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Wilford Woodruff: The Sacred Duty of Temple Work


Wilford Woodruff expresses gratitude that his son, Abraham Owen Woodruff, was ordained an apostle at the conference. He shares about his own tough journey as an Apostle and stresses the importance of obeying God. President Woodruff warns the Saints to follow God’s path and highlights their special mission, including temple work. He reminds them that heaven is watching and urges them to stay true to God’s commands.


Editor’s Note

This talk is part of The Forgotten Talks series. As we search for the sources of the quotes we use in our newsletter and on our website, we often stumble across popular quotes that are difficult to locate the source of. When this is the case, we will spend the necessary time to uncover the source, if possible. We have discovered that many of these quotes are locked away in talks and books that haven’t been digitized or are behind a paywall. We make the effort to secure these pearls of great price and share them on our website under the public domain or Creative Commons license. If we are in any way violating any copyright laws, we ask that you notify us.

Notable Quotes

The eyes of the heavens are over us; the eyes of God himself, the eyes of every Prophet and Apostle in the spirit world, are watching you.

the very men whom God raised up to lay the foundation of the American government those noble men, from Washington down have been to men in these Temples and required the ordinances of the House of God at their hands in their behalf.

Do not let us turn our backs upon the commandments of God, and do those things that will place us in difficulties in days to come.

No matter what we may be called to do, or what office we may be called to fill, if we trust in God and do our duty, we will be carried through.

The following are the closing remarks given by Wilford Wood in the October 1897 at General Conference

President Wilford Woodruff

Closing remarks

It is time to close this conference; but before closing I want to say a few words to the Latter-day Saints. I have attended conferences under the presidency of Joseph Smith during his life time, from 1833; I have attended conferences under President Brigham Young nearly forty years, from the time of the death of Joseph Smith until his own death; I have attended conferences under the presidency of John Taylor, and I have attended conferences as President of the Church myself since that period. That responsibility has rested upon me, and rests upon me today. Sixty-four years of my life have passed away as a member of this Church. I do not know that I shall ever address you again; I cannot tell anything about this; but I feel strongly impressed to say a few words to you upon principle, although it is late.

I want these Latter-day Saints to lay to heart what has been said to you by the Apostles and Elders who have spoken at this Conference. I want to say another thing. I prophesy, in the name of Israel’s God, the day has come when the mouths of Wilford Woodruff, George Q. Cannon, Joseph F. Smith, and these Twelve Apostles, should not be closed because of the opinions of the children of men. There have been feelings that these men holding high positions the Twelve Apostles and Presidency should say nothing about politics. I want to say to you here, the day has come when God Almighty requires at your hands to unite together in your temporal business, and in your politics, so far as it is wisdom. I do not care whether a man is a Republican or a Democrat, in that he is free; but it is your duty to unite in electing good men to govern and control your cities, your local affairs, and I will state that when you do not do this you are losers of the blessings of Almighty God. I want to tell you this upon this occasion. My mouth shall not be closed upon these principles. I know it is the duty of the Latter-day Saints to unite together in your local affairs, the election of your city councils, the election of men to act for you in the affairs of state. Lay aside your extremes in democracy and republicanism, as far as is wise in that matter, and in other than local matters as Latter-day Saints unite together within your party lines and appoint good men. When you do that, God will bless you. You won’t all be taxed to death and lose your property, if you will appoint good men and pursue this course.

I take the liberty, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of making these remarks. No matter what the feelings of men may be towards me; I shall not stay in this country very long. But I realize very well that this people are groaning under poverty, under affliction, under taxation, and in positions that they ought not to be if they would only unite together and do their duty. And this idea of a person being afraid of somebody because he is a Democrat or a Republican, it is all wrong. I feel like saying to you, as the President of this Church, and do state, that it is your duty to unite together and appoint good men to act in every capacity for the public welfare. Therefore let us do our duty, walk uprightly before the Lord our God, and leave the consequences with Him. “Do what is right, let the consequences follow;” which may God grant, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

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