Parley P. Pratt

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (February 21, 1835 – May 13, 1857)

General Conference Addresses

  • April 1853 General Conference

Other Reported Talks

  • Education, Address in Salt Lake City, December 26, 1853
    • “We are not prepared to do the work of God acceptably, unless we keep his commandments. In order to enjoy his Spirit, we must pursue a course of life that will meet his approbation—we must do the things that God requires of us. The people may be looking for some mysteries from me today; but the older I grow, I feel to be the more simple.”
    • “The first thing necessary is for us to obtain the good Spirit of the Lord, and then keep it. Without this we cannot do much good.”
  • Mormonism, Discourse in Salt Lake City, July 10, 1853
    • “Now suppose that we examine, principle by principle, some of the fundamental principles of “Mormonism,” and see whether there is one item that is new, or that is in any way an innovation on Christianity.”
    • “We have examined three general principles, to see if there is anything new in “Mormonism.” First, the ministering of angels. Second, the commission of ministers, Apostles, Prophets, and Elders to administer in holy things, by revelation and the authority of heaven. Third, that all those that hear them, believe their words, and repent of their sins, shall go down into the waters of baptism, and be immersed or buried in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and thus show that they do believe in a crucified and risen Redeemer, and in the remission of sins through his name. So far, I think, we have fairly stated some of the first principles of what the world calls “Mormonism;” and everyone who has heard us, must decide that there is nothing new in these principles, but rather, that those who have departed from them, are justly chargeable with introducing new things, and innovations on Christianity.”
    • “What is “Mormonism?” It is a restoration by new revelation, by the authorities of heaven, by the ministration of angels, by the ordination of Prophets and Apostles, and ministers or Elders, by their testimony and ministry on the earth, by the organization of Saints, by the administration of ordinances, by the operations of the Holy Spirit; it is a restoration of these ancient principles revealed from heaven, for the government of man.”
  • America, Oration in Salt Lake City, July 4, 1853
    • “The longer I live, and the more acquainted I am with men and things, the more I realize that these movements, and particularly that instrument called the Constitution of American Liberty, was certainly dictated by the spirit of wisdom, by a spirit of unparalleled liberality, and by a spirit of political utility. And if that Constitution be carried out by a just and wise administration, it is calculated to benefit not only all the people that are born under its particular jurisdiction, but all the people of the earth, of whatever nation, kindred, tongue, religion, or tradition, that may seek to take a shelter under its banner. It seems broad enough, and large enough, to receive and protect all that may be in any way deprived of the common rights of man. It was doubtless dictated by the spirit of eternal wisdom, and has thus far proved itself adequate to the wants of the nation, and to the wants of all mankind that have seen fit to attach themselves to it, to come under its protection, and share in its blessings.”
    • “The great question, as has been before observed today more than once, is, not the operations of the instruments, the beauty of the writing, the formation of the language, or the principle of liberty guaranteed therein, but the administration of those principles. For instance, paper itself cannot enforce its own precepts; and unhallowed principles in the people, or in the rulers which they choose, may pervert any form of government, however sacred, true, and liberal.”
  • Spiritual Communication, Oration in Salt Lake City, April 6, 1853
    • “By what means, then, can a people seek unto their God, for such an important blessing as to hear from the dead? And how shall we discriminate between those who seek to Him, and those who seek the same by unlawful means? In the first place, no persons can successfully seek to God for this privilege, unless they believe in direct revelation in modern times.”
    • “Secondly, it is impossible for us to seek Him successfully, and remain in our sins. A thorough repentance and reformation of life are absolutely necessary, if we would seek to Him.”
    • “Thirdly, Jesus Christ is the only name given under heaven as a medium through which to approach to God. None, then, can be lawful mediums, who are unbelievers in Jesus Christ, or in modern revelation; or who remain in their sins; or who act in their own name, instead of the name appointed.”
    • “And moreover, the Lord has appointed a Holy Priesthood on the earth, and in the heavens, and also in the world of spirits; which Priesthood is after the order or similitude of His Son; and has committed to this Priesthood the keys of holy and divine revelation, and of correspondence, or communication between angels, spirits, and men, and between all the holy departments, principalities, and powers of His government in all worlds.”
    • “And again—The Lord has ordained that all the most holy things pertaining to the salvation of the dead, and all the most holy conversations and correspondence with God, angels, and spirits, shall be had only in the sanctuary of His holy Temple on the earth, when prepared for that purpose by His Saints; and shall be received and administered by those who are ordained and sealed unto this power, to hold the keys of the sacred oracles of God.”
    • “But remember, O ye Saints of the Most High! Remember that the enemy is on the alert. That old serpent and his angels, who have ruled this lower world, with few exceptions, for so many ages, will not tamely, and without a struggle, submit to have the kingdom, and seat of government, and sanctuary of our God, again erected on our planet, no more to be thrown down or subdued, till every square yard of the vast dominion shall be re-conquered by its rightful owners. No! From the moment the ground was broken for this Temple, those inspired by him [Satan] have commenced to rage; and he will continue to stir up his servants to anger against that which is good; but, if we are faithful, the victory is ours.”
  • Persecutions of the Church, Address in Salt Lake City, March 27, 1853
    • “People have the privilege of apostatizing from this Church, and of worshipping devils, snakes, toads, or geese, if they please, and only let their neighbors alone. But they have not the privilege to disturb the peace, nor to endanger life or liberty; that is the idea. If they will take that privilege, I need not repeat their doom, it has been told here today, they have been faithfully warned.”
    • “It is not enough for people to have liberty to worship according to sectarianism, Judaism, heathenism, and everything else, but they wish the liberty to stab you to the heart. It is policy not to wait till you are killed, but act on the defensive while you still live.”
    • “The world thinks we are one in the highest sense of the term; but God sees that there is much room for us to improve in oneness. Where shall we begin to improve? I don’t know of anything better calculated to improve our union than to have some wide meshes in the net, to let those slip through who don’t wish to be gathered, and to unite with the rest. There is an accumulation here of the good and the bad, the chaff and the wheat, the tares and the good grain, the good and bad fish which the Gospel net gathers. The only safe way is for the good and bad to be separated. I like to see the roads open, the snow disappear from the canyons, that spirits not congenial to the Gospel of peace may go as many roads as there are points of the compass. Such movements give opportunity for the Saints to draw the cords of union still closer.”
  • The Standard and Ensign for the People, Discourse in Salt Lake City, January 30, 1853
    • “In point of principle or doctrine, a book that we might call a “standard,” might be considered to contain truths. But I do not understand the prediction to which I refer as exclusively pertaining to a book, but rather to a religion, to a set of principles developed, to a covenant established, or, to carry it out more fully, to a people organized, gathered together, and established in one, having one faith, one spirit, one baptism, one God, one eternal and everlasting covenant by which they are all united, and one set of principles by which they are governed. For where such a government might be subdivided by local circumstances, whether these principles were written in one book or in a thousand books, or whether they were taught and acted upon without any book, whether the people could read a book or could not, nothing short of the development of certain principles of religion, law, and government, embraced by a certain portion of people, by which they could see eye to eye, in which they were united, and by the spirit of which they were made one in light and truth and fellowship, and gathered, organized, planted, established—in short, a system containing a development of all the principles that constitute a heavenly government, nothing short of this, if I understand the prediction of Isaiah, would be considered by the Jews, and by the other tribes of Israel, wherever they were found, and finally by the whole of the Gentile world that might live to see it, as a “standard.” This would be something worthy to be called a standard, something to which they could look, and come to, and be organized, consolidated, nationalized, and governed by, politically and religiously; or more truly and consistently speaking, religiously, because that includes all the political governments that are worth naming or striving for in heaven or on earth.”

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