Parley P. Pratt

Parley P. Pratt : The Apostle Paul of Mormonism

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After Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt was the most influential figure in early Mormon history and culture. Missionary, pamphleteer, theologian, historian, and martyr, Pratt was perennially stalked by controversy-regarded, he said, "almost as an Angel by thousands and counted an Imposter by tens of thousands." Tracing the life of this colorful figure from his hardscrabble origins in upstate New York to his murder in 1857, Terryl Givens and Matthew Grow explore the crucial role Pratt played in the formation and expansion of early Mormonism. One of countless ministers inspired by the antebellum revival movement known as the Second Great Awakening, Pratt joined the Mormons in 1830 at the age of twenty three and five years later became a member of the newly formed Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which vaulted him to the forefront of church leadership for the rest of his life. Pratt's missionary work-reaching from Canada to England, from Chile to California-won hundreds of followers, but even more important were his voluminous writings.
Through books, newspaper articles, pamphlets, poetry, fiction, and autobiography, Pratt spread the Latter-day Saint message, battled the many who reviled it, and delineated its theology in ways that still shape Mormon thought. Drawing on letters, journals, and other rich archival sources, Givens and Grow examine not only Pratt's writings but also his complex personal life. A polygamist who married a dozen times and fathered thirty children, Pratt took immense joy in his family circle even as his devotion to Mormonism led to long absences that put heavy strains on those he loved. It was during one such absence, a mission trip to the East, that the estranged husband of his twelfth wife shot and killed him-a shocking conclusion to a life that never lacked in drama.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 512 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 35.56mm | 816.46g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 14 b/w illus., 8 maps
  • 0195375734
  • 9780195375732
  • 1,548,702

Table of contents

Introduction ; Chapter 1: The Young Seeker ; Chapter 2: Dreams of Zion ; Chapter 3: The Archer of Paradise ; Chapter 4: "Strange and Novel Truths" ; Chapter 5: Strong Dungeons and Gloomy Prisons ; Chapter 6: Apostle to the British ; Chapter 7: Triumph and Tragedy in Joseph's City ; Chapter 8: Many Mormonisms: The East ; Chapter 9: Many Mormonisms: Exodus and England ; Chapter 10: Pioneering Westward ; Chapter 11: Lamanites in the Pacific ; Chapter 12: Parley and Mrs. Pratt(s) ; Chapter 13: Prospecting for Souls in San Francisco ; Chapter 14: Murder and Martyrdom ; Epilogue ; Appendix 1: Pamphlets and Books by Parley P. Pratt ; Appendix 2: Pratt Family Chart ; Notes ; Index
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Review quote

If the title indicates Oxford University Press's determination to broaden the potential audience of this book to non-Mormon readers more familiar with St. Paul than with Parley Pratt, we can all be glad that OUP took the chance. Parley P. Pratt - its subject, its claim, and its methods - deserve a wide audience. * Religion * we are introduced to Pratt as writer, missionary, and martyr, three roles important to nascent Mormonism. Therein the book rises above Prattas own autobiography. By incorporating Prattas own primary observations and giving them narrative purpose, Parley P. Pratt becomes a first-rate work of historiography. * Ronan James Head, International Journal of Mormon Studies. *
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About Terryl L. Givens

Terryl L. Givens is the author of several acclaimed books, the most recent of which are When Souls Had Wings: Pre-Mortal Life in Western Thought and The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction.

Matthew J. Grow is the author of "Liberty to the Downtrodden": Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer.
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130 ratings
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4 47% (61)
3 22% (29)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
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