Wilford Woodruff, the fourth prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was born in Farmington Connecticut, the same city the Hartford Connecticut Temple is in now. The Connecticut Temple was announced 18 years before it was built, and it seems like it’s connection to Wiilford Woodruff would help connect the members to the people of the past.
Wilford Woodruffs Birthplace Marker
President Woodruff was born in Farmington in 1807; he became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1833, an apostle in 1839 and president of the Church in 1889 at the age of 82. He passed away in 1898.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints erected a monument in the town of Avon, in honor of the birthplace of Wilford Woodruff. The monument is in the city of Avon, in Hartford County Connecticut.
If you would like to go visit the monument the location is: 41° 46.405′ N, 72° 49.478′ W. Marker is in Avon, Connecticut, in Hartford County.
Marker is on Old Farms Road, on the right when traveling west. Located next to the parking lot closest to the Farmington River. Marker is in this post office area: Avon CT 06001, United States of America.
Here is what the marker says:
Wilford Woodruff, fourth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born 1 March 1807 in a section of Farmington, Connecticut, known as Northington (now Avon). He and his parents, Aphek and Beulah Thompson Woodruff, lived in a modest home approximately three-fourths of a mile west of this site on the north side of Old Farms Road on Avon Old Farms School property. Their farm of about 40-acres had a saw and grist mill and a kiln for drying corn.
Well-educated and well-read for his time, Woodruff attended school until he was eighteen, including four years at the prestigious Farmington Academy. Inquisitive, industrious, and with a love of learning, he was also a serious student of the Bible and religion who searched for light and truth.
He was baptized into the Church on 31 December 1833 after accepting the message of Latter-day Saint missionaries. Woodruff’s contributions to his church and country were numerous, and the impact of his vision and leadership were far-reaching.
He was a man of many talents, much energy and compassion. He served missions for the Church in the United States, Canada, British Isles, personally baptizing more than 1,800 people. Wilford Woodruff was ordained an Apostle in 1839. He also served as a Church historian for more than 30 years before becoming President of the Church in 1889. In 1890, he issued the Church manifesto discontinuing the practice of plural marriage. In 1893, He dedicated the Salt Lake Temple.
His understanding of compromise and of when to stand firm in the principles of his beliefs made him a valued member of church and community. He served in Nauvoo, Illinois, City Council in 1841, joined Brigham Young’s pioneer company to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, sat in the lower house (1851) and in 20 sessions of the upper house of the Utah territorial legislature, and helped Utah become the forty-fifth state of the nation in 1896.
Woodruff served as president of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Association; organized the General Church Board of Education to direct Church schools, academies, and colleges; and in 1894 incorporated the Genealogical Society of Utah, which would become the largest repository of family research in the world.
Of all his many accomplishments and personal characteristics, he was, most of all, a humble man of God.”
Connecticut Temple Steeple
The Connecticut Temple Steeple is designed similar to a famous steeple in the town of Hartford. The design of the Hartford Temple steeple is after the steeple of the first Church of Christ Congregational that was designed in 1772 by Judah Woodruff, the great uncle of Wilford Woodruff.
It is interesting to see the connections from the past to the present. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced the Hartford Connecticut Temple 18 years before the temple was actually completed. There were major problems getting the perfect piece of land for the Temple, and President Hinckley did not feel good about any of the land that he was shown. President Hinckley even instructed the temple building commitee to look for land that was important to the life of Wilford Woodruff.
We do not know all the reasons there was not a perfect spot for the Connecticut Temple 18 years before when it was originally announce. It is pretty amazing that, it indeed, ended up being built so close to the birthplace of Wilford Woodruff(10 min drive). It seems like it all worked out in the end but man, it was pretty hard to get the building finished! It seems like the Lord always has a plan for His Temples, even if it takes longer than we hope!
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