School House, Big Cottonwood,
December 30, 1850.

Bro. Parley P. Pratt,

Dear Sir:–I hardly know how to address you, but I have set myself to work to learn something in relation to this kingdom.

The first question:–Is it the duty of a man who comes into the church (and who has no parents or relatives in the church,) to be adopted into the family of any other man? or it is my duty to be adopted into the family of any brother who is in this church; and if so, have I the privilege to be adopted into the family of any brother that I may choose? If yea is the answer, please to explain the matter fully.

2nd: Can a man who has all the natural parts of a man, and lives as he should in this church, ever reach the celestial kingdom of God if he have no wife, and raise no family in this world?  Please explain.

3rd: Is it the duty of parents to bless their children, or is it their duty to take them to the patriarch of the church to be blessed?

4th: What caused the banishment of Satan from the presence of God?  Please explain fully.

5th: Please to explain the resurrection of the dead in the first, second, and all other resurrections.

6th: From what place are the forces of Gog and Magog, as spoken of by John the Revelator, to come?

By giving me an answer to the foregoing questions, you will not only enlighten my understanding upon these points, but will remove several serious “stumbling blocks” that constantly lie in my path.  My object is to learn all that I can in regard to Mormonism, not only for my own good, but that I may benefit a father and mother, who are many thousand miles from this place, and who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the last days.

A letter addressed to me, in the care of bro. Saml Snider, and left at bro. F.D. Richards’ will find me.

Feeling a deep and abiding interest in this work, as renewed in these the last days, I have the pleasure of saying that I remain your brother in the bonds of the everlasting covenant,

Andrew Siler.


G.S.L. City, Jan 6, 1851.

Mr. Andrew Siler,

Dear Brother:–I received your favor of the 30th ult., and proceed to answer the same.

Answer to question first.  I do not know.

2nd. Every man in this church, who lives as he should, will be saved in the celestial kingdom.

3rd. Parents  may bless their children—as may the patriarch.

4th. I either was not present at the banishment of Satan, or have forgotten the particulars.  The probability is, that he wished to go to a warmer climate for his health.

[Quite possibly he searched so deeply after the “mysteries” of the kingdom, that he neglected his duties, as many do at the present day. Ed.]

5th. I have not the keys of the resurrection, having never experienced it.

6th. Do not know, unless it is from the four quarters of the earth, or from the gold mines.

In reply to the other observations contained in yours; I would advise you to instruct your parents to seek out the elders of the church of the saints, and forsake their sins, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of the same, and they shall received the Holy Ghost, and be saved, if they endure to the end.

As to stumbling blocks, if all are as busy as I am, they will never have time to stumble over them, let alone removing them.

Please excuse brevity, and believe me your brother in the gospel,

P.P. Pratt

[Deseret News, Jan. 11, 1851]

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

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