Thursday, February 28, 2019

Willford Woodruff embellished his life story.....

I've realized that every "miracle" in Mormon History has been embellished.  I've been slogging through Woodruff's personal history.  These are examples of what he wrote in his daily journal and then how he re-wrote the stories in 1865.  In each case, they became more miraculous.  

John Taylor Almost Died - August 28, 1839

Actual Journal Entry
28 We rode through Williamstown & pleasant garden & other towns & spent the night. Elder Taylor had a poor turn & fainted to the ground. He soon recoverd & was well at evening.
29th We Passed through Indianapolis the Capitol of the State. Rode two miles & stoped. But this was a gloomy day to my soul & body both. The enemy made a powerful grasp upon the life of Elder John Taylor. He fainted several times & it seemed as though he would die. We were oblieged to stop. We called for a few hours in a house by the way side. We then took him into the waggon & drove to Elder Eldridge & spent the day nursing Elder Taylor. He took a Course of Thompsonian medicine.
Publication version
On the 28th, while travelling, Elder Taylor fell to the ground as though he had been knocked down. We administered to him, and he revived. On the following day he fell again, and fainted several times; it seemed as though the destroyer would take his life. We travelled with him four days after he was taken sick. His sickness proved to be bilious fever. We stopped with him two days at a German tavern, in Germantown, Wayne County, Indiana, with a kind family with whom he was acquainted. Father Coltrin would stay no longer. I proposed to remain with Brother Taylor, but as I was sick with fever and ague, and not able to take care of myself, Brother Taylor advised me to continue my journey with Father Coltrin, saying, "It is easier to take care of one sick man than two." I committed him into the hands of God, and the family promised to do all in their power to make him comfortable. I parted from him with a heavy heart.

Changes in the story
In the revised version Woodruff adds that he had administered to Taylor and revived him.  He also comments more on his own sickeness and how much he wanted to help Taylor and how sad it was to leave him.  He also doesn't mention that Taylor had taken a medicine.  The word enemy is changed to be "destroyer".  

No comments:

Post a Comment