Discourse, 7 July 1839, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff
JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, 7 July 1839. Featured version copied [ca. 7 July 1839] in Wilford Woodruff, Journal, vol. 2, 1 Jan. 1838–31 Dec. 1839, p. ; handwriting of ; Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898, CHL..
, “Willford Woodruff’s Journal Vol. 2. And a Synopsis of Vol. 1,” Journal, 1 Jan. 1838–31 Dec. 1839; handwriting of ; 121 pages; Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, CHL. Includes shorthand, drawings, redactions, and use marks.
Blank book measuring 3⅞ × 6¾ × ¾ (10 × 17 × 2 cm). The volume contains 126 leaves (252 pages). There are three flyleaves at the front and the back of the volume, with a fourth leaf at the front and back pasted to the boards. The journal has a tight-back, limp binding, supported by two strips of vellum tape. The boards and spine are covered with brown calf leather. The spine contains a gold-tooled inscription: “WOODRUFF’ | JOURNAL | VOL. 2.”
The rectos of all three flyleaves in the front were inscribed by and contain a title page, a summary of statistics from Woodruff’s first journal, and the subtitle “THE FIRST BOOK | OF | WILLFORD VOL. 2. | FOR | 1838”. An unknown scribe later labeled the verso of the pastedown: “1st. | January 1st. 1838. | to | December 31st. 1839.” Woodruff inscribed all of his journal entries in the first six gatherings of the book in brown ink; the remainder of the volume is blank. Woodruff decorated his entries with borders, drawings, flourishes, and symbols; it seems that he used some of the decorations to track information such as performed, meetings attended, and letters sent and received. This volume was the second journal Woodruff wrote in after his in December 1833. The format of this journal—which begins with a brief personal history, followed by daily journal entries—appears to be patterned after his earlier journal. The volume contains daily journal entries from 1 January 1838 to 31 December 1839. These entries were apparently copied from earlier daybooks that Woodruff seems to have written in regularly and that he expanded upon in his journal entries. Woodruff caught up on his copying in the second journal by 8 August 1839, when he departed for a mission to and left the journal with his wife, Phebe. Presumably, Woodruff copied the remaining entries for 1839 sometime following his return to the in 1841. He did not copy any entries beyond December 1839 into the volume, although he had inscribed only half the volume. He inscribed later entries in a different volume. A March 1858 catalog record in the Church Historian’s Office indicates that Woodruff’s “Private Papers” were in the possession of the office by that time, probably because of his position as assistant church historian. A July 1858 inventory clarified that these papers included Woodruff’s journals. The journals likewise appear on later inventories, suggesting that the second volume has been in continuous institutional custody.
“Index of Records and Journals in the Historian’s Office 1878,” , Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
On Sunday, 7 July 1839, JS delivered a discourse at a meeting of at , Illinois. Church members in Commerce were joined by approximately one hundred Saints from , Iowa Territory, including and his wife, Phebe Carter Woodruff, as well as many who were not members of the church. The group had gathered to hear the farewell addresses of members of the and the Quorums of the who were leaving to proselytize in Europe. Those who spoke during the meeting included , , Wilford Woodruff, , , , and JS. Rigdon’s address, which discussed the persecution and trials the apostles and seventies would face while proselytizing, was particularly poignant. Woodruff recorded that Rigdon’s address “was of such a nature in appealing to our affections, in parting with our wives, and children, & the peculiarity of our mission, the perils that we might meet with, & the blessings that we should receive, &c. that tears was brought from many eyes.”
After spoke, JS addressed a similar topic: the potential imprisonment and injustice the missionaries might face while preaching. JS alluded to the circumstances he endured while imprisoned in and offered the apostles and seventies guidance on how to respond if they found themselves in similar situations. likely recorded the discourse in a daybook and shortly thereafter copied the discourse into his journal. After recounting the day’s events, Woodruff considered the messages of JS, Rigdon, and others who had spoken; he concluded his journal entry with a section labeled “Reflections,” in which he wrote: “May we [the Twelve] ever realize that while we are in the service of God & doing his will, that though we may be surrounds by mobs & threatened with death that the Lord is our deliverer & that he will support us in every time of trouble & trial.”
Although Woodruff’s notes on JS’s discourse are brief, they contain more detail than does JS’s journal, which merely states that JS “requested their [the missionaries’] prayers & promised to pray for them.” (JS, Journal, 7 July 1839.)
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
Joseph addressed us in few words & says remember brethren that if you are imprisiond Brother Joseph has been imprisiond before you, if you are placed whare you can ownly see your Brethren through the grates of a window while in Irons because of the gospel of Jesus Christ remember Brother Joseph has been in like circumstances also after other similar remarks the meeting closed [p. ]