During the period of the extreme and unrelenting prosecutions under the anti-polygamy acts of Congress, President Wilford Woodruff spent much of his time among the churches in Arizona and southern Utah. On January 26, 1880, having retired for some days in the mountains, fasting and praying, he obtained important revelations from the Lord concerning the work of the Twelve Apostles and events which would happen affecting both the Church and the nation. These were submitted to President John Taylor and the Council of the Apostles and were accepted by them as profitable for doctrine, for comfort, for light as to the future, and for encouragement in the work of the ministry. Following is President Woodruff’s account of receiving revelation.
During the month of January, 1880, I was at Sunset, Arizona, with Brother Lot Smith and the brethren with him who were trying to establish a Branch of the United Order at that place. At this time the Government, through its officers, were using every means in its power to enforce the Edmunds-Tucker and anti-polygamy law with the evident intent on the part of the officers to break us up as an organized community. Being away from President Taylor and my Quorum, I felt deeply distressed in mind concerning our conditions as a people. While thus exercised I went into “the Wilderness”, a region of country called by this name, situated about forty miles west of Sunset, and while there I stopped with two young men who were herding sheep belonging to the people of Sunset. I remained with them ten days, reading the revelations of God as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, and praying fervently unto the Lord to reveal to me His mind and will concerning Zion. On retiring to bed on the night of the 25th of January, 1880, I found myself wrapt in vision, and the next morning the following revelation was given to me of the Lord which I wrote at the time:
Thus saith the Lord unto my servant, Wilford Woodruff, I have heard thy prayer and will answer thy petition. I will make known unto thee my will concerning the nations who encumber the land of promise and also concerning Zion and her inhabitants.
I have already revealed my will concerning this nation through the mouth of my servant Joseph, who sealed his testimony with his own blood, which testimony has been in force upon all the world from the hour of his death.
What I the Lord have revealed in that testament and decreed upon this nation and upon all the nations of the earth, shall be fulfilled, saith the Lord of hosts. I the Lord have spoken and will be obeyed. My purposes shall be fulfilled upon this nation and no power shall stay My Hand. The hour is at the door when My wrath and indignation will be poured out upon the wicked of the nations.
Their murders, blasphemies, lying, whoredoms, and abominations have come up before my face and before the heavens, and the wrath of my indignation is full.
I have decreed plagues to go forth and waste my enemies, and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute my heritage.
The devil is ruling over his kingdom and my spirit has no place in the hearts of the rulers of this nation, and the devil stirs them up to defy my power and to make war upon my Saints. Therefore let mine Apostles and mine Elders who are faithful obey my commandments which are already written for their profit and guidance.
Thus saith the Lord unto My servant, John Taylor, and My servant Wilford Woodruff, and My servant, Orson Pratt, and to all the residue of mine Apostles; Have you not gone forth in My name without purse or scrip and declared the Gospel of life and salvation unto this nation and the nations of the earth and warned them of the judgments which are to come as you have been moved upon by the power of the Holy Ghost and the inspiration of the Lord?
You have done this year by year for a whole generation, as men count time. Therefore your garments are clean of the blood of this generation and especially of this nation.
Therefore, as I have said in a former commandment, so I the Lord say again unto My Apostles: Go ye alone by yourselves, whether in heat or in cold and cleanse your feet in water, pure water, it matters not whether it be by the running streams, or in your closets; but leave these testimonies before the Lord and the heavenly hosts; and when you have all done this, then gather yourselves together in your Holy places and clothe yourselves with the robes of the Holy Priesthood and there offer up your prayers according to my Holy Law.
Let him who presides be mouth and kneel at the Holy altar, and there let mine Apostles bring all these testimonies before my face and before the heavenly hosts and before the justified spirits made perfect. And thus saith the Lord unto you, mine apostles, when you bring these testimonies before me, let them be presented by name as far as the Spirit shall present them unto you: The Presidents of the United States, the Supreme Court, the Cabinet, the Senate and Houses of Congress of the United States, the Governors of the States and Territories, the judges and others sent unto you, and all men and persons who have taken any part in persecuting you or bringing distress upon you or your families, or who have sought your lives, or sought to hinder you from keeping my commandments or from enjoying the rights which the constitutional laws of the land guarantee unto you.
And what I the Lord say unto you, mine Apostles, I also say unto my servants- the Seventies, the High Priests, the Elders, the Priests and all my servants who are pure in heart and who have borne testimony unto the nations. Let them go forth and cleanse their feet in pure water and bear testimony of it unto their Father who is in heaven.
And then, saith the Lord unto mine Apostles and mine Elders, when ye do these things with purity of heart, I the Lord will hear your prayers and am bound by oath and covenant to defend you and fight your battles.
As I have said in a former commandment, it is not my will that mine Elders should fight the battles of Zion, for I will fight your battles.
Nevertheless, let no man be afraid to lay down his life for my sake, for he that layeth down his life for my sake shall find it again and have eternal life.
The nation is ripened in iniquity and the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full and I will not stay my hand in judgments upon this nation or the nations of the earth.
I have decreed wars and judgments upon the wicked and my wrath and indignation are about to be poured out upon them and the wicked and rebellious shall know that I am God.
As I the Lord have spoken so will I fulfill. I will spare none who remain in Babylon, but I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts. As I the Lord have suffered, so will I put all enemies under my feet. For I the Lord utter my word and it shall be obeyed.
And the day of wrath and indignation shall come upon the wicked.
And I say again, woe unto that nation or house or people who seek to hinder my people from obeying the Patriarchal law of Abraham, which leadeth to Celestial Glory, which has been revealed unto my Saints through the mouth of my servant Joseph, for whosoever doeth these things shall be damned, saith the Lord of Hosts, and shall be broken up and wasted away from under heaven by the judgments which I have sent forth, and which shall not return unto me void.
And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed, and with famine and plagues and earthquakes and the thunder of heaven and the vivid lightenings shall this nation and the nations of the earth be made to feel the chastening hand of an Almighty God until they are broken up and destroyed and wasted away from under heaven, and no power can stay my hand. Therefore, let the wicked tremble; let them that blaspheme my name hold their lips, for destruction will swiftly overtake them.
All that I the Lord have spoken through the mouths of my Prophets and Apostles since the world began, concerning the last dispensation and fullness of times, concerning my Church, which has been called out of the wilderness of darkness and error, concerning the Zion and kingdom of God and concerning Babylon the great, and what I have spoken through the mouth of my servant Joseph, shall all be fulfilled.
And though the heaven and earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall be fulfilled, saith the Lord.
These revelations and testimonies are before you. Let my Saints search the Word of the Lord and treasure up wisdom and be prepared for that which is to come.
As I have decreed, so shall my judgments begin at the House of God.
There are those in my Church who have a name among you who are adulterers and adulteresses, and those who blaspheme my name and those who love and make a lie, and those who revel and drink with the drunken.
If they do not speedily repent of this wickedness and abomination, they should be severed from the ordinances of my house, saith the Lord.
There are many who have need to repent, whose hearts are set upon the things of this world, who aspire to the honors of men and do not honor the Priesthood, nor seek to build up the Kingdom of God as they should. Neither do they learn and comprehend:
That the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
Such should repent and turn unto the Lord, and seek for the Holy Spirit to guide them.
Judgments will begin upon my house, and from thence will they go forth unto the world and the wicked cannot escape.
Blessed are the pure in heart for my blessings await them in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
Thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant and Apostles who dwell in the flesh. Fear ye not your enemies. Let not your hearts be troubled. I am in your midst. I am your advocate with the Father. I have given mine angels charge concerning you. Mine eyes are upon you and the eyes of your Heavenly Father and the Heavenly Hosts and all justified spirits made perfect are watching over you. Your works are manifest before the face of my servants who have sealed their testimony with their blood, and before all my servants of the Apostles whom I have taken unto myself.
The veil is taken from off their faces and they know your works. They await your coming when you have finished your testimony in the flesh. Therefore, be ye faithful until I come. My coming is at the door.
Call upon the Lord in mighty prayer, ask and you shall receive. Whenever you agree as touching anything and ask the Father in my name, it shall be given unto you. Seek diligently to build up Zion and to magnify your high calling and your enemies shall not prevail over you. Zion shall not be moved out of her place. Zion shall prevail against her enemies.
My people shall not be hindered in the building of my temples unto my Holy Name, if they will hearken unto my voice and do as I command them.
The blood of my servants Joseph and Hyrum and of mine Apostles and Elders which has been shed for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, cries from the ground for vengeance upon the nation which has shed their blood. But their blood shall speedily be avenged and shall cease to cry unto me, for the hour of God’s judgment is fully come and shall be poured out without measure upon the wicked.
But hearken and hear, O ye Apostles, Elders and people of my Church, to the Word of the Lord concerning you, that for all the blessing that I will pour out upon you and the inhabitants of Zion and the judgments and destruction upon the wicked, I will be inquired of by you to ask the Father in my name to do and to perform these things for you as I told all the House of Israel by my servant Moses, that they should ask at my hand for all those blessings which I the Lord have promised unto Israel in the latter days.
And as I the Lord ordained mine Apostles who were with me in my ministry and promised them that they should sit upon twelve thrones, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel, so I say unto you mine Apostles, who I have raised up in these last days that I have ordained you to bear record of my name, and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles first, and then to the House of Israel. I have also ordained you to sit upon thrones and judge the Gentiles and the inhabitants of the earth unto whom you have borne testimony of my name in the day and generation in which you live. Therefore, how great is your calling and responsibility before me. Therefore, gird up the loins of your minds and magnify your calling in the fear of God, and prepare ye for the coming of the Son of Man, which is nigh at the door.
No man knoweth the day nor the hour, but the signs of both heaven and earth indicate His coming, as promised by the mouths of my disciples; the fig tree is leafing and the hour is nigh. Therefore, prepare yourselves, O ye Saints of the Most High God, with oil in your lamps, for blessed is he that watcheth for the coming of the Son of Man.
Again, hear ye the Word of the Lord, O ye mine Apostles whom I have chosen in these last days to bear record of my name and lead my people Israel until the coming of the Son of Man.
I the Lord have raised up unto you my servant John Taylor to preside over you and to be a lawgiver unto my Church. He has mingled his blood with that of the martyred Prophets. Nevertheless, while I have taken my servants Joseph and Hyrum unto myself, I have preserved my servant John Taylor for a wise purpose in me.
I have also taken many others of the Apostles unto myself, for I take whom I will take, and preserve in life whom I will preserve, according to the counsel of mine own will.
And while my servant John Taylor is your President, I wish to ask the rest of my servants of the Apostles the question, although you have one to preside over your Quorum, which is the order of God in all generations, do you not, all of you, hold the apostleship, which is the highest authority ever given to men on earth? You do. Therefore you hold in common the Keys of the Kingdom of God in all the world.
You each of you have the power to unlock the veil of eternity and hold converse with God the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ and to have the ministrations of angels
It is your right, privilege and duty to inquire of the Lord as to His mind and will concerning yourselves and the inhabitants of Zion and their interests.
And whenever any one of you receives the word of the Lord, let it be written and presented in your councils and whatever by united consent you deem wisdom to be presented unto the people, let it be presented by the President, my servant John Taylor, as the word of the Lord. In this way you will uphold him and strengthen his hands, as all the burden should not lie upon one man.
For thus saith the Lord, all mine Apostles should be full of the Holy Ghost, of inspiration and revelation to know the mind and will of God and be prepared for that which is to come. Therefore let mine Apostles keep my commandments and obey my voice and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.
Fear not, for lo, I am with you until I come and I come quickly. Even so, Amen.