Testimony of Evelyn Pratt Woods

I want to bear my testimony to my dear children that I do indeed know that the Gospel is true; that Jesus is the Christ, and the only begotten of the Father in the Flesh; and that the God of Heaven condescended to come to the earth and that Mary conceived by Him, and was the earthly mother of that Son who is the Savior of all mankind; that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of the living God.

I have known all the Prophets since him, and know that they were and are men of God and called by God to do His mighty work.

I have heard Martin Harris bear his testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon; and have heard the testimony of a witness of the truth that the mantle of Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, fell upon Brigham Young, his lawful successor; as I was seated in the Ogden Tabernacle at a conference many years ago, Sister Jane S. Richards, seated by me, told me the wonderful story in detail, and she knew both men intimately.

I want to bear my testimony to the Law of Celestial Marriage; that it is from God, and I want my dear ones to be careful to never speak one word against that principle; for if understood as God ordained it, it would save and exalt all mankind in the highest glory.  I know and feel this all through my being.

Let me pray you, all my children, never speak one word against the leaders of this Church, for my dear mother taught me that that was a sure way to grieve the spirit of the Lord and would eventually lead to apostacy.

If a man is not doing his duty in any position in this church, we need not help him down and out, for he will soon do it for himself; for a man or woman cannot serve God and the Devil at the same time.

Serve the Lord God with your might, mind and strength, and seek first the Kingdom of God and ‘tis written all blessings will follow.

I bear this testimony to all my dear ones in soberness and truth knowing whereof I speak, and longing and hoping and praying that my children and children’s children may be taught the principles of the everlasting Gospel, and that I may have joy in the eternal world with the dear one (F. C. Woods) gone before, is the prayer of your loving mother.

Signed, Evelyn Pratt Woods
August, 1917.


Instructions to My Sons and Sons in Law

Thou art honored and blessed of God, and prospered in all thy ways.  Thou didst spring from noble sires, who were the elite of the earth, who lived lives worthy of the choicest gifts of our Father in Heaven.  Thou hast been favored with the associations and instructions of the prophets and Apostles of the living God all the days of your lives.  Thou hast been given the Holy Priesthood…even the Priesthood of the Son of God.  Thou hast been privileged to go into the Holy Temple; and there obtained blessings that will lead you into the eternal world; there to work and labor for the precious souls who have not had the opportunity to do so for themselves.  Now, is not this worth living for?

With all these great gifts, make your lives worthy day by day.  Do you realize what the Priesthood is to you?  And that you are messengers of the Living God – and have the right to officiate in His Holy Ordinances; to teach the Gospel, to heal the sick, to comfort, bless, encourage and cheer those who need it at thy hand, and who does not?

What kind of men should ye be?  Men whose eyes are open to see the beauty of nature and to feel who is the Author; whose ears hear the glad tidings of great joy; and whose lips speak forth His truths and the peaceful things of the Gospel.

Be ye strong in rightness and speak nothing but that that angels or pure wives, mothers, sisters, sweethearts, or little children can listen to with profit.

From the fulness of the heart, the mouth speaketh.  Let the heart be filled with so much purity and learning, that there will be no room for no vile or evil thought.  Ye are men who hold the Priesthood…go forth in your might and strength to serve mankind and honor God.  May peace attend every walk in life.

I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Signed, Evelyn Pratt Woods
August 1917.


Instructions to My Daughters and Daughters in Law

Ye have chosen the highest things of earth and have walked in the path that will lead to the highest things of heaven.  Ye have chosen to be wives and mothers; and have been privileged to go to the House of the Lord and there be made the wives of noble men; and have been sealed for time and all eternity by those having authority to seal.  And have had the blessing of eternal increase sealed upon your heads so that your children will be yours throughout all the endless ages of eternity…you to be their mother and guide, the queen of your own posterity.  To go hand in hand with your husband in the paths of virtue, love, honor, charity, meekness, learning, intelligence, wisdom, thanksgiving, and praise, obedience, forgiveness, slow to anger, and not in haste to judge.

Love the beautiful in mankind, find the good, do not dwell on the evil around you; speak well of all or not at all.  What if the days are full of toil and some trouble?  Are we not paid in full when we think of the promises of Our Father?  That we can earn eternal life with our dear ones and have eternal increase, in the world to come…crowned with the blessed name of pure wife and mother?

What if our arms and hands do ache and we get impatient at times?  The Lord knows our hearts and our longings to serve Him and learn of His ways.  How much better to work for this cause than to have the pleasures of the whole world and lose our love for Him who has blessed us with a testimony that He is Our Father and we are His children; that He has permitted us to come forth in this day and age of the world when He has spoken from the Heavens and revealed His truths to man, and permitted us to come of such goodly parents, who taught us His truths all the days of our lives.  Thank and praise and goodly work…from this task, you never shirk.

(Death came before Grandmother could complete this letter to her girls.  –Mary Lambert Taggart.)

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Jan. 2007]

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