Project Progress March 1, 2022


We published 800 pages of Wilford Woodruff's journals including all the entries between 1860-1872. They provide an intimate, insider look at the growth and challenges the Church faced during an intense period of history that included the American Civil War, the beginning of federal legislation against the Church, and the arrival in Utah Territory of both immigrant converts and others on the newly completed transcontinental railroad. 


We added 40 more letters Wilford Woodruff wrote and received between 1831 to 1844 detailing many important events, including his continued seeking for spiritual truth as illustrated in the January 1831 letter he wrote to Reverend George Phippen; his missionary labors in such places as Tennessee, the Fox Islands, and England; his call to the apostleship, found in the July 14, 1838 letter he received from Thomas B. Marsh; and his involvement with Joseph Smith's campaign for the United States presidency, outlined in the March 19, 1844 letter he sent to Solomon Copeland. In addition, we published over 50 letters regarding missionary service that Wilford Woodruff received between 1884 to 1898. The sentiment that fills the pages of these letters vary widely, but all attest to the importance placed on preaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in this dispensation. 


We now have a total of 742 biographies published on the website, including biographies for over thirty of the people converted during the 1840 mission of the Twelve in Great Britain. We have also identified nearly 4,000 people who Wilford Woodruff interacted with and connected them to their FamilySearch profiles. We are working with FamilySearch to notify the descendants of these individuals so they will have access to the new documentation on their ancestors. 

Over this last quarter we have identified over 1,800 locations on Wilford's journey through life, from St. Paul's Cathedral to the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Our Research Team is confirming each location in order to create a modern-day map of his travels on our website. 


When we began the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project we only had access to four of his autobiographies, but over the course of a year we were able to locate the previously untranscribed drafts that Wilford Woodruff wrote in the 1850s in preparation for publication in newspapers and periodicals including the Deseret Weekly, Millennial Star, Deseret News, and 1880s drafts for Tullidge’s Quarterly Magazine, and the book Leaves from My Journal. In addition we published Wilford’s incredible History of Zion's Camp, his record of compiled revelations, his 1845 Notes on the Five Orders of Masonry, and his Appointment Book with the 1836 Daybook. The list of accidents and near death experiences he drafted in the 1850s is almost unbelievable, and we have added incidents that occurred throughout the remainder of his miraculously preserved life. The 20 documents now published on our website are all of Wilford Woodruff’s autobiographies, histories, and notes that are currently digitized and accessible. We continue to search for additional manuscripts written by Wilford Woodruff. 


We have gathered more than 1,200 gems from 207 of Wilford Woodruff’s discourses encompassing many topics applicable to our day. These writings contain personal anecdotes and powerful testimonies Wilford Woodruff chose to share with the Saints throughout his years as a missionary, apostle, and President of the Church. These quotes are the beginning of our topic library, which will be a searchable database sorted by gospel and historical topics, allowing users to learn from Wilford Woodruff’s insights and experiences. 


We are grateful for all who have shared their time and talents in preparing these documents for publication on our website. As we reflect on this launch, past launches, and prepare for future launches, we gratefully acknowledge all the volunteers, interns, and staff that have made, and continue to make, this work possible.