Letter from Teancum Pratt to his daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Pratt
Helper, Jan. 27th 99
Miss S. E. Pratt
Dear Darling Daughter
Yours of 22 inst at hand I read it last evening on coming home from the mine & I read again as I answer it. I am at a loss to just exactly understand your mood but I know I can do you good anyhow for I am in possession of the key of knowledge and will put you in the way of obtaining it & then adieu to misery & gloom.
I did not know that you were miserable that is acutely so; I am glad to learn it. it shows me the mettle you are of. Some souls are so phlegmatic they cannot feel or suffer, or love or even hate much but sort of vegetate, exhist, exhale a very mild consciousness & barely know of their own existence. Give me rather an active, highly organized, aggressive soul who can feel & suffer, & love, & think.
Words are wholly inadequate to tell truth but I love to draw strong pictures so you will just try to catch the idea and digest as best you can. This probation is the only one of its kind, here are lost or won the heights & the depths, & comparatively this is too difficult for humanity & they all go down, to rise no more till the conditions are changed, a place where is but very slight requirements, where the conquest is an easy one, & the reward sleight.
Here a million are warned for ten who believe—a hundred believe where l obeys – Ten obey the primary & easy principle, where one is found who dares to stand right up to the front & enter the fiery furnace, but l the story which is found therein, to gain the testimony of the saviour; to actually receive the Holy Ghost & be made acquainted with the Father, & be sealed up to Eternal life, the first Resurrection, be of the Elect an heir to all which the Father hath, what more could one desire?
Now to the point again. Our lesson today will be the Holy Spirit.
You were baptized Sept 6th 1888 by your Grandfather, Ewell, & confirmed by myself. in that Confirmation the key was turned in your favor & the Gift of the Holy spirit was put in your possession. You can unlock the heavenly door when you choose to do so.
The right to the society of the Spirit was given you, that was all. It was left for you to partake of at your own option & is at your call still. This is the distinguishing trait of the true faith & no man can know the truth but by the Holy spirit, & to receive this we must first have faith, then be baptised, then be confirmed, then ask the Lord for the “Witness” & when you receive the Holy Spirit you will know it, it is the most joyous feeling that men or Gods, or angels can ever know. Now we take a little child who is traditionated in the faith enough to desire baptism at 8 years old but what does it know? In 99 cases out of an hundred it must mature more & most allways get into straits & troubles ere it will ask of God for the realization of the confirmation & the actual reception of the spirit. I refer you to the Bible for a description of the Spirit but will also describe its atributes as best I can. It is the secret cause of life in all things, it knows all things, it fills all space has all power, is absolute master of the whole & a fully sanctified human being is made governor of it & becomes as God, The spirit is the Lords agent of power & no individual can ever get perfect peace & joy except by it, & when we advance far enough in Holyness that the Spirit abides with us we are perfect beings & have all power in heaven & on earth & never until then. Now you are an heir by birth of this great gift, & also by baptism & confirmation, & if you will seek it in prayer & fasting it will come to you & you will feel right & know where Heaven has established its divine agency upon the earth, this & ten thousand other delightful things will be revealed to you, & you will graduate in the truth.
There, that is all for this time we are well are hauling coal and prospering, want all the children & family in Provo for next winter; improve the shining moments. Cheer up; I am as happy as mortal man can be. My children are my all & they give good promise of heavenly progress. Parly is preparing for missionary work, has quit tobacco & is seeking to do right, –What a field I have touched in these few hints. You are now 19 & in my next I will tell you of woman, there calling, sphere & duty.
I will join my prayers with yours for the desired end.
[transcribed by Ruby Conlin, Oct. 2006]