Parley Parker Pratt

Wife: Belinda Marden
5 Children with Belinda, including
Nephi Pratt
Father: Jared Pratt
Mother: Charity Dickinson
Show Pedigree
Link to Jared Pratt Family Organization
This great apostle and martyr of the nineteenth century was born on 12 Apr 1807 in Burlington, New York. In September, 1830, he left his home in Ohio and traveled east where he obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon. He was convinced of its divine authenticity and soon discovered that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had just been founded a few months earlier. He was immediately baptized and ordained an elder. Within the month he had also baptized his brother Orson.

He was immediately called on a 1500-mile mission to go to western Missouri where the city of Zion will someday be built. He returned, met the Prophet Joseph Smith in the spring of 1831, and that summer went on another mission through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. In the autumn of 1833 he was one of some 1200 souls who were driven out of Missouri by furious mobs. He then went on another mission some 1500 miles east.

In 1835 he was called to be one of the first 12 apostles of the LDS Church, and went on another mission to the eastern states. In 1836 he established a branch of the church in Toronto, Canada. In 1838 he moved to Caldwell County, Missouri, whereupon another dreadful persecution began. He was imprisoned for eight months without trial after which he escaped and published a history of the persecution which he had written in prison.

In 1839 he founded a large branch in New York City, and in 1840 went to Manchester, England. In 1841 he was appointed the president of all the British conferences, and also edited the Millennial Star there until 1842. About 1845 he was appointed president over all the churches in New England and the Middle States, with headquarters in New York City, where he published a periodical called The Prophet. He returned to Nauvoo that summer.

In February 1846, he was again driven from his home by a ruthless mob, along with nearly 20,000 saints. He helped his family arrive at Council Bluffs, including his wife Belinda and her first newborn son Nephi, and at that point he was called to go to England on another mission. He left his family on the prairie, without house or food, to comply with the word of the Lord.

In the spring of 1847 he returned to his family and brethren, and then helped them with the trek that summer and autumn to the Great Salt Lake Valley. There they suffered incredible hardships until the harvest of 1848. He assisted in forming a constitution for the Provisional Government of Deseret, and was elected a member of the Senate in the General Assembly. In 1851 he was sent on a mission to the Pacific Islands and to South America.

In the summer of 1855 he returned over the Sierra Nevada mountains to his home, where he cultivated his farm and served as chaplain in the Legislative Council at the State House in Fillmore, Utah. In the autumn of 1856 he accompanied about twenty missionaries across the plains to the States, where he preached from St. Louis to New York.

Finally, on 13 May 1857, he fell a noble martyr for the cause of truth. He was trying to rescue the innocent from savage persecutors, and was brutally murdered. He left a legacy of not only many converts and an inspiring example, he also wrote many books which have endured the test of time. Among them are The Voice of Warning (1838), Key to Theology, and his own Autobiography, as well as many hymns. He was truly an inspiration for all who know of him, and especially his descendants.