Autobiography 1882 Leaves from My Journal Notes 3 [A-11]

Document Transcript

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The Testimony of Wilford Woodruff

Before closing this little book as a reader for our
Children, I wish to bare my testimony to
upon several principles to the Latter Day Saints
especially to the rising Generation, the young men of
Israel. First I wish to speak of the spirits
of good & evil the Lord says whatsoever leads to
do good is of God & whater leads to do evil is
of the Devil [Moroni 7:12], this is a very important subject for
us to understand the scriptures again tell us
that there is many spirits gone out into the
world and we should try the spirits to know what
is of God & what is of the world only. The new testament
says that ery spirit that confesseth that Jesus is the Christ
is born of God, [1 John 5:1] & ery spirit that denyeth that Jesus is the
Christ is of AntiChrist & is not of God, [1 John 4:1-3] I will also add
that evry spirit that confesseth that Joseph Smith was a
prophet of God, & that the Book of Mormon, Bible & Doctrine
& Covenants
are true is of God, and ery spirit that denitheth
denieth this is not of God but is of the evil one I wish
here to ask our friends the question as well as older

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one do you ever consider or contemplate any thing
about the number of evil spirits that occupy the
Earth who are at war against God and Christ and
the saints of God and against all good & seek to destroy
all the Children of men in ery age of the world, let us
reason together a moment upon this subject, it may
be impossible for any man without derct revelation
from God to get to know the exact number but we
may approximate to wards it. The Lord has said by revel-
ation that Lucifer an Angel in authority rebelled against
God & drew away one third part of the Hosts of heaven that
were cast down to the Earth & the Heavens wept over him how
many were cast out of heaven down to the Earth [Doctrine and Covenants 29:36] [Revelation 12] We suppose
that the inhabitants of heaven here refered to were the spirits
of our Father in heaven who were to come down to the Earth &
tak[e] tabernacles on the Earth how many were there to come
down & take tabernacles this again may be sufficient to
take yet perhaps we may come near enough for purpose
it has generally been conceded that there is about 1000 000000
one thousand Million on the earth at a time though the late
statisticians make out fourteen hundred Million at the present
time but we will say 1000 000 000 one thousand Milloin

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It is also said that a generation passes off ery 33 1/3 years
making three generations in a century which would be
three thousand Million in one hundred years 3 times 10 is 30
which would make thirty thousand Million in
1000 years, 3 times 7 is 21, o which would make two hundred
& ten thousand Millions, is, seven thousand years. The argu
argument might be used that when Adam was created
there was but /2/ on two on the earth and after the flood
but eight souls, but the probability is that during the Millenium
the inhabitants will increase very fast as the age of the children
will be as the age of a tree, and the inhabitants of the Earth
will not die off as they do now. But we will suppose that there
was one hundred thousand Milloin fallen spirits cast down from
from heaven to earth, and that there was one thousand Million
of inhabitants upon the Earth to day that would make one ^one^ hundred
evil spirits to each men, woman & child being on the Earth
and the whole mission and labor of these spirits is to lead
all the children of men to do evil & to destruction. Now I want all
^of^ our boys & girls to reflect upon this, and to see what danger they
are in and the warefare they have to pass through, these hundred evil spirits
^to each one of^ the children of men ^seak to^ and lead them into ery temptation possible to
use tobaco, smoke drink whisky, get drunk, curse, sware, lie, steal
& comit adultery & Murder & do evry evil thing possible to cut
them off from salvation as far as possible while on the other hand
the spirit of God labors & strive to preserve all the children

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from there evils, and the Lord has given his angels charge
concering us, and they do all they can for our salvation
but yet we have all have our agency to chuse the good &
refuse the evil, or chuse the evil & refuse the good. The Lord
forces no man to heaven, neither does the Lord tempt any
man to do evil, when a man is tempted to do evil it is
by the power of the Devil, who is an enemy to all rightousness [Alma 34:23]
I feel very annxious to lure our boys & girls our young men and
maidens to seek for that which is good whenever you are tempted
to do evil turn from it never make light of any of the
commandments or ordinances of the Gospel of Christ, and when you
meet with any company who do it shun their society avoid the
use of tobaco & strong drink for they lead to evil, you are
laying a foundation while in the days of your youth for a
character which will decide your destiny through all time
and throughout all eternity either for Good or Evil. The
Lord has told us by revelation "^see D&.C. sec 130^ that whatever knowledge
or principle of intelligens we attain to in this life it will rise
with us in the resurrection, and any person who gains more
knowledge and intelligence in this life through his dilligence & obedience
than another will have so much the advantage in the world to come"
Therefore we should all strive to be diligent in obt[ain]ing intelligence
and bring to pass righteousness upon our agency & not wait to
be commanded in all things and great will be your reward for
so doing

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How to obtains revelations from God

In order to obtain revelation from God and in order
to prove when we do obtain a revelation whether it is from
God or not we must follow the teaching of the revelations of
God unto us. St James sayes "if any man lack wisdom let
him ask of God who giveth liberally and upbraideth not and it
shall be given him". [James 1:5] Again ask and you shall receive, ◊ask
and it shall be given unto you. [Matthew 7:7] It was upon this promise
that Joseph Smith went before the Lord and prayed in the name
of Jesus Christ and asked for knowledge wisdom & understa-
nding in order to know what to do to ^be^ saved and he plead the
promise of St James before the Lord and the Lord opened the
heavens unto him, and the Father & Son was revealed unto him
and the voice of the great Ellohem unto him was this is my
Beloved Son hear ye Him [Joseph Smith—History Note:14-17] this was the first revelation of God
to him and He did harken to the voice of Jesus Christ all his
life afterwards and received a code of revelations and the word of
the Lord
unto him as long as He dwelt in the flesh and left as
strong a testament as ever given to the Human family & sealed that
testament with his own life & blood, [Doctrine and Covenants 135:3] and we all have to pursue
the same course in order to obtain revelations from God. But I wish
to impress this truth upon the rising generation and all who read this
testimony that the Lord does not give revelation, or send angels to
men, or work miracles, to accomodate the notions of any man
who is seeking for a sign, when we have the principles of the Gospel
revealed to us through the mouth of the savior or by inspired
prophets or Apostles we have no need to ask the Lord to reveal them

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unto us again for while the priesthood is rets restored to
the Earth and the revelations of God revealed to us through the
Mouth of prophets & apostles concerning the fullness of the Gospel, Doctrin
ordinances & principles we should study them and treasure up
knowledge by faith & study out of the best books and the
Holy Ghost will bring to our remembrance those things which
we stand in need of in the self same hour that we are called
to teach the people, but when any Elder priest Elder prophet
apostle or Messenger sent of God to preach the gospel gather
the Saints, work in Temples, or perform any work for the Lord
and that man is faithful and humble before the Lord in his prayers
& duty and there is ay any snare or evil in his path, or the righteous
to be sought out, or danger in the emigration of the Saints
either by the sea or land, or knowledge needed in a Temple then
the Lord will reveal all that is necessary for the protection
& benefit of his prophets, Apostles, Elders & seventy as we can
all Testify in our experience for the last fifty years of our
lives in our labor in the vineyard of the Lord. The teaching
of the prophet Joseph Smith to president John Taylor & the rest
of us was to obtain the Holy Spirit get acquainted with it
watch its operations and listen to the whispering of that
spirit and obey its voice and it soon would become a
principle of revelation unto us. We have found this true in our experience
and in order to prove whether a revelation is from God or not
we follow out the principles revealed to us and we find that what was
manifested to us proved true we know it was from God

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for truth is one of his attributes & the Holy Ghost deceiveth
no man and when a man becomes acquainted with the
whisperings of the Holy Ghost to hims which is revelation He should
be very careful to obey it for his life may depend upon it
revelation is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and for the benefit
of my young friends who may read this work I will give an
account of a few instances of my own experience in listening
to the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me in my missions
In after my returne to winter Quarters from our pioneer
journey, I was appointed by the priesidency of the Church to take my
family & go to Boston & gather up the remnant of the Latter
Day Saints
& lead them to the vallis of the mountains while on
my East I drove my carriage into the yard of one of the Brethren
in Indiana & Br Orson Hyde set his waggon by the side
of mine not more than two feet apart I had Deminicus
of provo my wife & four children were with me myself
wife & one child went to bed in the carriage the rest slept in the
home I had been to bed but a short time untill a voice said to me
get up & move your carriage it was not thunder lightning or an
earthquake but the still small voice of the spirit of God the Holy Ghost [1 Kings 19:11-12]
I told my wife I must get up & move my carriage she asked what
for I told I did not know except the spirit told me to do it I got
up & moved my carriage several rods and set it by the side

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of the Home as I was going to bed the same spirit said to me
go & move your Mules away from that oak tree which was
one hundred yards north of our carriage I moved them to a [young]
hickery grove & tied them up & went to bed in thirty minuts
a whirlwind took the tree ^from the shaft near the ground^ to which my mules were fastened
& carried it one hundred yards swept two fences in its course
and laid it prostrate through that yard where my carriage stood
and the top limbs hit my carriage as it was, In the morning I
measured the trunk of the tree where my carriage stood and it measured
two feet & it came within a foot of Br Hyde waggon but
did not touch it, so by obeying the revelation of the spirit of God
to me I saved my life, my wife, and child, & my animals & went
my way rejoicing in the morning. And in my returne with a
large company of Saints from Boston & the east, in
on my arival in pittsburgh I engaged a passage for myself
& company on a Steemer to St Louis I had no sooner
engaged the passage than the spirit says to me go not on
board of that Steemer neither you nor your Company I obeyed
the revelation to me & did not go on board but took
another Steamer the first Steamer started about dark
with 200 passengers on board when 5 miles down the

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Ohio river the boat took fire burnt the tiller ropes
so they could not reach shore and the lives of nearly
all were lost either by fire or water while we arrived in safety to
our destination by obeying the revelation of the spirit of God to
us. In another instance after attending a large conference in April
and having a good deal of business to attend to I was somewhat
weary and at the close of the conference I thought I would
repare to my home and have a rest as I went into the yard
the spirit says to me take your team & go to the farm which
is some three miles South of the Tabernacle as I was putting the
horses on the waggon Mrs Woodruff asked where I was going. I said
to the farm "what for, I do not know,["] but when I arrived there
I found out. the creek had overflowed broke through my ditch
ditch surrounded my home, filled my barn yard & pig
pen. my wife waiding in the water trying to turn it from the
lot to save the home & the family but through my own exertion
I soon turned it and saved much damage that might
have accrued [occured] if I had not obeyed the voice of the spirit. This
same spirit of revelation has been manifest by many of my brethren
in their labors in the kingdom of God, one of which I will here name
Elder Charles C Rich while going from Sacramento to San-
with a company of the Brothern. He had in his posession
quite a large amount of money to make payment on their purchase

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this was known to some rode agents in the city and they gathered
a company of robers and went on ahead of Brother Rich and lay
in ambush intending to kill the mormans & rob them of their
money before reaching the company of robers they came to a big path
ahead which shortened their distance the spirit said to Brother
Rich to take that path the Brothren with him marveled at
his course not knowing that enemies awaited them,
but they arrived in safety at Sanbernadeno with their
lives & money, while the robbers marvelled why their
prey did not come,,I will now give one example in my
own experience of the result of not obeying the voice of the spirit
some years since I had a part of my family living in Randolph
Rich County I was there on a visit with my team in the
Month of Dec one monday Morning my monitor the spirit
watching over me said to my me take your team & go home
to Salt Lake when I named it to my family who were
there they urged me very hard to stop longer through their
persuasion I staid untill Saturday morning with the spirit
pressing me very hard to go home I began to feel alarmed to
think that I had not obeyed the whisperings of the spirit to
me before I took my team & started early Saturday morning
when I arrived at Woodruff the Bishop urged me to
stop untill monday & he would go with me I told him

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No I had tarried to long already I drove on briskly ^sprightly^ and
when within 15 miles of wasatch a furious snow
storm overtook me, the wind blowig heavily in my face in
fifteen minutes I could see no ^the any^ road whatever and knew
not where or how to guide my horses, and I left my lines
loosly on my horses went inside my waggon, tied down the
cover and committed my life & guideance in the hands of
the Lord and trusted to my horses to find the [way] as they had
twice just passed over the road, I prayed to the Lord to forgive
my sins for not obeying the voice of the spirit to me & prayed that He
would preserve my life. My horses brought me into the wasatch
Station at 9 oclock in the evening with the hubs of my wagon draging
in the snow, I got my horses under cover and had to remain
there until next monday night with the snow six feet deep on
the level & still snowing and it was with great difficulty at last
that I saved the life of my horses by getting them on a box car & taking
them to Ogden while if I had obeyed the revelation of the spirit
of God to me I should have arrived in Salt Lake City over a good
road without any storm. Therefore as I have recorded the good & the evil
th[e] result of obediance & disobediance I think I am qualified to
exhort all yo my young friends to always obey the whispering of the of the spirit
of God to you and you will always be safe. The spirt of God will rule
and preside over all men who will permit it & seek for it, and this is
very necessary for young Elders who are laboring in the vineyard of the Lord
for the Lord knows where the righteous livest & meek of the Earth are

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and will lead the Elders to them. A remarkable instance of this was
manifest in my own experience in while laboring in Stafford-
was preaching & baptizing daily and one night I went into the
City Hall of the Town of Hanley and as I was about to arise to speak
to a large assembly the voice of the spirit of God to me was this is the last
meeting you will hold with this people for many days I was asstonished
at this as I had a weeks appointments out before me I told the people
it would be the last meeting I would hold with them for many days
they were as much asstonished as I was at the close of the meeting several
came forward for baptisim and many asked where I was going I told
them I did not know, I went before the Lord and asked where I
should go the voice of the Lord said go to the south I got into a
stage & rode 80 miles south into Herefordshire and the first mans
home I stayed was John Benbows who received me kindly & I conversed
with him & his wife untill 2 oclock in the morning & I readily found
out why the Lord had sent me there their was a company of 600 to
which Br Benbow belonged called united Brethren who were desiring
for light and truth had got as far as they could and were praying for the Lord
to open their way and the Lord had sent me to them and the result
was that in the first 30 days after my arrival in their midst I baptized
some 45 preacher of the united Brethren including Thomas Kington then presidind
Elder & placed in my hands all their Chapels & homes licensed for
preaching I baptized the whole of the 600 except one man and during eight
months labor there I brought into the Church some 1800 Saints including
near 100 preachers of the various denominations. Now I knew nothing
about this people or their preperation for the Gospel untill the Lord
sent me to them by revelation

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I will refer to one more instance in my experience upon the subject of revelation
all the Latter Day Saints understand that we build Temples for the
purpose of administering ordinances for our dead as well as for the
living, and the Lord has opened the way in a remarkable manner
for many of the members of the Church to obtain records of the
names of their dead for several generation I had also obtained
a record of some over 3000 of my Father & Mother family, after the
Dedication of the Temple in St George president Young appointed me
to preside over it, and when we commenced with in the Temple I
begun to reflect how can I redeem my dead, I have some 3000 name
who are dead, that have been baptized for and how can I get endowments
for them I had none of my family there, and if I had they would not
be able to get endowments for so many. And while praying to the Lord to
show me how I could redeem my dead the Spirit of God rested upon
me and the voice of the spirit of God said to me go to and call upon
the Son & Daughter of Zion in St George, to come into the temple
of the Lord and get their Endowments for your dead and it shall be
acceptable unto me saith the Lord, this fulled my soul with joy
and turned a key that opened a field as wide as eternity for the salvation
of our dead, and the redemption of man that we might magnify
our calling as Saviors upon Mount Zion. And one my birth day
, the day that I was 70 years, 154 sisters of St George
went into the Temple & got Endowments for so many of the female portion of
my dead and this principle was received by president Young and
adopted from this hour and through the assistans of friends I have
had nearly 2000 of my dead received Endowments in the Temple of the Lord

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and thousands of others have received the same blessings in the same way
President Young received revelation in that Temple & there are yet
many revelations to be received in the last days concerning the redemption
of the dead
many other subjects but they will all be manifest in
due time through the proper to authority unto the Church & kingdom
of God
. There are many other manifestations of the power of God and
the revelations of Jesus Christ to us in our lives but I have said
suffient upon this branch of the subject.

we have been called by revelation to give indowments to
many of the dead honorable men of the Earth & our own Nation
who were not members of our family, but I had said suffi-
cient upon this track of the subject

Patricharchial Blessings & their fulfillment

The office of the patriach is to bestow blessings upon their posterity
and the children of men. In section D. C. 107 The Lord says that
three years previous to the death of Adam he called Seth, Enis,
Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, & Methuselah
who were all High priest with the resedue of his posterity who were righteous
into the Valley of Adam-ondi Ahman and there bestowed upon them
his last blessing,, And Adam predicted whatsover should befal
his posterity unto the latest generation these things were all written in
the Book of Enoch and are to be testified of in due time Abram
Isaac & Jacob were patriarchs and blessed their posterity and all
that Jacob said & sealed upon the head of his Twelve sons have all
been fulfilled to the very letter as far as time would admit off
of we have partiarchs the same in our day Father Joseph Smith

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The Father of the prophet Joseph was the first patriarch in
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He gave
a great many blessings unto the Latter Day Saints which are
recorded, and many of them have received their fulfillment, when he
puts hands upon the head of a person to bless them it seemed as
though the heavens were opened unto him, and he could reveal the
whole life of the person. He gave me my patriarchal blessing in the
Temple of the Lord in Kirtland on the . Many mar-
velous things which he sealed upon my head in which I could see
no earthly chance for their fulfillment has already been fulfilled
to the very letter one or two instances I will name. He said I
should have access to the treasures hid in the sand to assist me in my
necessities in gathering myself and others to Zion. While in Cambridgeport
gathering up the Sants in , Allexander Badlam went to Cal-
on business and the Saints there who were diging gold filled
a little buck skin sack with gold dust and sent to me to assist
me on my mission by the sale of this treasure from the sands of California
I was enabled to gather myself family & a number of others to Zion
in the Mountains of Israel. He also said I should have power to
bring my Father & his houshold in to the Chur Church of Christ while on
my misson to Fox Islands I visited my Father in Farmington Conn ^Ct^
and preached the gospel to him and baptized him & all his
houshold including my Step Mother & ownly Sister M and
a Methodist Class leader who was boarding at my fathers

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My Father was gathered to Salt Lake City with the Saints where he died
aged 83 years. He said I should be wrapt in the arms of heaven and
an angel of God should teach me many things this was fulfilled in the
house of Abram O Smote in Kentucky in the spring of . The patriarch
also told me that I should be delivered from my enemies (who
would seek my destruction) by the mighty power of God & the adm-
inistrations of Angels
. This was marvelously fulfilled while in
the City of London in Heber C Kimball George A Smith
& myself went to London together in the winter of 1840 the first Elders
who had attempted to establish the Gospel in this great & mighty
as soon as we commenced, the power of the Devil was manifest
the evil spirits gathered to gether for our destruction and at times
they have great power, and would destroy all the Saints of God if
they were not restrained by the power of God Br Smith and myself
were alone together and had retired to our rest each occupying a cot
by ourselves within 3 feet of each other we had only just laid down
untill there seemed to be a legion of Devils made war upon us
to destroy our lives and we were strugling for our lives in the
midst of this warfare of evil spirits untill we were nearly choked
to death and I began to pray the best I could in the midst of the
struggle and asked the Father in the name of Jesus Christ to spare our
lives and while three personages entered the room clothed in white
and surrounded with light walked to our bedside laid hands upon
our heads and we were instantly delivered and from this time had

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no more troubled with evil spirits while in the City of London
as soon as they administered unto us they withdrew from the room
and the light withdrew with them & darkness returned, and my other
of the saying of the patriarch Joseph Smith in my blessing have
been fulfilled in my experience, but I have said sufficient upon
the subject all the blessings that are sealed upon our heads
will be fulfilled & many more if we are faithful & live for them
In closing my testimony I wish to say that I do not think
that the Lord ever sends an Angel to the Earth to visit the
children of men unless it is necessary to deliver a dispensation
of the Gospel or to declare a message or perform ^a work^ that cannot be
done otherwise. It required an Angel of God to deliver
the gospel to Joseph Smith because it was not on the
Earth, and this was in fulfillment of the word of the
Lord through John the Revelator Rev 14 Ch 6 vers and so
in regard to the administration of Angels in all ages of
the wor[l]d it is to deliver a message and perform a work
work which cannot otherwise be accomplished

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Leaves from my Journal