Mormon History, Jul 9, 1846

Letter Regarding Migration-- While this letter was written by the Council of the Twelve, during the temporary absence of Brigham Young, and signed by Parley P. Pratt for the Council, there is no indication in L.D.S. Church history that the letter did not have the approval of President Young as well as the Council. It is reproduced in photographic facsimile of the original by B. H. Roberts in CHC 3: between pages 94 and 95. B. H Roberts note should be sufficient commentary on the document:
"The importance of producing in facsimile Parley P. Pratt's letter consists in this: It is held by opponents of the Church of the Latter-day Saints that the purpose of the "Mormons" in moving west to the Great Basin of the Rocky Mountains was to found an independent government.
"Pratt's letter is one of the proofs that they intended only to "LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR A TERRITORIAL OR STATE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES . . . and to assist in the redemption of our country, and the emancipation of the world." The reference in the letter to not delaying until the return of President Young before giving in names for enrollment refers to the president's return from Mount Pisgah where he had gone to raise volunteers for the battalion."
July 9th, 1846. CAMP OF ISRAEL ÃÂ. BLUFFS To all the Saints to whom these presence shall come, Greeting: Dear Brethren: Five hundred men must be raised forthwith for the expedition to California. Don't delay till the return of President Young; but come forward hastily and readily and give in your names to Major Hunt, the bearer of this letter, for be assured it is the mind and will of God that we should improve the opportunity which a kind providence has now offered for us to secure a permanent home in that country, and thus lay a foundation for a territorial or State Government, under the Constitution of the United States, where we shall be the first settlers and a vast majority of the people, and thus be independent of mobs, and be able to maintain our rights and freedom, and to assist in the Redemption of our country, and the emancipation of the world from Bondage.
The season is passing rapidly away; and it will take some days to organize five hundred men; even if they should all come forward immediately. And be assured that the Council and Camp will not move from this place until this thing is done.
Or should it fail to be done, we need not think of Gathering, for we know of no place to gather, with an assurance of peace unless we hearken to counsel, and improve the means which our Heavenly father has put within our reach.
Done in behalf of the Council We remain, dear Brethren, your Brethren in the Bonds of the New and Everlasting Covenant. P. P. PRATT. {1846-July 9-CHC 3: between pp. 94 and 95}

[source: Clark, James R., Messages of the First Presidency (6 volumes)]

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