“Historical Summary,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff (2011), x–xiv
“Historical Summary,” Teachings: Wilford Woodruff, x–xiv
This book is not a history; rather, it is a compilation of gospel principles as taught by President Wilford Woodruff. The following chronology provides a brief historical framework for these teachings. It omits many significant events in secular history. It also omits many important events in President Woodruff’s personal life, such as his marriages and the births and deaths of his children.
1807, March 1
Wilford Woodruff is born in Farmington, Hartford County, Connecticut, to Beulah Thompson Woodruff and Aphek Woodruff.
1808, June 11
His mother dies at age 26.
1810, November 9
His father marries Azubah Hart.
Begins work as a miller.
Moves with his brother Azmon and Azmon’s wife to Richland, Oswego County, New York, where they purchase a farm.
1833, December 29
Hears the restored gospel for the first time at a meeting conducted by two Latter-day Saint missionaries, Elders Zera Pulsipher and Elijah Cheney.
1833, December 31
Baptized and confirmed by Zera Pulsipher.
1834, January 2
Ordained a teacher by Zera Pulsipher.
Goes to Kirtland, Ohio, where he meets the Prophet Joseph Smith.
1834, May to June
Travels with Zion’s Camp to the state of Missouri. Stays in Clay County, Missouri, to help the Saints there.
1834, November 5
Ordained a priest by Simeon Carter in Clay County, Missouri.
1835, January 13
Leaves Missouri for his first full-time mission, preaching the gospel in Arkansas and Tennessee.
1835, June 28
Ordained an elder by Warren Parrish near Memphis, Tennessee.
1836, April 19
Called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
1836, May 31
Ordained a Seventy by David Patten.
1837, January 3
Called to the First Quorum of the Seventy.
1837, May 31
Leaves Kirtland, Ohio, to serve a mission in the Fox Islands, off the coast of the state of Maine.
1838, July 8
Called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith (see D&C 118).
1839, April 26
Ordained an Apostle by Brigham Young at the temple site in Far West, Missouri.
1839, August 8
Leaves for a mission in England.
1840 to 1841
Serves as a missionary in England. Helps lead about 2,000 people to baptism and confirmation. Helps secure the copyright to the Book of Mormon in London.
1841, October 6
Returns to his family and other Saints in Nauvoo.
1841, November 21
Witnesses the first baptisms for the dead that were performed in the baptistry of the Nauvoo Temple.
1843, July to November
Serves a mission in the eastern United States, seeking funds to help complete the construction of the Nauvoo Temple.
1844, May to August
Serves another mission in the eastern United States.
1844, July 9
Learns of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, which occurred on June 27.
1844, August 6
Returns to Nauvoo with other members of the Quorum of the Twelve.
1844, August 8
Attends a conference in which the Latter-day Saints sustain President Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as the leaders of the Church.
1844, August 12
Accepts a call to preside over the European Mission.
1846, April to May
Returns to Nauvoo and later joins the Saints in their exodus west.
1847, April 7
Leaves Winter Quarters with the first company of pioneers bound for the Salt Lake Valley.
1847, July 24
Arrives in the Great Salt Lake Valley.
1847 to 1850
Fulfills several assignments to help the Saints migrate to Salt Lake City from Winter Quarters and the eastern United States.
1856 to 1883
Serves as Assistant Church Historian.
1877, January 1 to 1884, June 26
Serves as the first president of the St. George Utah Temple.
1877, August 29
Learns of the death of President Brigham Young and leaves St. George for Salt Lake City.
1880, October 10
Sustained as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the same general conference in which John Taylor is sustained as President of the Church.
The United States Congress passes the Edmunds Act, making plural marriage a felony and prohibiting polygamists from voting, holding public office, or performing jury duty.
1883 to 1889
Serves as Church Historian.
1887, February 19
The United States Congress passes the Edmunds-Tucker Act, another antipolygamy law, allowing the federal government to confiscate much of the Church’s real estate. The act becomes law on March 3, 1887.
1887, July 25
Becomes the senior Apostle and the presiding leader of the Church at the death of President John Taylor.
1888, May 17
Dedicates the Manti Utah Temple.
1889, April 7
Sustained as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
1890, September 24
Having received a revelation from the Lord, issues a declaration stating that the Latter-day Saints should cease the practice of entering into plural marriage.
1890, October 6
Members of the Church attending general conference unanimously sustain the revelation President Woodruff received regarding plural marriage.
1893, April 6
Dedicates the Salt Lake Temple.
1894, November 13
Oversees the establishment of the Genealogical Society of Utah.
1897, March 1
Attends the celebration of his 90th birthday.
1898, September 2
Dies in San Francisco, California, after a brief illness.