175 years ago today - Jun 21, 1847

[Wilford Woodruff]

21st June 1847 {INDEPENDANCE ROCK) I arose early this morning took breakfast And in company with Br Brown we rode clear around Independance Rock. I should judge the distance to be about 3/4 of A mile. We exhamined the many names & lists of names of the trappers, traders, travellers, & eme-grants which are painted upon these rocks. Nearly all the names were put on with read, Black & yellow paint. Some had washed out & defaced. The greatest number was put on within A few Years. Some of them were quite plain of about 30 years standing. Nearly all the Companies pass by put some of their names on the rock.

After going around and exhamining it we staked our horses And mounted the rock. I went forward & gained the highest point of the South end of the Rock which contains the names. After exhamining it I then went to the North end which is the highest part of the rock. Here is An opening or cavern that would contain 30 or 40 persons And A rock stands on the highest peak of about 3 tons wait. We got upon this rock & offered up our prayers according to the order of the priesthood. We prayed earnestly for the blessings of God to r[est?] upon President Young & his brethren the Twelve & all of the Pioneer Camp & the whole Camp of Israel & House of Israel, our wives & children, & relatives the Mormon Battalion, all the Churches Abroad And that the Lord would hasten the time of the fulfillment of his promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Lehi, Nephi, Alma, & Moroni And all the sayings of the Lord concerning the building up of Zions in the last days And Avenging the blood of the Prophets. And while offering up our prayers the spirit of the Lord desended upon us and we truly felt to rejoice.

And while we were attending to our prayers the Missourians was burying A woman A little distance from the rock by the name of Rachel Morgan 25 years of Age being the third one of the family buried on the road. They were supposed to be poisoned by cooking in new Copper vessels.

After surveying the rock what we wished we again desended to the ground. I was the first Latter Day Saint that ever went onto that Rock or offered up prayers according to the order of the Priesthood.

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

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