Manual Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism

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Jared Pratt was the father of one daughter and five sons—Anson, William, Parley, Orson and Nelson—four of whom joined the early Mormon Church. One of these sons, Orson Pratt, founded the association in order to engage in ancestral genealogy research, as well as to keep track of the Pratt descendants. He gave this charge to the family:. It is to be hoped that all our posterity of whatever branch or name will be sufficiently interested to preserve their genealogy to the latest generation. Pratt—his report of his mission to Chile, which he delivered in the Tabernacle on October 31, The sermon was taken down by Church scribe George D.

Watt in shorthand and was never published.

Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism

The sermon was recently transcribed from the original shorthand by an expert in nineteenth-century shorthand. In other words, until very recently, this wonderful sermon has never been read since it was given by Parley in , years ago! But, it is not for the squeamish -- for all the uncomfortable view of the normally invisible "under-belly" is revealed and there are some ugly warts! Oct 03, Tanya rated it liked it Shelves: biography , religion. As I think about why I didn't enjoy this book more, I realize the 3-star rating is more about me than about the strengths and weaknesses of the biography.

It's not that I wanted white-washed history, because generally I appreciate the more objective scholarly approach that this Oxford University Press publication provides. It really comes down to this: I didn't like the Parley P. Pratt presented in Givens' work, and I am uncomfortable with not liking apostles! I can appreciate his wide-ranging m As I think about why I didn't enjoy this book more, I realize the 3-star rating is more about me than about the strengths and weaknesses of the biography.

I can appreciate his wide-ranging missionary efforts.


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I recognize the incredible contribution he made to systematizing Mormon doctrine though I thought he was awfully presumptuous in his expansion of revealed ideas. I'm bothered by the fact that Brigham Young censured Pratt for unauthorized polygamous marriages and for disobeying council on the trek West. I found myself annoyed by his debtor's lifestyle; even before he joined the church and devoted his time to missionary service he was continually in debt. And as a modern woman, how could I not be turned off when he writes in a group letter to all his wives that one of them "has improved much in Education and in Spirit," and then says of another "O Could I get my mouth as near her lips as I did in a dream, I would immediately snatch one good Long hearty kiss.

I just have no desire to ever bump into him in the spirit world! Jan 25, Jeffery Thompson rated it really liked it. Terryl Givens' biography does for Parley P. He doesn't shy away from warts, and from the quirks many of which are a function of the times. Someone whose roots in the LDS faith are somewhat shallow might be disturbed by some of this. Personally, I find it inspiring and faith-promoting to see that modern-day apostles and prophets are not superhuman Terryl Givens' biography does for Parley P.

Personally, I find it inspiring and faith-promoting to see that modern-day apostles and prophets are not superhuman. Despite their flaws and idiosyncrasies, the Lord uses them to achieve astonishing feats that bless the world. This is definitely the case with this book.

I understand Parley's limitations, but I love him more than I did before I read the book. As Givens points out, no biography is really objective, and Parley chose his stories carefully to convey a particular image for posterity. Givens' probing biography provided a far more three-dimensional representation of Parley.

Ultimately, this was a truly amazing man. I find myself repeatedly surprised at how central he was to the unfolding of doctrines and to the early church's message to the world. Highly recommend! Nov 13, Carole rated it really liked it. This book is a very detailed account of one of the most influential members of the early Mormon church. While I have heard his name my whole life, I had no idea of all he accomplished.

He traveled widely to extend the reach of the church: all over the United States, as well as Europe and South America where he learned to speak Spanish. He was a prolific writer having written many pamphlets, several books, and un-numbered newspaper articles.

Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism | Journal of American History | Oxford Academic

A powerful speaker and debater, he often spoke to very This book is a very detailed account of one of the most influential members of the early Mormon church. A powerful speaker and debater, he often spoke to very large crowds in large venues. He was fired by his love of the restored gospel and he felt privileged to be living at a time when he could play a significant part in it.

He was personally acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, and he was there throughout all the early persecution and prejudice against the Latter-day Saints. Driven from Missouri to Illinois and then to Utah, he experienced it all. He was unjustly jailed on several occasions and his life ended when he was murdered.

Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism and Parley P. Pratt and the Making of Mormonism

He justifiably is considered a martyr to the cause. It was really interesting to read about church history from another perspective than what we generally hear in Sunday School class. An excellent biography. Sep 01, Matthew rated it it was amazing. A marvelously written book. I wondered how much of this would be in PPP's Autobiography. There was some usage of the Autobiography which is to be expected and required. However, there was a great deal of new information. The authors also did a great job of incorporating PPP's writings into the narrative and gave context to them in relation to his life.

The biography of Brother Parley is a worthy companion to the Autobiography. It was clear to me that there is a genuine affection that the autho A marvelously written book. It was clear to me that there is a genuine affection that the authors have for their subject. On the one hand, they did not seek to only share the perspective of PPP that you get from his Autobiography.

On the other hand, they are willing to share the other side and what his contemporaries felt, wrote, and said about him. A very honest book. A book written with admiration. I felt it was in the same vein as John Adams by McCullough. I highly recommend reading this book. Jan 27, K. Smith rated it really liked it. This was an excellent biography. The writing was impeccable--clear and conscientious about the subject matter. The subject matter was--hard. Pratt was such a mixture of characters all combined to make up an intensity of person that you rarely read about in terms of 19th century history.

I found him essential to Mormonism as well as enthralled and uncomfortable about the account of his life. The last half was especially difficult in terms of a family life fraught with poverty, anguish, and a This was an excellent biography. The last half was especially difficult in terms of a family life fraught with poverty, anguish, and awkwardness. My feelings about polygamy made it an uncomfortable read in terms of what happened to his family.

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A big bonus to these authors who did not sugar coat any of this portion of his life for I wouldn't say that his polygamous relationships were positive examples of Mormon polygamy at the time if such a positive example ever existed. I am overall glad to have read this account and would suggest it as a reading for anyone who is interested in Mormon history. Jan 20, Summers rated it really liked it.

Really good, but long and very detailed. Has a lot of information about the inside view of the growth of the Church, at least the areas that Elder Pratt influenced or was a part of. Doesn't sugarcoat anything. Pretty amazing how much members of the Church contributed to the growth of the Church even when they had almost nothing. Finally finished this. I didn't find it spiritually enlightening or uplifting I don't think it was meant to be , but there was a lot of good -- and bad -- detailed histo Really good, but long and very detailed.

I didn't find it spiritually enlightening or uplifting I don't think it was meant to be , but there was a lot of good -- and bad -- detailed history. Helps me understand some early Church events better, especially some of those that we've heard over and over as one liners without understanding everything else going on, like the financial background of some of the Church's early debts. Hadn't realized many of the early apostle-missionaries earned money by selling tracts and pamphlets -- PPPratt was a prolific writer, as was his brother Orson.

Hardships were neverending. Not sure I would have been one of the valiant ones. Jun 01, Adam rated it really liked it. Pratt, I learned, was devoted to his religion like few people ever are. His constant missionary service left him and his family nearly destitute for most of his life, but that was of little consequence to him.

He was happiest when he was expounding on Mormon theology and the benefits of living its principles, including plural marriage. In addition to his many travels, Pratt wrote constantly about Joseph Smith's doctrines and took great pride in public debates about the theology. The book was a bit of a slog when it came to contextualizing his many pamphlets and tracts with the writings of his contemporaries.


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So slow was it at times that I took a six-month break just to find the energy to continue. It was worth the effort continue reading it, though. Pratt was an interesting man and this is a good book. View 1 comment. Aug 04, Greg Diehl rated it really liked it. I read Pratt's autobiography right before reading this book. I've always known he had a flare for the dramatic and a penchant for embellishment, I just didn't realize to what degree he had pushed those proclivities.

Givens and Grow bring a much needed "Rough Stone Rolling" biographical lens to a character who helped shape much of Mormon culture as we know it today i. All autobiographies conc I read Pratt's autobiography right before reading this book.

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All autobiographies conceal as much as they reveal, which is why this work is so important. It provides the more rational reader with enough intellectual breathing room to appreciate Pratt as a real person as opposed to just a white-washed historical figure. By the end of the book I found myself wondering if the more authentic and nuanced Pratt couldn't also be the more impressive one. Dec 21, Ron Tenney rated it liked it. All I knew as well as most members of my church is what I have read in Parley's autobiographic.

Thanks to Givens, I have gained much insight into not only Parley Pratt, but also in the formation of the church. I have a growing interest in the history of the church. The claims of history are essential in coming to believe in the church. There are many miraculous aspects to our history. Beginning with the First Vision right up to the revelation on "all worthy members can hold the Priesthood" our claims must be open to inspection.

I found the writing style of this book more complicated than need be. I recommend this book to anyone interested in LDS History and development of doctrine. Jun 21, Dave rated it it was amazing Shelves: religion , read-in , history. A pivotal addition to the ongoing renaissance in historical Mormon studies. Givens and Grow bring astute analysis to Pratt's life and work.

I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in it perplexed by early Mormon history. The more perspectives I read, the better I comprehend the context and necessity of nineteenth century Mormonism. Reading about Elder Pratt was a special experience and a good counter to the equally masterful but stylistically different new Brigham Young bio.

I hope this A pivotal addition to the ongoing renaissance in historical Mormon studies. I hope this ushers in a flowering of interest and additional work about other Mormons who were not presidents of the church. I'm looking at you historians. Nov 10, Brent rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , biography , lds , history , religion. An an early LDS apostle, Pratt was the one who reasoned out and explained a logical theology based on Joseph Smith's revelations.

As an almost constant missionary away from home, Pratt had a tough but rewarding life, though without much in the way of material comforts. He was a polygamist with 30 children. Throughout, he was devoted to his family but also to the Church. The authors do a good job of getting the reader to see Pratt's life and Mormonism in the context of those times.

His autobiogra An an early LDS apostle, Pratt was the one who reasoned out and explained a logical theology based on Joseph Smith's revelations. His autobiography somehow escaped me; I'll be reading that. Oct 23, Sharman Wilson rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , lds , non-fiction , history-and-ideas. This very detailed biography is a great way to learn unvarnished church history. I read Pratt's autobiography years ago, but this expands upon that quite a bit. I got a much better sense of the inner conflict between his desire for time with his growing family and his desire to spread the good news of the Restoration.

I gained a better appreciation for his sheer brilliance and huge contribution to Mormon thought. Mar 31, Shawn rated it liked it. This bio is full of interesting stuff. I was surprised to learn how much of an influence Parley P. Pratt had through his writing and missionary efforts on the early church and on church doctrine. It felt like a balanced, candid portrayal that was backed by solid research. This is more of a historical presentation, but it gives that presentation very well.

Feb 19, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: religious , biography. A very thorough and readable biography of one of the most important leaders in the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It illuminates areas of church history that were blind spots for me: post-martyrdom succession controversies in the eastern United States, early church missionary efforts in California, and the church's portrayal in popular media outside of Utah soon after settling the Salt Lake Valley. This book is certainly worth reader. Parley compensated for the deficiencies in his formal education through an early and avid appetite for reading: "I always loved a book;.

From this literary self-education, Pratt derived a broad and ready general knowledge and an uncommon facility in writing and public speaking. Following his conversion to the Latter-day Saint faith characteristically, through reading the Book of Mormon , Pratt devoted the remainder of his life to Church service.

Although he was frequently absent from Church headquarters on numerous missions in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Chile, he still managed to play a prominent role in many of the key events of early Latter-day Saint history: the establishment of a body of Church members in the neighborhood of Kirtland, Ohio, in ; the settlement of Jackson County, Missouri, in , and the forced expulsion the following year; the Zion's Camp relief expedition; the crisis attending the collapse of the Kirtland real-estate bubble and the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society in ; the Missouri troubles of —39 as a consequence of which Pratt was imprisoned for eight months, a longer period than any other Church leader ; the leadership crisis following the assassination of Joseph Smith in ; the expulsion from Nauvoo in ; and the westward migration to the Great Salt Lake Valley in Most importantly, Pratt's active pen generated a series of books and pamphlets that included the first and most influential systematic statement of Latter-day Saint beliefs A Voice of Warning , , the defining Mormon persecution narrative History of the Late Persecution Inflicted by the State of Missouri upon the Mormons , , and the foremost nineteenth-century theological treatise Key to the Science of Theology , Skip to main content.