“In Order to Be in Fashion I Am Called on a Mission”

Wilford Woodruff’s Parting Letter to Emma as He Joins the “Underground”



Rummaging through the contents of a rarely disturbed old trunk in her basement, Maxine G. Daynes of the Salt Lake Monument Park First Ward picked up a framed family photograph. Thinking that the gold frame might serve a better purpose, she emptied its contents. When the cardboard backing was removed from the photograph, out fell a neatly folded piece of old paper. Opening it and quickly scanning the four small pages of scrawled handwriting, Sister Daynes discovered it to be an original letter written by Wilford Woodruff, grandfather of her husband, Byron Woodruff Daynes.

Penned in slightly faded brown ink, the letter is a farewell message to Emma Smith Woodruff, a plural wife. Patiently Sister Daynes and other family members deciphered Elder Woodruff ‘s sometimes difficult handwriting, then researched in Church history to discover the threatening circumstances which prompted Elder Woodruff to dash off this hurried goodbye.


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