Wilford Woodruff

President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1807-1898)

Wilford Woodruff (March 1, 1807September 2, 1898) was the fourth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), from 1889 until his death in 1898.

Wilford Woodruff photograph taken in 1889.


  • I will here say, before closing, that two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, "You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God." There were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. I thought it very singular, that notwithstanding so much work had been done, and yet nothing had been done for them. The thought never entered my heart, from the fact, I suppose, that heretofore our minds were reaching after our more immediate friends and relatives. I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others; I then baptized him for every President of the United States, except three; and when their cause is just, somebody will do the work for them.
  • When brother Brigham and brother Joseph Young went up to see the Prophet, they found him chopping wood; for he was a labouring man, and gained his bread by the sweat of his brow. They made themselves acquainted with him. He received them gladly, invited them to his house, and they rejoiced together in the Gospel of Christ, and their hearts were knitted together in the spirit and bond of union.
  • I want these Latter-day Saints to lay to heart what has been said to you by the Apostles and Elders who have spoken at this Conference. I want to say another thing. I prophesy, in the name of Israel's God, the day has come when the mouths of Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, and these Twelve Apostles, should not be closed because of the opinions of the children of men. There have been feelings that these men holding high positions—the Twelve Apostles and Presidency—should say nothing about politics. I want to say to you here, the day has come when God Almighty requires at your hands to unite together in your temporal business, and in your politics, so far as it is wisdom. I do not care whether a man is a Republican or a Democrat, in that he is free; but it is your duty to unite in electing good men to govern and control your cities, your local affairs, and I will state that when you do not do this you are losers of the blessings of Almighty God....I know it is the duty of the Latter-day Saints to unite together in your local affairs, the election of your city councils, the election of men to act for you in the affairs of state. Lay aside your extremes in democracy and republicanism, as far as is wise in that matter, and in other than local matters as Latter-day Saints unite together within your party lines and appoint good men. When you do that, God will bless you. You won't all be taxed to death and lose your property, if you will appoint good men and pursue this course.
    • "Closing Remarks." Conference Report, Oct 1897. 71.[1]
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  1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1897). Conference reports of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Library. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, 1880-.