Wilford Woodruff 1807–1898


Narrow escapes from death, hardship and valiant leadership characterize the life of the fourth president of the Church, Wilford Woodruff, At the age of 3 he fell into a boiling cauldron of water, and a few years later he was feeding his father’s cattle and was nearly gored to death by a charging bull. As a young man he was almost crushed to death by a falling tree, and in this accident as in all the others, he attributed his escape to the mercy and goodness of God.

On one occasion while on a mission to Arkansas and Tennessee in the United States, Wilford and his companion walked 95 kilometers from sunrise until ten o’clock at night “without a morsel of food of any kind.” During his missions to England, Elder Woodruffs faith and hard work resulted in a remarkable number of baptisms—several hundred were performed personally by this valiant leader and servant.

In 1889, at eighty-two years of age, he became the president of the Church. He served until his death at the age of 91.