“A Marvellous Work and a Wonder”

by Brittney Condie

Isaiah 29:14 refers to “a marvellous work and a wonder” in the Lord’s work of salvation. Wilford Woodruff was a large contributor to this work through missionary, temple, and family history work during his lifetime. As I have read through his journals, I have found his records of people he met and baptized and his writing about the temple work he did for his ancestors and other deceased individuals.

In a letter dated April 24, 1840, Wilford described an experience he had while serving in England to his wife Phebe. He wrote:

I went into the town of Ledbury to preach for the first time & as soon as the people herd that I was in town they gathered together in companies wanting to hear, the Baptist Minister offered to open his Chapel for me & he went into the pulpit with me & opened the meeting by reading the 35 chapter of Isaiah & praying mightyly for the Lord to bless me & make me an instrument of doing much good after which I arose & preached to the largest congregation (it was said) that ever met in the Chapel & they did not have over an hours notice many appeared Believing, the Baptists Minister gave me his hand & bid me God speed, aftr meeting I Baptized 13, next morning & the Lord is opening many doors upon the right & left.1

The Baptist minister that offered his chapel and pulpit to Wilford must have been a remarkable man. He recognized that Wilford could be an instrument in the Lord’s hand to do His work. The minister was humble enough to share Isaiah 35, the chapter that talks about the growth of the Restoration; pray for God to allow Wilford to do good; and then stand aside as the Lord had Wilford do precisely as He had asked. The minister didn’t even know Wilford, but he knew the scriptures and listened to the Spirit of God. It’s a good reminder that God prepares and can use anyone to bring about His marvelous work. This is a wonder, and personal preparation is needed to recognize God’s hand as this minister did.

Isaiah 35:10 says, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” 

These words are a humbling reminder to me that the Lord plans on saving us. Christ cares for us, and as we walk in the covenant path He will bring us joy and gladness.

Brittney Condie has been with the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation since January 2022. She came in to complete an internship doing research on the project. She has an associate degree in business and is currently working on her bachelor's, majoring in genealogy with a minor in Native American studies. She enjoys hiking, gardening, and learning.