California Correspondence
(Letter to Pres. Brigham Young)

San Francisco, Cal., Dec. 18, 1854

Dear. Bro. Young:

I am here in good health and spirits, all is well here among the Elders and saints, they are wide awake, full of the spirit of God as a general thing, especially in San Francisco and Santa Clara.  I never observed a better spirit or a more faithful people according to their knowledge; and the spirit of the Lord is like a melting fire in our meetings.  We are baptizing a few, from time to time the gospel is being preached in many places.

Polygamy meets us everywhere, and we are compelled to satisfy their minds on that, before they can possibly be satisfied with our preaching, so we have met it in press, and pulpit, and the spirit of truth has almost struck them dumb with amusement and wonder.  They are silent, and in a quandary, and feel half inclined to openly renounce the bible, especially the Priests.  They say the prophets and apostles were all in the dark and mere fools, when compared with modern light, purity and civilization!  On Friday eve last a discussion closed in mercantile library, in which I was a party, the subject was “is it expedient for the government to appoint Brigham Young or any other Mormon governor of Utah?”  Polygamy, and all the usual catalogue of lies and abuse came up.  The objections were met, and the enemy entirely confounded, and put to shame and silence.

The Mormons, it is admitted had the people but then the bible was not at all adapted to the aid, or to the present advance standard of life, and morale!  Some threaten the sword, and some one thing and some another, but, on calling a vote, more than one third of a crowded assembly of lawyers, priests, editors, merchants, etc., voted for the reappointment of Gov. Young.  Several strangers stoutly contended that polygamy was a a bible doctrine and that we had the constitutional right to adopt it.

Many leading minds in town, and country are considering “Mormonism” with deep attention; and some of the best embrace it.

Our general conference will be held at Santa Clara, on the 30th and 31st of December.  We have a commodious hall there to meet in as good as any building in the places.

Brethren are selling out, and making preparations for Utah in the spring.  Some have already gathered to San Bernardino.  There is no opening as yet, for a stake of Zion here; and with the spirit that now prevails one can hardly keep them here anyhow.

“There is a fearful looking for” in this country insomuch that many who have not yet obeyed the ordinance are beginning to feel the spirit of gathering.

I am very busy and we all have our hands full.  I shall go to Oakland this evening, to meet a challenge for discussion in a Lyceum.  Some say that they threaten to mob you, but I will go and see for I am so full of the spirit of God to be afraid.

My love to each of the council and to all enquiring friends.  God bless you, Bro. Brigham.  Amen.

P.P. Pratt

[Deseret News, Feb. 8, 1855]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dec. 18, 1854, 1-2]

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

Return to Parley P. Pratt’s Mission to California