Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission, part 4 (Graphic History)

Wilford Woodruff’s First Mission, part 4 (Graphic History)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 04, 2009

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







to be continued …

Text from Leaves from My Journal

… As we were about to lay down on the ground, for we had no blankets, we heard a dog bark. My companion said it was a wolf; I said it was a dog; but soon we heard a cow bell. Then we each took a firebrand and went about a quarter of a mile, and found the house, which was sixty miles from where we started that morning.

It was an old log cabin, about twelve feet square, with no door, but an old blanket was hung up in the doorway. There was no furniture except one bedstead, upon which lay a woman, several children and several small dogs. A man lay on the bare floor with his feet to the fire-place, and all were asleep.

I went in and spoke to the man, but did not wake him. I stepped to him, and laid my hand on his shoulder. The moment he felt the weight of my hand he jumped to his feet, and ran around the room as though he was frightened; but he was quieted when we informed him we were friends. The cause of his fright was, he had shot a panther a few nights before, and he thought its mate had jumped upon him.

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

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

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. The suspense is building.

    Comment by Steve C. — October 4, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

  2. I’m enjoying these. As I read them I’m surprised at how much detail I didn’t know about. Maybe I was just skimming so I could get to the Tennessee part of his mission.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — October 4, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

  3. I agree with you Bruce–except the Arkansas part of his mission is better. :-)

    Comment by Steve C. — October 5, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  4. If I could figure out how to turn this rivalry into some kind of a contest, I would!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 5, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  5. What you need is someone from Kentucky to cheer for that part of his first mission too.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — October 5, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

  6. Good idea, Bruce. Of course we all know how important this mission was to the Church. Although he had little “success” he gained the experience he needed to baptize hundreds a few years later in England. Let’s hear it for WW’s southern states mission!

    Comment by Steve C. — October 5, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  7. Three cheers!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 5, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

  8. Hooray for WW!

    (I think I’ve mentioned before that this is one of my favorite parts of Leaves from My Journal. And any part of the Southern States Mission is wonderful, as far as I’m concerned.)

    Comment by Researcher — October 5, 2009 @ 7:08 pm

  9. RE: #5
    Well, Bruce as far as Wliford Woodruff’s mission in Kentucky is concerned, I am 99 percent certain that he taught and baptized my foster son’s pioneer ancestor, Lindsey Anderson Brady and his fiance. (I wish I could recall the town or area in Kentucky they were from, but I know that it is in the Church records.) If I remember correctly, I deduced from Lindsey’s baptismal date that Elder Woodruff was alone in that area since his missionary companion had decided to go home shortly before the baptismal date. After the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph, Brigham Young asked Lindsey Anderson Brady to remain in Iowa and to grow crops for the Saints heading west. He accepted the call and didn’t actually come to Utah until 1853. He started a farm in the Cottonwood/Holladay area when he was again called to settle in San Pete County. Once there, he established himself in Mt. Pleasant and again put his hand to farming. However, he appears to have established a reputation as an excellent furniture maker as well. Lindsey’s last call from Brother Brigham was to accompany another brother and find a location for a new settlement. This they did and it is where Lindsey and his family spent the remainder of his life. Today the town is called Fairview and Lindsey and many of his descendants await the resurrection in the Fairview Pioneer Cemetery.

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — October 5, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

  10. Are there as many former “Jackson County mobbers” and “Carthage Jail assassins” as there are pieces of the “true cross”? They all seem to show up in numbers much higher than you’d expect.

    Comment by Mark B. — October 6, 2009 @ 9:57 am

  11. Mark, I think they, i.e. the “Jackson County mobbers” and the “Carthage Jail Assassins” (abt. 200-250), comprise the members of several county militias as well as those who went along just to see what plunder and loot they could take from the Mormons. At one point, if my memory serves me correctly, nearly all of the state militia was mobilized against the Missouri Saints. That is why at least one of the mob militia leaders held the rank of Lieutenant General or General. Another one of those generals was a man of high principle and ethics, General Alexander Doniphan, who refused to carry out an order to execute the Prophet and several other Church leaders. They weren’t quite as numerous as the splinters of the true cross, but they did outnumber the able bodied men in all of the LDS settlements in Missouri. Now as to why the Church has never bothered to honor Alexander Doniphan with a building and a statue on the BYU campus I’ll never know. If there ever there was a righteous gentile, he fit the bill. Had a less principled man been in his place the Restoration of the Gospel and the Church could have easily met it’s death in Missouri.

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — October 6, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

  12. RE: #9

    I failed to mention that Lindsey Anderson Brady was baptized in 1835. My apologies for the oversight. The date sets the event in proper context with Wilford Woodruff’s missionary labors.

    Comment by Velikiye Kniaz — October 6, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

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