Straightway They Forsook Their Nets and Followed Him

by Krystyna Hales

“And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.”1 I love this passage. Jesus said come and straightway they came. They dropped what they were doing and followed.

Since learning more about Wilford Woodruff’s life and his faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I’ve been humbled and inspired by how he responded to the invitations from, and calls to, the Savior. One such example was his first introduction to the restored gospel.

On December 29, 1833, he heard that a “Mormon priest” was holding a meeting in his town of Richland, New York, and he attended.2 Zera Pulsipher gave introductory remarks and said a prayer. Wilford “felt the spirit of God bear witness that he was the servant of God” at the beginning of the meeting.3 Zera continued to preach and Wilford himself felt it was his duty to bear witness to the truth of what was shared. He said, “I opened my eyes to see, my ears to hear, my heart to understand, and my doors to entertain him who had administered unto us.” Wilford recorded that Zera “continued labouring with us for several days and on the 31st of December I . . . went forward in baptism.”4 His response to feeling the spirit and to the invitation to be baptized was immediate and was just the beginning of a lifetime of straightway responding to the Savior’s call to come follow Him.

There have been times in my life when I straightway followed the Savior, times when I hemmed and hawed before following, and times when I didn’t follow. But I’m grateful that the Savior’s call is constant and that we get to choose daily to follow Him. 

— Krystyna Hales, Operations and HR Manager

Some original text has been edited for clarity and readability.


  1. Mark 1:17–18.
  2. Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, December 29, 1833, p. 10, The Wilford Woodruff Papers,
  3. Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, December 29, 1833, p. 11, The Wilford Woodruff Papers,
  4. Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, December 29, 1833, p. 12, The Wilford Woodruff Papers,