Miss Agatha Ann Walker
Great Salt Lake City
San Francisco, Cal., Aug. 27th, ‘51
I am sick. I came home sick from a visit to San Josa. I was exposed to cold, fatigue and want, in a small boat near 24 hours. I have not been well since. And only about a small portion of the time. Yesterday I was confined to the house and sat up but little. To-day I am some better, but my hands and fingers are so swelled I cannot write much. I received your letter which was pinned in my shirt sleve. Somewhere on the way. It was a choice little crum from “YfY”. I often read it. Indeed it is all the morsal I have had from home for all most half a year.—Agatha!—Agatha!—Where art thou!—Yet alive? Where are those little birds, Aga, and Malona? Are they alive? Are you all well? How do you enjoy your self? Do you still love your Lord with all the fervency and devotion which inspired your bosom since first you knew him? O my dear girl, that was a noble, a whole soled, a heartfelt conversion of yours.
If you were to see your Lord now would you say with poet: “Content with beholding his face I all to his pleasure resign?” Or, do you feel that the cross is more than you can bear, that He is to be abscent so long? I know that you are young, and that you have never had experience in such crosses to any great extent before. I know that it tries the heart to the uttermost, that it is hard to bear, unless the Eternal Spirit of Almighty God gives one to realise things beyond this world, and to place their affection there. I could hardly blame you if your heart should sometimes regreat the ties which have linked it with a destiny so different from a large majority of mankind, and should sigh for freedom. But, I also know, I could never grant that freedom without taring assunder the finest affections which were ever planted in the bosom of a son of [page break] the Gods. But still the Gospel and its obligations are of higher importance and consideration than even the most endearing ties of kindred affection.
Dear Agatha, I would not be different from what I am. I should not in that case be worthy of your love. Nor, could I reward it, in a manner commensurate with its deserts, or the sacrifice and devotion you have shown me.
The verry principle which tears me from your presence and compells me to live in lone solitude, for weary months and years, is the same by which I obtained you: And the title, and right by which I hold you. By that I was first rendered worthy of so good a gift, and by that I am rendered worthy to keep the same.
Cheer up then, my dear child, my beloved Yfy, we will never alienate from each other. You are too noble—too God like in your aspirations to even devote your hearts best affections to a man who would not forsake you, for years, or for a lifetime for the sake of the commandments and requirments of him who gave us to each other. It is a cross; but it is one which you glory in bearing, in connection with your head; and in company with the nobels of Earth and heaven, the sons and daughters of the Immortal Gods.
O what a reward ours will be! How we will sit down in the old family manssion of our Father in heaven, and enjoy his smiles and aprobation, and the best, purest affections of each other, and of our fathers and mothers in the manssions; a long line of noble ancestors. While our posterity will rise up and call us blessed, because, instead of studying our own momentary convenience or pleasure, we studied that which laid so good a foundation, for a numberless posterity. –O Agatha? Thou fair and blessed virgin! Thou mother, with the tender babes by thy side! Well as I love thee, and them, I would sooner never see thy face, or encircle thee or those little ones in my arms till we meet in the morning of the resurrection, than to cause one bril-[page break] ient to be lacking in thy crown, one star from thy diadem, or one shadow to obscure or becloud the gem which will sparkle on the brow of him whom you will then be proud to call your head. And who will then lead you forth in the dances of them that make merry, and who join in the songs of triumph from the dead.
On his brow will then be writen in golden briliency the name of G.O.D. And on the bosom of his robe of dazzleing whiteness will be writen “Holy Prophet”, and “New Jerusalem.” Oh, Had I ten thousand lives I could lay them down for thee and the little ones. I would do any thing in short but render myself unworthy of thee, or unable to reward thee.
Comfort thy heart, bear the cross, live for God and thy husband and children and thou shalt be blessed above measure. The spirit has been poured upon me greatly in this domain. We have a good little branch here of more than 50 members. We add to it by baptism almost every week.
I wrote to Belinda this week, and sent it, together with a small parcel and 240 dol in gold coin, to be brought to you by Br. Wm. Huntington.
I know not when I shall leave this place. But I think it will be soon. If I can get money enough I shall go to N. Y. per steamer, to print a book. If not I expect to go to Chili, in a week or two. Direct all letters to Parley Parker, at this place. If I am gone, they will be taken out and remailed to me. Elizebeth will stay in this place, and perhaps Phebe. The latter will be a Mother before the end of 1851.
Quartus S. Sparks of whom I wrote to Mary awhile since is doing good here. He has been rebaptised, and has helped br Murdock, also Brs. Rich and Liman and he has helped me. I think he is a good man. He has an excelent wife and 3 children. I made a mistake in that which I wrote to Mary about him. The brethren here are nearly all tring to do good, and are enjoying the Spirit of the Lord. S. Brannan is never seen among us. He is any thing but a man of God.
I must now conclude. Kiss the little ones for me. Give my verry choisest love to Belinda, Mary, Etta, and Sarah, and the children, also to Parley. Give my remembrance, and kind regard to Bro. Vancott and folks, and all enquiring friends. Don’t forget little Joseph and Jane in distributing my love.
If your father and family are there tell them I welcome them and I wish to be remembered kindly to them. If Orson, my Br., and family are there, my rememberance and kind love to them. And so to all my kindred. If you can posably find any news from Olivia and Moroni, give me every particular as soon as posable. Tell Belinda I wrote that buisiness letter concerning the money, 240 dol. in haste. A man was waiting. If I can I will write to her again this mail. Tell Sarah and Etta to consider this the same as written to themselves.
Now, Dear Aga, farewell. Please accept my verry choisest love and let the peace of my spirit and blessing and the Blessings of God, and his holy Spirit rest upon you and yours, over each of my dear family, now and forever, Amen.
[Transcribed by Walt Morrell, Mauri Pratt, and Suzanne Taysom, Jan. 2014]
Parley Parker Pratt to Agatha Ann Walker, transcribed letter, 27 August 1851; MS 278, 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), p. 11; Church History Library, Salt Lake City.