Parley P. Pratt, in the Elders' Journal, argues that the letter published May 23, 1837 by critics "is not a true copy" of the letter he wrote; affirms his belief in the Book of Mormon and Joseph.

Aug 1838
Parley P. Pratt

Parley P. Pratt, "To The Public," Elders' Journal 1, no. 4 (August 1838): 50–51, The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed February 22, 2024

Elders' Journal
Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jr., Parley P. Pratt
Reading Public, Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Far West Mo. August, 1838.


Whereas a certain letter has been published in the Zions Watchman. (and perhaps in other prints) derogatory of the character of Presidents J. Smith Jr. and S[idney] Rigdon, purporting to come from me, I take this opportunity to correct the public mind concerning the matter.

Firstly, the letter as it stands in print, is not a true copy of the one I wrote: but is altered, so as to convey a different idea from the original.

But this much I acknowledge freely; that I did write a letter in great severity and harshness, censuring them both, in regard to certain business transactions but at the same time expressing my entire confidence in the faith of the church of Latter Day Saints the book of Mormon Doctrine and Covenants; this letter was written under feelings of excitement, and during the most peculiar trials. I did not however believe at the time and never have believed at any time before, or since, that these men were dishonest or had wrong motives or intentions, in any of their undertakings, either temporal or spiritual; I have ever esteemed them from my first acquaintance, as men of God, and as mighty instruments in his hands to bring forth, establish, and roll on the kingdom of God. But I considered them like other men, and as the prophets and apostles of old liable to errors, and nistakes, in things which were not inspired from heaven; but managed by their own judgement.

This letter was intended as a private admonition, it was never intended to be made public. But I have been long convinced, and have freely acknowledged both to these men and the public, that it was not calculated to admonish them in the spirit of meekness, to do them good, but rather to injure them and wound their feelings, and that I much regreted having written it, I have asked their forgiveness, and I hereby do it again. I no longer censure them for any thing that is past, but I censure myself for rashness, excitement imprudence, and many faults which I would to God, that I had avoided. But this much I can say that the time past can only teach us to be more wise for the future. I close this communication by saying that from 1830 until now, I have had full confidence in the book of Mormon, the Revelations of God to Joseph Smith Jr., and I still esteem both him and President Rigdon. as men of the highest integrity, the most exalted principles of virtue and honor, and men who will yet be instruments in the Lord’s hand to accomplish a work in which I shall esteem it the highest honor and the greatest blessing to bear some humble part.


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