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The concept for The Parley P. Pratt Papers Project came into being following a Pratt family reunion in September 2011. This reunion was notable for the debut of the first scholarly biography of Pratt by Drs. Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow, Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism, Oxford, 2011. Upon reflection, it became evident that while some of Pratt’s major works have been published elsewhere, the bulk of his material has not.

The Parley P. Pratt Papers Project will begin with The Letters. With more than 450 letters extant, insight into Pratt’s dealings with his family, his church, his brethren, as well as insight into his personality will be made available. It is anticipated The Letters will consist of three or four volumes when published.

While many of the early leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints* are well known today, there are still major gaps in our understanding of this original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Through Pratt’s letters, we may gain a better understanding of this early missionary, patriarch, and Apostle.


“ eyes beheld the “BOOK OF MORMON”—that book of books—that record which reveals the antiquities of the “New World” back to the remotest ages, and which unfolds the destiny of its people and the world for all time to come;—that Book which contains the fulness of the gospel of a crucified and risen Redeemer;—that Book which reveals a lost remnant of Joseph, and which was the principal means, in the hands of God, of directing the entire course of my future life.

I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep.

As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists. My joy was now full, as it were, and I rejoiced sufficiently to more than pay me for all the sorrows, sacrifices and toils of my life. I soon determined to see the young man who had been the instrument of its discovery and translation.”

Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt