Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Frank B. Woodbury

I pulled a book off my shelf containing a large volume of information about Frank B. Woodbury. Some of the stories are wonderful but to put them in context I thought I would summarize his life and some details of church service first.

Frank B Woodbury was born in Saint George, Utah on December 27th, 1867 to a polygamous family. His father, Orin N Woodbury, was frequently away. As a result he was raised primarily by his mother Ann Cannon. Ann’s siblings included Lenora Cannon who was John Taylor’s wife, and George Q Cannon, who was an Apostle. Ann used her influence to get Frank an apprenticeship at Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Frank would work in the typesetting office at Deseret News for 50 years.

Frank married Lilly Lambert May 27 1891 in the St. George Temple. Shortly thereafter, he was called to serve in the “Indian Territory Mission.” Lilly gave birth to their first child while he was gone. After his return, he served in several calling including Ward Clerk and in the presidency of the seventies quorum. When the Salt Lake stake was split (in 1904) into four stakes, Frank was called to serve on the high council of the new Pioneer Stake.

He was ordained a Patriarch of the Pioneer Stake in 1924 and after he moved to the Salt Lake Stake was sustained again in 1945. In the spring of 1935, he was asked by Heber J Grant to give patriarchal blessings to members visiting Salt Lake from areas without a Patriarch. After two years he was released from this call. During that time he gave 823 blessings. As a patriarch he recorded giving 5,613 blessings, though the church history office told me the number was 5,008. He also served as a sealer in the Salt Lake Temple for many years.

Late in life he shared his testimony in an interview with his Bishop, Thomas S. Monson. In it he said the following.

I have had many testimonies concerning the truthfulness of the Gospel… I have known all of the presidents of the Church except Joseph Smith, and I can bear testimony that they were all men of God.

At the time David O. McKay was the prophet. He knew Harold B. Lee, Gordon B. Hinkley, and Thomas S. Monson as well, and probably all the other presidents of the church. On December, 21st, 1962, Frank B Woodbury passed away.

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