How many wives have you?" "I have
three wives and twelve children." "How do you suppose those children
will look upon you when they are grown up?" "They will point to me and
say: {404} 'There is my father, who has raised me, fed, clothed, and
educated me, watched over me through persecution, oppression and scorn,
and I will honor and obey him.'" Continuing, the elder then said to
Captain Woolf: "You have children at Fort Leavenworth, St. Louis, and
other places, but you do not acknowledge them, and will not provide
for them; and their mother will point you out to them with words of
shame, and they will be taught to despise you." Captain Woolf replied
with an oath, and at the same time scratching his head: "That is true.
I never thought of it in that way before." "What would you think,"
continued the Captain, "if the government ordered your life destroyed
if you would not put away your wives?" "I would go where I could enjoy
my wives and children in some secluded spot of the earth, or give up my
life rather than put them away." The conversation of Captain Woolf was
then turned upon President Young. He said: "Governor Young, ought to be
the next president of the United States for he is the brightest man in
the nation, and I should vote for him."

Speaking of Lot Smith, the wagon master of the train that Lot had
burned, said that Lot Smith and his men were gentlemen; and that it
was one of the wisest and best things that Governor Young could have
done, for it stopped the progress of the army until events so changed
that peace came. It prevented the shedding of blood on either side and
sent him back to the States, where he could escape the suffering of the
soldiers who wintered in the mountains.

On the 24th of November, that year, Apostle Woodruff lost his little
son, Hyrum Smith, who expired after several days illness. He was an
infant, one year, one month, and one day.

It was quite natural in those times that differences should arise
between the camp-followers and adventurers on the one side, and the
Saints on the other. The latter were naturally strict in the observance
of the rules of sobriety and morality. The social distinction became
marked. This gave rise to bickerings and hatred on the part of those
who opposed the Saints. On the night of the 22nd of November, the
ruffians of the city created a great disturbance in what was then known
as Kinkade's store. Their purpose was to challenge the police to arrest
them. The latter, however, avoided as much as possible the spirit of
retaliation until {405} they became too strong, when the leader knocked
down several of the mob. Shots were exchanged, but no one was killed.

In these street broils and disturbances, Judge Cradlebaugh and other
officials favored the mob element; but to the credit of Governor
Cumming, be it said, he was disposed to deal justly and fairly with
all parties. In an interview with A. O. Smoot, the Governor expressed
his desire to support the police. The Governor also charged Judges
Cradlebaugh and Sinclair that they knew very well that the people had
not been treated very civilly or lawfully, and that it would be the
better policy on their part to pursue pacific measures, and not to
precipitate trouble.

During these trying times efforts were constantly made to drag
President Young into court on every and any trivial charge that could
be devised. There was also a disposition to assassinate him. He was
often, therefore, obliged to place himself under the protection of
a guard. On one occasion when he was requested to appear in court,
anxiety for his safety became so great that his friends crowded the
court room and left but little space for others.

On November 29th, Judge Sinclair harangued the grand jury for the
purpose of inducing them to prefer a charge of treason against
President Young, the Twelve, and others. The district attorney,
however, took the ground that the grand jury had no jurisdiction in the
matter, as the alleged offense had come before the Peace Commission,
and by that official body the whole matter had been settled. The
President of the United States had extended pardon, and the ground
taken by the judge, he concluded, was untenable.

December 6th of that year Elder Woodruff occupied much of his time in
legislative work. His journal for that month gave an account of the
survey of roads made by Jesse W. Fox, from Salt Lake City to various

In closing his journal that year he points out the world's great
achievements and its important history. The electric cable had
connected America and Europe. The slaves in Russia had been liberated.
There had been war in British India, and there were preparations for
war among the nations. The year at home had been such as to create
anxiety and disturbance, but the Saints were nevertheless full of
gratitude; for better prospects awaited them.

{406} On January 2nd, 1859, the Saints met for the first time in public
assembly since May 30th, 1858. The approach of the army and the move
south had disturbed very greatly the peaceful worship of God.

There were now more non-Mormons in Salt Lake Valley than there had
been. Indeed, the city seemed to be over-run by speculators and
adventurers. There was also a class of desperate men who undertook
to terrify the citizens, and publicly to manifest their contempt for
the Mormons and their local police authorities. A party by the name
of Andrew Bernard attempted the life of policeman Christensen and was
shot and killed in the fracas. Christensen, who was an officer, acted
in self-defense. Every possible effort was then made to convict the
policeman. When that failed the anti-Mormon element made an effort to
implicate President Young and D. H. Wells.

On March 24th, 1859, trouble arose between a number of soldiers and
Howard Spencer. They undertook to prevent him from entering his ranch
house in Tooele County; and when he insisted in occupying his own
premises, one of them beat him brutally over the head with a gun. His
skull was fractured in several places, and for some time his life was
despaired of. Such disturbances were encouraged by the action of Judge
Cradlebaugh, who in Provo had been having leading men arrested on
various spurious charges. By false pretensions he had induced a part of
the army to leave camp Floyd and come to Provo. All these troubles the
Saints bore with grace and warded off much contention and bloodshed by
so doing.

Governor Cumming, however, maintained the attitude which he had first
assumed and stood for the right. He condemned openly the course
pursued by Judges Cradelbaugh and Sinclair. Naturally, these judges
strongly opposed the Governor, and they were aided by the State
Secretary, Hartnett, the Indian agent, Fornay, and other disreputable
persons who sought the removal of Governor Cumming by circulating
misrepresentations against him.

At this time Elder Woodruff records a somewhat humorous incident
through which some of the officials and other adventurers were duped
by a foreigner whose name was Mogo. This man, it seems, had a brewery
in the southern end of the valley, which he {407} wished to sell at a
high price. He brought together a number of merchants, Judge Sinclair,
Secretary Hartnett, and other dignitaries. He represented that he had
found gold in the hills near his brewery. Elder Woodruff gives the
following in the language of Mogo: "'The Mormons have hunted all this
country over for gold. They no find him, none at all, but I find him
plenty. Heap more than in California. I 'fraid Mormons get him now. My
friends, I want you to go with me and get him heap of gold.' The scheme
proved too much for those who listened. The word gold was enchanting.
It was what the Mormons could not get. The deception worked, and they
agreed to buy Mr. Mogo's property, which he divided into thirty shares
of one thousand each. His dupes invested. They bought up the shares,
started out at night secretly so that the Mormons would not suspect
anything. They camped that night at Mogo's brewery. He placed one on
guard, while with the others he went in search of the gold. Mr. Brockie
stood guard, cursing the cold weather while the others climbed the
hills. At a certain point they dug up several bags of dirt and returned
with them to the camp. They procured an old pan, and while they were
washing out the dirt, one of them stood over the pan with a magnifying
glass. The following account is given of their gold washing. Gilbert
said: 'Brochie, what do you see?' 'Nothing but mud.' 'There, what
is that?' 'Nothing but mud.' An oath followed; and so one bag after
another was washed out, and each time they asked Brockie, 'What do you
see with the magnifying glass,' and there came back the same withering
answer, 'Nothing but mud.' Gilbert shouted out at the top of his voice
and with an oath, 'We are sold.'"

In the meantime Mr. Mogo had made his way to Camp Floyd, while his
dupes made their way back to Salt Lake City, the poorer if not wiser.

On the 28th of January, 1859, Elder Woodruff's eldest daughter, Susan
Cornelia, was united in marriage by him to Robert Scholes; and on March
3rd President Young married the second daughter, Phoebe A. Woodruff, to
Elder Lorenzo Snow.

On March 29th Governor Cumming issued a proclamation in which he
protested against the act of the United States court in calling out
troops to protect the courts when there was no occasion for it. "This,"
Apostle Woodruff says, "created stronger feelings {408} than ever among
the anti-Mormon element. The action, however, was sustained by the
better class of non-Mormons who did not acquiesce in the high-handed
proceedings of Judge Cradelbaugh and others."

March 31st Elder Woodruff attended the funeral of Mrs. Mary Woolley,
wife of Bishop E. D. Woolley, a woman he esteemed most highly. Her
death was greatly lamented, and the authorities, generally, showed
their respects by their presence at the funeral and by the discourses
which recounted her noble and faithful qualities of mind and heart.
Apostle Woodruff was always greatly attached to those who were devoted
to the work of God. They were God's friends and he wanted their
friendship. It made to him no difference that their station in life was
high or low. If they loved the work of God, he loved and honored them.
From the accounts given at this funeral, Sister Woolley had been a most
exemplary woman. She had been valiant in the support of plural marriage
and by her example and precept had sustained valiantly this practice.
Perhaps the best testimonial that could be given to the woman, who at
her funeral was so extolled, is the exemplary and faithful character of
her descendants.

April conference came with its usual call for missionaries and its
spiritual feasts which the Saints in those days so much enjoyed. About
this time they found relief in the decision of Judge Cradelbaugh to
leave the Territory and locate in California. It was an occasion for
thanksgiving and gratitude. But the Saints were soon disturbed by a
report which reached head-quarters that about two thousand of the
troops were on their way to Salt Lake City from Camp Floyd, where
they first located upon entering the Territory. They were accompanied
by Judge Sinclair. President Young felt somewhat alarmed and at once
began preparations to leave the city. He informed Governor Cumming that
he would look to him for protection of his family. He said he had no
objection to being tried by a respectable court, that he was guilty of
no wrong, but that he would not allow himself to fall into the hands of
a military mob. He knew very well what that meant. He and the leaders
were determined to burn the city and leave it desolate if the soldiers
made war upon the people. However, the affair passed by without
disturbance and the trouble the Saints so much feared was warded off.

{409} Elder Woodruff related in his journal that on the 1st of July
Mr. Miller of the firm of Wardle, Russell, and Miller called upon
President Young. It was a firm of speculators who were making money out
of the conditions incident to the presence of the United States army.
During the conversation Mr. Miller told President Young that Stephen
A. Douglas would most certainly be the next president of the United
States. Stephen A. Douglas had manifested his hostile attitude toward
the Saints. It was like the prediction of a calamity. President Young,
however, knew better. He remembered the words of the Prophet Joseph
who had prophesied that Douglas should be defeated, in case he ever
raised his voice against the Saints. Douglas was beaten and died a
disappointed man.

The Fourth of July that year was celebrated with the same spirit of
loyalty that had characterized the people in the past. In the early
part of July there was organized a Chamber of Commerce for the purpose
of protecting the citizens against the exorbitant prices demanded by
those merchants who were taking advantage of the times. In his journal
Apostle Woodruff reports these words from the lips of President Young:
"If this community had done as much as I have to introduce sheep, the
whole Territory would now make clothing for its people. I would make
my own and wear sheep's gray. It is good enough for me and my family.
I shall not stop my labor until we are able to make nails and iron.
Now, had those who were intrusted with the business been controlled by
principle, they would not have made a failure of this enterprise."

July 13th he records a visit of Horace Greeley and his interview with
President Young, Mr. Greeley was very inquisitive about tithing, Church
organization, and plural marriage; but to all his questions he received
prompt and frank answers. His description of the distinguished visitor
in his journal runs as follows: "Mr. Greeley is a singular looking
man, fairly well dressed. He had a soft, groaning voice and feminine
appearance and asked many questions. However, he was a learned man and
his ability must be acknowledged."

On the 16th of July, when Mr. Greeley lectured, he expressed his
surprise at seeing any women present. He said: "I had not expected to
see a woman while I was here. Well, I do declare, I {410} am glad to
see so many women here tonight." The following Sunday Mr. Greeley sat
on the stand in the meeting while Orson Pratt preached on the evidences
of the Book of Mormon. Elder Woodruff said: "Mr. Greeley took special
notice of the women in the congregation, but fell asleep while the
sermon was being preached."

As the year advanced and harvest came on, Elder Woodruff entered his
field with cradle in hand. It was the first cradling he had ever done,
but with the usual zest which characterized the man, he did the work
well. He also worked hard during that summer and fall in teaching
the people who came to Zion, and urged among the Saints the new home
industries which had been started--the sugar mill and the nail factory.

He recorded in his journal the return of N. V. Jones from India, who
brought with him the information which he had derived from a learned
man in that country that there was in the Persian library a history in
which an account was given of two families who left Jerusalem and set
sail for the Western Continent.

On September 18th the elders departing upon their missions received
instructions from President Young who is reported as saying in part:
"When you labor until your mind is exhausted, stop. Don't overtax
it. It is wrong. The way I get through with so much business is to
dismiss from my mind the subjects on which I am occupied as soon as
the discussion of them is finished. When I get through I think no more
about them. I can lie down and go to sleep and let my mind and body
rest. Don't fret, nor get in a hurrying spirit, for that wears out the

From October 18th, until December 1st, 1859, Elder Woodruff passed
through a serious period of sickness, the worst he had ever experienced
in his life. Much of that time his life was despaired of. On one
occasion he gave his family parting instructions and prepared his mind
for the other world. He was administered to by the authorities who were
prompted to prophesy his recovery. This promise awakened his faith and
he rallied and lived for nearly thirty-nine years.




Embarks in Sheep Industry.--Adventures of One Gibson.--Lectures to
Young Men in Police Court.--Counsel to Missionaries.--Visit to Cache
Valley.--Schools Investigated.--Celebration of the 24th.--Prophecies
of Civil War.--Little Children in the Resurrection.--Brigham Young on
Secession.--Death of Aphek Woodruff.--Governor Dawson.

The first day in the new year, 1860, came on Sunday and found Elder
Woodruff feeble in body from the effects of the severe sickness which
he had just undergone. During the early months of that year, he was
occupied largely in the Historian's Office. He had, however, found
a new occupation that made demands upon his attention, since he had
purchased some sheep which he kept at Fort Herriman where one of his
families lived.

Early in January of that year there arrived in the midst of the Saints
a man by the name of Walter M. Gibson. He had traveled extensively
in the Indian Archipelago and on various islands of the sea. The
novelties of these lands, the peculiarities of their people, and the
products of the soil afforded interesting subject matter for a series
of lectures which Mr. Gibson delivered in different places. These talks
interested Elder Woodruff, and he gives a synopsis of several in his
journal. Gibson claimed to be originally from South Carolina, and was
accompanied by a young woman whom he introduced as his daughter. After
a short stay in the city, they both professed faith in the Gospel,
joined the Church, and received the ordinances of the House of God.
Subsequent events, however, proved the Captain to be an adventurer,
insincere and dishonest in his motives, ambitious for the honors of men.

Elder Woodruff records that on February 7th Justice Clinton called upon
him with a request that he come to the court room and talk to a number
of young men who were to be fined for rowdyism and for threatening to
take the life of others. He responded to the invitation. The young men
listened with marked attention, and what he said was received by them
with great respect {412} and earnest consideration. They felt that his
words were the fruit of an honest God-fearing life.

On the evening of that day, a party was given to which Governor
Cumming, General Stambough, his staff, and others were invited. The
Presidency, the Twelve, and many of the Saints were in attendance, and
everything was done to make the occasion one of social pleasure and
fraternal good will. It was not easy in those days to draw the line.
There were honorable men whose society was not offensive and whose
manly course entitled them to attention and to social considerations
and friendly intercourse. On the other hand, there were adventurers
whose motives were well known and whose conduct was offensive. They
would have broken in upon the integrity and purity of the Mormon homes
without any conscientious respect for the religious feelings of their

On March 1st he said: "I am fifty-three years old to-day. I feel
sensitive when I look upon these years and see how truly short life
is--like a weaver's shuttle, it soon passes. Man should strive
diligently to make his life useful. He should speak the truth, live
honestly, practice virtue, and set an example in all things worthy of
imitation. It will pay no man to defraud his neighbor or to break the
commandments of God."

The conference this year convened on the 6th of April and some
fifty-four elders were sent abroad on missions. Among them was Captain
Walter M. Gibson. President Young's instructions given to the elders
are recorded by Apostle Woodruff as follows: "I want you to go upon
your missions in the spirit of God. You will do more good by bearing
testimony of the work of God through the Holy Ghost than by all the
argument you can use. Take for example two men, one learned and able to
preach eloquently from the Bible; the other may be ignorant of science
and arts, but filled with the Holy Ghost. The man, however, who relies
upon that spirit will make ten converts to one made by the man who
relies upon his learning. I would not throw one straw in the way of the
elders obtaining knowledge of the arts and sciences and of being armed
with truthful arguments upon every subject; indeed, they should seek
diligently to acquire knowledge, but they should obtain the Holy Ghost
to assist them in their ministry. Some of you are going to visit your
relatives. When {413} you go where they are, don't sit down at your
ease and give up preaching, but remember that you are on a mission and
that you should improve your time.

"You will have all manner of evil spoken against you, and all I ask of
you and all that God or angels will ask of you is that not one word
spoken against you shall be true; and I want you for my sake and for
your own sake and for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of God to live
so that the wicked shall have no cause to speak evil against you.

"Another subject I wish to speak about is that of begging while upon
your missions. I do not wish you to beg, but trust in God, and do not
rob any one or take anything unjustly, but go and preach the Gospel
faithfully. If you trust in the Lord, He will give you all you need.

"There is another subject of importance, and that is the temptation you
will meet from women. This has caused the downfall of more elders in
the Church than any other thing. Some elders go upon missions nearly
all their lives and keep themselves clean and pure, while others come
home and are shady, their countenances fall, they cannot look you
straight in the eye. They have fallen into a snare. Joseph said to the
first Twelve that they would have to guard against this evil, for they
would have more trouble from this source than from any other. While you
are gone, let women alone.

"Again, you will meet with many who want to debate with you. Don't
contend with any man. If they have one truth which you do not possess,
you may accept it. In crossing the plains, have your prayers in camp.
There must be no swearing or contention. If you think some one does
wrong, impute it to the head and not to the heart. There must be no
abuse of the cattle. I have never permitted the abuse of dumb animals
where I have had control."

Such instructions were so perfectly in harmony with the life and
character of Apostle Woodruff that it was quite natural that he should
make special note of them in his journal; for in the observance of such
counsel, he was, perhaps, as perfect a model as could be found in all

The troubles of those days are frequently referred to in Elder
Woodruff's journal. The spring of 1860 was stormy. {414} There was much
snow and frost. Much of the fruit was killed. Then socially, the times
were stormy. The country was infested by thieves and outlaws. There
were frequent brawls in the streets and several bad characters were

From the first to the middle of June, Elder Woodruff in company with
President Young and party made a journey to the far north, to the land
of snow and frost. Cache Valley in those days was looked upon with
many misgivings as a suitable place for colonization. Lorenzo Snow
had been called to preside over Box Elder stake and Ezra T. Benson in
Cache Valley. Franklin seems to have been the extreme outpost in the
north in those days. On this visit, Preston Thomas was made its first
bishop. Still, those settlements had so prospered that Apostle Woodruff
expressed his great delight with the advancement which had been made.

After his return from this visit, Elder Woodruff devoted some time
to the investigation of the school system as it then existed. He
and Robert L. Campbell visited a Brother Mousley's school which was
pronounced the best they had seen. Elder Woodruff was a strong advocate
of education. He had been deprived of its advantages in his youth, but
the spirit and revelations of God had created within him a desire to
make good in learning as far as possible what had been denied him in
his youth.

The summer of 1860 brought some relaxation from the strain under
which the people had been placed by the approach of the army. They
now indulged in patriotic and social pastimes which characterize the
celebrations of the Fourth and the Twenty-fourth of July. On the
occasion of the Twenty-fourth, hundreds of people went to Cottonwood
Canyon where three large boweries were built, and where speeches,
songs, dancing, music, fishing, and other diversions were enjoyed by
the Saints who felt that peace had come to them. At this celebration,
Wilford Wodruff wrote, "There are 1,120 persons with 56 carriages, 163
wagons, 235 horses, 179 mules, and 168 oxen. The animals were in good
condition, were well treated, and the people were happy."

It was here that three years before the Saints received word that
Johnston's army was coming. They had reason to feel grateful over the
change that had taken place. They had been permitted to enjoy their
homes in peace.

{415} In the opening of the year 1861, Elder Woodruff referred to the
prophecy of Joseph Smith relating to the war and calamities which
should befall the nation. He said: "The United States, this year,
will be visited with much greater afflictions than they have ever
experienced since they became a free government. The Lord is about to
vex the nation as He has declared He would do twenty-eight years ago."
Speaking of the prophetic character of Joseph Smith in this connection,
he related the circumstance of a man who cursed Joseph Smith and
also the God who called him to be a prophet. The man was seized with
insanity on the spot and was taken home and died insane.

As time went on, in the memorable year of 1861, the news from the front
was looked for with intense interest by the Latter-day Saints. Those
were days of the pony express, and the events of the secession were
naturally greatly delayed. They looked upon the movements then taking
place in fulfillment of the prophecy uttered by Joseph Smith in 1832.
In the midst of the war news, Elder Woodruff recorded the current
events on all important subjects.

He was careful, however, to write down the teachings of President
Young. He recorded a sermon delivered by him at the funeral of Charles
Little, in which President Young is quoted as saying: "Some one asks,
Where is the spirit world? It is here on the earth where they lived and
where we live. I believe all spirits live here after death and nowhere
else. At least, those who have tabernacled in the flesh, whether they
be good or bad. Satan has no power in the spirit world over those who
have overcome him in the flesh, but he will have over those who have
served him all their lives in this world.

"When Joseph had a revelation, he had, as it were, the eyes of the
Lord. He saw as the Lord sees. How did I know what was going on in
Washington? I have known what was going on there all the time, and I
know what is going on in other places. I know it by the spirit of God.
It is revealed to me. Spirits administer to us but we do not know it.
Charles Little here, will administer to his mother, but she will not
know it. She will see in the spirit world the wisdom of the Lord in
placing a veil between the living and the dead, that the living may
be tried and have a greater glory than they otherwise would have. The
living {416} cannot see the departed spirits, but the latter can see
and administer to those in the flesh, even though the latter know it
not. My wife awakened the morning that Charles Little died and said to
me: 'I think Charles Little is dead, for I have seen him with Joseph,
in a dream; and if Brother and Sister Little could see what I have
seen, they would not wish him back. He was very happy with Joseph, and
Joseph said he wanted him; that he had a particular place for him. He
looked glorious.' We should be satisfied with the principle that our
children will be restored to us in their glorified bodies."

Elder Woodruff recorded that on the 8th of February, Elder Taylor and
he went on a mission to the northern settlements. At South Weber they
found a number of the Saints in a condition of apostasy. Richard Cook,
the bishop, and fourteen others were cut off the Church for rejecting
the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and for upholding Joseph
Morris as the man holding the keys of the Kingdom.

Elders Woodruff and Taylor went on to Brigham City, where they met the
Saints, and where Elder Woodruff recorded the following dream related
by Isaac Laney, who received seventeen bullet wounds at the time of the
massacre at Haun's Mill. Elder Laney said, speaking of that time: "I
dreamed that a shower of serpents were all around me in the air. They
were rattle-snakes and many of them bit me all over my body. I was told
that if I would not fall down, but keep on running, they would not hurt
me. When the shower of bullets came and they pierced my body, they did
not hurt me any more than a scratch of a pin, although I looked at the
mouth like an ox with its throat cut. I kept on my feet and continued
to run until beyond the reach of the mob. A man came to me and said:
'Brother Laney, do not deceive yourself by expecting to live, for no
man ever lived after being shot as you have been.' But I said: 'I shall
live.' And so I am yet alive to the honor and glory of God, for it was
by His power that my life was preserved."

In Brigham City they also found a number of Welsh Saints who had become
disaffected. They were labored with, and many of them repented and
renewed their covenants with God.

On March 4th of this year President Lincoln was inaugurated. {417}
Elder Woodruff's journal contained an account of that exciting period.
"President Lincoln's enemies declared that he would never sleep in the
White House." During these trying days of the nation, the Saints were
loyal to the Union. In reference to the war, President Young said:
"Many of the people of the nation have persecuted the Saints of God,
and they now have trouble of their own. The rulers in the nation and
the states did nothing for us. Governor Cumming, however, has done us
good. He stood between us and the army, although at first he also was
opposed to the people and wrote threatening letters. However, Col. Kane
visited him and greatly changed his attitude towards us. He and Col.
Johnston were at swords points."

President Young was asked if the President of the United States should
send Secretary Harris, their bitter enemy, here as governor if we would
not also secede. He answered emphatically, "No. We will sustain the
government and keep our record clean. We shall want to compare records
by and by and show that we have been right all the time. The banks and
rich men North and South are consecrating their wealth to prosecute the
war. Several times we have been called to consecrate our homes at the
point of the bayonet. It is now the nation's turn to consecrate, and it
will be vexed as the Prophet foretold some twenty-eight years ago."

In the midst of the excitement of the war, the April conference was
held, and missionaries, as usual, sent to the nations of the earth.

On the 15th of May that year Elder Woodruff was a member of the company
of President Young, who took one of his tours through the southern
settlements. Elder Woodruff at the time traveled in company with Ezra
Clark of Farmington. The company consisted of forty-eight men, fourteen
women, and two children. There were twenty-three carriages, twenty-one
horses, and forty mules. During those tours to the settlements the
company was frequently met by the mounted militia, and escorted from
town to town. It was an occasion of general interest to the people
and they were always enthusiastic over the presence of their leaders.
During this visit they went as far south as Santa Clara. While on this
journey Elder Woodruff's father, Aphek Woodruff, died. The father was
eighty-two years, six months and {418} seventeen days old. He was
baptized by his son into the Church in 1839.

The 4th of July, 1861, brought with it again one of those enthusiastic
celebrations in which the Saints always took delight. President
Woodruff declared it was the greatest celebration he ever witnessed. He
was a typical American of the old New England time, and no one was more
ready than he to honor the day.

Under date of Sunday, July 21st, Elder Woodruff recorded one of
those characteristic remarks of President Young, in which the latter
declared: "The Lord will not permit me or any other man to lead this
people astray. If the leaders do wrong, the Lord will take them away.
If an Apostle does not magnify his calling, the Lord will remove
him and not permit him to lead away the people." This has been to
the Latter-day Saints a prophetic assurance, and that idea has been
fostered in their hearts to the present time.

President Young was severe in his denunciation of the liquor traffic.
"Any man," he said, "who will make whiskey to sell would sell the
Kingdom of God for a picayune. I despise the whisky maker more than I
do the thieves, and I have no use for either. Harlots and publicans
will enter the Kingdom of God before the whisky dealer. 'Cursed is
he that putteth the cup to his brother's lips.'" In later years the
Council of the Presidency and Twelve resolved that the liquor dealers
must repent and forsake their business or lose their standing in the

The conference of October 6th was characterized by the plans then
discussed for the development of the cotton industry in southern
Utah. Soon after it closed, quite a number were called South to make
preparations whereby the cotton industry should be self-sustaining.

On the 8th of the following November, Elder Woodruff gave in his
journal some statements from President Young relative to the order
of the Church and family government. "If Brothers Kimball and Wells
wish to be united with me, they should go with me and follow me. It
is not my place to follow them. So with the Twelve, they must follow
the Presidency. The seventies and high priests must follow the Twelve
and so on throughout the Church. If this is not done, there will be
separation and confusion. {419} The same principle should be observed
by a man whose duty it is to stand at the head of his family. If the
wife and children do not follow the husband and father, there will be
an eternal separation. If the man follows his wife or children instead
of leading them himself, there will be confusion and the family life
will be destroyed. Men should not interfere with and undertake to
direct their file leaders. I never found a word of fault with Joseph in
my life."

Under date of December 3rd Elder Woodruff recorded the arrival of
Governor Dawson, who succeeded Covernor Cumming in office. On the 8th
of the month he made note of an accident which befell his son, David
Patten Woodruff, who was kicked in the head by a mule, and carried
into the house apparently dead. The child, however, was restored in a
marvelous manner through the blessings of the Lord.

When the end of that year approached, Elder Woodruff made the following
review: "It is past. It has borne to heaven a report of the deeds
of all men. This year has brought to pass the fulfillment of many
prophecies uttered in olden and in modern times. On January 1st of
this year I declared, as a prophetic historian, that this would be the
most distressing year the government had ever seen since it became an
independent nation. Time has verified the statement. Eleven of the
states have seceded. This has brought a terrible war upon the country,
bringing as it does upon the battle field more than a million of
men and a debt of five hundred million of dollars, and this is only
the beginning of the trouble. The state of Missouri, from which the
Saints were driven, and where the blood of many was shed, is now the
great battle field of the West. In it there is pitted man against
man, neighbor against neighbor. Those who brought trouble upon the
Saints are themselves in distress. Jackson County is nearly destroyed.
The President and Senate are sending rulers to Utah as governors and
judges. Many of them are so corrupt that they are a hiss and a byword
to all who know them."

John W. Dawson arrived early in December and delivered his message to
the Legislature. He began a course of shameful debauchery. He insulted
women until the widow of Thomas Williams drove him from her house with
a fire shovel because of {420} his vulgar abuse of her. On the last day
of the year he left in the stage coach for the East, a known libertine
and debauchee. "This is the kind of rulers the nation sent to rule the
Latter-day Saints. The Lord has declared that the measure this nation
metes out to others shall be measured unto it."

It was a year of deep anxiety, and the Saints felt the spirit of
oppression which their political rulers manifested. Elder Woodruff
exclaimed in a prayerful appeal: "Take away the sceptre, rule, and
government from the wicked and give it into the hands of just and
upright men, that they may rule in righteousness before Thee. Give
Thy oppressed people, O Lord, the privilege of appointing their own
governors, judges, and rulers, that the poor and oppressed may rejoice
in the Holy One of Israel!" That prayer told the story of an oppression
under which the Saints suffered.



THE YEARS 1862-63.

Killing of Thieves.--John Baptiste, the Grave Digger.--Value of
a Daily Journal.--Erection of the Salt Lake Theatre.--State of
Deseret.--Foundation Stones of Temple Raised.--Indian Troubles on
Bear River.--Visit of the Moquitches to Salt Lake City.--Their
Customs.--Attempt To Arrest President Young.--Settlement of Bear Lake

The new year, 1862, found Elder Woodruff in both a reminiscent and
prophetic mood. He had closed his journal of the previous year by
pointing out the fulfillment of prophecy. He still felt that the hand
of God was in the affairs of this nation, even though he regretted the
sorrow and suffering the war was bringing on. He wrote his predictions
of still greater bloodshed, of pestilence, earthquake, and famine.
"This," he said, "is a wicked generation, and the earth groans under
its abominations, and because of these things, the Lord will pour
out his judgments upon the wicked of the earth until the earth is
cleansed from them." The spirit of the historian was upon him. His
New Year's day he celebrated in the Historian's Office, writing the
events of Church history. It was a great history. It would be greater
as time went on; and in years to come, men would want to know even the
slightest details of those events, which in their day seemed to be of
passing consequence.

He speaks of Wood Reynolds, the stage driver, who gave the retiring
Governor, John W. Dawson, "a good sound thrashing" at Ephraim Hanks'
stage station, while the stage driver's horses were being changed. This
he did because Dawson had grossly insulted the widow of Thos. Williams
and other women.

January 6th he designated as one of the most important days in the
history of the Church since its location in the Valleys. That day a
mass-meeting was held, and nine delegates were elected to attend a
Territoral Convention which was to frame a constitution, organize a
provisional state government, and ask for admission into the Union.
He was a strong advocate of the movement, even though he did not feel
quite sure that the Saints {422} would obtain their full rights. They
were at least pursuing a course that all true and loyal men should
pursue under like circumstances. The experience of the people with
federal officials had been a most unhappy one. The spirit and prejudice
which had sent the army to Utah also sent its federal officials. They
came with malice in their hearts, and of course were not prepared to
do justice to an unpopular people. Elder Woodruff did not believe
that men should sit supinely by and allow their rights to be trampled
upon without a protest. He thought it was becoming in free men to
assert their rights and demand justice that they might maintain their
self-respect, even though their protestations were unheeded.

The delegates to this Convention were Daniel H. Wells, Albert
Carrington, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Abraham O. Smoot, James
Ferguson, Reuben Miller, Archibald Gardener, and Elias Smith,--all men
of strong character and of great integrity.

From Elder Woodruff's journal, the people were tried, even exasperated,
by the thefts and other depredations committed by men of unscrupulous
character. In those trying times the people could illy afford the
loss that came to them by the work of the cattle thieves. On the 17th
of January he reports the killing of Lot Huntington, John Smith,
and Moroni Clawson, who resisted the officers while the latter were
attempting to arrest the former. The first named was killed in Rush
Valley, the latter two in Salt Lake City, while attempting their escape.

On the 27th Elder Woodruff's journal also contains an account of John
Baptiste's episode in the cemetery. This grave digger, after finishing
his official duties exhumed the bodies, and robbed the dead of their
clothing. The discovery of this grave digger's crime was made when the
friends of Moroni Clawson obtained permission to remove his remains
from the city cemetery to that of Big Cottonwood. His clothing was
gone. The grave digger was at once suspected, and upon arrest, made
confession. He had practiced his crime for years.

Baptiste was born in Venice, in 1814. He followed the occupation of
a grave digger in Australia, where he also robbed the dead. From the
proceeds of his criminal practice he built a house of worship and
contributed it to the Methodist church in that land.

{423} On February 12th, Elder Woodruff recorded a synopsis of a lecture
he gave in the Seventies' Hall upon history and journalizing. The house
was crowded. Among other things, he said: "I think it more profitable
for the Saints to meet to hear lectures delivered on various principles
than to spend so much time in dancing and light amusement. I would
recommend Rawlins' Ancient History. This author gives a history of the
ancient nations, describes their conditions, literature, and laws, and
especially their wars. I also recommend the reading of Josephus, the
great Jewish historian. It appears to me, that no man can read it with
indifference. His account of the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, in
the light of fulfillment of prophecy, the destruction of the Jewish
city and its temple, are of great interest to those who enjoy reading
and gaining information that will be of lasting benefit. In order that
history may be preserved for future historians, records and journals
should be kept."

He went on to refer to the testimony which those who kept journals
in ancient dispensations have left for the edification and faith of
succeeding generations. "Men should write down the things which God has
made known to them. Whether things are important or not, often depends
upon God's purposes; but the testimony of the goodness of God and the
things He has wrought in the lives of men will always be important as a

In those days the Seventies' Hall was the centre of an educational
effort to uplift the people in learning relating to the arts and
sciences. It was largely a work of self-improvement, of mutual aid.
Elder Woodruff was always present when there was anything instructive
or elevating to be imparted. He loved history. His spirit was the
historian's spirit, and passing events, to his mind, should be
carefully recorded that God might, if He would, give them importance
according to the needs and history of His people.

The spirit of the leaders in those days was to be educational whether
they were attending lectures, reading history, or enjoying themselves
in amusement. Everything should be to the honor and glory of God.
Their lives were strenuous, and there was need of relaxation. Anything
that was elevating, or that could be made elevating, was to be for the
glory of God and the happiness of His people. The theatre was thought
to be desirable, and the Salt Lake Theatre was erected in 1861 and
1862, and dedicated {424} on the 2nd day of March in the latter year
with the same fervent desire to recognize God in all things. D. H.
Wells pronounced the dedicatory benediction. President Young upon that
occasion offered remarks instructing the people upon the character
of their amusement. One of the first plays to be rendered in the new
theatre was "Pride at the Market of Versailles."

It is wonderful how Wilford Woodruff busied himself in a multitude
of occupations. His journal furnishes evidence of a remarkably busy
life. One moment he was recording stirring events in the history
of the world; then he is writing Church history; the next moment
tells something of a correspondence received from those who desire
information concerning the Latter-day Saints. The next page contains
an account of his orchard and the work of planting more fruit trees;
later, he is found in the irrigation furrows; then he is addressing
missionaries upon their duties and responsibilities; on the same page
he opens a prophetic inspiration of his soul, and tells of things to
come. In all he sees the glory and goodness of God. He listens to
the words of the prophet and makes a careful record of them. Then he
discourses upon the principles of a free government and the rights of
the people under a constitution.

The State of Deseret had been formed. President Young was elected
the first Governor of the State. He delivered his message to
the legislature, and all went on in the spirit of sincerity and
earnestness. They would do their part, even though they were denied
admission to the Union. With them, the fulfillment of every duty, as
they saw it, had a place in divine economy; and their acts, though
apparently unavailing, were like bread upon the waters to return after
many days.

Elder Woodruff records on January 8th, 1862, the following words from
President Young: "Moses took the children of Israel out of Egypt into
the wilderness, and there taught them the principles of their every-day
life. It is the same with the Saints here. They gather to Zion so that
they may be taught how to live. We cannot teach this in the world, for
there, we preach the gospel of Christ; but when they come here to Zion,
they should be taught in all the duties of every day life, including
housekeeping, farming, work in the orchard, and on the farm."

In the spring of 1862, there was considerable destruction {425} through
high water and floods, whose damage was witnessed in the destruction
of mill-dams, fences, bridges, and grain fields. Elder Woodruff in
these trying scenes was found at the front with his shovel in his
hand, working strenuously to protect the fields from damage. He drops
his shovel to devote himself to the ministry. He lays his hands upon
the head of his sick and old-time friend, A. O. Smoot. He rebukes
the disease and fever and notes an immediate change that takes place
in the sick man's condition, and acknowledges the hand of God in it.
He attends the funeral of Frederick Gadd, a man whose integrity and
character won his admiration; for no matter how humble a man's position
in the Church, Elder Woodruff loved and honored him, if convinced that
he loved and honored God.

On June the 9th, Elder Woodruff wrote that the foundation stones of the
Temple were raised because of the poor work done on it by the masons.
The work was a disappointment to Brigham Young and the leading men.

Elder Woodruff recounts the trouble with the Morrisites in Weber
County, an account of which is fully given elsewhere. He also gives a
description of the grand celebration of the Fourth of July that year.
There was a program consisting of speeches, songs, recitations, etc.,
and in the evening a ball was given at the Social Hall.

Of the war which was then going on, and which was watched by him with
the utmost attention, he said: "There has been more bloodshed and lives
lost in the United States in the battles between the North and South
than there were in the Revolutionary War and that of 1812. In the ten
principal battles, the number slain and wounded will not fall far short
of half a million. Many have died the past year through pestilence.
A vast amount of property has been destroyed by fire. The spirit of
disunion seems to increase among the people. There has been a great
want of breadstuff in England and France, caused in a great measure by
closing the Southern ports against the exportation of cotton. France
has opened war with Mexico. There are many widows and orphans and much
lamentation and mourning throughout the land, but the end is not yet.
While these troubles are going on, the Saints are gathering home to
Zion to build up the Kingdom of God, that the Lord may rule over His
Saints. Nearly five {426} thousand Saints have gathered to the Valley
the past year. Many improvements have been made and the blessings of
God have been with His people."

On the 4th of January, in the year of 1863, Elder Woodruff records the
news of the Emancipation Message by President Lincoln, and the results
of some of the great battles. His history, during those times, showed
him to be a close student of current events which he interpreted in the
light of God's revelations in this dispensation.

The Saints could not very well entertain much hope of admission
into the Union, yet the Provisional State Government which had been
organized continued, and met in its opening session, January 19th.
Elder Woodruff was an active member, and by this time was becoming
somewhat familiar with the duties of a legislator. Governor Young,
under the State constitution, delivered his message, and two thousand
copies were published for circulation. Not much work, however, was
accomplished. "Many," said President Young, "may not be able to tell
why we are in this capacity. I do not think you understand this matter
as it is. Our constitution, which has been sent to Washington, has been
closely scrutinized by the members of Congress. If we do not take care
of ourselves, no one else will take care of us."

On February 3rd, 1863, Elder Woodruff recorded the birth of his son,
Ashael Hart, who was named after his uncle. He was the son of his wife
Emma, and is now bishop of the Waterloo Ward in the Granite stake of

On the same date, Elder Woodruff gave an extensive account of the
trouble with the Bannock and the Snake River Indians north of Bear
River. They had been killing miners and emigrants, who were on their
way to Oregon. He says: "Colonel Connor sent a part of his command to
the Indians to get a white boy that was among them. They got the boy
but killed a number of the Indians and then returned to Camp Douglas,
near the city. Thereupon, the Indians began killing more white men.
Col. Connor then sent against them sixty infantry and fifteen baggage
wagons. Later, he sent three hundred cavalry. They found the Indians
encamped near Bear River, which they had to ford in order to get to
them. The Indians were camped in a big ravine. The cavalry {427}
made a charge upon them, but were driven back. They then left the
horses and made a charge on foot, and were again repulsed. The third
time, they made a charge and rushed into their midst. They used their
revolvers and shot as long as they could find anything to shoot at.
The result of the battle, as reported, was two hundred and twenty-five
Indians killed, four hundred horses taken. The loss of Col. Connor's
command was seventeen dead, forty wounded, and seventy badly frozen.
Two officers were also wounded, and it is reported that Lieutenant D.
Chase, once a Mormon elder, was mortally wounded. He was ordained into
the Quorum of Seventies on the corner-stone of the Temple in Far West,
at the time that George A. Smith and myself were ordained into the
Quorum of the Twelve. Chase went to California where he apostatized and
joined the army."

About the same time he recorded a visit of three Moquitche Indians
with Jacob Hamblin to President Young. These Indians were entertained
part of the time, during their stay, at the home of Elder Woodruff who
made them very welcome, and of course learned from them and from Elder
Hamblin all that he could about their lives and customs.

"The Moquitche Indians live in New Mexico, one hundred and twenty-five
miles southeast of the Colorado, and three hundred and thirty-five
miles from St. George. They live in a walled city built upon top of
the rocks as a protection from their enemies. They do not go to war
nor fight except in extreme cases of self-defense. They never scalp an
enemy and do not like to shed blood. They cultivate the earth, raise
corn, beans, melons, pumpkins, squash, red pepper, and a large quantity
of peaches. They also raise cotton, keep sheep and goats, and spin and
weave their own cloth. They have seven villages. The largest town has
about three hundred families. All told, they number about two thousand
souls. They are very intelligent and light colored. There are some with
blue and some with hazel eyes. They have never mixed their blood with
any white man or other Indian tribes.

"They have a tradition that good men will come from the West and bring
them the truth. They think we are the prophets, and they have come as
ambassadors to see the people and to learn if we are the ones they have
been looking for. They seem anxious that we should instruct and direct
them in their affairs. Their forefathers {428} formerly lived west of
the Colorado but their enemies drove them east of the river.

"Twenty-four men now went as a company to visit these Indians, and
found them quite poor. They had been robbed by the Navajoes, they had
few sheep, but a good crop of grain. During one of their drouths, Elder
Woodruff recounts the fact that in answer to their prayers the snow
fell to a depth of one foot."

Speaking of Elder Hamblin's efforts to bring the Indians North he
wrote that when the Lamanites reached the Colorado, they were afraid
to cross it; but upon being urged by Elder Hamblin to make the effort,
they offered sacrifice in the following manner: "The Indians took some
cotton thread of their own spinning, about eighteen inches long, and
tied in each end a bunch of feathers as big as a man's thumb. They then
placed it in the edge of the water, then they put some bread called
'piek' between the feathers. They also had some dried peaches which
they put into the water. Afterwards, they sprinkled consecrated white
cornmeal upon its surface, and later reached the opposite bank safely.
They then proceeded to thank the Lord for bringing them over without

On the 13th of February Elder Woodruff recorded the death of N. V.
Jones of whom he says: "He has been a true and valuable man, always a
minute man, ready to go at the call of the Presidency of the Church.
From the time he was taken sick he felt that his hour had come."

At this time the leaders were greatly harassed by federal officers
who sought to bring trouble upon President Young and other leaders
of the Church. Those were exciting times and the people were often
aroused to a spirit of determined resistance. On November 3rd of that
year, Wilford Woodruff writes that a great mass-meeting was held in
the Tabernacle to protest against the conduct of Governor Stephen S.
Harding, and Judges Drake, and Waite, and to ask for their removal.
An effort was then made to arrest President Young by military force
on a charge of polygamy, but he opposed such an unlawful proceeding.
Hundreds of men turned out to defend him, whereupon Col. Connor and his
soldiers returned to the Fort. Excitement ran high, but there were no
serious occurrences at the time.

As these events took place, they were recorded by Elder {429} Woodruff
in the dispassionate manner of the historian who seeks diligently to
record facts. It is wonderful how quietly and effectively he could turn
from exciting scenes to the ordinances in the house of God, and then to
his labors about his home. His faith was a constant quality, and his
administration was sought by the sick and afflicted. Orson Pratt at
this time was in a critical condition. In administering to him Elder
Woodruff said: "I told him in the name of the Lord that he should live
and not die, for he had not finished his work in the flesh." He began
at once to improve, and in a few days was able to attend meeting.

That Wilford Woodruff had a true conception of the message and work
of Mormonism, is evinced by the great pleasure which he took in the
call of his son Wilford to a mission. It was something to which he had
looked forward with great pleasure. No greater honor can come to a man
than the privilege of carrying the gospel to the nations of the earth.
To have sons was, of course, a great joy; but to meet the expectations
of their father, they should fill honorable missions and maintain their
integrity in the Church.

It was now time to divert his work from the Historian's Office to the
farm and to the care of his sheep. In those days the warm sulphur
springs were converted into a sort of dipping vat in which one hundred
and twenty-eight sheep could be washed during the day. Whether
dipping sheep, or sowing grain, or writing history there was the same
enthusiastic devotion in all he did.

On June 12th he recorded the killing of two stage drivers coming from
Camp Floyd; and on the 12th he also recorded the drowning of Albert
Smith, in the Jordan River. He was the first male child born in the
Church after the entrance of the Latter-day Saints into the Valley. He
was a good youth, dutiful to his parents, and died in the faith.

When the mid-summer months arrived, and his fields and orchards could
be left, he set out upon a journey in company with President Young to
different parts of the Territory. Fruit growing was at that time the
theme of many discourses. He stated in his record of July 31st that,
"With J. V. Long. Thos. Bullock, Robert Campbell, and John Jacques,
I visited in Provo the garden of Brother Hemingway. He has the best
orchard, nursery, and flower garden combined in the Territory." A
little later they returned {430} from the South and went on a visit
to Logan. There, while addressing the Saints, he pointed to the hill
east of the town and prophesied that a temple of the Lord would soon
be built upon it. When President Young arose to speak, he said that
Apostle Woodruff had spoken by revelation and his words would be
fulfilled. As all know, President Woodruff lived to see that Temple
completed and dedicated to the Lord.

It was on this visit to Cache Valley, in the latter part of August,
1863, that a decision was reached to form settlements on Bear River.
Apostle Chas. C. Rich was placed in charge of those called to settle
the valley east of Cache, which was subsequently known as Rich County.

On the return of President Young from Logan, a meeting was held in
Ogden where the Word of Wisdom was preached with great force, and
where President Young spoke strongly against the practice of some of
the people in leaving their farms to become prospectors for gold and
silver. In those times, the mining excitement in California was running
high. If the Saints were to remain in the Valleys of the Mountains
where they were to build up settlements by co-operative effort, they
must not yield to the temptation of the mines in California. If they
began mining here, it was the first step to the abandonment of the farm
and a rush to the gold fields of the coast.

Elder Woodruff related in his journal the circumstance of a brother who
went three times to President Young to secure his approval of a trip to
California for the purpose of making money. Each time, the President
counseled him to remain at home, but finally yielding to the man's
entreaties he said: "Yes, go if you will against counsel. You will make
money but you will lose it before you get home."

The man went. After remaining about a year and accumulating several
bags of gold-dust, he was greatly elated by his success, and started
home with his money; but the word of prophecy was against him, and when
a few days out from San Bernardino, he was held up by a gang of robbers
and relieved of all his gold-dust. The man returned to Utah with some
remorse of conscience and a witness to the folly of treating lightly
the counsel of his superior in a wild desire to obtain wealth.

In September of that year, in consequence of the agitation {431} that
was going on against the leading brethren, and the efforts to try
Presidents Young and Wells upon false charges, the brethren left their
homes for a place of safety while the excitement lasted. Elder Woodruff
reported at some length the circumstance of the death and funeral of
Sister Ivins, the grandmother of Apostles Heber J. Grant, and A. W.
Ivins. Her funeral sermon was preached by President Young who spoke
in the highest terms of love and esteem for the deceased. "She was a
woman," he said, "of faith and good works, worthy of the confidence and
respect of all. We shall meet her in the resurrection. She has been
well treated by her children and by all the family, and I feel to bless
them for it."

During these times Elder Woodruff's journal contained frequent
instances of the healing of the sick by the laying on of hands both in
his own home and in the household of his friends. He often dwelt in a
reminiscent mood upon the manifestation of God's power in the healing
of the sick throughout the early history of the Church and during the
early days in the Valleys of the Mountains. He spoke of the goodness
of God, of His wonderful mercy and of His divine power manifested in
behalf of the Saints. All that he said and all that he did he ascribed
to the glory of God. To him, death, however, is nothing, if men and
women die in the faith of the Lord Jesus. It is a wonderful faith which
he recorded through every year of his life, and his daily record shows
that he never abandoned his faith or felt desolate or despondent in the
midst of the most trying scenes. He was no pessimist. Every page of his
journal threw out hope, and revealed a spirit of grand expectations.

July 27th, Elder Woodruff recorded trouble with the Indians in Cache
Valley in which Irwin Merrill was killed, and his brother seriously

He also recorded on a subsequent date a statement by President Young
respecting the claim of Sidney Rigdon, in 1844. Of those times
President Young said: "When I met with the Saints in Nauvoo the first
time after the Prophet's death and defended the arguments of the Twelve
against the claims of Sidney Rigdon, I had in mind then that there
would be a presidency of three appointed, but I knew the people were
not prepared for it at the time; and on our return with the pioneers to
the Valley, I {432} broached the subject, first to Apostle Woodruff and
then to the rest of the Quorum. They received and sustained it."

On the first of September, a large company of Saints, largely from
Germany and Switzerland, reached the city. They were under the
presidency of Elder James D. Ross. Elders Woodruff, George A. Smith,
Lorenzo Snow, and F. D. Richards paid them a visit and gave them
special instructions relating to their new homes and their duties
and labors in Zion. Elder Bonnelli acted as their interpreter. Elder
Woodruff recorded the following words from the mouth of Elder George
A. Smith, by way of instructions to the Swiss and German Saints: "Be
faithful. Repent of your sins and live your religion. Don't be in a
hurry to marry men who profess to save women by the wholesale. Wait
until you get acquainted and find out that men are worthy to be saved
themselves, before you marry them. Be careful not to be cheated by
speculators. Some who come here feel that everyone should be perfect.
When they see the failings of men, they become dissatisfied, without
looking at their own failings. Don't be in a hurry to get rich. Do
right, and all will be well with you. When we first came here, we had
nothing given us to eat. There was only that which we brought with us.
You should turn your hand to any honorable employment. Don't be greedy
to get too much land to begin with; what you get, cultivate well. Learn
all you can of the work of God, for I know it is His work, and Joseph
Smith was a true prophet."

Elder Woodruff recorded at this time a visit of Captain Burton of the
British Army, whom he describes as a free, noble-minded man. President
George A. Smith gave him a history of the troubles of the Saints for
the past five years. Captain Burton had traveled extensively and threw
off the yoke of prejudice and superstition.

September 9th, that year, in his address to the Saints in the
Tabernacle, President Young spoke at length upon the conduct of those
missionaries who accumulated money while on their mission with which to
buy goods and establish themselves as merchants. Some of the money used
for this purpose he said had been obtained from the Saints abroad. Such
a practice was severely rebuked, and the missionaries, generally, were
instructed thereafter to abstain from such a course.



THE YEARS 1864-65.

Some Enjoyments.--He Visits a Condemned Man in Prison.--Troubles Made
by Gibson on Hawaiian Islands.--Lorenzo Snow's Escape from Watery
Grave.--Visit to Bear Lake Valley.--Remark of President Young in
Logan.--Ordination to Apostleship of Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow,
Erastus Snow, and Franklin D. Richards.--Hot Springs at Midway.--Second
Inauguration of President Lincoln.--Treaty with Indians.--Colfax Visits
Utah.--Jane Blackhurst.

The journal of Wilford Woodruff for the year 1864 opens with the
following statement: "I have lived to see fifty-six new years, and I
have kept a daily journal of my life for the last thirty-five years. In
some measure it is also a life of others. I have written many sermons
and teachings of the Prophets Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and
sermons of apostles and elders of the Church. I have watched the signs
of the times for many years and noted the fulfillment of prophecy." The
new year, as usual, awakened within him a prophetic spirit. The future
was of great importance in his expectations of the fulfillment of God's
purposes. The fulfillment of prophecy was so certain to his mind that
he dwelt upon it as if he were discussing events of the past.

He celebrated his New Year's day by visiting his wives and children at
their homes and by taking them for a sleigh ride. In those early days
the snow lay longer upon the ground than in recent years. The jingle of
the sleigh bell made the hearts of the people glad.

Elder Woodruff was a many-sided man. While he was possessed of the
acutest spiritual nature, he assumed temporal responsibilities with
peculiar satisfaction, and loved to work on the farm. He was, perhaps,
the highest type of those requirements laid down by Alma and Amulek
relative to the spiritual and temporal responsibilities of a servant
of God. His writings show that he did not place the highest value upon
the man who was fitted for only one class of labor, as preaching or
professional work.

{434} Early in January he took up again his legislative work; and
when not occupied there, officiated in his ministerial calling. On
the 9th of the month he records the fact that he dedicated the new
meeting-house in Farmington.

If he was interested in the welfare of the Saints, he was no less
concerned about the condition of the sinner. He says that on the 11th
and 12th he paid visits to Jason Luce, who was in prison sentenced to
death for murder. Luce was one of the notorious gang in those days,
led by Hickman, a man who preyed upon his fellow-man and who was
guilty of some of the most atrocious crimes, which he undertook to lay
at the feet of the leaders. Elder Woodruff recorded his conversation
with Luce, who is quoted as saying that he had never killed any person
or had a hand in the death of any one except Rhodes and Burting. He
had killed them in self-defense. He said that William Hickman had
advised him to do many things that made his flesh crawl, but that
he had not followed Hickman's advice in these things. He felt that
Hickman had betrayed him and done him a great injury. Luce said that
Hickman had been his ruin and the ruin of others, and that in all
these things Hickman had carried his point by declaring that President
Young had given him counsel to do them. This statement Elder Woodruff
characterized in his journal as "a cursed lie."

"Luce asked me to pray with him that he might have strength to go to
his execution and pay the penalty of his crimes. I prayed with him
according to his request, and then bade him good-bye as did others who
were with him." There was no request in that prayer that Luce be taken
to the bosom of Jesus. There was no promise of a glorious exaltation
for him. He had committed a crime, he had to pay the penalty, and Elder
Woodruff left him to God's mercy as he felt merciful toward him.

The interest of Apostle Woodruff in Jason Luce arose in part from the
fact that he belonged to a family with whom Elder Woodruff had long
been acquainted and with whom he had labored; but Jason had fallen
into bad company and became one of a gang of thieves, and disregarding
counsel, went finally the way of the wicked.

From the drift of affairs at home, the attention of the authorities
{435} was called to the condition of the Church in foreign lands,
especially on the Hawaiian Islands. There, Walter M. Gibson, a
missionary, had organized a church of his own and for some time had
wielded a wonderful influence over the natives. Elders Ezra T. Benson,
Lorenzo Snow, and Joseph F. Smith were sent to the Islands to put in
order the Church there and to restore the natives to their proper
relation with the authorities in Salt Lake City. Gibson was promptly
excommunicated and went the way of all adventurers and deceivers whose
motives are the accumulation of wealth and the honors of men. It was on
this visit to the Islands that Elder Lorenzo Snow was actually drowned.
The boat in which he attempted to land was capsized. President Snow was
rescued by a native, but to all appearances was dead. It was some time
before he showed any signs of life.

On the 4th of April following, Elder Woodruff records the fact that he
was chosen a member of the grand jury. The work was somewhat new to
him, but he soon adjusted himself to his duties and gave it his special
attention. From the grand jury room he went to the Historian's Office,
then to his conferences, and mingled religious and secular duties in
such a manner as to show the responsibility that he felt himself under
to do the very best he could in every calling of life.

On the 16th of the following May, he joined President Young's party
on a visit to the northern settlements, especially to those in Bear
Lake Valley, whither Charles C. Rich had gone to preside. When the
party arrived at Franklin, they had to cross the mountains. "We left
Franklin at six o'clock and traveled the first twenty miles in a severe
rain storm. The country was hilly and the road very crooked. On our
arrival at the summit, the animals were nearly exhausted. We found the
way wet and muddy. After proceeding about a mile we entered a mud hole
six miles long, the worst I ever saw in my life. I could not compare
it with anything better than by taking all the mud holes I ever saw in
my life and place them in a line. What made it worse than Illinois or
Indiana mud holes was that they were nothing but mud while this was
full of tree stumps and brush. Both the horses and mules struggled
fearfully, belly deep, in the mud to make headway. Occasionally a pair
of horses or mules would {436} fall and be buried all over except their
heads. Men would go and pry out the animals and pull the vehicles out
with ropes and then make another start. Some carriages were broken.
In this way we wallowed through the mud until eight o'clock in the
evening. We later continued our journey to Bear Lake and reached Paris
at 3 o'clock in the morning of the 20th of May. The distance was about
twenty miles."

Speaking of Bear Lake he says: "We found this to be a large valley.
The soil is good and the water is sufficient to irrigate it all and
there is abundant timber. It is a great stock range and the lake is
the finest in Utah. It is about thirty miles long and ten miles wide
through the middle. It is said that in many places a line two hundred
feet long fails to reach the bottom."

Elder Woodruff was a fisher, and of course tells the story of the trout
in that region: "Great numbers of trout ran in the streams from the
lake. They ranged some of them from ten to twelve pounds in size. The
boatmen sometimes killed them with clubs and sometimes caught them with

On the return home, he said: "An accident occurred which came near
costing Geo. A. Smith his life. A man by the name of Merrill put a
loaded rifle in the carriage. The gun rested on the seat by Brother
George A. While he was thus riding, the wheel struck a rock. Brother
Smith threw his body on the upper side of the carriage to balance
it, and at that instant the gun went off. The ball went through the
buffalo-robe by him, passed by his side and went through the wagon
behind him. It was a providential escape from death."

"On May the 24th we drove to Logan where President Young spoke on
the doctrine of the plurality of wives. He said that there were but
few elders in the Church that would receive the exaltation they were
looking for in that order. It would be given to many more women than
men. There are but few men that enter into that law that keep it."

On date of June 5th Elder Woodruff makes record in his journal of the
drowning of Matthias Cowley. Elder Cowley was a nephew by marriage to
Apostle Woodruff, and had come from the Isle of Man to Nauvoo when
thirteen years of age. Later {437} he emigrated with his parents to
Salt Lake Valley. Elder Woodruff secured a number of men and a boat and
went in search of the body, which, however, was not recovered until a
week later.

Early in July Elder Woodruff accompanied President Young on a trip to
Provo, where they preached under the bowery to a congregation of some
three thousand persons. While there, Elder Woodruff records that a
messenger came from Salt Lake stating that the Governor had placed a
provost guard in the Church storehouse opposite the Temple Block. The
Governor intended to put the city under martial law. A guard of one
hundred men accompanied the President and party home. They found his
home guarded by two hundred and fifty men.

This annoyance created a good deal of agitation among the Saints, and
Elder Woodruff says that on the 12th of July he spent most of the day
getting singers to the petition to remove the soldiers to the outside
of the inhabited portions of the city. The leaders had learned during
their early experience that one of the means that the enemy had used
to drive out the Saints was to create some sort of a conflict by
aggravating the leaders. It was hoped that some kind of retaliation
would be resorted to that would bring them into conflict with the civil
authorities. It was so easy to style such a conflict a rebellion. The
next step, of course, would be martial law. The Saints and leaders,
however, were on their guard constantly, and took every precaution to
keep down disturbances.

It would not be possible in a biography of this character to follow
Elder Woodruff in his travels to the various counties throughout the
Church. Towns were multiplying rapidly. The Saints were coming into the
Valleys by the thousands. The pioneer work of extending the borders of
the Church was already beyond the personal supervision of the leaders.
On his return from one of these visits he said that he had budded four
hundred and nineteen peach trees in the old Fort block, where the
pioneers had early located. On this block Charles C. Rich, Lorenzo
Snow, Erastus Snow and Franklin D. Richards were ordained apostles, on
Feb. 12, 1849. The block is now owned by the city, and held as a park.

On the 18th of August a visit was made to Heber City. Elder {438}
Woodruff described the Hot Springs, located at Midway, and the peculiar
formation around them. He said that about twenty of them were filled
with water. In some instances the water was running over the top. Some
were about fifteen feet in depth, and some apparently bottomless. On
one they sank a weight one hundred and twenty-five feet and found no
bottom. He spoke of the rattle-snake den, and the fact that between
four and five hundred rattle-snakes had been killed in a single day. In
the spring they appear on the outside and form into a bunch that would
almost fill a bushel. They tie themselves together in knots with their
heads sticking out in all directions for defense. The country around
the craters is apparently hollow, as indicated by the sounds caused by
the rumbling of wheels.

Soon after their return from Heber City, September the 1st, a tour of
the southern part of the Territory was made, and extended as far as St.
George and Santa Clara. These visits fired the hearts of the Saints and
gave rise to an ambition to make the desert blossom as the rose. At
Fillmore Elder Woodruff made a careful note of the splendid condition
of the apple orchards. He also stated they held a party there that
evening in the stake house, but President Young broke it up because of
the confusion and disorder in the house.

On their return from the south, Elder Woodruff made record of the
following: "While on the road from Washington to Harrisburg, we stopped
on the edge of a high precipice which presents very interesting scenery
of the valley below. While standing there, Brother Eddings wished me
to help him lift up a flat stone that he wanted to throw off from the
top to the depth below. As I took hold of it. I caught a scorpion
between my fingers. The sting gave a shock to my whole system. It was
a small scorpion and I mashed it to pieces in lifting the stone. This
sting alarmed me somewhat, as the sting of the scorpion is considered
very dangerous and some have even lost their lives by it. I soon got
some tobacco and bound it on my finger. This seemed to take the poison
out, and I received no material injury from the bite." Elder Woodruff,
however, felt the blessings of the Lord in his escape from poison and
found a parallel in the life of Paul, who, while {439} on the island of
Malta, shook from his hand a scorpion whose bite did him no harm.

The October Conference followed their return. It was largely attended
and characterized by the interest the people had in those semi-annual
gatherings. It is remarkable that so many came together when we note
the difficulties under which Salt Lake City was reached in those days.

Immediately after the conference, on October 10th, the survivors of
Zion's Camp held a meeting. It was the first gathering of that body
since their expedition to Missouri. Elder Woodruff recorded the fact
that there were over fifty of the survivors out of the two hundred
and five that belonged originally to Zion's Camp. In the evening they
enjoyed themselves in a dancing party in the Social Hall. "It was the
most interesting party I had ever attended." Bishop Hunter and his
counselors provided for those veterans a good dinner and supper, a
precedent since observed by President Joseph F. Smith. At this date,
1909, there remains but one survivor of Zion's Camp,--Nathan Tanner.

The harvest season was practically closed, yet the molasses mill was
an important adjunct to the farm. Sugar was scarce and the price high.
Molasses was a necessity, and one of the common articles of diet of
the people. Elder Woodruff had erected a molasses mill, which was kept
running not only by the cane that he raised on his own farm, but by the
patronage of his neighbors. Almost every fall and winter, therefore,
he had large quantities of molasses to sell. Bread, molasses, fruit,
milk, and butter were the products of his own farm, and were the
chief supply of his table. He raised his own mutton and beef, and his
family made clothing from the wool of his sheep. He took a special
pride in the fact that he lived by the labors of his own hands and was

Elder Woodruff's journal of November 9th, that year, contained
mentioned of his visit to Kays Ward, where he met a Sister Mary
Phillips, the oldest person in Utah. In three weeks she would reach
her ninety-first year. She had been baptized by Elder Woodruff in
Herefordshire in 1840.

On his return home he encountered one of the old-time east winds which
swept down through the canyon and mountains east {440} of Farmington.
It was so severe that the party had great difficulty in keeping their
carriages from being upset. That night Elder Woodruff enjoyed the
hospitality of Ezra Clark, an old-time bosom friend of Elder Woodruff.
Here the roof of the house of Ezra Clark was blown off, also that of
the Bountiful meeting-house. Hay stacks were torn down and scattered
over the country. These winds in early days were so frequent and severe
as to give the people in Farmington and vicinity grave apprehension.
They were so destructive and so dreaded that President Young rebuked
them in the name of the Lord and they immediately became less frequent.
In late years these winds have occurred in some of their old-time

The year 1865 bore witness of stirring events that had much to do in
shaping the sentiments of the Latter-day Saints in political matters.
Petty annoyances and officiousness on the part of federal officers gave
the Saints cause for complaint. Between religious and civil opinions
there had always existed, and perhaps will always exist, more or less
jealousy over the question of influence. In those days there was no
real collision in the matter of authority. The influence of President
Young and leading men of the Church was so incomparably much greater
than that exercised by judges and governors that there would naturally
arise feelings of suspicion as well as of jealousy.

The Saints were anxious to avoid disputations and collisions, and
yet they felt at times resentful when subjected to what they felt
unnecessary indignities. They were loyal to the government, honored the
officers of the law in their place; but they were also religious. With
them, God had a part in the affairs of this nation, and they foresaw
a divine purpose in what was going on among the nations of the earth.
Their interpretation of events, even though they were loyal, were often
misunderstood and just as often wilfully misconstrued.

In February, 1865, Elder Woodruff records the purchase for the Church
of a large tract of land in Oahu on the Sandwich Islands. This purchase
was brought about through the instrumentality of Francis A. Hammond.

November, the preceding year, had witnessed the re-election of Abraham
Lincoln as President of the United States. On March {441} 4th he was
to be inaugurated. This gave the Saints an opportunity to meet the
officers and soldiers of the Fort in a friendly celebration. There was
fraternal good will and the celebration did much to mitigate suspicion
and illiberal feelings. At the conclusion of the celebration George
A. Smith arose, and waving the stars and stripes said: _"One country,
an undivided country, the old flag forever!"_ The toast awakened
enthusiasm, and it truthfully expressed the unanimous sentiment of the
Latter-day Saints.

At the close of the services, Elder Woodruff and several other leading
men repaired to the City Hall, where they took dinner with Colonel
George and staff, Colonel George having succeeded General Connor in
the command of Fort Douglas. Conditions in Utah now seemed improved.
The war was over, and peace was to be the watchword of the nation. Why
should the people of Utah not also have their share of that sacred boon?

The country, however, was aroused almost to a state of frenzy by the
assassination of President Lincoln. The Territory mourned with the
other territories and states of the Union. On April 16th Elder Woodruff
preached the funeral sermon in honor of the martyred President in the
Tabernacle at Salt Lake City. In the afternoon of that day Franklin D.
Richards and Geo. Q. Cannon also spoke upon the same subject. April
19th, however, they set apart as a day of general mourning throughout
the land, and in Salt Lake City thousands assembled in the Tabernacle
to take part in the services. They consisted of Mormons, Jews and
Gentiles, civil and military authorities. The audience was addressed by
Amasa Lyman and the Rev. Norman McLeod.

Between June 1st and 15th of that year, Elder Woodruff joined President
Young's company on a visit through the settlements as far south as
Payson. Near that town they visited the Indian camp, where they found
Colonel Irish, who was persuading the Indians to enter into a treaty
by which they might thereafter occupy a reservation in Uintah. Of that
event Elder Woodruff said: "President Young and company drove to the
Indian farm and held a meeting with the Indians. Colonel Irish, the
agent, had called upon President Young to assist him in making a treaty
which he could not bring about because of the opposition {442} of the
Indians to it. Mr. Irish made a speech and the Indian chiefs made
speeches. They did not want to sell their lands and go away. President
Young then made a talk to them, explained that it would be best for
them to sign the treaty, and the advantages that would come to them
from it. They finally said they would do as he said; but they wanted to
think it over until the next day. When they met again, the chiefs came
forward and signed the treaty, except one by the name of Sanpitch, who
claimed to be the main chief. He lay in his tent on his face for about
two days. He was on his dignity. The other chiefs paid no attention to
him. After all was over, Sanitch came forward and wanted his presents
and wanted to sign the treaty. However, he got some presents, but had
to come to Salt Lake City to sign the treaty. Colonel Johns of the
United States Army was present and Colonel Irish informed him that
he could do nothing with the Indians except through the influence of
President Young."

About this time Schuyler Colfax, Governor Bowles and others paid the
Territory a visit. "We spent about two hours with them and had a free,
social interview. They talked about a variety of subjects, among
the rest gold digging. President Young showed Mr. Colfax how much
better off those were who had stayed at home, cultivated the earth
and made improvements than those who had gone to dig gold. Mr. Colfax
thought that if we did not open the mines ourselves that others would.
President Young said that, 'if they open mines in this territory, it
will be against all the faith that I can exercise with my God; for the
people have spent twenty dollars for every one they have obtained from
the mines.'"

President Young felt that it was not wisdom to encourage the mining
industry at that time when so much depended upon the colonization of
the Territory, in the construction of canals, and in bringing the land
under cultivation. Mr. Colfax and party visited the Salt Lake Theater
and pronounced it, according to Elder Woodruff's journal, the best,
with the exception of two, west of New York City.

While Mr. Colfax and party were here, Gov. Doty died. Great respect was
shown throughout the Territory for the occasion. {443} The Latter-day
Saints, wishing to secure the appointment of some one who understood
conditions here, and who would not act in a spirit of antagonism
towards them, sent a petition to Washington, asking for the appointment
of Colonel Irish. Their petition, however, was not granted.

The October conference of that year was well attended. President Daniel
H. Wells had just returned from England, and gave an interesting
address to the Saints.

On December 22nd the President and Twelve gathered as usual at the home
of Sister Jane Blackhurst, whose devotion to her faith and humble,
God-fearing life endeared her to all with whom she came in contact.
Of her Elder Woodruff said: "In the history of the whole world I do
not know of a woman occupying a position like that of Sister Jane
Blackhurst. A woman once fed the Prophet Elisha in time of famine,
and the Lord increased her cruse of oil and measure of meal. One or
two women were last at the cross and earliest at the grave of Jesus.
Sister Blackhurst has made a feast for the Presidency and the Twelve,
annually, for the last fifteen years, although she is a poor, crippled
woman." He then proceeded to bless her in an inspired manner.

Elder Woodruff closed his journal for 1865 by recognizing the hand of
God in all that had befallen the people. In the midst of political
turmoils of those times, and the enmities that existed against the
Saints, he found reason to praise God, the giver of all good.



THE YEARS 1866, '67, '68.

New Year's Greetings.--Evil Spirits Rebuked.--Love for Little
Ones.--Drawings in His Journal.--Mrs. Godbe's Dream.--Brigham Young's
Remarks on the Atonement.--Sept. 5, 1867, Joseph F. Smith Selected
as One of the Twelve.--Amasa Lyman Dropped from Twelve.--School of
the Prophets.--Move to Provo.--Grass-hopper War.--Advent of the
Railroad.--Remarkable Prophetic Utterances at Logan.--Visit to
Sanpete.--Call to First Presidency of Geo. A. Smith.--Accident to His
Son Ashael--Summary of 1868.

New Year's Day, 1866, found nine of the Twelve Apostles at home. Elder
Woodruff says they met at ten o'clock in the Historian's Office in a
body and went across the street to the home of President Young where
they greeted him with the compliments of the season, and in return
received his best wishes and blessings. They then called upon Heber
C. Kimball and paid him their compliments. He, in turn, blessed them
and prophesied respecting the future blessings which awaited them. To
Orson Hyde he said: "You shall overcome all things, conquer in the
end, without a spot or blemish, and shall be crowned with glory in the
presence of God, as Joseph saw you thirty years ago." "Brother Franklin
has passed through trials and will also be vindicated in the end." "I
will say concerning Schuyler Colfax, who aspires to the Presidential
chair to the downfall of the Latter-day Saints, that he shall go down
as Douglas did and shall be a disappointed man." They then called on
President Wells, to whom they extended a like greeting. After this they
called upon Apostles George A. Smith and John Taylor. Apostle Taylor
provided three sleighs and they all drove to Orson Pratt's home, where
they greeted his family, he being on a mission at that time. They paid
their respects to Mayor Smoot and Governor Durkee. These New Year calls
having been made, they made their way to the home of John Taylor, who
provided the company with a New Year's dinner.

After giving an account of his labors in the Historian's Office for
the months of January and February, Apostle Woodruff's journal of
March 17th contains the narration of a peculiar circumstance {445}
which transpired at the City Hall. The police had in their custody a
man possessed of evil spirits. He was a raving maniac. Elder Woodruff
called to see him, and being alone with him, he laid his hands upon the
man's head and commanded the devils to leave him. They obeyed; and the
man became instantly sane and begged Elder Woodruff to take him to his
home. The latter complied, and the man remained in a sane condition
of mind until about one o'clock the following morning, when he again
became possessed. Again Elder Woodruff rebuked the evil spirit. The
man was relieved and remained quiet until morning. There were some
subsequent attacks upon this unfortunate, but through the power of
faith, he was healed.

Elder Woodruff's journal is devoted to a narration of family life as
well as to those of public services. His heart is full of love for his
wives and children, and he felt especially tender toward the little
ones. On May 4th he said: "My grandson, four years old, brought wood to
me nearly all day. I told him I would record it in my journal so that
he could read it when he became a man." This was a little thing, but
that is one of those little things that showed the appreciation and
gratitude of Apostle Woodruff toward the humblest and most child-like
of those who administered to his wants. There is something remarkable
about the appreciation of Elder Woodruff for what was good and true and
beautiful in life. Good sermons always delighted him for they were food
to a hungry soul.

June 3rd, 1866, Elder Woodruff recorded a synopsis of a sermon
delivered by President Young, who took as a text, "If I am lifted up,
I will draw all men unto me." "I considered it in some respects the
greatest sermon I ever heard in this dispensation." He also referred
to the sermons of Orson and Parley P. Pratt and of President Joseph F.
Smith, who was then a young man. Elder Woodruff was free from envy and
was not swayed by ambitious motives. In his journal of June 24th he
says: "Joseph F. Smith spoke an hour and fifteen minutes, and the power
of God was upon him. He manifested the same spirit that was upon his
uncle, Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and upon his father, Hyrum Smith."

On the first of July following, he makes this record, respecting the
words of President Young at the close of a prayer circle {446} which
had just been held by the Presidency and some of the brethren. As they
were about to leave, President Young spoke up: "'Hold on. Shall I do as
I feel led to do? I always feel well when I follow the promptings of
the spirit. It has come to my mind to ordain Brother Joseph F. Smith
to the Apostleship, and to be one of my counselors.' He then called
upon each one of us for an expression of our feelings and we responded
with our hearty approval. Joseph F. Smith was then ordained under the
hands of Brigham Young and the brethren present to be an Apostle in the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to be a special witness
to the nations of the earth. He was further ordained to be a counselor
in the First Presidency of the Church."

As the summer days opened, and travel was facilitated by the warm
weather, frequent tours were made to the various towns and stakes of
the Church. On these visits of President Young, Wilford Woodruff's
presence was almost always noticeable. He did not delve much into
the mysteries of the kingdom, but was a safe counselor in matters of
every-day life. His own example afforded excellent encouragement to the
Saints in the development of every industry required in those times.
His spiritual nature was fed by the ordinances in which he officiated
in the house of God. When ever possible he went there to officiate and
to take part with his brethren in administering both to the living and
to the dead.

Wilford Woodruff had a curious practice in keeping his journal of
making some peculiar or appropriate drawing at the head of some
particular event of which he wished to take notice. These drawings, no
doubt, helped him in after years to find the record of these events
in lieu of an index. For example, there may be seen at one place the
drawing of a number of coffins. The drawing suggests Baptiste, the
grave-robber. The drawings are more significant than artistic; however,
they were no doubt helpful in locating certain events to which at some
future time he might wish to refer.

Under date of March 29th Elder Woodruff said: "My attention was called
to a dream of Mrs. William Godbe published in the _Deseret News_ of
1867. The dream related to life in the spirit world, and gave the
experience of herself and others there. It awakened much interest
among the people and was the subject of general conversation. Elder
George Davis, who drove {447} an express wagon, asked his wife if she
thought the dream was true; and when she replied that she believed it
was, Elder Davis said that he felt like going into the spirit world
to see for himself. Elder Davis read the dream over to his wife three
times, and finally said to her: 'If I should die to-night or to-morrow
it would be alright.' Early in the morning he went with another man to
get a load of gravel. He had thrown into the wagon only a shovelful
when the bank caved in upon him and he was buried about three feet. His
companion dug him out as quickly as possible, but he was dead."

Elder Woodruff preached the funeral sermon, and regarded the man's
death as an evidence that there are times set for our departure from
this life. Such circumstances as that always made a deep and lasting
impression on Elder Woodruff, and his thoughts, feelings, and desires
seemed close to the world beyond.

Soon after the April conference of that year, President Young set
out upon one of his tours through the southern settlements of the
Territory. It was a sort of triumphal procession. Everywhere the
Church leaders were received with manifestations of a heart-felt
welcome. Sunday school children lined the road sides and helped make
the occasion in the different settlements one that would be long
remembered. Efforts had been made among many non-Mormons to cast
discredit upon the character of Brigham Young and lessen his influence
over the people. It was that influence that was bitterly contested.
The people, however, knew the voice of their shepherd and gave him the
strongest assurance of their love and fellowship.

At Fillmore, on the return trip, May 12th, the speakers, in their
turn, emphasized the subject, "The Necessity of the Atonement." It was
the home of Amasa Lyman, who was breaking away from his moorings and
advocating a strange doctrine respecting the atonement of Jesus Christ.
In his remarks at that time President Young said: "There never was, and
never will be, a world created and redeemed except by the shedding of
the blood of the Savior of that world. I know why the blood of Jesus
was shed, and I know why the blood of Joseph and Hyrum was shed, and
why the blood of others will be shed in the future. It is all to answer
a purpose. Adam subjected himself to the conditions of this world as
did our Lord and Master, that redemption and exaltation {448} might
come to man. Without descending below all things, we cannot rise above
all things. The gospel of salvation will never change. It is the same
in all ages of the world and will be through all ages of eternity."

It was not long after their return to Salt Lake that a trip of the
leaders was made to Provo, where a new meeting-house had been erected
and was to be dedicated. Elder Woodruff made the following description
of it: "It is built after the Presbyterian order. It has a pulpit in
it, a very narrow one, that gives but little room to stand in, and
there is barely room for three or four on the stand behind it. The
house has been twelve years in building." In his discourse to the
people from the pulpit he said: "I thank God with every sentiment of my
heart that I have lived to see a Presbyterian meeting-house filled with
the Saints of God, and the pulpit occupied by the Apostles of the Lamb,
who have dedicated this house unto the Lord." This meeting-house still
stands in Provo, but is now superseded by one much larger and more
commodiously arranged.

The leaders on their return from Provo made a visit to Logan. Here,
President Young is quoted as saying that the ten tribes of Israel are
on a portion of the earth,--a portion separated from the main land.
This view is also expressed in one of the sacrificial hymns written by
Eliza R. Snow:

  "And when the Lord saw fit to hide
  The ten lost tribes away,
  Thou, earth, was severed to provide
  The orb on which they stay."

It was here on the 5th of September, 1867, Elder Joseph F. Smith was
selected to be one of the Twelve Apostles, he having been ordained
sometime before as an Apostle without having been made a member of
the Quorum of the Twelve. He was sustained at the general semi-annual
conference which took place between the 6th and 9th of October.

That conference was one of unusual interest to the Saints. The new
Tabernacle was then completed and between eight and ten thousand people
met to honor the occasion and attend conference. The organ was not
quite completed. It was designed to have {449} two thousand pipes, but
then had only seven hundred and fifty.

At this conference one of the brethren spoke upon the God-head. The
discourse met, in the main, the views of President Young. The latter,
however, said: "When any man publishes or preaches his peculiar views
he should not say they are the views of the Church." At the close of
the meeting President Young talked very plainly with him about saying
that such and such were the doctrines of the Church; about telling
what would have been if Christ had not died; if Adam had not fallen;
or if there had been no Savior prepared, the world would not have been

The conference was further characterized by the call to Dixie of a
hundred young men. Instructions were also given on the laws of life
and health. A simple life was urged upon the people. President Young
further impressed upon young ladies the necessity of some sort of
business education. He thought they should study telegraphy, learn to
keep books, and prepare themselves for the lighter vocations of life.

The conference had its shadows. Much that was taught was no doubt a
result of peculiar views which Amasa Lyman preached. This Apostle was
dropped from his position in the Quorum of the Twelve.

Elder Woodruff recorded the marriage on October 12th of his son Wilford
to Emily Jane Smith. To the father, the ordinance was in keeping with
man's express duty to his God and his obligation to the Church. He
thought it was a circumstance in a young man's life which called forth
a prayerful desire to serve the Lord. Indeed, such sacred obligations
as marriage should never be undertaken without resorting to prayer for
God's guidance.

The organization of the School of the Prophets was again taken up and
effected on the 16th day of December, 1867. Its members met in the
City Hall. It had been organized in earlier days of the Church by the
Prophet Joseph through revelation, and was designed for the spiritual
growth and development of the Saints of God. Of this school Elder
Woodruff was a devoted and active member.

The winter of 1866 and '67 was an open one. Up to January 1st the
ground was bare. The weather was warm and there had {450} been a
considerable fall of rain. The winter months of that spring were
occupied by Elder Woodruff in legislative work.

He had with him at that time two Indian boys whom he undertook to
educate. One was called Moroni, the other Sarrowkeets. The latter, he
sent to a private school taught by Elizabeth Cowley in her home in the
Fourteenth Ward. These Indian boys, in one way or another, caused him
considerable trouble, yet he bore with them patiently and sought to
educate them and provide for them a father's care. Moroni died as a
boy. Sarrowkeets or "Keets," as he was familiarly called, yielded to
the wandering spirit of his ancestors and left home. It is supposed
that he was run over and killed by a Short Line train four miles north
of Salt Lake City.

In his journal of January 21st he recorded some instructions given to
a body of the priesthood. "Who was Michael, the Archangel?" "He is
Adam, who was Michael in the creation of the world. It will take all
the ordinances of the gospel to save one soul as much as it will take
to save another,--the dead as well as the living. Jesus Christ Himself
obeyed all the ordinances of the gospel that He might fulfill all
righteousness. Therefore, those who have died without the gospel will
have to receive it in the spirit world from those who preach it to the
spirits in prison. Those who dwell in the flesh will have to attend to
all the ordinances of the gospel for and in behalf of the dead."

Continuing, he remarked: "There are some keys which the Prophet Joseph
held which no other man held while he lived. So it is with Brigham
Young. The keys of the sealing power are held by the President alone,
although he permits others to administer in this ordinance.

"When I was baptized into this Church, I was observing the seventh day
as the Sabbath of the Lord, and not the first day of the week; but I
knew that the Latter-day Saints were the people of God, and had the
true Church of Christ; and if I had had a hundred traditions I would
have laid them all aside."

Elder Woodruff observed that in the School of the Prophets the brethren
were instructed not to dabble in astrology, or any system which
might contain a mixture of truth and error. Not one ray of light had
ever been thrown upon the principle of salvation in the practice of
clairvoyance and spiritualism. These {451} subjects are not such as men
can act upon with the ordinary intelligence God has given them.

In the early part of the year 1868, Elder Woodruff, John Taylor, and
Joseph F. Smith with others were called to Provo for the purpose of
assisting in the work to be done there. Abram O. Smoot was elected as
mayor, and Elder Woodruff with others, constituted the City Council.
The town was in need of a new spiritual life. It also needed strong
men to guide its destinies and make it a center of one of the leading
stakes of the Church. Elder Woodruff, however, did not long remain
there, and upon receiving his release returned with his family to Salt
Lake City.

When he reached Salt Lake City, he found there a letter from his
brother Azmon, who had embraced the gospel when he did in the state of
New York. The brother, however, was in a dissatisfied state of mind.
He wrote letters occasionally to Wilford in which he set forth some of
his objections to the work. In reply to these letters, some of which
were copied in Wilford Woodruff's journal, he spoke to his brother with
great plainness, told him about his wives and children, and gave a
strong defense of the principle of Plural Marriage.

This was the year of the grasshopper war. Swarms of them had swept
over the country. They were so thick at times as to cloud the rays of
the sun. The struggle with these insects was rightly characterized as
a war. It is difficult to realize at this distance of time what it
meant in those days to protect the crops against the ravages of the
grasshopper. All the ingenuity and device that men could bring to their
assistance were used in the effort to save out of the ruins enough
bread for winter use. Furrows were ploughed, nets were devised, and by
these different means Elder Woodruff says in three days they caught and
destroyed one hundred and seventy-five bushels of grasshoppers. Elder
Woodruff gave to that war all his strength and ingenuity.

We next find him, according