How God Helped Wilford Woodruff Through Struggles

by Denise Waldram

In June 1877, Wilford Woodruff lost his 20-year-old son, Brigham, in a tragic drowning accident. In his journal, Wilford described his feelings and how God comforted him and helped him have an eternal perspective, writing, “we cannot always comprehend the ways of Providence. … I have felt calm, composed, and reconciled in this bereavement.”1 When Wilford received the news of his son’s death, he was working in the St. George Temple performing temple work for those who had passed on. I believe this service strengthened his faith and allowed him to recognize that life does not end after death. He was an example of the message given in Psalm 78:7: “That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” Wilford had great faith in God and relied on Him for strength and deliverance many times in his life. 

Psalm 77:1 says, “I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice, and he gave ear unto me.” On one occasion, Wilford found himself in a swamp, knee deep in mud and water, alone, hungry, and unable to walk. He knelt down and called upon God for help. After this, he wrote, “The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I was healed; the pain left me.”2

Like Wilford, I have a testimony that God hears my cries for comfort and help and is there to deliver me whenever I need Him. 

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Denise Waldram

Denise Waldram has a degree in Family History Research and has worked with the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation since January 2022. Wilford Woodruff has been her favorite prophet since she was a child, and she enjoys learning more about him through his writings.