December 31, 1833, Wilford Woodruff was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Five Hundred miles away Joseph Smith recorded in his journal that Wilford Woodruff was baptized on this day in 1833 although Joseph had never met Wilford Woodruff
From the beginning of his journey within the Church, Wilford Woodruff kept a journal and he wrote in that journal faithfully every day for over 60 years. He has said that he could not go to bed at night until he had written in his journal and there were many times he would spend the major part of a day editing and updating those entries.A number of years ago the family association went through his journals and transcribed them and prepared them to be published. They were published in 9 volumes--about 5400 pages.
The family members were afforded the opportunity to purchase copies when they were ready for sale and sadly I neglected to do so.
However lately, I have found a book in the library called: Waiting for the World's End--The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff. The author of the book is someone who was familiar with the journals of Wilford Woodruff and has taken excerpts from the journals rather than all the entries and kind of condensed things to about 500 pages. I found it to be very interesting reading.
One thing really struck me though! The title of the book--Waiting for the World's End.
The idea of the time being short until the Saints returned to Jackson to build the Temple in preparation for the return of the Savior and ushering in of the Millenium is a theme that I find quite common in the writings of Wilford and also many other of the early leaders of the church.
In one place in 1880 I recall Wilford as saying that with the state of the world and this country we should not see 1890. Those men in that time were looking for and anxiously awaiting the return of the Savior.
Another thought crossed my mind though!
In 1880 Wilford Woodruff was serving as the President of the Saint George Temple and had been since it opened in 1877. It was the only Temple in active operation in all the world at that time.
St. George TempleThe other two Temples the Saints had built were no longer in operation. The Kirtland Temple was in the hands of the Reorganized Church and the Nauvoo Temple had been destroyed.
Nauvoo TempleIf we take 1880 as a benchmark then the ten years to 1890 would have seen the opening of the Logan Temple in 1884.
And, also, the opening of the Manti Temple in 1888
Manti TempleBut that would have been all.
Wilford was a great lover of the Temples and the work that was done in them and he labored hard to do as much as was possible, but with the 1890 timetable............
1890 would have come with only three Temples operating and smaller ones than the plans for the Salt Lake Temple, which construction on was finally making good progress, but it still would be 1894 before it was finished.
If we take a look at what has happened over the last 120 years since 1890 it would be interesting to see what Wilford would think about four Temples operating in the Salt Lake Valley alone, that includes the new Oquirrh Moutain Temple that will be dedicated this summer.
The Salt Lake Temple
The Draper Temple
And the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple
And rumors say that another will be added in the Bluffdale area at a later date and there will then be five in the Salt Lake Valley.
In addition to those in the Salt Lake Valley there are another nine within the State of Utah.
We have already mentioned the Logan, Manti, St. George temples that are in the state but not in the Salt Lake Valley but there is also:
The Ogden Temple
The Bountiful Temple
Mount Timpanogos Temple
The Provo Temple
The Vernal Temple
The Monticello Temple
That makes 13 Temples just in the state of Utah and if we look worldwide the number is rapidly approching 150, either operating, under construction, or planned.
Granted the world has continued to deteriorate over the last 120 years but there has been a huge amount of work accomplished and literally millions of people have been given the opportunity to recieve the blessings of the Temple.
I share the desire that was felt by the early saints in wanting that time of peace and tranquility but I also find a question to ask...................
What more need we do to make us ready for His return?