Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"Waiting for Woodruff"

People came out to the Wilford Woodruff Fireside in surprisingly large numbers on Monday night. Kristi, with her modest expectations was counting on ten people, but there were well over 100 there, so that’s good. It was actually quite entertaining.

I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew we were going to have a speaker talk about Wilford Woodruff (fourth president of the LDS church) and there were going to be some musical numbers. Oh, and we were told Wilford himself would be there. I didn’t know what that meant, really. I thought maybe someone in costume? I waited for that promise to be fulfilled, but I guess the speaker was a great grandson and his name was Wilford as well. I get it. It was a trick.

So anyway, Shanna and Steve from our ward were the musical numbers. I learned about a week ago that these numbers come from a larger work – a comprehensive musical written about the life of Wilford Woodruff. Oh, I love it.

I didn’t understand how this was going to work. Were they just going to sing the numbers back to back? Because if they were that would be totally weird seeing how Shanna’s song was very melodramatic and Steve’s was…well…silly. But I like the way the speaker introduced each song so we knew what was coming. The lyrics to Shanna’s song were taken from a letter Wilford’s wife wrote to him after the death of their baby daughter. It was a beautiful song. I liked the melody, and of course Shanna sang it well.

After Shanna's song the speaker told a story about Wilford and how he loved to fish and how he was the first fly fisherman west of the Continental Divide. That was the introduction to Steve’s song and I accompanied him on the piano. Steve showed up in costume and really hammed it up, because really, what else are you supposed to do with a song with lyrics like “everyone ought to have a fish fly, this one here is a beauty and knows well his duty…he’ll lay there waiting in the water, acting like a real live fly!” Still makes me laugh. Steve was a hit and rumor has it Wilford himself got his number. Maybe Steve will join them on tour.

Oh, and I should probably explain the pictures illustrating today's post. I didn’t have any photographs from Monday night, so I Googled Wilford Woodruff hoping I could find him fishing or something, but instead, these little gems caught my attention. They’re from a book a grown man illustrated for a primary class about Wilford Woodruff receiving revelation in the middle of the night warning him to move the carriage he was sleeping in. Good thing he did, because soon after, a whirlwind came tearing a large tree out of the ground and dropping it where his carriage once stood. If you want to read the whole story, click here.

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