Extracts of a Letter from Elder P.P. Pratt, to Pres. Young

San Francisco, Aug. 28, 1851
Pres’t Young.

Dear Brother:

I am well, or rather, so as to be able to perform my daily duties, although not in good health.  I arrived in this place some time in July, together with those who accompanied me on the mission.  Soon after our arrival, bro. Tompkins and family arrived from the Society Islands, reported the brethren of the mission, and their families, well.  Bro. Clark arrived soon after from the same place.  Reports were so unfavorable in regard to French oppression and misrule, that I thought it expedient to send no more elders there at present.  Bro. Pratt, and the saints in those islands, would, I presume, be glad to receive some advice in regard to a general movement towards emigrating to Southern California.

[Elder Pratt has been instructed by letter from the Presidency, to counsel the saints at the Society Islands to emigrate, and put themselves under the Presidency of Elders Lyman and Rich, who are in the southern part of California, inasmuch as the persecutions are such that they cannot live in peace, where they are.]—[Ed. News.

If the Presidency wishes to make any communication on that or any other subject, letters addressed to met at San Francisco, Cal., will be forwarded to me at Chili, or elsewhere; as I shall not leave this place without appointing an agent to receive and forward all communications or papers.  The Sandwich Islands are at peace and enjoy a free government.  We have sent to those islands three additional missionaries, viz: Elders Francis A. Hammond, Philip B. Lewis, and Stillman Woodbury, who, together with Mrs. Lewis and Hammond, sailed on the second day of August, for the port of Honolulu.  Philip B. Lewis is appointed to preside over that mission.

Bro. John Murdock is here, in good spirits, and in tolerable health.  He is appointed to take the Presidency of a mission to Australia, which includes the English colonies of New Holland, New Zealand, and Van Dieman’s land.  He expects to sail soon, accompanied by Elder Chas. W. Wandell, and perhaps, another person who is about to be baptized and ordained.

We found bro. Wandell here, in sorrow, and in a backward state as to faith and righteousness.  But he has confessed his sins and shortcomings with all humility, and has repented and been re-baptized, and is again ordained as one of the Seventies.  He has been with every day, for a month, or nearly so, and is a faithful and spiritual man.

Since I arrived here, I have been diligent in the duties of my mission every hour; and have called upon god, for his Spirit to help me, with all the energy I possessed, and without ceasing; the result is, the Spirit of the Lord God has been upon me, continually, in such light, and joy, and testimony, as I have seldom experienced.

Bro’s. A. Lyman and C.C. Rich have been here with me some of the time.  We have called together the old members, and others, and preached repentance and reformation of life.  We have re-baptized many of them, and have re-organized the church.  Several new members are being added; some of whom are the children of the old members; others are strangers from different countries.  We are upwards of fifty members in number.  We have preaching twice a day on Sundays, in a large theatre in the centre of the city, and prayer meetings on Sunday and Thursday evenings.  Strangers give good attention.  The members feel well, and are full of faith, and the good Spirit; and the Spirit is poured out till our hearts are full.

I expect to leave this country for South America, soon; unless I should be able to go to New York, via the Isthmus, to get some books printed; which does not now seem to open very favorably.

I am studying Spanish with all diligence, and will, I trust, master it in the course of a few months.

P.P. Pratt

[Deseret News, Nov. 29, 1851]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Aug. 28, 1851, 3]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Aug. 2006]

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