From the Life of President Wilford Woodruff


They Were Speaking the Truth

Adapted from Leon R. Hartshorn, ed., Classic Stories from the Lives of Our Prophets (1971), 106–8; and Susan Arrington Madsen, The Lord Needed a Prophet (1990), 64.
Wilford Woodruff(click to view larger) Events in the life of Wilford Woodruff(click to view larger)

Illustrated by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi

Ever since he was a boy, Wilford Woodruff wanted to know which church was true. When he was 26 years old, he still had not joined any church. He lived with his brother Azmon on his farm.

Wilford: Heavenly Father, help me to know how to live my life.

On December 29, 1833, two Mormon missionaries stopped at Azmon’s house. He and Wilford were both away working, but Azmon’s wife was home.

Missionary: God has restored His Church upon the earth, and we would like to tell you more about it.

Woman: My husband and brother-in-law are not home right now, but we would definitely be interested in hearing more.

The missionaries rented the local schoolhouse that afternoon. They passed out notices inviting anybody who wanted to learn more about the gospel to come to a meeting that evening.

When Wilford got home from working, his sister-in-law told him about the meeting. He immediately turned his horses around and started to the schoolhouse, praying the whole way to know whether or not the missionaries were true followers of Christ.

Woman: But, Wilford, what about supper?

Wilford: These men could be the answer to my prayers! I must go.

Wilford arrived at the schoolhouse, which was packed with people. His brother Azmon was already there. Wilford couldn’t find an empty chair, so he sat on one of the writing desks where he could see and hear everything.

Missionary: I bear strong testimony of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. I also know that Joseph Smith is a prophet who has come to fulfill a great mission here on earth.

Wilford: I can feel the Spirit telling me that these are men of God.

After the missionaries were finished speaking, they asked members of the congregation if they would like to stand and say anything. Immediately, Wilford stood up and told everyone that he knew the missionaries were speaking the truth.

Wilford: The Lord urges me to bear testimony of the truth of this message. Do not oppose these men, for they are true servants of God. They have preached to us the pure gospel of Jesus Christ.

Two days later Wilford and his brother Azmon were baptized.