Dear friends and family: Good morning! I was going through some of my mother's records a while ago, and came across a part of my grandfather's history which was recorded on one of the reel to reel tapes which my mother, Jennie May Woodbury Lee recorded as she and her sister sat at his feet listening to him share some of his life experiences. The following is taken from that history: To view the picture which was at the end of his story, click on the attached item. This is a picture of the first 9 Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the last one being President David O. McKay. Since then, other Presidents of the Church have been called and sustained as Prophets, Seers and Revelators, down to our current Prophet and President, Gordon B. Hinckley. Have a wonderful day, and know that you are loved. Your friend and brother Jim Lee
Just a note: My Grandfather, Patriarch Charles R. Woodbury lived in Hinckley, Utah, and served as a Patriarch over the Deseret Stake for many years, and was beloved by all who knew him. He had the gift of healing, and many people came to him from far and near to receive blessings at his hand, including my own dear wife and I. The Priesthood blessings he pronounced upon the heads of those who received a blessing at his hand, literally came to pass. He was a very humble man who received many revelations and visions from the Lord concerning those to whom he gave blessings. I knew him personally, and loved him dearly.
I want to share with you a personal testimony about Grandpa Woodbury which was shared with me one day while working for Zion Motors as a car salesman.
One day a couple came to have some work done on their car, and the wife was looking at one of the new cars, and I walked over to her, and asked where she was from. She said, Delta, Utah. I asked her how long she had lived there, and she said, "Most of our married life." Then I said, "Maybe you happened to know my grandfather, Patriarch Charles R. Woodbury from Hinckley, Utah."
She suddenly had this very excited look on her face as she looked into my eyes, and asked, "Are you his grandson?" and I said "Yes." She grabbed my arm and took me over to where her husband was standing, and said, "This is Grandpa Woodbury's grandson." He looked at me, and shook my hand, and kept holding it, and said, "I want to share an experience we had with your grandfather years ago. We all got very sick, and the Doctor had quarantined us to our home, and we were all so sick that no one could get up and wait on any other member of the family, and a "Quarantine" sign hung on the outside of our door.
One day, a knock came at our door, and we said, "Go away, can't you see the sign?" Then we heard your grandfather's voice saying, "I'm coming in." Then the door opened, and there stood your grandfather. I said, "Please go away. We don't want you to get what we got. Please leave." And your grandpa said, "I'm not afraid of getting what you have. I'm here on an errand from the Lord, who sent me here to heal you, and nothing you have will harm me."
Then he came over to where I was laying, and laid his hands on my head, and gave me a Priesthood blessing, commanding that I be made whole again, and in an instant, I felt the power of the Holy Priesthood which he held, surge through my body, and I was healed instantly. Then I got up, and we together went to where my wife lay, and we gave her a blessing, too. She was healed immediately, and arose from her sick bed with tears flooding her eyes, and went with us to where our children lay, and we gave each of them a blessing, and they, too, were healed immediately. I will forever be grateful for that dear man, and what he did for us, as I felt we would all die if something didn't happen. And he was sent by the Lord to heal us from our affliction."
I had never heard that story before, as it was not among his life stories which mom had recorded on her tape recorder, and we just stood there hugging each other and crying, even as I am at this moment, having recalled this glorious experience that day.
Last night, Ralph and Wally Lee, my younger brother and his wife, who have been in Belgium, microfilming records there for the Church for the past three plus years, came to visit us, and I shared this experience with them. They asked me if I had recorded it, and I told them I hadn't. So I have decided to add this story, and share it with you, along with this email I sent out a couple of years ago, so that the new people who have joined my Heart Thoughts list might read it, too. Your friend and brother. Jim Lee
"This is Patriarch Charles R. Woodbury of Deseret Stake. I'm relating an experience I had in my early boyhood days. I'm relating this on the tape recorder of my daughter Jennie Lee, in the home of another daughter, Vilda Perkins. My father died in 1890.
I had an Uncle John R Murdock,who lived in Beaver, Utah. His wife was my mother's Aunt, Mary Ellen Woolfenden, a daughter of Abraham Woolfenden, and Mary Pearson. He told my mother, if we'd come to Beaver, he'd give me work.
I was only 14 years old when Father died, but when we moved up there I was 16. So I went to work for John R. Murdock, who was a great leader in the church. He'd had wonderful experiences. He was like a father to me and gave me good advice. He told me to do everything I could to help my mother, she was the best friend I'd ever have on earth, to do every thing I could to prolong her life.
He had great experiences. I think I'm the only man living, that can relate just what he told me. There may be others. When he was 5 years old, his mother died. At that time the Prophet Joseph Smith's wife had twins, and his mother had twins. The Prophet's twins died and they adopted the Murdock twins. His father married again, later on, and he went to live with the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said that he was the most inspirational person that he ever was associated with in his life.
He worked with the Prophet, on the Prophet's farm. He told him how the Father and the Son appeared to him in answer to prayer. He wanted to know which of all the churches was right. The Father and the Son appeared and the Father introduced the Son to him and he gave him the information he wanted. He said he wanted to know which church was right. The answer was, "None of them are right. They're all teachers of corrupt doctrine, they teach for doctrine the doctrine of men but they deny the power thereof. He told him not to join any church. In due time, if he remained faithful, the church would be restored to the earth through him.
He said the church was established with six members and it grew and the Prophet had many experiences. My Uncle worked for him on his farm and when the Prophet was martyred, he was on the Prophet's farm, when they came by there, going to Carthage. He came and bid them all goodbye and he said, "I'll never see you again. He told my Uncle John, "Remember, the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on the earth, and the Priesthood, which has been conferred on you, if you honor it, you'll become a great leader in the Church and Kingdom of God some day. So remember that. Now I'll bid you goodbye," and he left.
Well, the night that the Prophet and his brother were martyred, he said, there was a great roaring in the sky. The people thought it was a cyclone. But there was no cyclone came so they decided it was a testimony to the world that a Prophet of God had been murdered. They decided that was the purpose of this roaring in the heavens.
He said, "That Sidney Rigdon, because of the persecution, had gone to New York. When he heard the Prophet was murdered he came back, and aspired to be the President of the Church." The Prophet said, "The day will come when Sydney Rigdon will aspire to be the President of the Church. But if ever that honor is conferred on him, it will be the churche's destruction." He said, "When the meeting was held, Sydney Rigdon stood up to talk. The first one, and everybody knew that he wasn't the proper one to lead the church. He had no spirit in his talk." He said, "When Sydney Rigdon sat down Brigham Young stood up." And he said, "I looked. I was 18 years old at that time. And I said, What! Has the Prophet come back to life?? It looked like him standing there. And the voice sounded like the Prophet. But I knew the Prophet was dead and buried. But that was when the mantle of Joseph Smith fell on Brigham Young from the Prophet Joseph Smith. That was a testimony to everybody that Brigham Young was to be the successor to the Prophet Joseph Smith."
So my uncle told me this experience, and what a wonderful feeling there was, when that happened. When Brigham Young was talking, the inspiration came to everyone. So we know of the great work that Brigham Young did. He was made President of the Church. The Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred on the 27th of June 1844. The 12 Apostles presided for three years and Brigham Young wasn't sustained as President of the Church till 1847. Then he was sustained as Prophet, Seer and Revelator to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
He was considered a second Moses. Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, and so did Brigham Young lead the Latter-Day-Saints to the Rocky Mountains. When they got on top of the mountains to view the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young had been ill with the fever, but they turned his buggy around, he raised up and looked and said, "This is the place. That's the place we should stop. That's where they built the city of Salt Lake.
Brigham Young presided as President of the Church for 30 years, 'til 1877. The same year the St. George Temple was dedicated. He presided 'til then. After his death, another three year period passed, the Twelve Apostles presided over the Church 'till 1880. Then John Taylor, a man who was wounded at the time the Prophet and his brother were martyred, presided over the Church from 1880 'til 1886 and he died. Then they waited another three years. Wilford Woodruff was the next one to preside over the Church which office he took in 1889 and he presided 'til 1898. Then they received a revelation not to wait a period like they had done, before sustaining another Prophet, but to sustain him at once.
Lorenzo Snow was the next man in order, as President of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, who at that time was 85 years old. He felt that he wasn't equal to that position. His physical condition wouldn't permit it. So he fasted and prayed that Wilford Woodruff, who was taken to California very seriously ill, would be restored again to good health, to continue in his great work in the Church. But, it seemed that that wasn't the Lord's will. When he died, Lorenso Snow, because of his great worry about the Church being in debt, and the government had even taken charge of some of the buildings that the Church had built and making them pay rent on them, was sustained as the President of the Church in 1898.
He felt inspired to go to St. George after he was sustained as President, and he didn't know what for. So he got down there and took some of the members of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles with him and his counselors, and he was standing up, speaking (in a Church meeting there) and it came to him that the people there were not paying their tithing. At that time in the Dixie country, the grass had dried up, the cattle were dying, no water in the creeks, and he told the people, "You've neglected your tithes and offerings, the same as recorded in the Bible. If you pay your tithes and offerings, you'll be blessed. If you covenant with the Lord to pay your tithes and offerings, he will send rain and the creek beds will flow with water again, and the grass will grow on the ranges, food for your stock, and though it's late in the year, you shall have a bountiful harvest this year."
So he sent the Apostles throughout the Church, preaching that doctrine. He went home and the word came to him that no rain had come. He went into his room in the Temple and prayed to the Lord and talked to Him. He said, "What's the matter? As your servant I went down among the Saints in Dixie, and promised them, if they would covenant with you to pay their tithes and offerings, they should have rain come, so they could raise crops this year, and the feed would grow on the range for their cattle, so they wouldn't die. It hasn't come yet. What's the matter? Wasn't I inspired to make them that promise?" So he felt assured that it would come. The next word he got from Dixie, the rains had come, I think as soon as he got through praying the word came that the rains were coming in abundance and filling the creek beds with water again, and the result was that they raised good crops and that was the starting of the Church to get out of debt, and ever since then the people have been paying their tithing and the church is wealthy, I think the wealthiest church there is today, according to their membership.
After Lorenso Snow died, he only presided for three years but the great work was accomplished. "Then Joseph F. Smith was the next President to Preside. He was sustained as President in 1901, which office he held until 1918. A period of 17 years, and after his death, Heber J. Grant was sustained as President which office he held until 1945. He, too, was a great leader, a great financier, and accomplished a wonderful work during his Presidency. Then in 1945 George Albert Smith was the next President who was a wonderful man, and as I understand it, the George Albert Smith building in Provo, Utah at Brigham Young Academy, which was used by the BY Academy students, was named after him, being erected while he was President of the Church. He presided until 1951 when David O. McKay, was called, and was made President of the Church.
Following him was Joseph Fielding Smith, then Harold B. Lee, then Spencer W. Kimball, then Ezra Taft Benson, then Howard W. Hunter, and then President Gordon B. Hinckley who was called in 1995 to be the Prophet, Seer and Revelator and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and today at the age of 96, he just presided over the 176th General Conference of the Church, with 23,000 members gathering in the Conference Center, and millions around the world heard him as he spoke to us as a Prophet of God, declaring truths eternal unto we, God's sons and daughters. And millions rejoice to be privileged to not only see, but to hear him bear his testimony of the reality of the living Christ, and of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the first Prophet of the latter days.
I forgot to say, the Prophet Joseph Smith presided over the Church for 14 years, from 1830 to 1844. These men, every one of them, have been true Prophets of God, foreordained for this great work, which they accomplished on this earth.
This is my testimony, that they are every one true Prophets of God, and I bear this testimony to all the world, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth, the only one that has the authority to act in the name of the Lord and that He approves of, even as when the Father and Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and was told that none of them were true, none of them had the authority to act in the name of the Lord, and to officiate in the work that's performed by its officers, is acknowledged by the Lord and acceptable unto Him. Now, this is my testimony to whoever may hear this tape played. I'm Patriarch Charles R. Woodbury, on the 30th of March, 1962, in the home of my wonderful daughter, Vilda Perkins and recorded on the tape recorder of another wonderful daughter, Jennie Lee, who lives in Kearns, Utah and this is my testimony that I give to the world." Typed on March 12, 1980 by Jennie May Woodbury Lee, with some additions typed by her son, James Horald Lee Jr., on this day, 2 October 2006, in West Jordan, Utah.
I bear testimony also, that what I have added is true, and that my experiences with Grandpa Woodbury, who gave me my Patriarchal Blessing at the age of 14, many have literally been fulfilled, and continue to be a blessing in my life. I humbly testify that I know with all my heart and soul that Joseph Smith was and is a Prophet of God, called and ordained in these latter days, by John, the Baptist, and Peter, James and John, Christ's Apostles, and by many other angels who once were living here on earth, who held the keys and powers of the Priesthood in their dispensation, and who were sent by Jesus Christ, to bestow those keys and powers upon the head of Joseph Smith, so that the work of the Lord could be completely restored to the earth, in preparation for the Savior's second coming, and the ushering in of the Millennium, a thousand years of peace, when much temple work will be performed in the thousands of temples which will dot the earth, and the work of the Lord shall go forth like never before. I also bear testimony that I know without a single doubt, that the Book of Mormon, translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith through the use of the Urim and Thummim, as directed by the Lord, is truly a second witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and that the things contained therein were recorded by ancient Prophets who lived on this, the American Continent, starting from some 2300 years before the Lord was born, and continuing to 421 AD, when Moroni, son of Mormon, recorded his last words, including his admonition, which says, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, if these things are not true, and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things. (Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:4-5)
He then buried them in the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra New York, and revealed their hiding place to the Prophet Joseph Smith, who had almost no formal education, yet translated them into English from heiroglyphics by the use of the Urim and Thummim, instruments which Old Testament Prophets used to translate languages from one to another, after the Tower of Babel, when the Lord confounded their tongues because of wickedness, and created much confusion, and stopped the building of the Tower, and resulted in scattering the people far and wide, including Ether and his brothers, who were directed by the Lord to come to this, the land of America about 2300 years before the Savior was born, whose civilization was destroyed about the time that Lehi and his family came from Jerusalem as directed by the Lord to inhabit this chosen land as their inheritance, and whose history covered about 600 BC to 421 AD. These instruments were delivered into his hands by the Angel Moroni in 1827, along with the Gold Plates which contained a history of his people. We have them today as The Book of Mormon, a second witness of Jesus Christ. I so testify they are true, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Your friend and brother. Jim