... my Son Brigham has lost his life apparently for a trifle. We Cannot always Comprehend the ways of Providence. There is a mystery hanging over this affair to me. I never saw a person more anxious to obtain an Education than he was. He has studied untill midnight a good deal of the time for the last two years. He has just finished his Education and gone home to his Mother in Smithfield Cash Co and Drowned in Bear river. He was a good young Man, virtuous, Temperate, Honest, and lived his Religion.
He had received his Endowments. I have felt Calm, Composed, and reconciled in this bereavement. I have thought that as I was doing so much for the dead here in the Temple in St George, that it might be necessary to have one of the family in the spirit world. Brigham Y Woodruff was born Jan [ ] 1857,Drowned June 16, 1877 Aged 20 years.
[Source: Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]