Northwestern States

Address of Elder Nephi Pratt to Elders and Saints in that Mission

Spokane, Wash., May 23

To the Elders and Saints of the Northwestern States mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Greeting:

Whereas, it has pleased the Lord and His servants to call and set me apart to preside over the Northwestern States mission, comprising Washington, British Columbia, Montana and northern Idaho, I come among you in all humility to assume the duties and labors of the high calling.

In taking upon me the responsibilities of this great work I feel my weakness and inability, but I enter the field with full confidence in the goodness and mercy of the Lord. He can inspire, direct and give the necessary wisdom for the carrying forward of His work among the nations. He can bless the efforts of the Elders, can direct them to the honest souls who are hungering for the bread of life; can give life and power to their words, and by the Holy Spirit bear witness to the souls of men that the principles presented are true. In short, He can comfort, console, reprove, direct, inspire, unfold, reveal and establish all things in this mission for the good and blessing of every soul connected with it, and of all who are seeking after truth. It is therefore to Him and not to man that we look for all success.

In assuming the duties of presiding, I invoice the favor and blessing of the Almighty to be and remain upon me in this ministry and upon all the people among whom I am called to labor; and I bespeak the same kindness, cooperation and loyal support from the Elders and Saints that they have hitherto manifested towards their former president, Elder F.S. Bramwell.

President Bramwell has been called into new fields of usefulness and activity. In leaving this mission he departs with the full confidence of all the Saints and Elders in the field where he has so diligently, faithfully and efficiently labored. They part with him with feelings of sorrow and regret, and he carries with him to his new field of labor the deep and abiding affection of hundreds of Saints, and many strangers, and all unite in wishing him God speed in all that he henceforth shall set his hand to perform. It is my earnest hope when I shall be called home that I can retire from the mission with a record as praiseworthy as that of Elder Bramwell’s.

I now exhort the Elders to renewed diligence in their respective conferences. Be innocent and blameless in your life, also be diligent, vigorous and aggressive in your labors. Study to approach the people and to converse with and preach to them without being offensive in the least degree, for they are already sufficiently prejudiced against you and the cause you represent.

I exhort the Saints to live so that their good works may shine forth among their neighbors, who, seeing them, shall glorify God—in short, let all remember their prayers, remember their meetings, remember their tithes and their offerings, remember the Word of Wisdom—live in peace at home, and with all men—do deeds of kindness and charity to the needy, of sympathy and love to the sorrowing, and of nursing and healing to the sick; so shall the Lord lift them up, and exalt them at the last day.

Having canvassed the matter pretty thoroughly we have concluded that Spokane is the best distributing point for the mission, and so have decided to establish headquarters here. All communications for the present can be addressed to general delivery, Spokane, Washington.

Correspondence on important matters is solicited from the Elders, until I can visit them in their respective fields, which I shall do as quickly as possible.

I expect to visit them all in the next few weeks. With love and prayers for all the Elders, Saints, investigators and friends in the Northwestern States mission as well as for all Israel, I subscribe myself,

Your fellow servant in Christ,
Nephi Pratt

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 23, 1902, 3]
[Deseret News, 1902]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


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