Great Salt Lake City Octr. 18th – 1854.
My dear Husband,
I take great pleasure in addressing a few lines to you occasionally, being the only means afforded (at the present time ) , of communing together. Your family letter dated Aug. 22d we duly received, and I for one thank you for its contents, which are, I am happy to say, so far as regards your temporal welfare, of a more cheering nature. I have prayed in secret earnestly for your deliverance from the miserable dwelling you occupied when you last wrote to us, and I am thankful to learn pr last letter that it is even so. May the Lord bless, comfort, and prosper every soul who assists in any way to make you comfortable and happy so that you can the more easily prosecute the business of your mission.
I have often wondered why the servants of the Lord, on their several missions, and in the service of their King, were placed in such miserable circumstances; and I never with the light which I now possess can arrive at any other conclusion than this–That the spirit of the Lord which rests upon them shines with greater brilliancy out of obscurity to those which are without than it otherwise would; it consequently strikes the mind of those spirits who once basked in the light and intelligence of heaven with a magnetic influence which they cannot resist for according to true philosophy–
The darkest cloud that dims the sky,
Is that from whence the lightening gleams.
Our October conference has been held since I wrote you last, and a rich feast it has been to my soul. There was no particular bussiness transacted, being only one or two appointments given to labour in the Territory.
The time was spent in rich discourses from the text given by the President of – Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you – applying it to the Perpetual emigration of the poor from the old country, urging the necessity of paying up all arrears and furthermore donating liberally to the fund.
We had a splendid discourse from Elder Hyde on the Friday evening on the subject of marriage relations — price of admission to the lecture from 10 cents and upwards — the proceeds to be appropriated to the erection of a bowery. I cannot say that the Tabernacle was quite filled on the occasion but it was nearly so.
The conference closed on Sunday afternoon with a brilliant address by Pres. B. Young to a very large audience outside the Tabernacle. — He commenced by saying that he was going to talk about things which did not immediately concern us, i.e., a plurality of Gods and a plurality of worlds; he said that both existed, but that of course need not concern us — we have to be aminable only to one God, and to live only upon one world. He would not make Moses into a liar by saying that Adam was not made out of the dust of the earth — but he said that Adam was not made out of the dust of this earth — that he was a resurrected being and Eve also, and that we were all begotten by him in the spirit, and that Eve was the mother of us all and that we were every one of us black and white, brothers and sisters previous to taking our earthy tabernacles. He then talked a little on marriage relations, threw out a hint on the union of brothers and siste s in the flesh, but waived it in this way that we married our sisters for the best of all reasons because we could not get anybody else to marry, that we were in every sense of the word brothers and sisters and always would be.
He then spoke of other creations, told us that there was always an Adam and Eve to every creation and always would be, likewise, that there was always a Jesus Christ to offer himself as an atonement and always would be — that the same simple ordinances of initiation into the several Kingdoms were precisely the same and the same code of laws, and the same authorized Priesthood, always existed and always would exist worlds without end. He then talked a little on the subject of the ressurrection, spoke of Christ having power to lay down his life and power to take it up again, but he said [page break]that He did not use the power of taking it up again, for an Angel rolled away the stone and ressurrected him. So it would be with Joseph Smith he would be resurrected by some one, and then the keys would be given to him, and he would ressurrect the Apostles, and give them the keys, and they would ressurrect others, and so on. Oh, hear it all ye ends of the earth you will never one soul of you — black or white, bond or free, Jew or gentile — get a resurrection from the dead in any other way than through Joseph Smith, and I wish my voice could be heard to the ends of the earth. — Thus he went on from one subject to another in one of the most interesting discourses I ever listened to, so much so that I was preached into a reverie, or vision, out of which I awoke – to a sense of imprisonment, in a tabernacle of clay, and passing thro a probation.
The emigration for the season has nearly all got in. Amos Fielding and his two wives are amongst the numbers; we are expecting the remainder all in this week. When Father Walker wrote last to Agatha, he told her that my sister Hannah and her husband and children, together with my dear old mother were on the plains making their way to this place but they have not yet arrived. I rejoiced much at the news as my heart’s desire is that every one that is near and dear to me may be gathered to this place to rejoice with me in the light and intelligence of the children of Zion and be prepared for the coming and kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I rejoice much in my present associations, and privileges as a member of the Kingdom of God. I feel well, and happy all the time, and I know that that the spirit of the Lord rests upon me, because I am contented and rejoicing all the time and feel as though I floated in the elements of Eternal Truth. I am desirous of walking humbly and acceptably before you, Angels, and my Gods, so that I may become worthy of a crown and place in the Celestial Kingdom, which favorrs I ask not only for myself, but for you, and every wife and child which the Lord has given unto you in the worthy name of Jesus Christ Amen. [page break]
I have extended my letter considerably to what I intended at the commencement, but you must pardon me, for I really feel as though I could write a volume when I get into this strain. All is well with us. I hope your health continues good and that Elizabeth is improving all the time — remember me affectionately to her and tell her that I do not forget to pray for her welfare and happiness. I must now conclude with my best love to you, hoping to hear from you soon, and beg leave to subscribe myself
Your devoted Wife
P. S. I wish to remind you that in consequence of your writing immediately after the mail has left your letters are two months on the way instead of one — your last letter is dated Aug. 22 and we have only just received it. The mail leaves San Francisco on the 20th of each month.
[Transcribed by Cheryl Brawn and Suzanne Taysom, Jan. 2014]
Keziah to My dear Husband [Parley P. Pratt], transcribed letter, 18 October 1854; MS 278, file 1, document 10, p. 1-4; online images, Church History Catalog, Ann Agatha W. Pratt Reminiscences and Letters, 1847-1907 (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE2090355&usedforsort=MS_278_f0001 : January 2014); Church History Library, Salt Lake City.