Christian Decker: Wilford Woodruff's Writings Help Us Understand the Restoration

Videographer: James Dalrymple

Speaker: Christian Decker



My name is Christian Decker, and I am a researcher at the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation. Wilford Woodruff is responsible for much of our understanding of the restoration. He recorded a vast number of journals and letters detailing the intimate lives of the prophets and apostles and early saints. And in that way, our knowledge of the restoration comes greatly in part to Wilford Woodruff. If you want to understand what it meant to be a Latter-day Saint, study the lives of the early prophets and saints because they laid the groundwork, the foundation of what the Church is today. Looking through the stories of the restoration through Wilford Woodruff’s journals and letter has added greater depth to my understanding of the restoration than I had before, because we can hear about the sacrifices that the pioneers made or that the early Saints made. But when you actually read what they sacrifice and how they felt when they sacrificed, your connection to them, and by extension the restoration, only deepens. Being able to dive deep into the personal lives of these early saints has filled my soul with profound gratitude and reverence for what they had done and humbles me and inspires me to do better in my life.