The First Presidency issue the following letters, to which Pres. Brigham Young had authorized his signature to be affixed before starting on his trip south:

Great Salt Lake City, Oct. 23, 1851
Elder Parley P. Pratt.

Beloved Brother:

Your letter of Aug. 28th arrived on or about the 8th inst., a long transit, and this may prevent your getting this before you sail for South America.  Should you receive it seasonably to secure the benefit, we will first say, that you are at liberty to remain on the Coast, or in California, at present; and send missionaries where you will, unless the Spirit shall press you to go.

Before receiving this you will probably get our Sixth General Epistle, via, Kanesville, New Orleans, etc., as we were not publishing a paper at the time, and had a chance to forward direct to the Guardian, by Elder Hyde; in that you will see our invitation for all the Twelve Apostles to meet us in general conference on the 6th of April, 1853, if it be consistent with their duties; but a copy of the Epistle we will forward next mail with this, on the possibility that the Guardian’s mail may fail you.

On account of the situation of affairs at the Society Isles, you may consider our previous instructions for the Saints to remain at those islands superseded by the surrounding circumstances, and the Saints are at liberty to gather to California, going direct to Brothers Lyman and Rich who will instruct them where to locate; and should the persecution become unbearable, our Elders will repair to other islands, or countries, as you shall direct.  Under existing circumstances it is not wisdom to send any more Elders to the Society Islands.  All accounts represent things in general, as very quiet at the Sandwich Islands; and that government is very favorably disposed towards the United States; and we trust a good work will yet be accomplished there, and that those Elders who have tarried and are preparing by the study of the language to fill their missions, will have a joyful reward for their labors.

We sensibly feel the importance of selecting wise, prudent and substantial men, who can be depended on under all circumstances, to preside over the various missions; but not doubting you have the same feelings, and that you will exercise all wisdom in your selections, we simply refer to this subject, as one of which we are ever mindful.

The Emigration of the Saints, from the east has closed for the season, with general prosperity, and little sickness or loss, compared with the previous year.  Probably 550 or 600 wagons may have come in, beside a good supply of merchandize—more than there is gold to pay for, and a pound of sugar can probably be purchased almost any time, till another transport.  Your family is well.  The walls of your home are up, and the joiner work progressing.  So great has become the operations of the valley, that the Emigration of the season, is scarcely noticed in the movements of the day: a few thousands came in, but they are lost in the mass.

Brother Young and Kimball and Orson Pratt and George A. Smith, Wells, etc., are on a journey to Pauvan Valley, to locate the seat of Government, in Millard county, at Fillmore city.  John D. Lee and company are about opening a new settlement over the rim of the Basin, on the Rio Virgin.  Joseph L. Heywood and company are opening a settlement on Salt creek.  We are pushing our settlements south as fast as possible, expecting that Brothers Lyman and Rich will meet us, with their settlements as fast as possible, and be on return as far as Mohave this fall.  From this to San Diego is the only mail route to be depended on for this territory, and our petition for a mail will be before Congress at the earliest date possible.

Brother Ezra T. Benson has gone to Pottawattamie to guide the Saints, en masse to this place next spring.  Jedediah M. Grant has gone with dispatches to J.M. Bernhisel, Washington, where he will spend the winter.  John W. Bernhisel was unanimously elected delegate to Congress and left 1st of September.

Chief Justice Brandebury and associate Justice Brocchus, Secretary Harris and Captain Day sub-agent, have returned to the States, in company with Almon W. Babbitt on his own business.  Hon. Zerubabbel Snow, associate Justice, is serving in all the judicial districts, all right.

Two letters have been received by the 14th Ward from Bishop Murdock which we have perused with pleasure.  The blessing of the Saints is with him, and we pray our Heavenly Father to prosper Brother Murdock on his mission.

We have received a letter from Bro. Chas. W. Wandall, but have no time to answer it at present.  Tell Bro. Wandall to go forward in his mission and his duty, and prove himself what God wants of him and what he desires to be, and all will be right.  Our good wishes and blessings abound towards him….

We remain your brethren in Christ,

Brigham Young,
Heber C. Kimball,
Willard Richards.

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Oct. 23, 1851, 1-4]

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

Return to Parley P. Pratt’s Mission to California