A Message from Wilford Woodruff’s Journals

by Marinda Smith

Why did the early Saints of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue to build their beautiful temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, when they knew they would soon be leaving it? 

Perhaps it was for the same reasons that the Israelites desired to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem which had been destroyed so many years before.1 Wilford Woodruff and the early Saints, like the Israelites who returned to Jerusalem, knew that the temple is the house of the Lord. It is a place of peace, love, and learning. It is a place we can go to receive blessings from on high, blessings that we cannot receive anywhere else on earth. So, even as the early Saints prepared to leave Nauvoo, they continued to build the temple. On April 30 and May 1, 1846, the Saints dedicated the Nauvoo temple so they could be endowed with power from on high, be eternally sealed to their families, and be sanctified after much tragedy and hardship. 

Of the dedication, Wilford Woodruff wrote, “We dedicated the Temple of the Lord built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, unto His Most Holy name . . . At the close of the dedication we raised our voices, in the united shout of Hosanna to God And the Lamb which entered the Heavens to the joy And consolation of our hearts.”2

The blessings of the temple have been significant in my life. Not only am I endowed with power from on high, but I have the peace of knowing I am sealed with my family for eternity. The peace and joy I have felt inside the walls of the temple have been real and constant blessings in my life. In a world that is full of turmoil, the Lord has blessed us with these holy places of peace on earth.  

— Marinda Smith, Senior Editorial Assistant

Marinda Smith

Marinda Smith is a student at Brigham Young University–Idaho studying family history research. In her time working on the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project she has gained a great love and respect for Wilford Woodruff. She loves the work and is thrilled to be engaged in such a worthy pursuit.

Some original text has been edited for clarity and readability.

[1] Haggai 2:3–9, scriptures/ChurchofJesusChrist.org. See also “Holiness unto the Lord,” Come, Follow Me for Individuals and Families, ComeFollowMe.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

[2] Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, April 30, 1846, pp. 237–238, The Wilford Woodruff Papers, wilfordwoodruffpapers.org/journal/1846-04-30.