Belinda Marden Pratt

Husband: Parley P. Pratt
Children:
Nephi Pratt
Belinda Pratt (twin)
Abinadi Pratt (twin)
Lehi Pratt
Isabella Pratt
Father: John Marden
Mother: Rachel Shaw
Show Pedigree
Link to Jared Pratt Family Organization
I, Belinda Marden Pratt, born in Chichester, Merrimack Co., State of New Hampshire on Dec. 24, 1820, was the youngest child of my parents John Marden and Rachel Show Marden, was the fourteenth child, there being seven boys and seven girls. My parents were strictly moral and members of the Congregational Church. My father died just before I was 14 years old, age 61 years. My mother lived to the age of 83.

At 19 years of age I was married to Benjamin Abbot Hilton. . . . Our first home was in Amoskeag, then Manchester and from there we moved to the city of Boston. My husband was an infidel and unbelieving in most things pertaining to religion; while I was continually ambitious to find the right kind of religion, never feeling assured that those I was acquainted with were right.In the winter of 1843 we were attracted by a hand bill stating that a Mormon preacher would hold three meetings in the Boylston Hall. Not having any particular thing to hinder, we thought we would go in and hear him. The Elder was at prayer and such a prayer! We stood in the aisle till he finished. I think the light of heaven rested down upon me for the joy and peace I experienced was unexpressible. We attended the three meetings morning, afternoon, and evening. I had an overwhelming testimony that what he preached was true and was so rejoiced that I seemed to myself light as air, as tho my feet scarcely touched the ground. . . . We were baptized in Boston. It was so cold the ice had to be broken and held back with poles while we went in.

Everything went on well for a time but it was not long before my husband began to doubt and to feel ill toward the church and the brethren. . . . In the month of June [1844] eight of the Twelve Apostles came east to electioneer for Joseph Smith for president of the U.S. . . . An elder invited Brigham Young to come see me, telling him my husband had apostatized. [She followed the counsel of apostles Brigham Young and Lyman Wight which led her to leave her husband and gather with the saints in Nauvoo.]

I was sealed [married] to Parley P. Pratt on or about the 20th of Nov. 1844. On or about the first of December, Mr. Pratt was appointed and set apart for a mission to the Eastern States . . . [and] he wished me to follow him. . . . Mr. Pratt was called home to Nauvoo August 18, 1845 and I started with him. . . The temple was completed so far as to give endowments therein and some time in December I received my endowments therein and was again sealed over the altar.

On January 1st, 1846 I had a son born who was named Nephi by his father. . . . The persecution of the saints became so great that the authorities of the church and many of the saints had to bid farewell to their homes in February and we crossed the Mississippi River about the 14th of this month. It was extremely cold and my babe only 6 weeks old. I had not recovered my strength but a merciful Providence sustained me and by degrees I gained strength.

It was a terrible journey from Nauvoo to the Missouri River. It stormed almost continually, snow and rain and the earth was soaked. The poor horses and cattle could drag us but a few miles in a day. We arrived in July to the Missouri river near Council Bluffs and camped for several weeks.

[Added by Carrie Despain:] This is all Grandma wrote but according to history they camped there at Council Bluffs while Grandfather Pratt went back to England to preside over the British Mission. They finished their journey to Salt Lake Valley after his return. Arrived in Salt Lake Sept. 1847. I think it was the next May after that (1848) that Uncle Binnie and Aunt Lynn were born; some of the first twins born in Salt Lake. At that time she nursed twins for six months without tasting bread.