Brief Sketch of the Life of Mary Wood Pratt
Wife of Parley P. Pratt
by Mathoni W. Pratt — July 6, 1934
Mary Wood Pratt, daughter of Samuel Wood and Margaret (Orr) Wood, was born 18 June 1818 at Glasgow, Scotland. While she was yet an infant, her parents moved to England, where she was raised to young womanhood.
While she was quite a young woman, she chanced to meet some Latter-day Saints and heard some of their doctrines. She was “(Preaked in her heart)” and felt the assurance that the true gospel, which is the power of salvation, had been restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.
Her parents were strongly prejudiced against this new church, and when Mary came home one evening, her father said to her, “Mary, have you been with those Mormons again?”
She answered, “Yes, Father, I have.”
Then her father said to her, “This night you must choose between the Mormons and your home, and all that the word home implies.”
Then said Mary, “Father, if I must make such a choice, I cannot go back on what I know to be true, even if it should mean the loss of home and kindred and all else. I know the Latter-day Saints have the true gospel, and I cannot sacrifice what I know to be true.”
Then said the father, “Then, there is the door and you must never darken it again.”
Mary emigrated to America and cast her lot with the Latter-day Saints. While in England she had learned and obeyed the first principles and ordinances of the restored gospel. At Nauvoo, she had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, and her testimony was made stronger, as to the divinity of the restored gospel and the divine calling of Joseph Smith.
Here she learned of the advanced doctrines which had been revealed, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and in due course of time, she became the wife of Apostle Parley Parker Pratt. The union was blessed with the following children: Helaman, Cornelia, Mary, and Mathoni Wood.
In 1934 her own posterity numbers something over two hundred souls. She, in common with other members, experienced the hardships incident of the drivings from Nauvoo, the long and weary trip over the plains to Salt Lake Valley and scarcity of food and other necessities of pioneer days.
She bore up bravely under all trials and never wavered for a moment in her faith in God and loyalty to his chosen servants.
By both precept and example, she planted faith in the heart of each of her children.
May God bless her memory, and inspire each of her posterity to lives of devotion to the truth.