Volunteer Spotlight: Peggy Chappell

by Lyndie Jackson

Miraculous—that’s how Peggy Chappell describes the gifts of Wilford Woodruff. “I have always loved Church history and have learned that our knowledge of many of the details of our Church’s history exists only because Wilford Woodruff kept a meticulous journal and had the wonderful gift of being able to remember entire sermons until they were recorded,” she notes. 

Peggy is a volunteer for the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project who transcribes documents. She says, “I love reading about the lives of ordinary Saints who were trying hard to live the gospel.”

She learned about the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project through the Maxwell Institute newsletter and says, “I knew immediately that this was going to be a tremendous boon to Church history and that I wanted to be part of it.”

Transcribing documents is nothing new to Peggy, as she has been a stake indexing director for over twenty-six years, in addition to being a professional genealogist and family historian. Peggy’s experiences with genealogy have taught her a lot about her own family history, but she has enjoyed learning even more about her family through the Wilford Woodruff Papers. 

“It is very exciting to find my ancestors’ names in the Wilford Woodruff Papers” she says. “I knew that all of my people joined the Church in the early days, but it is fun to learn how extensively they were involved with the prophets and events of those first years. Learning about how faithful they were in their trials has strengthened my testimony.”

Peggy has felt the power of the words of a prophet during her time as a volunteer. She concludes, “There is a power that can be felt just reading the transcription.”

Volunteers like Peggy help ensure the success of the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project. If you are interested in getting involved in the Project, visit https://wilfordwoodruffpapers.org/get-involved.