Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods/Use of sources/Wilford Woodruff 1889 revelation

Table of Contents

Revelation in 1889 promised Church would prevail against government?

A FairMormon Analysis of: Criticism of Mormonism/Books/One Nation Under Gods, a work by author: Richard Abanes

The Quotes

One Nation under Gods, page 323 (hardback)

  • Did Wilford Woodruff receive a revelation on November 24, 1889 the said that the Church would prevail against the Government effort to seize the Church's assets?
  •  Author's quote: "Despite Christ's assurances that the ruling would favor the Saints, May 19, 1890, saw a five to four decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the government's right to close the LDS church, seize its property, and redistribute it."

One Nation under Gods, page YYYY (paperback)

 [needs work]

The References

Endnote 48, page 588 (hardback)

  • Samuel Taylor, 19.

Endnote 15, page ZZZZ (paperback)

 [needs work] [citation needed]

The Problem

The revelation reported by Wilford Woodruff read, in part, as follows:

I the Lord hold the destiny of the Courts in your midst, and the destiny of this Nation, and all other nations of the earth in mine own hands; all all [sic] that I have revealed, and promised and decreed concerning the generation in which you live, shall come to pass, and no power shall stay my hand. Let not my Servants who are called to the Presidency of my Church, deny my word or my law, which concerns the Salvation of the Children of Men, Let them pray for the Holy Spirit, which shall be given them to guide them in their acts. Place not yourselves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise; your enemies seek your distruction [sic] and the distruction [sic] of my people. If the Saints will hearken unto my voice, and the counsel of my Servants the wicked shall not prevail. Let my servants, who officiate as your Counselors before the Courts, make their pleadings as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit, without any further pledges from the Priesthood, and they shall be justified....Let my servants call upon the Lord in mighty prayer, retain the Holy Ghost as your constant companion, and act as you are moved upon by that spirit, and all will be well with you.[1]

The leaders are promised:

  • all God has promised and decreed shall come to pass.
  • the First Presidency is not at that time to deny or renounce plural marriage (this question was under debate at the meeting at which the revelation was received).[2]:36 Cites George Q. Cannon, Diary, 23-24 Nov. 1889, copy in CR 1/48; also First Presidency Office Journal, 24 Nov. 1889, copy in CR 1/48. </ref>
  • they will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • the wicked will not prevail if the Saints hearken to God's voice.
  • those making arguments in court should not rely on further concessions from the First Presidency.
  • as the leaders follow the Holy Spirit, "all will be well."

Despite the author's claim, there is no hint that the Lord will make the Saints victorious in court—they are merely commanded to trust God, and avoid making further bargains or compromises in the hope of softening the legal blow.

The revelation is clear about what the Saints' "enemies" sought, and what the Lord promised would not happen:

your enemies seek your distruction [sic] and the distruction [sic] of my people. If the Saints will hearken unto my voice, and the counsel of my Servants the wicked shall not prevail.

Some anti-Mormons would later admit that polygamy was not the real issue; they sought to control Utah at the expense of the Saints:

Some non-Mormon men…admitted that polygamy was not the most important issue. Fred T. Dubois, a longtime activist against polygamy and Utah statehood, later wrote that “those of us who understood the situation were not nearly so much opposed to polygamy as we were to the political domination of the church. We realized, however, that we could not make those who did not come actually in contact with it, understand what this political domination meant. We made use of polygamy, in consequence, as our great weapon of offense and to gain recruits to our standard.”[3]
== ==


The Saints were not destroyed. LDS political influence remains intact in Utah to this day. Despite efforts to destroy the Church as a corporate entity, or deny the Saints political representation, all these efforts came to naught. The prophecy was fulfilled.


  1. L. John Nuttall Journal, 27 November 1889 (Brigham Young University, Special Collections, Mor M270.1 N963 V.3), 106–107; see also Revelation to Wilford Woodruff, in Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 9 vols., ed., Scott G. Kenny (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985), 9:68–69 (journal entry dated 24 November 1889). ISBN 0941214133.. Also available in Messages of the First Presidency, edited by James R. Clark, Vol. 3, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 175–176. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)
  2. D. Michael Quinn, "LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890–1904," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 no. 1 (Spring 1985).
  3. Jeffrey D. Nichols, Prostitution, Polygamy, and Power: Salt Lake City, 1847–1918 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2002), Chapter 1; citing Dubois, Dubois’s Making of a State, 48; quoted in Edward Leo Lyman, Political Deliverance: The Mormon Quest for Utah Statehood (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1986), 38–39, n. 42