Pratt Clans At Forest Dale
Big Gathering of the Descendants of Pioneer Missionary Yesterday Afternoon
Orson F. Whitney’s Tribute
He Tells of Great Labors Which Made Up the Total of His Life’s Work
Touching and beautiful was the tribute paid to the memory of the late Apostle Parley P. Pratt by a younger apostle, Orson F. Whitney, who has shared with him the fellowship of working in the Church’s literature, and making a record of its history, at the Pratt family reunion held yesterday afternoon and evening in the Forest Dale meetinghouse.
The audience, which comfortably filled the main floor, was composed of the children of Apostle Pratt, and his brother Orson Pratt, and they knew their ancestors as providers and bread winners, while Apostle Whitney, who had been invited to make the memorial address, knew him as the first force in creative Mormon literature, whose expositions of what the new dispensation means, have taken their place at the head of work in that field, and whose many missions to open the work in Canada, in South American, in California, and in the Pacific Islands, have brought thousands of converts into the faith, among them many whose careers have been famous in Church history.
Taking up the life of Apostle Pratt in its phases having to do with the writing of Church literature, and organizing movements to spread the gospel, Apostle Whitney, discarding all notes, and speaking with the warmth of one who dearly loved the man of whom he spoke, paid him a personal tribute as a source of inspiration to him in his own labors, and one whom he had always held as an ideal for his guidance in life.
To Me An Ideal
“I have always felt for Apostle Pratt,” he declared, “a great admiration and reverence. He was always to me an ideal, and next to the prophet, and my grandfather, Heber C. Kimball, he was always my hero among the first leaders of the Church. I never met him personally, for he met his death within two years after I was born, but I have read his books so often, and heard so much of him that I always feel that I know him intimately. He was, I think, the greatest speaker Mormonism has produced. I heard Daniel H. Wells say of him once that while other men had moved him deeply, no speaker had ever stirred his blood as could Parley P. Pratt. I know he was the father of our literature, and no history of it will ever be complete without placing his name in the first chapter. As a poet and a historian I learned to revere him, not only for these qualities, but for his loyalty to his Church, to his beliefs, to his people, and to his country. He was not a rich man. Turning his back upon the riches of this world, he planned for riches in the next. He was an intellectual millionaire.”
Without referring to notes of any kind, Apostle Whitney then took up the life of Apostle Pratt, detailed it almost day by day, telling under what circumstances he performed each of the great labors which made up the total of his life work, and mentioning all the men associated with Apostle Pratt in these labors.
Referring to the first mission to Canada, he recalled a prophecy which was thus fulfilled that this mission should do much good and should open the way to establish the British mission. It converted John Taylor, who afterwards became president of the Church, and also the father-in-law and mother of President Jos. F. Smith. Of the mission to England, and the establishment of the Millennial Star by Apostle Pratt, the speaker declared this an important moment for the Church, for on the first page of that initial issue of the Star appeared a great poem, the hymn beginning “Lo, the Gentle chain is Broken.” “This,” said Apostle Whiney,” was a poetical presentation of the dawn of the last dispensation on the earth, and it is among the noblest poems in the language. Someone has changed it in the hymn book, but it has not been bettered, and it never should have been tampered with, for Apostle Pratt had a purpose in putting it there in just the form he used.”
Before closing the speaker read brief extracts from the “Key to Theology” which he characterized as a masterpiece in ecclesiastical exposition, and from the “Voice of Warning,” which he said fascinated and converted those who became students of it. After narrating the incidents connected with the last years, and the death of Apostle Pratt, the speaker closed by expressing the hope that his children and grandchildren would strive to follow the example of their ancestor, and give their lives like him, to service for the faith which he possessed.
Address of Welcome
The family reunion opened with an address of welcome by President Nephi Pratt of the Northwestern States mission, Milando Pratt introduced him as presiding officer. Following this address, which outlined the life and work of Parley P. Pratt, Mrs. Clomenia P. Larson read an epistle in verse, written to his family, by P.P. Pratt, during the period of the Winter Quarters encampment. A violin solo by Willard Weihe was heartily applauded, as was also a duet by Wood and Noel Pratt.
The memorial service closed with a benediction by A. Milton Musser, after which an intermission for refreshments was taken. Later in the evening a musical and dramatic program was rendered, which was opened with a reading of reminiscences of Parley P. Pratt, written by his surviving wife, Agatha Pratt, and read by her grand daughter, Miss Clarabel Woods. Little Beth Larson followed with a recitation, and the flower scene from “Ingomar” was given by Frank Robinson, and Clomenia P. Larson, Alvin Beesley accompanying.
In a short business meeting preceding adjournment, it was decided to hold another reunion in four years, upon the occasion of the centenary anniversary of Apostle Orson Pratt, and a vote of thanks was extended to the committee in charge of the present reunion.
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Apr. 12, 1907, 9]
[Deseret News, Apr. 13, 1907]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]
Utah State News
The descendants of the late Parley P. Pratt held a big family reunion in Salt Lake City on the 12th in observance of Mr. Pratt’s 100th anniversary.
[Eureka County Progress, Apr. 20, 1907]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]
Pratt Family Reunion in honor of Apostle Parley Parker Pratt
on the occasion of his Centennial Anniversary.
Friday, April 12th, ‘07
Forest Dale Meeting House
Salt Lake City, Utah
3 p.m. Informal Reception
4 p.m. Memorial Program
6 p.m. Intermission and Refreshments
7 p.m. Literary and Musical Entertainment
9 p.m. Dancing
Parley Parker Pratt
Born April 12, 1807
Born Sept. 19, 1811
Born Jany 9, 1801
William D. Pratt
Born Sept. 3, 1802
Born May 26, 1815
1. Hymn, “Come, Oh Thou King of Kings” – P.P. Pratt
3. Hymn, “Lo, the Gentile Chain is Broken” – P.P. Pratt
4. Address of Welcome – President Nephi Pratt
5. Reading, Epistle in Verse, “To My Family,” P.P. Pratt – Clomenia P. Larson
6. Vocal Solo – Claribel Ridges Pike
7. Memorial Address, Parley Parker Pratt – Apostle Orson F. Whitney
8. Violin Solo – Willard Weihe
9. Reminiscences of Parley Parker Pratt – Mrs. Agatha Pratt and Others
11. Duo, “The Morning Breaks, the Shadows Flee,” P.P. Pratt – Noel and Harold Pratt
Literary and Musical Program
1. Quartette, “As the Dews from Heaven Distilling” (P.P. Pratt)
2. Address – Milando Pratt
3. Piano Solo – Lulabelle E. Carlson
4. Reading, “How Often in Sweet Meditation, My Mind” (P.P. Pratt) – William Parker Pratt
5. Vocal Solo – Clarabelle Woods
6. Address – Mathoni W. Pratt
7. Piano Solo – Vera Eldredge
8. Reading, “My Fiftieth Year” (P.P. Pratt) – Ray Van Cott
9. Vocal Solo – Noel Pratt
10. Address – Don C. Driggs
11. Piano Solo – Glenn Douglass
12. Vocal Solo – Clarabelle Ridges Pike
13. Reading, “Niagara” (P.P. Pratt) – Samuel Russell
14. Quartette, “Hark, Listen to the Gentle Breeze” (P.P. Pratt)
1. Character Recitation, a “I’s Bad” b “I’s Good” – Little Beth Larson
2. Dramatic Recital – Flower Scene from “Ingomar”
Ingomar – Mr. Frank Robinson
Parthenia – Mrs. Clomenia Pratt Larson
Accompanist, Alvin Beesley
The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
Lo! Zion’s standard is unfurled.
The dawning of a brighter day
Majestic rises on the world.
The clouds of error disappear
Before the rays of truth divine;
The glory, bursting from afar,
Wide o’er the nations soon will shine.
The Gentile fulness now comes in,
And Israel’s blessings are at hand;
Lo! Judah’s remnant, cleansed from sin,
Shall in their promised Canaan stand.
Jehovah speaks! let earth give ear,
And Gentile nations turn and live;
His mighty arm is making bare,
His covenant people to receive.
Angels from heaven and truth from earth
Have met, and both have record borne;
Thus Zion’s light is bursting forth,
To cheer her children’s glad return.
Lo! the Gentile chain is broken;
Freedom’s banner waves on high;
List, ye nations, by this token
Know that our redemption’s nigh.
See on yonder distant mountain,
Zion’s standard wide unfurled;
Far above Missouri’s fountain,
Lo, it waves for all the world.
Come, ye Christian sects, and pagan,
Pope and Protestant and priest;
Worshipers of God, or Dagon,
Come to freedom’s glorious feast.
Come, ye sons of doubt and wonder,
Indian, Moslem, Greek, or Jew;
All your shackles burst asunder;
Freedom’s banner waves for you.
Lo! the King, the great Messiah,
Prince of Peace, shall come to reign;
Sound again, ye heavenly choir,
Peace on earth, good will to men.
Come, O Thou King of kings—
We’ve waited long for Thee,–
With healing in Thy wings,
To set Thy people free.
Come, Thou desire of nations, come,
Let Israel now be gathered home.
Come, make an end of sin,
And cleanse the earth by fire,
And righteousness bring in.
That Saints may tune the lyre,
With songs of joy, a happier strain,
To welcome in Thy peaceful reign.
Hosannas now shall sound
From all the ransomed throng.
And glory echo round,
A new triumphal song;
The wide expanse of heaven fill
With anthems sweet from Zion’s hill.
Hail! Prince of Life and Peace!
Thrice welcome to Thy throne!
While all the chosen race
Their Lord and Savior own.
The heathen nations bow the knee,
And every tongue sounds praise to Thee!
[transcribed from original and proofread by David Grow, Dec. 2006]