More Than a Name on a Page
by Maddie Christensen
“One of my favorite things about working on the Project is finding my ancestors’ names mentioned,” shares Rose Bowen, a volunteer for the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation. “I love to see how they were involved in building up the Church in their own ways. Just as President Woodruff had a calling to fulfill, we each have callings and opportunities to build up the Church and make the world a better place.”
Rose first discovered the Project while looking for an internship for her Bachelor of General Studies program. She loves history, specifically Church history, and enjoyed a Paleography class she took. Putting all these interests together made the Wilford Woodruff Papers a great fit for her.
Rose has worked mostly on autobiographies. She notes that she loves to see the continuity and progression of Church history and Utah history from Wilford Woodruff’s perspective. She has come to understand that more than just a handful of men supported the Church and built the state.
Rose has particularly enjoyed working with the many employees, interns, and volunteers, each dedicated to making these valuable documents available. She shares, “It was a special blessing to participate in the first Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation Conference and see the impact we have already made. By participating in this work, I am part of history being made.”
She continues, “The most valuable thing I’ve gained from working on this Project is strengthening my testimony of the gospel. To read [Wilford’s] firsthand account of the events following the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum, his missions, especially to England, and Brigham learning to lead the Church. It is all so interesting to me!”
Rose would like others to know that “there is much more to family history than names and dates! The lives people lived, the conditions they lived under, and the historical events that impacted their lives make them more than a name on a page—they become real people with concerns and emotions, just like me!”