From Connecticut, where Wilford Woodruff was born in 1807, to San Francisco, where he was befriended by the cosmopolitan Bohemian Club before dying in 1898, Woodruff’s life was unpredictable. The same man who consulted scientific texts for the cultivation of fruit trees for his personal garden was equally known for his apocalyptic vision on a Navajo mesa in Arizona in 1880. The man who balanced his ledger with penny-accuracy modeled buckskin temple robes to friends on his birthday and accepted from Brigham Young, as a birthday gift, one of Young’s daughters as a wife.
Woodruff became president of the Mormon church while hiding from federal marshals. Convinced that non-Mormons, or “gentiles,” would be smitten by the calamities promised in the Bible, he bided his time in exile until Mormonism prevailed. However, as the Parousia was delayed, he eventually decided to compromise with the United States.
To complement the exhaustive ten-volume Wilford Woodruff diary series and index published by Signature Books as a limited edition, Susan Staker has condensed the highlights of Woodruff’s revealing personal narrative into one readable volume, along with prefatory information, annotation, and appendices.
Susan Staker is an editorial director at Adobe Systems (Seattle, Washington), former editor at Sunstone magazine, co-author of Sisters and Little Spirits: One Hundred Years of Primary, editor of Waiting for World’s End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff, a contributor to The Prophet Puzzle and American Apocrypha, among others.