Fervent Testimony of Joseph Smith

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January 19, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Another beautiful, sunny winter day in Old Nauvoo. The snow has mostly melted, which is like it is in a lot of places. Being from Soda Springs, it makes it feel like spring. But we know better. More cold weather is imminent.

Our mission president and his wife went home yesterday (to Phoenix). Today we were supposed to meet the new mission president, President Hunter. However, he is laid up in bed with a bad back for unbeknown reasons, and will be a few days in recovering. Consequently, he is not here yet. A counselor in the mission presidency, President Chynoweth, is acting as mission president until he gets here. Tonight we are having a sociable (like a fireside). Instead of listening to the new mission president speak, as originally planned, we are having a testimony meeting with a lot of music. Our recently formed string quartet will play some hymns. Sister Germer, violist, arranged one of the hymns, and it is quite nice. Elder Germer plays the string bass, Sister Jones plays 2nd violin, and I play 1st.

This week Elder Campbell worked on the Water House some more. He did sanding, getting ready to paint. He says it won’t be for a while yet.

In Land and Records I found a new book there, entitled Who’s Who in the Doctrine and Covenants by Susan Easton Black (published in 1997). In the book is a write-up on Solomon Hancock, my pioneer ancestor. His name is mentioned in D & C 52:27. He and his family suffered many trials with the early Saints. The article stated that he was a singer, and sang a song by his brother, Levi W. Hancock at the Independence Day festivities of 1838. He went West with the Saints, but died near Council Bluffs at age 54. Mother has most of this information, which she and my sister, Margaret, have typed up and made available to all of us, among other histories. But it was neat to see it printed in a book.

Susan Easton Black Durant, the author of the book, is a temple missionary here with her husband, George Durant. She is a former religion instructor at BYU and gives lectures here available to the public twice a week. So far we haven’t availed ourselves of the opportunity, as it is nice to just have a night to stay home. But I am sure we will soon. She is an articulate speaker and is very dynamic. George is also well-known for his speaking ability. He has written over 40 books, and also is a former teacher of religion at BYU. He also participates in the lectures from time to time, and has presented a sociable for the missionaries not too long ago. He can be quite humorous.

This week while I serving in the Wilford Woodruff home (one of my favorite sites), I was looking at the children of Wilford Woodruff, thinking that none of them could have been the child that I remember as an old man back in about 1960 in the Boise 13th ward. I remember an old man slowly walking with a cane up the aisle during fast and testimony meeting towards the pulpit. I remember that it took a very long time for him to get to the front of the room. (I was only about age ten.) I remember him bearing his testimony, and it was v-e-r-y, v-e-r-y long. He seemed to talk forever. But I do remember that he said he was the son of Wilford Woodruff (born 1807). He said he was one of the youngest children of President Wilford Woodruff, and then he told us how his father bore a strong and fervent testimony of Joseph Smith. He said it in no uncertain terms, causing me to remember it all these years, that his father knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I believe he bore his testimony on more than one occasion.

Well, my companion pulled out a sheet of paper that listed all of the children of Wilford Woodruff, not just those of his first wife. There was a John Jay Woodruff who was born in 1873 in Salt Lake City and died in Boise, Idaho in 1964. With a little research, I found that his daughter, Leta Woodruff Dougal, had a child born to her in Boise in 1940. I remember my parents saying that he was living in our ward with his daughter, which would have been her.

Well, that’s my story for the week. I thought it interesting that I would think of it, a childhood memory of so long ago.

Elder Campbell and I are studying for our lessons that we will be teaching in two weeks in Relief Society and Priesthood meeting. It is a big deal here to give a lesson. Every week it is someone different. The lessons are always excellent, so there is a bit of pressure to study hard and do a good job! J

Elder Campbell would like to add a quote from our Preach My Gospel manual about enduring to the end.

“As we continue to live the gospel, we grow closer to our Heavenly Father. We enjoy and
appreciate more the Atonement of the Savior. Our families are drawn closer together. We
experience greater feelings of the love, joy, and peace that come from the Atonement. Our
hearts are changed, and we find security in living the restored gospel.
As we continue to exercise faith in Christ, repent, and renew our covenants, we enjoy
continued guidance from the Holy Ghost. If we endure to the end of our lives in being
true to our covenants, we will receive eternal life.”

We send our love to you all.

Elder and Sister Campbell

P.S. Elder Campbell had a follow-up appointment with the dermatologist, and the rash on his arms is clearing up on schedule! It looks much better.

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