Mormon History 1830-1844

Wilford Woodruff (1807–1898)
Fourth president of the Church. This sketch covers only through 1839. Dreamer and visionary, missionary, apostle.
 
Born   March 1, 1807 at Avon (Farmington), Hartford Co., Connecticut  
Died   September 2, 1898 in San Francisco, California  
Father   Aphek Woodruff  
Mother   Beulah Thompson  
Resolve   1824 resolves to be led by the spirit. >  
    Spring 1832 moves to Richmond, Oswego County, New York with his older brother Azmon.   ¶ Wilford Woodruff (h1)
Azmon, b. Nov 29, 1802 in Farmington, Hartford Co., CT; d. June 14, 1889 in Salt Lake City.
First contact   December 29, 1833 with Azmon, hears Zerah Pulsipher preach.  
<i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:5.
Baptized   December 31, 1833 by Zerah Pulsipher. Azmon and two sisters are also baptized.  
<i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:6.
Noah Hatton   January 1, 1834 Freewill Baptist preacher Noah Hatton and several members of his Church are baptized in Richmond  
<i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:6. Richmond branch   January 2, 1834 Elder Pulsipher organizes the Richmond branch with twelve members and ordaiains Azmon and Noah elders, and Wilford a teacher.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:6–7. Zion's camp   April 1, 1834 Elders Harry Brown and Parley P. Pratt arrive. Parley and Lyman Wight have been assigned to recruit 500 volunteers, or a minimum of 100, to redeem Zion.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:6–7. Leaves for Kirtland   April 11, 1834 leaves for Kirtland with Harry Brown and Warren Ingles.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:7–8. Kirtland, Joseph   April 25, 1834 reaches Kirtland and meets Joseph Smith "the prophet & Seer which God hath raised up in theswe last days through whom the Saints receieve Revelations from time to time." Boards with Joseph for nearly a week.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:8. Brigham, Heber   April 26, 1834 <meets Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. "Br Young gave me a Butcher knife.">   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:8. Preaching   April 27, 1834 (Sunday) hears Sidney, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt and others speak. "It appeared to me there was more light made manifest at that meeting respecting the gospel and Kingdom of God than I had ever receieved from the whole Sectarian world."   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:8–9. Leave Kirtland   May 1, 1834 advance company of "rising of 20 men" and four baggage wagons leave Kirtland, the remainder leaving May 6. They catch up the same day, bringing the total to 20 baggage wagons and "rising of one hundred & fifty men … armed with dirks pistols Swords & rifles For Self defence and according to Brother Joseph's request I delivered him my Sword for his own use."   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:9. Leave New Portage

Sunday services
  May 8, 1834 leave from New Portage. "We made it a practice of pitching our tents on Saturday night and not remove them untill Monday morning. We had preaching on the Lords day. Brother Joseph often addressed us in the name of the Lord."   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:9.  Mounds   [O]n our travels many of the mounds which were flung up by the ancient inhabitants of this continent probably by the Nephites & Lamanites. …Three persons dug into the mound & found a body. Elder Milton Holmes took the arrow out of the back bones that killed Zelph & brought it with some of the bones in to the camp. I visited the same mound with Jesse J Smith. …   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:10–11.  Zelph Brother Joseph had a vission respecting the person. He said he was a white Lamanite. The curs was taken from him or at leaswt in part. He was killed in battle with an arrow. The arrow was found among his ribs. One of his thigh bones was broken. This was done by a stone flung from a sling in battle years before his death. His name was Zelph. Some of his bones were brought into the Camp and the thigh bone which was broken was ut into my waggon and I carried it to Missouri. Zelph was a large thick set man and a man of God. He was a warrior under the great prophet <Onandagus> that was known from the hill Camorah <or east sea> to the Rocky mountains. The above knowledge Joseph receieved in a vision. …   Onandaga is the name of a county in western New York. Syracuse is in Onandaga County. Salt River … on the day following our arival at Salt River we were joined by [11] Brother Lyman wight and the ompany of Bretthren which he had gather'd together at Misigan or in that region of the country. … This added to our company. So that it now consisted of 25 baggage waggons and about two hundred men.     Lyman Wight We remained at Salt River about one week. We were reorganized and Brother Lyman Wight was now appointed as a leader of the army.       … We continued to travel untill we had arived within a few miles of Liberty Clay County Missouri. Here we pitched our tents and remained quite a number of days on account of the great excitement which prevailed in consequence of false reports which were abroad in the land respecting us.         … about Seventy men mounted on horseback with firearms gathered together for the intention of comeing against our camp. But the God of Israel frustrated their design for while they were comeing against us the Lord arined upon them rain and great hail So that it was expedient for them to seek Selter from the storm. And after the storm they dispersed and would not go against the camp.       After remaining stationary for several days the leading men of Clay County and some principle Men of other Counties called at our camp … and after a fair investigation of the Subject they manifested to us that they were satisfied that we had no evil designs or intentions …       We visited in this situation visited daily by both friend[s?] and foes untill the High priests held a council and there was a Revelation given concerning us. …         We traveled till within about two miles of Liberty. Then we again pitched our tents near by the house of Brother Burgett's. Here we remained [12] for several days.   Kimball's accounts have Burgett and Burket. ¶ Heber C. Kimball's Accounts     … soon after we had camp'd by Brother Burgetts we were visited by the destroying angel and 8 or 10 of our brethren were immediately lade helpless beneath the stroke. I assisted in taking care of them through the day and the night following and through the night and in the morning there continued to be new attacks.       And in the morning Joseph remarked that it was the duty of the Camp to brake up and disperse and take up their abode around among the brethren lest the Scourage should be more severe. …         There were about 20 in the whole which died at or about that time. Brother Seth Hitchcock and Warren Ingals were among the number. Brother Ingals had been in company with me from the time I left my brother, Azmon at Richland N. Y.       After remaining several days at brother Lawrey's Brother Lyman Wight gave me an invitation to spend the season with him. Accordingly I made it my home at his house and ingaged to labour with him through the season as he had taken a job to make one hundred thousand of brick and to build a dwelling house out of the same for Mr Michael Arthur, which made labour for many of the brethren. I commenced labouring at Brother Wight's about the first of July.       … Brother Lyman Wight called a vote to recommend Brother Stephhen Winchester Heman T. Hide [Hyde] and myself [14] to the high Council for ordination. … and at the next meeting … we were recommended by Lyman Wight, Amasa Lyman (h) Elias Higby, and Zebedee Contan [Coltrin] … Brother Simeon Carter was appointed to ordain us and we were ordained on the 5th day of November 1834.     Consecration   December 31, 1834 consecrates himself and his property to the Lord "before the Bishop in Zion … that I may be A lawful heir to the Celestial Kingdom of GOD."   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:16. Bishop calls Wilford on a mission [No date provided] Bishop Partridge said he would like to have me go into the Southern States, through Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky; and if I could find anybody who had faith enough to go with me—for it would be a dangerous country to travel in, in consequence of the Missouri persecutions—to take him. I told him I was as ready to go south as anywhere, and asked if I should go through Jackson county, as it lay in our route. He replied, it would be at the risk of life, and he had not faith enough to undertake it; if I had, I might try it.   <i>Millennial Star</i>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">MS 27, no. 12 (Mar. 25, 1865): 183–184. Not without scrip through Jackson county I also asked him, if I went through Jackson county, if I should start without purse or scrip, [184] according to the law of God. He answered, that he had not faith enough to start on a mission through Jackson county without money, and if I did it, I must do it on my own faith. I felt strenuous to keep the commandments, so I started without money. I called upon Elder Harry Brown, and asked him to accompany me; he consented, and Bishop Partridge appointed him to go with me.     Starts first mission   January 13, 1835 begins mission to Kentucky and Tennessee with Henry Brown.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:17.     February 24–25, 1835 digs out a cottonwood tree, makes a 12' canoe to row down the Arkansas river, then to Little Rock.  

¶ Wilford Woodruff (h1); <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:22, 24.

Deserted   [March 24, 1835] The time had now arived when my Colleague Deemed it expedient to take a speedy journey to his family at Kirtland and on the 24th of March I took the parting hand with Brother Henry Brown which left me alone.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:24. Suspected save stealer   March 27, 1835 crosses the Mississippi into Tennessee, is suspected of being a slave stealer, preaches to prove identity.   ¶ Wilford Woodruff (h1) Warren Parrish   April 4, 1835 joins Warren Parrish in Humphrey county (Eagle Creek branch).   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:26. Kentucky   April 13, 1835 Wilford and Warren begin preaching in Graves county, Kentucky, baptizing 5 in Henry county on the 19th.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:27. Ordained 70, sealed   May 31, 1836 ordained to the High Priesthood, sealed to eternal life, and ordained a seventy by David W. Patten (h) and Warren Parrish.   ¶ Wilford Woodruff (h1) Elder   June 28, 1835 ordained an elder by Warren Parrish in Eagle Creek, Tennessee.  

¶ Wilford Woodruff (h1); <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:33.

Returns to Kirtland   November 25, 1836 arrives in Kirtland with A. O. Smoot. Awestruck by temple.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:106–108. First Quorum of Seventy   January 3, 1837 ordained to the First Quorum of Seventy.     Washings and anointings   April 4–6, 1837 Kirtland washings and anointings.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:131–136. Marries Phebe   April 13, 1837 marries Phebe W. Carter, Frederick G. Williams officiating.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:140–141. Patriarchal blessing   April 15, 1837 Patriarchal blessing by Joseph Smith Sr.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:142–143. Joseph's trial   April 30, 1837 attends first day of Joseph's trial for plotting the murder of Grandison Newell.   Did Joseph Plot to Murder Grandison Newell? Failed attempt to excommunicate   May 29, 1837 attends abortive trial of Frederick G. Williams, David Whitmer, Parley P. Pratt (h), Lyman E. Johnson (h), and Warren Parrish.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:148; Minutes of May 29, 1837 Mission to Maine   May 31, 1837 begins mission to Maine with Jonathan Hale and Milton Holmes.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:149. Arrives Fox Islands   August 19, 1837 arrives in the Fox Islands, Maine (North Haven and Vinalhaven).   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:169, Baptizes family   July 1, 1838 baptizes father, mother, sister in Farmington, Connecticut   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1: 264. Fox Islands   August 7, 1838 returns to the Fox Islands, Maine.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1: 275. Call to apostleship   August 9, 1838 receives call to the apostleship and mission to England.   Trek west   October 9, 1838 begins trek from Maine to Missouri, wintering in Rochester, Illinois.   Apostle   April 26, 1839 ordained an apostle by Brigham Young at Far West.   Minutes of April 26, 1839 Montrose   May 18, 1839 moves family to Montrose, Iowa.     Joseph heals sick   July 22, 1839 witnesses Joseph healing the sick in Commerce.     Mission of the Twelve to England   August 8, 1839 leaves on mission to England with John Taylor.     President of the Twelve   October 10, 1880 ordained president of the Quorum of the Twelve.   Church president   April 7, 1889 president of the church,   1824 resolution   Age 23   From the age of 14 to 23 my mind was often exercised upon the subject of my souls salvation yet without submision to God or being led by his spirit untill the age of 23. Then at that age, I resolved by the grace of God assisting me to be led by the spirit and word of God into that truth which maketh free thereby.   <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:5. Join no church until restoration   I had no desire to join any of the sectarian Churches for I found by compareing the Churches with the records of divine truth that they were neither contending nor receieving the faith once delivered to the Saints. I could not discover the Church or body of Christ visible among men. I believed the Church of Christ was in the wilderness and that there had been a falling away from the pure and undefiled religion before God. And I was looking for the Church to arise and again to be esstablished upon the foundation of the ancient Apostles and Prophets Christ Jesus the chief Corner Stone <.     Ordination to the High Priesthood and a Seventy   High Priesthood, 70, sealed Spent this 31st DAY of MAY [1836] at Br Fry Eagle Creek and found it to be the most interesting, important & instructive day of my LIFE. For on this Glorious DAY I was ordained unto the High Priesthood and also as one of the Second Seventy & sealed up unto Eternal LIFE under the hands of my Beloved Brethren, VIZ Elder's David W Patten (h) & Warren Parrish. My ordination was requested by the PRESIDENCY of the Church at Kirtland, Ohio.   Eagle Creek: near Paris, Tennessee. Their was glorious things Pronounced upon my head in my ordination by the spirit of Prophecy & Revelation. Some I will mention which are as follows:       That although my enemies would strive to take my life & confine me in dungons & Prisons yet God should give me power over my enemies & deliver me out of their hands & from their vaults, Prisons, & caves in the name of Jesus Christ,         & that men would bow at my feet & worship me if I did not say to them do it not & that Kings would bow before me & Princes give me their hand & that I Should baptism them into the Kingdom of God         & that I should be blessed on the EARTH When my head blossomed with age         & if I desired it I should remain on the Earth untill the comeing of the Savior         & that God would give me the desire of my heart         & that God would give me the desire of my heart & that God had had his eye upon me all my life long to prepare me for this work. …         that I should travel to the nations of the Earth & the Islands of the sea to Proclaim the word of God.         When these and other blessings were Pronounced upon my head I Was filled With the Power & Spirit of God. EVEN SO LET IT BE. AMEN         O GOD THE ETERNAL FATHER I ASK THE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST TO PREPARE ME FOR THY USE AND GIVE ME THE SPIRIT OF MY MISHION. <         In the House of the Lord     3 friends in temple

Satan appears
 

[April 7, 1837] … & when the shades of evening began to appear I repaired to the house of the LORD in company with Elders Milton Holmes, & Joseph B Nobles for the purpose of worshiping God. We entered one of the stands within the veils & fell upon our knees & Satan appeared also but not to worship god but to deprive us of the priviilege. Satan strove against us with great power by tempting & otherwis. He at one time drove me from my stand while I was striving with my brethren to enter into the visions of heaven.

  <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 1:136–137. Freeman Nickerson joins  

[137] Notwithstanding his apparent victory good grew out of it for by going into the outer Court I there found Elder Freeman Nickerson an aged father in Israel who was faithful & Prayed to God alway. I solicited him to Join us in prayer that we might gain a victory over Satan & get a blessing at the hand of God. He joyfully accepted the invitation & we again entered the stand being four of us in number of one accord in one place. … We all had travled together about 1,000 miles in the spring of 1834 for the redemption of Zion. We at that time offered to lay down our lives & our offering was accepted as was Abram's.

    Satan departs

Prophesy and revelation
 

We felt considering those circumstances that we could kneel down & unitedly get a blessing by faith through Jesus christ. We fell upon our Knees & began to cry unto God. Satan departed, temptation found no place in our harts The power of God rested upon us & we were baptized with the Holy Ghost & the Spirit of God was like fire shut up in our bones. We were immersed in the liberty of the sons of God. Many great things were shown unto us. The power of God & the Spirit of prophesy & revelation rested upon us. I arose & Proclaimed many Glorious thing upon the heads of my beloved brethren that were present which were dictated in my heart by the Holy Spirit. <

        Martyrdom     Boston to Portland, Maine

[July 2, 1844] I left the city [Boston] & went on board of the steemer Com Pribble in company with Elder Milton Holmes an old friend companion & fellow laborer in the gospel. We had not met before for five years. It was quite a treat to enjoy his company one more. … [After arriving in Portland] We walked to Scarboro & arived

  <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 2:418.  

3d at Father Carters about 2 oclok PM.

    Scarboro   The two spend several days together, attending conference in Scarboro (audience of 400) on the 7th.      

July 9th 1844 I left Scarboro in the morning in company with Father Carter & elder M. Holmes & rode to Portland, & dined with Ezra Carter & made preperations to take the steam boat in the evening for Thomastown & fox Islands.

  <i>Wilford Woodruff&#39;s Journal</i>, 9 vols., compiled by Scott G. Kenney &#40;Midvale: Signature Books, 1981&#45;1984&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">WWJ 2:419. News

But about 2 oclok P.M. We obtained the Boston Times of July 9th Containing the solumn & awful information of the Death of President Joseph Smith the Prophet Seer & Revelator of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Also the Death of Hiram Smith his brother the Patriarch of Said Church. They were shot dead in Cartha[ge] jail by a company of {anti mormons & a guard that Governor Ford placed over them} <200 men American citizens painted like indians <.

   
Dreams and Visions: Wilford Woodruff
Wilford Woodruff (h1)




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