-- Mar 29, 1838
[Wilford Woodruff Journal] 29 I arose quite weak. My Bowel complaint continued. Spent the day at Br Ames. Was not able to attend the meeting. Spent an ill night.
The LORD is manifesting his work in great condescension & mercy to the Blood of Ephraim & honest in heart upon these Islands of the sea both by dreams & vissions, signs, healings & wonders. One remarkable circumstance that happened on this day I will mention as follows:
Mr Ebenezar Carver had been earnestly investigating the subject of the gospel as we set it forth & while desireing that he might know the truth of it he walked to the sea shore desireing that he might have some sign and while the word of God was for him to meditate upon that there should no sign be given but the sign of the Prophet Jonas on a sudden their was a large fish arose on the water in the sea at a distance from him & suddenly sunk out of sight. He much desired to again see the sight. Immediately the fish again arose on the top of the water accompanied with another fish of the same specie & size & one of them swam on a strait line on the top of the water towards Mr Carver as he stood upon the beach. When the fish Came as near his feet as the water would permit him the fish looked at the man with a Penetrating eye as though he had a message for him. He then returned to his mate in the Ocean & swam out of sight & Mr Carver returned meditating upon this strange sight &
sign & the wonderful condescenscion of the Lord.
It is worthy of remark that this was at a season of the year when fish of that size is not known upon these shores or coast & they never at any season of the year are known to come ashore as in this case. Mr Carver had dreams at night to Confirm him that these things was a sign to him. Great & marvelous are the works of the Lord. (1)
-- Jul 1, 1838
[Wilford Woodruff Journal] July 1st 1838 On this seventh month the first day of the month and the first day of the week which is called Sunday some of the most important events transpired with me that I ever witnessed since I had a being, events worthy to be recorded upon the ARCHIEVES OF HEAVEN. Or to be engraven with an iron pen & laid in a rock forever upon the EARTH. For I know that my Redeemer liveth & he hath this day given me with my friends a victory over the Devil that tries the Souls of men that dwell upon the face of the earth.
My father Aphek Woodruff, the Son of Eldad Woodruff, which was the Son of Josiah Woodruff, is a man that hath been seeking religion & the favor of God & light & truth for many years at times, & for more than 20 years have a numerous Circle of friends made his Case a subject of Prayer & pied with God in his behalf. But as oft as my father hath strugled for a victory over sin & its influence heretofore Satan hath tempted him & hindered him from gaining the victory.
But since I had became a member of the church of Latter Day Saints & entered the New & Everlasting Covenants & had a dispensation of the gospel committed unto me, I felt a deeper interest than ever in the Salvation of the Soul of my Father. I had now come to declare a message to my Father & his houshold & teach them words whareby they might be saved.
I began to Cry unto God for my father & his houshold & the Lord Showed me in a night vision that a great victory was nigh. But the devil fell upon the whole household with great wrath & tempations. Some of the time one was ready to fall back & reject the gospel & then again annother. His power rested upon me at the same time as if to devour me at once. But after being confined to my bed for several hours under his grasp, in the name of Jesus Christ I with my friends birst the Powers of darkness. I went & stood before the people & declaired the gospel of Jesus Christ, & Shout O Heavens, and rejoice O earth for the victory the Lord hath given us. For after preaching the gospel to the peopl, I immediately assembled upon the bank of Farmington river whare there was much water & lead six of my friends into the waters of Baptism. Five of them were my relatives viz my Father, my Mother, & my ownly Sister Eunice, aunt Anna Cossett, & Cousin Seth Woodruff & the other was Mr Dwight We
bster a methodist class leader.
We returned from the water rejoiceing & confirmed them by the laying on of hands at my fathers house. I organized this small branch of the Church being 9 in number 8 of which were my relatives. I Ordained Brother Dwight Webster to the Office of a Priest. I Communed with these Saints & unbosomed my feelings unto them which closed the scenes of this interesting day which have come to pass in fullfilment of my Patriarchal blessing under the hands of the Patriarch JOSepH.... (1)
1 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993
Mormon Timeline: Dreams