Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission, part 3 (Graphic History)

Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission, part 3 (Graphic History)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 27, 2009

Adapted from Leaves from My Journal, by Wilford Woodruff; artwork by Douglas Johnson.







to be continued …

next installment

Text from Leaves from My Journal

… As we approached the timber a large black bear came out towards us. We were not afraid of him, for we were on the Lord’s business, and had not mocked God’s prophets as did the forty-two wicked children who said to Elisha “Go up thou bald head,” for which they were torn by bears.

When the bear got within eight rods of us he sat on his haunches and looked at us a moment, and then ran away; and we went on our way rejoicing.

We had to travel in the night, which was cloudy and very dark, so we had great difficulty to keep the road.

Soon a large drove of wolves gathered around, and followed us. They came very close, and at times it seemed as though they would eat us up. We had materials for striking alight, 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 …

Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission (Graphic History) part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 13, part 14, part 15, part 16, part 17, part 18



  1. My children are enjoying these and want more!

    Comment by Tamary — September 27, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

  2. Good to hear, Tamary. We’ll have Sunday morning cartoons for a while — after this series, I have one more in the public domain, and I’m looking for others.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 27, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

  3. Oh my. These cliffhangers are killing me. I’ll have to pull out Leaves from My Journal to see what happens next. (I’m not great at suspense and just read the rest of the chapter. That’s classic Wilford Woodruff!)

    Comment by Researcher — September 27, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  4. He, he, he! Leaves from My Journal was published as a slim volume in the “Faith Promoting Stories” series so Wilford Woodruff no doubt chose as many exciting moments as he could find to catch and entertain his readers — and I think the cartoonist finds a way to end every strip with one of this cliffhangers!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 27, 2009 @ 3:38 pm

  5. I love these, Ardis. Thank you for making them available!

    Comment by ricke — September 27, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  6. Cool. I appreciate knowing what you like, especially in the early part of a new series.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 27, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

  7. These are fun. Its interesting how the last sentence of the text is reversed in its delivery in the last frame in order to create a better cliffhanger.

    Comment by Steve G. — September 28, 2009 @ 9:06 am

  8. Good point, Steve — I hadn’t noticed. The cartoonist is really trying to tell a story, isn’t it, rather than just illustrating someone else’s text.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 28, 2009 @ 9:12 am

  9. As someone who has heard the bone-chilling howls of a wolf pack up in the mountains, let me just say that I am totally impressed with Wilford Woodruff’s bravery. WOW.

    And his line about seeing a bear but not being afraid because he was “on the Lord’s business,” only increases my admiration for this dude.

    Thanks for this, Ardis.

    Comment by Hunter — September 28, 2009 @ 9:43 am

  10. Is this book commercially available anywhere? I’d love to buy a copy for my sons as a Christmas gift.

    Comment by Paul Robichaux — November 9, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

  11. Paul, the cartoon version was published serially in the Children’s Friend and is not otherwise available, so far as I know. The original text from Leaves from My Journal has been very often reprinted and should be available from places like There are 18 parts in all.

    Check your email in a few minutes — I’ll write to you off-blog.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 9, 2009 @ 1:10 pm

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