Treasure Box

Videographer: James Dalrymple

Speakers: Wilford Woodruff, Carolyn Woodruff Owen, Stephen Woodruff Owen



Wilford Woodruff: This is my testimony spoken by myself into a talking machine on this the nineteenth day of March, 1897 on the 91st year of my age. 

[text] “We are living in one of the most important generations that man ever lived on Earth and we should write an account of those important transactions which are taking place before our eyes in fulfillment of the prophesies and the revelation of God.”

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: My father passed away, and a few years later when my mother decided to move from her home, she asked me if I would go through this old box that was right down next to the furnace. My name is Carolyn Woodruff Owen, and I am a direct descendant of President Woodruff.   

Stephen Woodruff Owen: My name is Stephen Woodruff Owen, and I am a great great grandson of Wilford Woodruff. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: I never knew that this wonderful box was right next to that hot furnace. And so, one day when she was getting ready to move, she said, “Would you take this old box and look through it and see what's in it?”

Stephen Woodruff Owen: Well, I can tell you about the box. I carried it up here into her home. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: A large box containing many of Wilford Woodruff's writings was left in the stewardship of his son, Asahel Hart, my grandfather.  He kept the box in the attic at his home, and after he died in 1939, the box was given to my father. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: It was in their home for many, many years.

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: I could not believe what we found.

Stephen Woodruff Owen: This box was given to Wilford Woodruff [by Truman Angell] where he kept his journals. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: There were six volumes consisting of small notebooks in which President Woodruff wrote his diaries and other accounts. There was also a large hand-written autobiography which includes recopied entries from 1837. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: So, my mother decided to contribute that to the Church.

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: Today more than ever people should take the opportunity to read about President Wilford Woodruff. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: The greatest journal-keeper probably in the Church is Wilford Woodruff. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: Almost every day of his life he was writing something. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: Wouldn't it be great to be able to have the writings and the journals and all of the doctrines taught through Wilford Woodruff?

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: I've learned in the past what a wonderful project this was for the Joseph Smith Papers. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: And so, the Wilford Woodruff Papers project started. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: And when I heard that they were going to be doing this for the Wilford Woodruff papers, I was delighted. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: This is something that will impact all members of the Church, searchable through the internet. Everything will be transcribed and digitized to help build and strengthen our faith. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: These papers are going to be wonderful. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: So that's the real intent is to make it easier for people to access the information. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: I just hope that this project will envelop the young people. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: I feel that the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project will help strengthen the faith of the rising generation.

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: His life will be a great example. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: When I read of Wilford’s life and I think of those wonderful pioneers, and I see the faith that they had, they just kept moving forward. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: I'm so grateful this box was found 

Stephen Woodruff Owen: What was found in the box that day by my mother once again shows what a great, not only Prophet, but man and individual, Wilford Woodruff was. 

Carolyn Woodruff Owen: I think it's important to keep a journal every day, like President Woodruff did.  You never know at the time you're writing when you can go back and see important things of how you failed at the time, how you've changed, how you've grown. 

Stephen Woodruff Owen:  And I hope that all of these wonderful writings that he did throughout all of his life will now bless more lives than they ever have.