In a letter to Joseph Smith dated May 23, 1837, Parley P. Pratt criticizes Joseph and Sidney Rigdon for the "Speculation in which we have been engaged of" with respect to the Kirtland Safety Society.

Apr 1888
Parley P. Pratt

Parley P. Pratt, Letter to Joseph Smith, May 23, 1837, repr. Naked Truths about Mormonism (April 1888): 4, The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed December 5, 2023

Naked Truths About Mormonism, Parley P. Pratt
Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jr., Parley P. Pratt
Joseph Smith, Jr., Reading Public

Kirtland, May 23, 1837.

Pres’t J Smith Jr Deare Brother as it is dificult to obtain a personal interview with you at all times By reason of the multitude of Buisiness in which you are engaged you will Excuse my saying In writing what I would otherwise say By word of mouth.

Haveing Long Pondered the Path in which we as a people have been led in regard to our temporal management, I have at Length Become fully convinced that the whole scene of Speculation in which we have Been Engaged is of the Devel; I allude to the covetous Extortionary Speculating Spirit which has reigned in this place for the Last season; which Has given rise to Lying deceiveing and takeing the advantage of ones Nabour [neighbor] and In Short to Every Eavle [evil] work:

And Being as fully convinced that you and President [Sidney] Rigdon; Both By presept and Example have Been the principle means In Leading this people astray in these particulars and haveing myself Been Led astray and Caught in the same snare By your Example and By false Prophesying and preaching from your mouths; yea haveing done many things Rong [wrong] and plunged myself and family and others well nigh in to distruction, I have awoke to an awful sense of my situation and now resolve to retrace my steps, and to get out of the snare and make restitution as far as I can And now Dear Brother If you are still determined to persue this wicked course untill your self and the Church shall sink down to hell; I Beseach you at least to have mercy on me and my family and others who are Bound with me for those certain 3 lots which you sold to me at the Extortionary price of $2;000 which never cost you $1:00; for if It stands against me it will rewin [ruin] Myself and a helpless family as well as those Bound with me for yesterday Pres’t Rigdon came to me and Informed me that you had drawn the money from the Bank on the obligation you hold against me and that you had Left it to the mercy of the Bank and could not help what ever course they might take to collect it: notwithstanding the most sacred promise on your part that I should not Be ingured [injured] By giveing these writings; I offered him the 3 lots for the writings But he wanted my house and home also; now deare Brother will you take those Lots and give me up the writings and pay me the seventy-five dollars which I paid you on the same or will you taake the advantage of your Nabour Because he is in your Power if you will receive this admonition from one who Loves your Soul and repent of your Extortion and covetiousness in this thing, and make restitution you have my fellowship and Esteem as far as it respects our dealings Between ourselves; But if not I Shall Be under the painful necessity of prefering charges against you, for Extortion, covetousness, and takeing advantage of your Brother By an undue religious influence for it is this kind of influence which Led us to make such kind of trades, in this society, such as saying it was the will of God that Lands Should Bear such a price and many other Prophesyings Preachings and Statements of a like nature.

Yours with respect,

P[arley] P Pratt.

P. S. Do not suppose for a moment that I Lack any Confidence in the Book of Mormons or Doctrine and Covenants Nay It is my firm belief in those Records that hinders my Belief In the course we have Been Led of Late.

Citations in Mormonr Qnas
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