180 years ago today - Feb 3, 1844

[Wilford Woodruff]

Feb 3d 1844 I walked into President Joseph Smith Store or office over the store & spent a few moments in conversing with Elders W Richards And Wm. W. Phelps & President Joseph Smith Came into the room & Said he had a dream & related it to us which was as follows:

+ I was standing on a peninsula in the midst of a vast body of water whare their appears to be a large harbor or a peer built out for boats to Come into. I was surrounded by my friends & while looking at this harbor I saw a Steem boat approaching the harbour. Their was bridges on the peer for persons to cross & there came up a wind & drove the steem boat under one of the bridges & upset it. I run up to the boat expecting the persons would all drowne. And wishing to do sumthing to assist them I put my hand against the side of the boat & with one surge I shoved it under the bridge & righted it up & then [I] told them to take care of themselves. But it was not long before I saw them starting out into the channel or main body of the water again. The storms were raging & the waters rough. I said to my friends that if they did not understand the signs of the times & the spirit of Prophecy they would be apted to be lost. It was but a few moments after when we saw the waves break
over the boat & she soon founderd & went down with all on board & perished.

The storm & waters were still vary rough. Yet I told my friends around me that I believed I could stem those waves & storm & swim in the waters better than the steem boat did & at any rate I was determined to try it. But my friends laughed at me & told me I Could not stand the storm at all but should be drouned. The waters looked Clear & beautiful though exeeding rough, & I said I believed I could swim & I would try it anyhow. They said I would drown. I said I would have a frolic in the water first if I did & I dove of into the raging waves.

I had swum but a short distance when a towering wave overwhelmed me for a time but I soon found myself on the top of it & soon I met the second wave in the same way & for awhile I struggled hard to live in the midst of the storm & waves. But I soon found I gained upon evry wave & stemmed the torrent better & better & I soon had power to swim with my head out of water so the waves did not break over me at all & I found I had swam a great distance & in looking about me I saw Br Samuel by my side. I asked him how he liked it. He said first rate & I thought so to. I was soon enabled to swim with my head & Sholdiers out of water & I Could swim as fast as any steem Boat, & in a little time it becaim calm & I Could rush through the water & ownly go in to my loins & so[n?] I ownly went in to my knees & finally could tread on the top of the water & went almost with the speed of an arrow & I said to Samuel see how swift I can go & I thought it was great sport & pleasure to travel
with such speed & I awoke.

What the interpetation of the foregoing dream was the spirit of God or time must determin.

[ ]

In the evening of this day the quorum met at Joseph store. Brothers Wm. W Clayton & Joseph Young met with them But I was not present. Elder Kington Came after me with a waggon to go to his house & hold a meeting so I took my family & rode 6 miles across the prarie in the storm & spent the night at his house. Joseph Young & wife & Wm. Clayton Received their 2d Endowments &c.

[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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