Great Salt Lake City Feby 14th/63
My dear brother
As I have not heard from you since the letter dated <Sep> Oct 10th/62 I conclude that you have not my answer to it. It is a great annoyance to us that such irregularity of the Mails exist in this country, but so it is and we cannot help [unreadable line] come when we can have more control in this, as in many other matters; but at present we must pocket the affronts. This is the reason why I do not defray the expense of postage, if I did, ten to one, a letter would never reach its destination. In Parley’s last letter to his wife he informs her that he has received a letter from you stating your reunion with the church, says he has not yet seen you, but invited you to a tea party at Hall. I do not expect that you went on acc’t of expences but I hope by this time that you have met and held sweet counsel together. He is one of the best boys that ever lived, and destined to become a great man.
I want you and your family to cross the Atlantic this season with him if possible; but if you cannot all come this year let one or two of your children come, and they will help to provide a home for you to come to. I cannot send any money to you, but if you can get them to the Frontiers, I will, help to get them across the plains; and my house shall be their home until they can provide [unreadable] for themselves, and I will act a mother’s part towards them as far as care and good counsel are concerned you may depend upon it. – If once you make a break, you will manifest to the Lord your integrity of heart with respect to the gathering which is one of the commandments of the last days. – I feel as though you wanted to come and I want to help you all that is in my power. Tell Betey that she would enjoy herself far better here than she does in England and feel more independent. And as for relations; read the words of the
Saviour with respect to them. (These are my relations that do the will of my Father in heaven.) Tell her to consider that I have nothing to lean upon but the truth, and my own exertions. I am happy because with the help of the Lord I create my own happiness.
“As a working bee in the hive of Deseret, I have not time to be dissatisfied or to watch for iniquity in others; if they transgress the laws of God, they find themselves responsible and not I. My duty is to watch myself and take care of my own heart, and all will be well with me.”
Dear Sam I want you to make every sacrifice to get here, all of you, and if you have to take it rough and ready in the way never mind, if your hearts are right before the Lord, you will live thro it, and rejoice that you are counted worthy to pass thro’ some trials for His name’s sake.
I cannot at present tell you anything about emigration this spring (on a/c of the state of affairs in this country) any further than Bro. Young says, that he intends to call for five hundred teams this year, to fetch the poor Saints from the Frontiers; this looks like a tremendous emigration and I have no doubt but that it will seen the Lord will open a way for his children to gather, if it so be as by fire.
Prophecy is fast fulfilling as regards this land, and I am not troubled, about it only, as respects the misery it brings upon others. I regret exceedingly that the people of Lancashire have had to suffer so much on account of it; I hope that it will have a sobering effect and cause them to seek blessings where they may be found. The Lord works many ways to bring about his purposes and it may be that many will seek the truth for consolation in a trying moment, that otherwise would treat it with derision and scorn. I have always been thankful that I came out the first chance I had, and although I have met with many things very contrary to my feelings, in addition to having to toil from day to day for the thing which perisheth; yet I would not part with the
experiences I have had, and the knowledge I have gained, for all the riches of the world. And when I survey my own infirmities, and my inability to herald forth the tidings of salvation to the children of men, I wonder oh, I wonder, that my Father has shewn so much mercy towards men as to land men even thro deep waters as it were to this place, where I can drink at the fountains of the rivers of righteousness and peace.
Dear Sam I hope that you are each of you enjoying good health and that you have again constant employment. I mourned very much over your situation at the time you write me last. I hope that you are more comfortably situated now, and while I think of it I will request of you not to spend one cent on me for anything for I know that you cannot spare it. Your girls are very welcome to the dresses and I do not wish them replaced. May God bless you for your good feelings & sensor of justices towards me; all right if they think so; you know to what I allude, don’t you?
My health is not good, I would give considerable to have you near me & hope the day is not far distant when we can associate at least daily; my school sustains comfortably, but it is very harassing (to one of my age), consisting chiefly of boys from 9 to 16 years of age and this together with my cooking, and housework keeps me very busy all the time. I take but little recreation because I have no one to go out with; I have attended the Theatre some 5 or 6 times, and been to 4 social parties this winter so far. I was dancing with brother Woodruff at the Social Hall on Tuesday eveng last, and he spoke of you very kindly, and wished to be remembered to you when I wrote you and was very glad that you had united yourself with the church again.
I hope that Hannah and family, likewise, Mary & family, are in the enjoyment of good health, please remember me affectionately.
When you have an opportunity: present my best respects to Sister Holbroock and family and tell her that mormonism is just as true as it ever was and that she don’t know much about it yet.
Mr. Forest the American Tragedian is on his way to California and Bro Young has telegraphed to him an invitation to play for us a few things in our pretty little Theatre; he has accepted the invitation and we expect to see him in the course of week [unreadable] I have seen him play in England with great success and hope to [unreadable] a treat when he comes. You would be surprised to see Virginias the Roman father- Damon and Pithias or the [unreadable] of friendship <on> Ingomar the barbarian, played as the saints can play them in a house dedicated by prophets & apostles, but you must <come> and judge for yourself, and will warrant you satisfied. I shall mail a Newspaper with this letter which I hope you will [unreadable] safe to hand. Please write me by return of post and say whether you received my last letter or not; and not dear Sam let me have the satisfaction of seeing some of your family if not all this year and I will do all that lies in my power to help you. I must now conclude with my best loves to each and every one of you praying my heavenly Father to bless you, comfort your heart, and build you up in your most holy faith, open up your way that you may gather to this land when you can be fitted and prepared for the kingdom and coming upon the earth and continually <grant you> full and proper salvation which I ask in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Your Affectionate Sister
P. S. refer to some of my previous letters for instructions concerning emigration.
Your last letter dated Sept 10th I received on the 8th of October – little more than a month on the way
Kezia to “dear brother” [Sam]. Letter. 14 February 1863. “Pratt Kezia Downes 1812-1877,” digital images, (https://eadview.lds.org/dcbrowser/MS%20362/: Retrieved January 2015), MS 362, folder 1, p. 1-4. Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
Transcribed by Mauri Pratt, 12 January 2015