Council Bluffs—Neolu—Union Grove—Various Meetings—Opposition

Des Moines, Iowa
April 10, 1877

Editor Deseret News:

Having been called at the late October Conference, with many others, as a missionary to the United States, on March 1 I left my home, in Salt Lake City, by rail, for my field of labor. Fifty-six hours’ travel brought me to Council Bluffs, where I was met and welcomed by Elders James A. Little and Eli Piece, in whose district I shall labor for the present. The first ten days after my arrival I spent in company with Brother Little in visiting from house to house many families of the Saints and strangers, in the Bluffs and vicinity, conversing freely with them in regard to the truth, during which time we also held three meetings, at one of which some strangers present, after hearing a good gospel discourse of over one hour from Prest. Little, desired us to explain to them, in a few moments’ time, all about the mysteries of “Mormonism,” saying if we were able to give them a sign or perform a miracle they would believe. As their only object was to cavil and make a disturbance, Brother Little soon silenced them.

Sister Powers, who lives on Broadway, where I first put up on my arrival, is an old Nauvoo Saint, and a good one too. She was acquainted with me when a small boy, playing on the steps of the Temple in Nauvoo. She has been very kind to me, and in fact to all the Elders. They are always entertained by her and made welcome at her house. Her husband, though not a member of the Church, is a generous and liberal-minded man. Such people will receive their reward.

Elder Nels Madsen, Jr., a young missionary from Brigham City, has been appointed by Prest. Little to travel and labor with me in the ministry. On the 18th of March we held our first meeting in a small district school-house in the little town of Neolu, some three Saints and about thirty strangers being present. We delivered two addresses.

By request of Prest. Little we visited Union Grove, and on Sunday forenoon of the 25th, by pressing invitation, we attended another meeting. We also held a meeting in the afternoon, when I spoke to the audience with great freedom and power. One man and his wife who were present, I felt confident were convinced of the truth, and I trust they will yet be baptized for the remission of their sins.

On Tuesday evening, the 27th, we held another meeting at Lelan’s Grove, a hotbed of apostacy. Some seventy-five persons were present, most of whom at some time have been connected with the Church, who, having once put their hands to the gospel plow, have turned back, through lack of faith, integrity, and good works, to the beggarly elements of the world. I spoke the truth to them with much assurance. After the meeting, the feelings of some were much softened, and I believe that three of four who were present will yet receive the truth.

Since the above meetings, we have held five other evening meetings, in some small towns and villages where the gospel has never before been preached. The people in certain places, will open, light and warm their school-houses for us to preach in. On such occasions, we have from fifty to one hundred attentive listeners. We speak and testify to them of the truth with much assurance and power under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Some few are friendly and are convinced of the truth, while others rage, and cry out at the close of our meetings, “Mormon delusion,” “false prophets,” etc.

Brother Madsen, Jr., is a good, faithful young Elder, and, as he is a good singer, he is a great help to me.

Your brother in the Gospel covenant,
P.P. Pratt

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Apr. 10, 1877, 3]
[Deseret News, 26:218]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


Elder George Q. Cannon presented the following additional names as missionaries:

United States

…Parley P. Pratt, Salt Lake City…

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oct. 7, 1876, 2]
[Deseret News, Oct. 7, 1876]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


Gone East

Elder P.P. Pratt left this city last night per rail, on a mission, to labor in Elder J.A. Little’s district for the present, in the vicinity of Omaha.

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mar. 2, 1877, 1]
[Deseret News, Mar. 2, 1877]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, May 2006]


Return to histories of Parley Parker Pratt Jr.