From the Life of President Wilford Woodruff


Adapted from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff (2004), 225, 227; Susan Arrington Madsen, The Lord Needed a Prophet (1990), 68; Emerson Roy West, Profiles of the Presidents (1974), 134–35; and Preston Nibley, The Presidents of the Church (1974), 123.

A Hard Worker

President Wilford Woodruff(click to view larger) Events in the life of President Wilford Woodruff(click to view larger)

Illustrations by Sal Velluto and Eugenio Mattozzi

Wilford Woodruff loved working with his hands. When he was a boy, he learned the value of hard work from his father and grandfather.

As a man he could often be seen farming his land.

In 1855, Wilford owned a farm in the Salt Lake Valley. After harvesting wheat, potatoes, and corn, he created an organization to encourage more variety in local crops.

President Woodruff: I hereby call to order the first meeting of the Horticulture Society, which is meant to promote the growing of fruit in our territory.

Over the years, he won many awards for his farm projects.

Some of his prizes were for best-fenced and cultivated farm, best acre of sugar cane, best squash, best sugar beets, best bush beans, best cantaloupes, best apples, and best grapes.

Woman: The award for best overall produce goes to Wilford Woodruff.

President Woodruff: Thank you! I put a lot of hard work into those vegetables.

Wilford didn’t let old age get in the way of his work. One of his favorite activities was gardening outside with his children and grandchildren.

Grandson: Grandfather, may I help?

President Woodruff: Of course. Take that hoe over there, and help me get rid of these weeds.

One day, Wilford was upset when one of his grandchildren finished hoeing a patch of vegetables a little before he did—even though he was 90 years old!

Grandson: Grandfather, I’m all finished.

President Woodruff: I’m getting old. That’s the first time in my life that one of my grandchildren has ever outdone me in hoeing.

After he died, many people remembered Wilford Woodruff as a man who worked hard, both in his garden and for the Lord.

Man: President Woodruff loved to work hard. He was just as devout with the scythe or the sickle as he was with the hymnbook or at the pulpit. All honorable work was God’s work, whether it was digging a ditch, preaching a sermon, or writing a history.