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Title: Wilford Woodruff
       History of his Life and Labors as Recorded in his Daily Journals

Author: Matthias F. Cowley
        Wilford Woodruff

Release Date: December 19, 2014 [EBook #47703]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by the Mormon Texts Project
(, with special thanks to Villate
Brown McKitrick.



* * * *

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 Teacher.


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 Prophet.—Endowments.



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 Society.



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 Woodruff.—Poisoned.



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 Valley.—Mining.


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 Manifesto.



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 habitation."

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 thirty-one."




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 insurmountable.

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 again.

"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 Providence.




"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 salvation."

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 Saints."

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 seeking.

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 mystery."

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 Woodruff.



BAPTISM, 1833.

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

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 Writ.

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 bedding.

"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 gospel.'"

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 judgment.

"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 night.

"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 afternoon.

"As we approached the timber, a large black bear came out towards us. We were not afraid of him, for we were on the Lord's business, and had not mocked God's prophets as did the forty-two wicked children who said to Elisha, 'Go up thou bald head,' for which they were torn by bears. When the bear got within eight rods of us he sat on his haunches, 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 place.

"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 Thomas.

"A warrant was issued, on the oath of a priest, against D. W. Patten, W. Parrish and myself. We were accused in the warrant of the great 'crime' of testifying that Christ would come in this generation, and that we promised the Holy Ghost to those whom we baptized. Brothers Patten and Parrish were taken on the 19th of June. I, being in another county, escaped 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 court.

"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 States.

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 times.

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 unanimous.

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 Pentecost."

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 there.

"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 dispensation.

"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 correct.

"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 afflictions."




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 together.

"As they were passing by my door, Brother Joseph said: 'Brother Woodruff, follow me.' These were the only words spoken by any of the company from the time they left Brother Brigham's house till 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 sick.

"The unbeliever may ask, 'Was there not deception in this?' If there is any deception in the mind of the unbeliever, there was certainly none with Elijah Fordham, the dying man, 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 friend.'

"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 ague.

"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 York.

{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 together.

"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 named.

"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 o'clock.

"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 field.

{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 Herefordshire.

"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 & Scryngour.)'

"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 time.

"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 gospel.

"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 around.

"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 Illinois.

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 precedence.

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 places.

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 requirement.

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 owner."

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 trouble."

"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 conduct."

"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 heaven.'

"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 lips."

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 Prophet.—Endowments.

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 enemy.

"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 Baltimore.

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 establishing.

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 presence."

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 Convention.

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 words.

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 fulfill."

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 guns.

"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 itself.

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 Ontario.

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 surroundings.

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 Nauvoo.

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 dedication.

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 fallen.

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 homes.

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 marriage.

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 Woodruff.




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 Nebraska.

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 sleep.

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 dispatched.

"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 traveling.

"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 River.

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 him.

"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 again.

"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 indeed."

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 Indians.

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, etc.

"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 men.

"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 Creek.

"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 grass.

"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 time.

"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 buffaloes.

"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 buckskin.

"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 cwt.

"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 us.

"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 again.

"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 antelopes.

"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 practiced.

"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 afternoon.

"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 miles.

"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 camp.

"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 pacific.

"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 priesthood.

"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 mobs.

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 discourse."

President Heber C. Kimball and Ezra T. Benson also spoke in the forenoon.

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 Mountains.

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 community.

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 Saints.

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 speech."

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 horses.

"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 camp.

"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 consideration.

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 priesthood."

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 Portland.

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 preservation.

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 guns.

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 unity.

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 Wilford.

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 Society.

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 credit."

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 scheme.

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 Maughan.

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 surgeon.

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 Weber.

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 legislature.




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 Woodruff.—Poisoned.

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 Islands.

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 works."

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 grasshoppers.

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 them.'"

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 teams.

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 follows:

"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 awoke.

"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 guilty.

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 household.

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 ministry."

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 Saints.

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 Carrington.

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 necessary.

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 before.

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 prisoners."

"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. Snow.


  "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 mobs.

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 life.'"

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 history.

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 occurrence."

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 Saints.

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 Young.

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 places.

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 body."

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 neighbors.

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 Israel.

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 killed.

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 Church.

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 Valley.—Mining.

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 testimony."

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 Zion.

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 harm."

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 wounded.

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 influen