Nephi Pratt, the subject of this sketch was born January 1, 1845 at Nauvoo, Illinois, and was a son of Apostle Parley P. Pratt and Belinda Marden. Incidentally Belinda Marden was a cousin of Orison Swett Marden, Famous author and also editor of success Magazine.
Brother Pratt was called by the First Presidency of the Church to preside over the Northwestern States Mission in 1902, where, for seven years he rendered distinquished service, and developed it from a small branch of the Church to a thriving and self sustaining Mission. He possessed a remarkable personality and was a mental giant. He possessed spiritual powers which radiated from him and was felt by his associates who in hundreds of cases have testified that their burdens and cares disappeared in his presence into nothingness like the warm rays of the morning sun dissolved the mist that cast their shadows upon the earth. He possessed to a remarkable degree the spirit of prophesy and the power to heal the sick.
He was a pioneer builder having been called by Brigham Young to assist in building up Central Utah, and took part in the erection of Utah’s first State Capitol. He was elected Mayor of Fillmore; also appointed to supervise the Fillmore Branch of the Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institute.
In Great Britain and Wales he performed a very successful mission. Upon his return he was married to Hannah Phillips on the twentieth day of February, 1871. Ten children were born to them, seven of which are still living. He was appointed to assist the Editor in the office of the Improvement Era for a short time, after which he
was called to preside over the Northwestern States Mission, where he served until April, 1909. He was always prominently identified with the work of the Church, and was rated a most remarkable instructor and teacher of young people, by the membership of his classes growing from a few to hundreds in a very short time.
Many people were converted to the Church under his administration. Many have testified that his good influence has remained with them throughout the years.
After a year’s illness he died in the City of Spokane, Washington on April 29, 1910.
His family received many messages of sympathy and condolence from prominent officials of Railroad and Steamship Companies of the northwest, as well as prominent business and professional men and Church members in all walks of life. It has been the lot of few men to be as well beloved by his fellows as was Brother Pratt.
[MS 5719 7-8]
[Transcribed by Nora Fowers and Rebecca Staker, Mar. 2011]