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Wilford Woodruff
Wilford Woodruff 1889.jpg
Woodruff in 1889
4th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
April 7, 1889 (1889-04-07) – September 2, 1898 (1898-09-02)
Predecessor John Taylor
Successor Lorenzo Snow
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
October 10, 1880 (1880-10-10) – April 7, 1889 (1889-04-07)
Predecessor John Taylor
Successor Lorenzo Snow
End reason Became President of the Church
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
April 26, 1839 (1839-04-26) – April 7, 1889 (1889-04-07)
Called by Joseph Smith
End reason Became President of the Church
Apostle
April 26, 1839 (1839-04-26) – September 2, 1898 (1898-09-02)
Called by Joseph Smith
Reason Replenishing Quorum of the Twelve
Reorganization
at end of term
Rudger Clawson ordained
Personal details
Born (1807-03-01)March 1, 1807
Farmington, Connecticut, United States
Died September 2, 1898(1898-09-02) (aged 91)
San Francisco, California, United States
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′33″N 111°51′45″W / 40.77592°N 111.86247°W / 40.77592; -111.86247 (Salt Lake City Cemetery)
Spouse(s)
Phebe Whittemore Carter
(m. 1837; d. 1885)

Mary Ann Jackson
(m. 1846; div. 1848)

(m. 1878; d. 1894)
Sarah Elinor Brown
(m. 1846; div. 1846)

Mary Caroline Barton
(m. 1846; div. 1846)

Mary Meeks Giles Webster
(m. 1852; d. 1852)

Emma Smith (m. 1853)

Sarah Brown (m. 1853)

Sarah Delight Stocking (m. 1857)

Eudora Young Dunford
(m. 1877; div. 1879)
Children 34 (including Abraham O. Woodruff and Clara W. Beebe)
Parents Aphek and Beulah Woodruff
Signature  
Signature of Wilford Woodruff

Wilford Woodruff Sr. (March 1, 1807 – September 2, 1898) was an American religious leader who served as the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1889 until his death. He ended the public practice of plural marriage among the members of the LDS Church in 1890.

Woodruff joined the Latter Day Saint church after studying Restorationism as a young adult. He met Joseph Smith in Kirtland, Ohio, before joining Zion's Camp in April 1834. He stayed in Missouri as a missionary, preaching in Arkansas and Tennessee before returning to Kirtland. He married his first wife, Phebe, that year and served a mission in New England. Joseph Smith called Woodruff to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in July 1838, and he was ordained in April 1839. Woodruff served a mission in England from 1839 until 1841, leading converts from England to Nauvoo. Woodruff was away promoting Joseph Smith's presidential campaign during Joseph Smith's death. After returning to Nauvoo, he and Phebe travelled again to England, where Woodruff preached and supported local members. Woodruff and Phebe returned to the United States just before the Saints were driven out of Nauvoo, and Woodruff oversaw forty families in Winter Quarters, where he was sealed to his first plural wives, though two of the three plural wives divorced him after three weeks. He joined the advance company that traveled to the Salt Lake Valley without his family in 1847. After returning to Winter Quarters, Woodruff and Phebe left to preside over the Eastern States Mission.

Woodruff and his family arrived in Salt Lake City on October 15, 1850, where Woodruff built cabins, farmed, and raised cattle. He served on the Utah territorial legislature and was heavily involved in the social and economic life of his community. He worked as an Assistant Church Historian and as Church Historian from 1856 to 1889. He was married to three more wives between 1852 and 1853. In 1877, he became the president of the St. George Temple, where endowment ordinances were first performed for the dead as well as the living. Woodruff helped to standardize the temple ceremony, and decreed that church members could act as proxy for anyone they could identify by name. He also ended sealings of members to unrelated priesthood holders, stating that sealings should follow family lines. In 1882, Woodruff went into hiding to avoid arrest for unlawful cohabitation under the Edmunds Act. In 1889, Woodruff became the fourth president of the LDS Church. After government disenfranchisement of polygamists and women in Utah Territory, and seizure of church properties which threatened to extend to temples, Woodruff ended the church's official support of new polygamous marriages in the 1890 Manifesto. Woodruff died in 1898 and his detailed diaries provide an important record of Latter Day Saint history.

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