Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith
Prophet, Seer and Revelator

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wilford and the Bull

When Wilford Woodruff was a child, he met with many accidents. At times he barely escaped with his life.

His father had a small herd of horned cattle - one of which was a surly bull. One evening Wilford was feeding pumpkins to the herd when the bull took a pumpkin Wilford had given to his favorite cow. Wilford was upset at the bull and swiped the bull's pumpkin to give to his cow. The bull became angry with Wilford when Wilford picked up the pumpkin and chased him. Wilford ran with all his might down the hill.

His father called to Wilford to drop the pumpkin, but Wilford held it tightly. It was for his favorite cow. The bull gained speed and almost caught up with Wilford when Wilford stumbled on a rock and fell to the ground. The pumpkin rolled out of his arms and the bull leaped over Wilford and gored the pumpkin to pieces. "Undoubtedly he would have done the same thing to me if I had not fallen to the ground. This escape, like all others, I attribute to the mercy and good ness of God." (Wilford Woodruff's journal)

Wilford was ever faithful, even as a child, attributing his safety to a loving Heavenly Father

Brigham Young meets Joseph Smith

Brigham Young meets Joseph Smith

After Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball were baptized, they wanted to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith. They left their children in the care of Heber's wife and travelled to Kirtand. When they came to Joseph's home, Emma told them the Prophet was in the back woods chopping fire wood with his brothers. Brigham approached Brother Joseph, who was tall, blond and very friendly. When Brigham shook Joseph Smith's hand, joy surged through him, and he knew Joseph was a prophet of God. The spirit witnessed to Brigham of Joseph's mission.

The men went back to Joseph's home to talk. Brigham and Heber were eager to learn all they could about the Church while they were in Kirtland. When Brigham was away from the group, Joseph told the men that Brigham would one day lead the Church.

Soon Brigham moved to Kirtland to be close to the Prophet. He was called to be an apostle of the Lord and his testimony of Joseph never wavered - even though apostasy raged around him. He loved Joseph Smith with every fiber of his being and that testimony never left him.

Brigham Young and the robin

Brigham Young - hungry and lonely

Brigham and his mother were good friends. She was sick with tuberculosis so Brigham helped her with the housework. (When he was the prophet, he said he could do housework as well as any woman - and maybe he could.) She got progressively worse and died when he was fourteen.

After that his father was gone much of the time, leaving Brigham and his younger brother, Lorenzo, home to clear the land.

One day Brigham and Lorenzo spent the day out chopping branches, digging out roots, burning the bushes - hard manual labor. As the sun began to set Brigham and Lorenzo started for home. They knew there was nothing in the house to eat. It was early summer and all the fox, deer and other game animals were further into the woods. What could they find to eat?

The boys tramped toward home. Brigham missed his mother. When she was alive there was always food in the house and a welcoming voice when he and Lorenzo got home. Now there would be only emptiness. Brigham spotted a robin flitting from branch to branch near their cabin. He crept quietly into the house to get the gun and shot the robin.

The boys plucked and dressed the bird. They boiled it in a kettle of water and dumped the last of the flour dust from the empty barrel into the pot to made a watery broth. It wasn't much, but at least it was something.

Brigham knew what it was like to be hungry and lonely.