Salt Lake City, Utah Ter.
1 March, 1878.

Mr. G. Rand,

Dear Sir:–

Yours of the 21st ult. came to hand last evening; and in accordance with your request, I send you an autograph letter, which I hope may be carefully preserved, until the events, named therein, shall have been fulfilled.

I will first give you a very brief sketch of my own life.  I was born in Hartford, Washington Co., N.Y., on the 19th of September, 1811. When about 4 years old, my father moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., N.Y.  At the age of ten, I was deprived of parental care, and obliged to seek a home among strangers.  When nineteen, I heard the ancient gospel, as taught by the Latter-day Saints, was baptized and received a Divine testimony, that God had indeed once more spoken to man on the earth, and had sent angels to chosen witnesses to communicate glad tidings for all people.  I was ordained to the ministry, and immediately commenced traveling, without purse or scrip, and for several years, bore my humble testimony, among the people of the United States.  I visited the New England, Middle, and Western states, also Canada, –baptized several hundreds; the sick were healed, the lame were made to walk, and the Lord confirmed his word with signs following.

Early in 1840, I crossed the ocean, preached in Scotland, raised up a church of over 200 in Edinburgh.  I have crossed the Atlantic twelve times on missions; sailed over fifteen thousand miles on the Pacific; visited various countries in Europe; penetrated, without roads, into the great interior Basin of North America, and, with the aid of mountain barometers, determined the elevation of many important points, and by astronomical observations, ascertained the latitudes and longitudes of many places of interest.  At various times and places, I have lectured before large assemblies upon many branches of science; have written many pamphlets, and published hundreds of thousands of the same, which have been translated into many different languages, and sent broadcst into the four quarters of the globe.  I have edited two different periodicals, one in America, another in Europe.  A few years since, I wrote and published a volume of about 200 pages, including some of my original researches in Mathematics, entitled, Cubic and Biquadratic Equations.  Since its publication, I have written a Differential Calculus of several hundred pages, not yet published.  I have also written, and have in manuscript my own researches into the mechanism of the universe; its title being, A New System of the Universe,


founded upon a constant Propulsion and Resistance: this work is treated Mathematically, and accounts for many phenomena, unexplained by the Newtonian theory.  Some of the fundamental propositions, and their demonstrations, have been already published by my consent, in a mathematical periodical, called the “Analyst,” published in Des Moines, Iowa.  I have also superintended the compilation of some thirty thousand fool’s cap pages of Documentary History of our Church.

When at home, I have been generally elected a member of our territorial Legislature; and for several sessions have been unanimously elected, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

My family is small, compared with some of the ancient Prophets and Patriarchs.  I have only sixteen sons and the same number of daughters now living.  My grand-children are quite numerous.  I am a lineal descendant from one of the first settlers, who founded Hartford, Connecticut.  My ancestor, Lieut. Wm. Pratt, seven generations ago, came from Old England, among the Puritan fathers.  He was, for many years, the first Judge in the New London district, and a member of the Legislative Council, for some 25 or 30 sessions.

I will now proceed to matters of a more important and public nature.  We now behold, in our land, a great and powerful nation, free, prosperous, and, in many respects, happy.  But a few years will elapse, when a change will come–a sad and mournful change.  Because of wickedness, it is the decree of heaven, that terrible wars will desolate our happy country.  The safe-guards of the Constitution, and the strong arm of the law, will no longer be a bulwark of defence.  The inhabitants will rush forth, with maddened fury, neighborhood against neighborhood, town against town, county against county, state against state, until the whole nation will be embroiled in a most dreadful, fratricidal, exterminating war.  Cities will be pillaged and burned; agricultural pursuits and manufacturing industries will be hopelessly abandoned.  Millions will perish in war, and millions more by the consequent famine which will ensue; while other judgments and unheard of calamities will waste away our nation.

Zion, inthe meantime, will grow and flourish upon the hills and mountains, and in the vallies, and will dwell in peace, affording a place of refuge for the humble and week of the earth.  Jerusalem will also be redeemed, and the land of Palestine will be occupied by its rightful owners.  Many sacred records, kept by the ancient Prophets of this continent, will be revealed, and translated, and deposited in the sacred archives of Zion.  A city which shall be called, the New Jerusalem or Zion, will be built up into the Lord in the western borders of Missouri.  The regions around this city, for hundreds of miles, will be occupied by the people of Zion.  Upon the temple, which will be built in Zion, a cloud will be seen by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for God will


be there !  and the power of his glorious Majesty will be known among his people.  Kings will come to the light of Zion, and the Gentiles will be as a flowing stream: day and night they will come.  The Saviour himself– the great Redeemer will suddenly come into his temple, and purify, by heavenly fire, those who minister therein.

These are a few of the preparatory events, to make ready for the great and dreadful day of the Lord, when he, with his resurrected saints, shall dwell on the earth a thousand years.

You are at liberty to publish this letter, or make any disposition of it you may think proper.

Yours most sincerely,
Orson Pratt, Sen.

[Transcribed by Nora Fowers and Marlene Peine; Dec. 2012]

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