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President Monson honors Wood for preserving LDS Church history

President Monson joins in paying tribute to Wilford C. Wood

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  • Ronald Fox
    May 29, 2009 7:11 a.m.

    I live a few hundred yards from where this man was born and lived his whole life. A little over 10 years ago I learn of his tremendous activities in a quest to bring history alive to the many of his faith. Wilford Wood contributed greatly to preserving the History of the Church, life few others. Through his gathering of properties and artifacts that hold such a rich history and meaning to the Church and its people, he was able to keep them for another generation which could understand their importance. Wood was a modern Indiana Jones, searching out and pioneering the gathering of these items long before it was popular. He truly had a mission which he fulfilled his entire life. It is proper that he was honored in such a fashion last night.

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2009 7:57 a.m.

    this is news...I guess only in Utah.

  • Michael Argust
    May 29, 2009 8:13 a.m.

    Great Story:

    Wonderful tribute to Church History, Inspiration and Love of the Gospel.

  • james stowe
    May 29, 2009 8:17 a.m.

    What a great shame a man can waste his money and time working on worthless cause. Only in Utah.

  • To Anonymous 7:57
    May 29, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    This is the Deseret News, an LDS owned newspaper reporting general news articles in Utah, and news of interest to mostly LDS people in Utah and other places who specifically log on to read about people, places and events that are of interest to them as LDS people, and which they otherwise would not hear about.

  • rebecca g.
    May 29, 2009 8:28 a.m.

    Why would you say that it was a worthless cause? It wasn't worthless to several million people! What you probably mean is that is seems worthless to you and that is more understandable. To some like yourself it means nothing, to many others it is preserving their history and that can mean a lot to so many people and that is what makes it NOT worthless. I am sure there are other things that mean a lot to you. As it should and as I would understand.

  • RE: James Stowe
    May 29, 2009 8:29 a.m.

    What a great shame you've joined the camp of those who live life in a worthless cycle of cynicism. Only in this world.

  • Sue
    May 29, 2009 8:40 a.m.

    I had the privilege of meeting this wonderful man. He allowed our Sunday School class to tour his vast collection in 1963. In particular I remember viewing the death mask of Joseph and Hyrum and realizing for the first time what a horrific price they paid for their faith. Brother Wood was a wonderful, kind and generous man and I am grateful for all he did to preserve our history.

  • A Boy Named Sue
    May 29, 2009 9:17 a.m.

    me too.

  • We are blessed by his work
    May 29, 2009 9:34 a.m.

    During the Millennium the sites purchased by Woods will be the historic sites of the world, as the sites were part of the restoration of the Gospel to the Earth for the last time, as the dispensation of the fullness of times got underway. From an eternal perspective these are so very important sites for all, like it or not.

  • Cats
    May 29, 2009 10:16 a.m.

    James Stowe is an unhappy, pathetic person who has to say nasty things to try to make himself feel important. It's really sad.

    James, you really don't have to be this unhappy. You can actually find meaning in your life. Why don't you give it a try.

  • Mona
    May 29, 2009 10:24 a.m.

    I've lived in the Pac NW for many decades & hadn't thought of Wilford Wood for years, until seeing this article today. How pleased I am to see him recognized for the great work he did--saving LDS historic sites before they crumbled or fell to the wrecking ball (or in the case of artifacts, he saved them before their owners tossed them, not knowing their significance). I have personally visited many of the sites he worked to acquire, which have now been restored for the edification of visitors. Many thanks to Wilford Wood!

  • Dr. Dave
    May 29, 2009 11:24 a.m.

    I lived near the Woods property and museum in Bountiful for over 30 years. No family has done more for their local community, been more cherished among friends, and humble by the gifts and purchases made by Wilford and his loved ones. Fact of the matter is. . . no one truly interested in Utah or Mormon history was ever denied and opportunity to visit the Woods Museum or hear Lillian and her children (and grandchildren) share their story and love of the gospel. I'm only sorry we were not present at the unveiling of the picture. Thanks Woods Family!

  • American
    May 29, 2009 11:39 a.m.

    The beauty of America is in it's freedom. Freedom of speech and freedom of lawful activities.

    There will always be those who will view the activities of another as wasteful, while another group will applaud the same effort. But when my life is over and I had to chose between having been a critic or someone who had made the world more beautiful and respectful of those who had gone before us, I would rather be a Wilford Wood. Thank goodness there are those who recognize such people long after they have left us.

  • Robert
    May 29, 2009 12:12 p.m.

    Many thanks and great admiration to Brother Wood. I have copies of "Joseph Begins His Work" v.1 & 2 and have enjoyed reading them. I was not aware that President Monson helped him in producing thoses books. I am glad to see him recognized for his labors.

  • Gordon
    May 29, 2009 2:08 p.m.

    As an educator in Ohio, I took my university students to see the beautifully preserved and historically accurate 1830s Kirtland village. The Whitney Store was the hallmark. The LDS Church has an excellent secular tour for schools. My colleagues were thrilled to have such a nicely preserved facility to show how life, education, and industry was conducted back in the time when the Western Reserve was being settled. As a father, I was pleased to be able to confirm my eight-year-old daughter into the LDS Church in the Whitney Store 2F room better known as the School of the Prophets. Thank you to the Wood family for acquiring the Newel K. Whitney Store!

  • Mikel Glade Lyman
    May 29, 2009 3:51 p.m.

    Only a man inspired by God could have the forsight and strength to accomplish what he did.

  • Dear Bro. Wood and Family
    May 29, 2009 4:54 p.m.

    Thank-you for your wonderful and generous work on behalf of the church. I am not from Utah.

  • Tom Tolman
    May 29, 2009 5:11 p.m.

    Wilford Wood did much in helping to save the historical sites that played such a significant role in the early years of Mormonism. I have a personal reverence for Brother Wood in his purchase of the Liberty Jail site. The Liberty Jail was very crucial in the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith during the winter months of 1838-9. Ironically the Prophet Joseph was finally released from that dungeon 6 April 1839 and nearly 100 years later in 1939, the property and remains of the old jail was purchased by Wilford Wood. The jail was actually the foundation of a home that was built on top of the old jail around 1900. The purchase also included a home next door. In 1948, Wilford Wood accompanied my grandfather Ephraim Tolman and his wife Phebe to Liberty Missouri where they became the first missionaries to the Liberty Jail. At that time, the site was a Bureau of Information and part of the Central States Mission. Grandpa & Grandma Tolman lived in the home next door, and would take visitors down in the back of the home and show them the jail where the Prophet and others spent that terrible winter.

  • That's amazing...
    May 29, 2009 8:01 p.m.

    I've always had the deepest respect for people who go out of their way to preserve artifacts and places that are part of history. Whether they are important to a state, a nation, or a people, the preservation of these things is so important for those that follow.

    The places Wilford Wood invested in protecting are so very important to people of the LDS church. These sites are now used to show days gone by as well as being there for members to be reminded of their history. It's wonderful that he has been honored in this way. To his family, thank you for supporting Wilford in this important task.

  • H Rahden
    May 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

    It is with pleasure I read about the relationship of
    Wilford Wood with our current President Thomas S. Monson..it is amazing to learn about the sacrafices these men have made to keep alive the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

  • Tony
    May 30, 2009 10:49 a.m.

    I appreciate those who preserve pieces of the past. I hope each of us who possess or know of these things recognize their importance, and ultimately plan to get these pieces where they can be preserved.

  • MESSENGER
    May 30, 2009 4:01 p.m.

    Is there any problem with the Vol 1 and Vol 2 of J Smith begins his work? I know at one time deseret book store stopped selling these books , why?

  • A.R. Colvin
    May 31, 2009 1:54 p.m.

    james stowe | 8:17 a.m. May 29, 2009
    What a great shame a man can waste his money and time working on worthless cause. Only in Utah.

    James I really feel bad for you - why do you care that a church & a people see a value in preserving a history or their for-fathers. What a sorry life you must live .. you need to look very deeply into your soul.

  • Roderick O'Regan
    June 1, 2009 3:39 a.m.

    Please forgive my ignorance in not knowing about Bro. Wood until now but this has changed from reading these comments and Deseret News article. What a man!

    I certainly don't live in Utah but rather in the beautiful city of Granada, Spain (late of Kent, England) and look forward to the day when my wife and I will tour these special sites knowing I can do so thanks to the tireless and unstinting work of one man.

    Thanks Bro. Wood!

  • Mark
    June 1, 2009 7:43 a.m.

    As a 15-year old in 1961, my father took myself and my siblings on a tour of Church history sites. We were at the site of Adam-Ondi-Ahman when a big, black 1950's automobile drove up and parked next to us. Out stepped a very dignified man who my father recognized. We were introduced to Wilford Wood. My father was in awe of this man and made sure we children appreciated what he had accomplished. We had just finished visiting the yet to be restored Liberty Jail. Our father made sure we recognized that we were able to visit this and many other sites due to the efforts of Brother Wood. I have had the privilege of appreciating his work ever since. I'm glad I had the chance to shake hands with him!

  • BigTex
    June 1, 2009 8:42 a.m.

    As someone from a small town in Texas that has struggled to maintain a sense of its history in the face of creeping suburbanization, I appreciate efforts like those of Wilford Wood. Interesting article -- and I'm not from Utah either.

  • Anonymous
    June 1, 2009 6:16 p.m.

    I'm grateful for the significant purchases Wood made for the church throughout his lifetime. However, Wilford Wood was somewhat of a frightening character to all the children that grew up in the surrounding neighborhood. We were scared to death of him and we thought his "temple" was like a "haunted house."

  • Anonymous
    June 3, 2009 8:34 p.m.

    I am proud of the work of Wilford Wood. He was a great man. He loved the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and he loved the prophet, Joseph Smith. His family should be honored to have a man on their family tree. May God bless his family.

    To Mr. James Stowe, I am sorry to hear that you feel that way. Even though he preserved many great things for the church, he helped preserved many different things from American history as well. As he traveled back and forth across the country, he would stop at Antique shops and gather many different things that are of great value. The thing that comes to mind are many different priceless books. Whether you like it or not, Mormons are in history, current times, and will be forever in the future. By the way, the last time I checked there was freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. GREAT COUNTRY!