|Journal of Wilford Woodruff
On the 27th of Apreil being the Lords day I attended meeting and herd several of the Brethren preach Brother Sidney Rigdon, Orson Hide. Orson Pratt and others spoke Joseph Smith closing during the meeting It appeared to me there was more light mad[e] manifest at that meeting respecting the gospel and Kingdom of God than I had ever received from the whole Sectarian world.
|Remarks of Wilford Woodruff, May 1888|
President Wilford Woodruff said: I certainly rejoice that I have lived to see this hour; that I have the privilege of again entering into a Temple of the Lord our God, which has been reared to His Holy Name in these mountains of Israel. This has brought forceably to my mind what Joseph Smith said the first time I ever heard him speak, in the spring of 18341. There was no Quorum of the Apostles then. It was a testimony meeting, and Joseph called upon the elders to speak. All who were present bore their testimony--Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Bownton [Boynton], Lyman Johnson, Hyrum Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, and a number of others, who I do not not now recall. When Joseph got up to speak, he said, "Brethren you know no more about the extent or the nature of this work of which you have been testifying than a babe in its mother's arm." Well it rather startled the brethren. Then, you understand, a little Log Cabin 12 feet square, held all the Elders of the Church who were present and they were then going up to Zion. Now, see this work, said he, that you have commenced, this little mustard seed, it is going to fill the whole earth. It will fill North and South America. And among other things, he said, "it will fill the Rocky Mountains; the Rocky Mountains will be filled with tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints, and they will stand associated with thousands of Lamanites of the blood of Joseph." I was thinking today, and when I arose to my feet, of the remarks of that prophet. Here I am, today, 54 years after that saying surrounded with my brethren in this Temple, built here in the Rocky Mountains by the people of God.
1. Woodruff was in Kirtland for 5 days at the end of April 1834 having arrived there in preparation to go with "Zion's Camp," the Mormon relief effort for Latter-day Saints who had been evicted from their Jackson County lands in 1833. He did not return to Ohio until 1836.
Then President of the Church, Wilford Woodruff repeated his Manti remarks at a June 1892 St. George, Utah stake conference as follows:
The first time I ever saw Joseph Smith was in April, 1834. I met him in the streets of Kirtland. He invited me to his house. I stopped with him while preparing to go up to Zion in Zion's camp. On Sunday he called a Priesthood meeting. They all gathered in a little cabin. There I first heard Joseph Smith speak publicly, also Hyrum Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley and Orson Pratt, and William E. McLellin. The Prophet called upon the Elders to bear testimony of the Gospel of Christ, and they arose one after another and bore a short testimony. Then Brother Joseph arose and said: "Brethren, I am very much edified and interested in listening to your testimony. But I want to tell you that you know no more concerning the result of this work and what lies before you as the Elders of Israel and before this people, than a parcel of little children." I expect they were all a little startled by it. He told them this work would fill the whole earth, and that all nations would have to hear the proclamation of the Gospel. He further said: "This work will fill the Rocky Mountains with tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints, and there will be joined with them the Lamanites who dwell in those mountains, who will receive the Gospel of Christ at the mouth of Elders of Israel, and they will be united with the Church and Kingdom of God, and bring forth much good." I little thought, when I listened to those words, that I should ever live to see the fulfilment of these words of the Prophet. I little thought that I should ever visit the Rocky Mountains, or ever see the Lamanites of whom he then was speaking. These men before me today bring to my mind sayings of the Prophet. His mind expanded on that occasion and he had a good deal to say with regard to the progress of this work, what the Elders of Israel would have to pass through, and the work that God would require at their hands in the redemption of the Lamanites and the honest and meek throughout the world, and in the building up of the Zion of God on the earth. [Arthur Winter report.]
Both the above remininscent accounts may be found in Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, (Woodland Hills, Utah: B. H. S. Publishing, 1987-1992).