Wilford Woodruff teaches Church members that he and other leaders of the Church will never lead the people astray; if he were to attempt to do such, "the Lord would remove me out of my place."

Speech / Court Transcript
Wilford Woodruff

Wilford Woodruff, "History of the Manifesto," October 6, 1890, in Collected Discourses, ed. Brian Stuy, 5 vols. (Sandy: B. H. S. Publishing, 1988), 2:134-37

B. H. S. Publishing
Wilford Woodruff
Reading Public

I want to say to all Israel that the step which I have taken in issuing this manifesto has not been done without earnest prayer before the Lord. I am about to go into the spirit world, like other men of my age. I expect to meet the face of my Heavenly Father—the Father of my spirit; I expect to meet the face of Joseph Smith, of Brigham Young, of John Taylor, and of the Apostles, and for me to have taken a stand in anything which is not pleasing in the sight of God, or before the heavens, I would rather have gone out and been shot. My life is no better than other men's. I am not ignorant of the feelings that have been engendered through the course I have pursued. But I have done my duty, and the nation of which we form a part must be responsible for that which has been done in relation to this principle.

The Lord has required at our hands many things that we have not done, many things that we were prevented from doing. The Lord required us to build a Temple in Jackson County. We were prevented by violence from doing it. He required us to build a Temple in Far West, which we have not been able to do. A great many things have been required of us, and we have not been able to do them, because of those that surrounded us in the world. This people are in the hands of God. This work is in the hands of God, and He will take care of it. Brother George Q. Cannon told us about the lies that are abroad. It is a time when there have been more lies told about Mormonism than almost any other subject ever presented to the human family. I often think of what Lorenzo Dow said with regard to the doctrine of election. Says he: "It is like this: You can, and you can't; you will, and you won't; you shall, and you shan't; you'll be damned if you do, and you'll be damned if you don't." That is about the condition we as Latter-day Saints are in. If we were to undertake to please the world, and that was our object, we might as well give up the ship; we might have given it up in the beginning. But the Lord has called us to labor in the vineyard; and when our nation passes laws, as they have done, in regard to this principle which we have presented to the Conference, it is not wisdom for us to make war upon sixty-five millions of people. It is not wisdom for us to go forth and carry out this principle against the laws of the nation and receive the consequences. That is in the hands of God, and He will govern and control it. The Church of Christ is here; the Zion of God is here, in fulfilment of these revelations of God that are contained in these holy records in which the whole Christian world profess to believe. The Bible could never have been fulfilled had it not been for the raising up of a prophet in the last days. The revelations of St. John could never have been fulfilled if the angel of God had not flown through the midst of heaven, "having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Was that angel going to visit New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and the world, and call the people together and preach to them? Not at all. But the Lord raised up a Prophet. The angel of God delivered that Gospel to that Prophet. That Prophet organized a Church; and all that He has promised in this code of revelations (the Book of Doctrine and Covenants) has been fulfilled as fast as time would admit. That which is not yet fulfilled will be.

Brethren and sisters, it is our duty to be true to God and to be faithful. Make your prayers known unto the Lord. The Lord has told us what He will do concerning many things. He will fulfill His word. Let us be careful and wise, and let us be satisfied with the dealings of God with us. If we do our duty to one another, to our country and to the Church of Christ, we will be justified when we go into the spirit world. It is not the first time that the world has sought to hinder the fulfillment of revelation and prophesy. The Jewish nation and other nations rose up and slew the Son of God and every Apostle but one that bore the Priesthood in that day and generation. They could not establish the kingdom; the world was against them. When the Apostles asked Jesus whether He would at that time restore again the kingdom to Israel, He replied: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." He did not say it would be established then; but He taught them to pray: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." It is a long time since that prayer was offered, and it has not been fulfilled until the present generation. The Lord is preparing a people to receive His kingdom and His Church, and to build up His work. That, brethren and sisters, is our labor.

I want the prayers of the Latter-day Saints. I thank God that I have seen with my eyes this day that this people have been ready to vote to sustain me in an action that I know, in one sense, has pained their hearts. Brother George Q. Cannon has laid before you our position. The Lord has given us commandments concerning many things, and we have carried them out as far as we could; but when we cannot do it, we are justified. The Lord does not require at our hands things that we cannot do.

This is all I want to say to the Latter-day Saints upon this subject. But go before the Lord and ask Him for light and truth, and to give us such blessings as we stand in need of. Let your prayers ascend into the ears of the God of Sabaoth, and they will be heard and answered upon your heads, and upon the heads of the world. Our nation is in the hands of God. He holds their destiny. He holds the destinies of all men. I will say to the Latter-day Saints, as an Elder in Israel and as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are approaching some of the most tremendous judgments God ever poured out upon the world. You watch the signs of the times, the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. They are beginning to be made manifest both in heaven and on earth. As has been told you by the Apostles, Christ will not come until these things come to pass. Jerusalem has got to be rebuilt. The Temple has got to be built. Judah has got to be gathered, and the House of Israel. And the gentiles will go forth to battle against Judah and Jerusalem before the coming of the Son of Man. These things have been revealed by the prophets; they will have their fulfilment. We are approaching these things. All that the Latter-day Saints have to do is to be quiet, careful and wise before the Lord, watch the signs of the times, and be true and faithful; and when you get through you will understand many things that you do not today. This work has been raised up by the power of Almighty God. These Elders of Israel were called from the various occupations of life to preach as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost. They were not learned men; they were the weak things of this world, whom God chose to confound the wise, "and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are." We are here on that principle. Others will be gathered on that principle. Zion will be redeemed, Zion will arise, and the glory of God will rest upon her, and all that Isaiah and the other prophets have spoken concerning her will come to pass. We are in the last dispensation and fulness of time. It is a great day, and the eyes of all the heavens are over us, and the eyes of God Himself and all the patriarchs and prophets. They are watching over you with feelings of deep interest, for your welfare; and our prophets who were slain and sealed their testimony with their blood, are mingling with the Gods, pleading for their brethren. Therefore, let us be faithful, and leave events in the hands of God, and He will take care of us if we do our duty.

I pray God that He will bless these Apostles, Prophets and Patriarchs, these Seventies, High Priests and Elders of Israel, and these Latter-day Saints, who have entered into covenant with our God. You have a great future before you. You have kept the commandments of God, so far as you have had the opportunity, and by receiving the Gospel of Christ and being faithful your reward is before you. Your history is written and is before you. I will say that this nation, and all nations, together with presidents, kings, emporers, judges, and all men, righteous and wicked, have got to go into the spirit world and stand before the bar of God. They have got to give an account of the deeds done in the body. Therefore, we are safe as long as we do our duty. No matter what trials or tribulations we may be called to pass through, the hand of God will be with us and will sustain us. I ask my Heavenly Father to pour out His Spirit upon me, as His servant, that in my advanced age, and during the few days I have to spend here in the flesh, I may be led by the inspiration of the Almighty. I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me nor any other man who stands as the President of this Church, to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. God bless you. Amen.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
Copyright © B. H. Roberts Foundation
The B. H. Roberts Foundation is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.