Monday, June 13, 2011

Elder Pratt Jr: Preaching in Columbia, Tenn.

[This is a continuation of a series on Parley P. Pratt Jr.]

Returning to middle Tennessee, Elder Pratt notes a little bit of local history.

The Gospel trumpet was first sounded in this place [Shady Grove] over 45 years ago by David Patten and Warren Parish and the people in the immediate vicinity for many years past have had many strong testimonies of the truth of the great Latter-day work.
This was probably the oldest reference I have found to Patten and Parrish visiting this part of Tennessee. The two wrote letters to the Church indicating that they had worked in northern Tennessee along the banks of the Tennessee River, but made no mention of this area. The Church Family has a long tradition of their having been visited by David Patten in 1835. But the first convert from the Church family wasn’t until 1840, and that was in Nauvoo.

Elder Pratt does a much better job of recording his work in this area.

As a testimony to the truth of the Gospel and of the power of God, we will here mention a circumstance that occurred near Rock Springs. A Mr. Little, who is now in his 95th year had been confined to his lounge for some months on account of lameness and could not walk even to the table without one or two helping him. Learning that we were in the neighborhood, he sent some four miles for us to come and administer to him. We called to see him on the 23rd of March, and laying our hands upon him as the Apostle James directs, we asked the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ to strengthen him so that he might have the use of his limbs. The Lord heard and answered our prayers, and the old gentleman received strength so that he has not only been walking to and from the table without assistance since the above date, but has walked up and down the door steps and out into the garden, according to his will and pleasure. His daughter, Mrs. A.E. Dooley, is full of gratitude and remarked to us, some weeks after, that she had been relieved of a great burden by our administration to her father. Mr. Little is a member of the Cumberland Church. Some of his brethren called in soon after to see him, some of them rejoiced with him while others mocked.
[Next Time: If they persecute you in one city, flee to another]
Mr. Little gave some years ago, forty dollars towards building a church, which was located about one mile from his home. In said Church we had held, from time to time, some good meetings, but the Cumberland priests, in a fit of jealousy, denounced us as imposters, and closed their church doors right in our faces, locking out many of their own members and a large congregation who had assembled to hear.

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