Valparaiso, Chili, South America, Nov. 24th, 1851

Dear Brother,

Alone as it were in this dark corner of the earth, I feel to apply for light, comfort, and edification to that land from whence I sprung, and where I have so many dear friends and acquaintances, and to that luminous orb which was first put in motion by myself as Editor.  Please send the Star as often as it is published, directed to P.P. Pratt, Valparaiso, Chili.  I will call for it at the English steamer’s office in this city.  Please also to send by the same conveyance a package of the back numbers, and what else may be interesting.  I will also thank you to make up a small package of Books of Mormon, and forward by the same conveyance, if they will bring them.  I will pay the freight and duties, if the office of the Star can afford a lone pilgrim such a Present.  Please also write me a letter, announcing that which you forward, and by whom forwarded.  Perhaps it will do as well to consign the package of books to the office of the steamer in this city; but, however, you will readily learn what can and should be done by applying to the office of this line of steamers in your town.

Write a good long letter to me, for of course you have something to write about.  I am a year behind the age as to information.  I have lived four or five years in the mountains, traveled three months in the desert, and sailed sixty-four days on the lone ocean, and then landed here on the 8th inst., among a people of another tongue, and as if this was not enough to crown the mist of obscurity and or long darkness, behold a civil war is raging here, and none will speak, write, or print much light on any subject.

You may have read of a famine for the word of the Lord; well, add to that a famine for news, and a famine for the word of our fellow creatures, and you can form some idea of our situation.  Elder Rufus Allen accompanied me here, and Elder Philo B. Wood is soon to follow.  We are studying the “Lengua Espanol.”  We are already beginning to understand and speak it a very little.  We also read and partly comprehend the Spanish prints and Bible.  I hope, in the course of a year or two to give Spanish America the Book of Mormon in their own liquid “Lengua” if the Lord will.

Having the presidency of the Islands and Coasts of the Pacific under my charge, I have already appointed missions in several places.  Elder John Murdock is in charge of the mission to Australia, including New Zealand, New Holland and Van Dieman’s Land.  He sailed from San Francisco for Sidney, more than two months since, accompanied by Elder Charles W.W. Wandell.

Elder Philip B. Lewis has charge of the Sandwich Islands’ mission, assisted by some half dozen young men.  Elder Addison Pratt is still at Society Isles and so are others, but the Church there is much oppressed by the French.  In San Francisco, California, the work is prospering.  The church there is in a good spirit, and numbers upwards of fifty members.

Dear brother, I beg to be remembered in England by the Saints, and wish their most earnest daily prayers for our success in the vast field of our Gospel labors.

Please represent the Island and Coasts of the Pacific in your next general Conference, and the Conference of Spanish America in particular.  This Conference is bounded as follows—on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by Cape Horn, on the east by the Atlantic, and on the north b y the United States of North America.  It includes an area of about 6000 miles, from north to south, and 3000 from east to west; is composed of the Empire of Brazil, the Republics of Buenos Ayres, Chili, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Guatemala, Mexico, and many smaller states, tribes &c., probably containing forty millions of inhabitants, a vast majority of which understand the Spanish tongue.  When the keys of the fullness of the Gospel are turned in the Spanish language, this is the vast field that opens on the astonished vision; and the best of all is, more than two-thirds of this number are descendants of Lehi, and are included in the promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Nephi, &c. &c. &c.  This vast Conference at present has but one branch of the Church, located at Valparaiso, Chili, and consisting of three members, viz., myself, wife, and brother Allen: this is more than the whole Welsh Conference contained when first represented by Elder Dan Jones in the General Conference of the British Isles, which consisted of himself and his wife, as the records of the Millennial Star will show.

Dear brother F.D. Richards (I suppose I am addressing)—If among the tens of thousands of Saints in the British Isles, who are rejoicing in the truth, there are some few who still remember me and the day of small things, please give them my very warmest respects, remembrance, and affection; and the same to those who love the truth, whom I have not seen in the flesh.  O how I should like to visit England and Scotland once more, and also Wales; but time is precious, the harvest is great, and laborers few.  Our visitings, our leisure, and the fullness of our joy must therefore be adjourned till the end of the harvest, till the last sheaf presses the cart, and is stowed snugly in the barn, and the stubble together with the chaff and the tares are burned.

God bless you all, and also the laborers on the continent, now and in the world without end.  Amen.

I am your brother and fellow laborer in the Kingdom and Patience of Jesus Christ.

P.P. Pratt

[Millennial Star, 14:54]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nov. 24, 1851, 1]

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

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