“Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson Are Called to Preach to the Lamanites and to Accompany Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer Jr.”

Doctrine and Covenants 32:1–5

1 And now concerning my servant Parley P. Pratt, behold, I say unto him that as I live I will that he shall declare my gospel and learn of me, and be meek and lowly of heart.
2 And that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall go with my servants, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites.
3 And Ziba Peterson also shall go with them; and I myself will go with them and be in their midst; and I am their advocate with the Father, and nothing shall prevail against them.
4 And they shall give heed to that which is written, and pretend to no other revelation; and they shall pray always that I may unfold the same to their understanding.
5 And they shall give heed unto these words and trifle not, and I will bless them. Amen.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“Another revelation was given to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson. They were also called to go on the mission to the Lamanites [see D&C 32]. Parley P. Pratt was born April 12, 1807, in Burlington, Otsego County, New York. He was the third son of Jared and Charity Pratt, and a descendant of Lieutenant William and Elizabeth Pratt, who were among the first settlers of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1639. In 1826, Parley P. Pratt left New York state and settled some thirty miles west of the town of Cleveland, in Ohio, and laid the foundation of a wilderness home. In 1827, he returned to Canaan, Columbia County, New York, the home of his parents and was married and then he and his wife, Thankful Halsey Pratt, returned to his home in Ohio. Some eighteen months later Sidney Rigdon, who was connected with Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, and others in the reformed movement called ‘Disciples,’ but known as ‘Campbellites,’ came to the home of Parley P. Pratt preaching the doctrines of the ‘Disciples.’ As these doctrines conformed more closely to what Parley P. Pratt thought was found in the Bible, he joined the organization and became a minister in that church, and determined to take up the ministry as his life’s labor. He intended to commence among his own relatives, and while at Newark, New York, he heard of the Book of Mormon, and without delay he hastened to Palmyra, where he met Hyrum Smith, and from him learned the particulars about the coming forth of that book. In company with Hyrum Smith he went to Fayette, where he met Oliver Cowdery and, being convinced, about the first of September was baptized and was ordained an elder. He continued on his journey to his kindred, but not as a preacher for the ‘Disciples,’ as he started out. On this journey he baptized his younger brother Orson, then a youth of nineteen years of age. He returned to Fayette in time to attend this conference in September, and there met the Prophet, and received this call to the Lamanites. [For full biography of Parley P. Pratt, see Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt; Andrew Jenson’s Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:83–85; History of the Church, 1:118–20.]

“Richard Ziba Peterson was baptized April 11, 1830, by Oliver Cowdery in Seneca Lake. He was present at the first public meeting of the Church, April 11, 1830, when Oliver Cowdery preached the first public discourse, and was shortly afterwards ordained an Elder, which office he held in June at the first conference of the Church. He was appointed to accompany Oliver Cowdery on his mission to the Lamanites, and filled this mission according to appointment successfully. He assisted the other Lamanite missionaries in the conversion of Sidney Rigdon and a group of his followers while tarrying in Kirtland on the way to the Lamanite mission. He is mentioned in Oliver Cowdery’s report to the Prophet, May 7, 1831, as having assisted him in taking the message to the Indians west of Missouri, where they labored until driven out by government agents. When the Prophet arrived in Missouri he received a revelation in which Ziba Peterson (he seldom used his first name) was rebuked and the Lord commanded that that which had been bestowed upon him should be taken away, and he should stand as a member of the Church [see History of the Church, 1:195; D&C 58:60]. In a letter from the First Presidency to the brethren in Zion written in June 1833, the following is recorded: ‘We deliver Brother Ziba Peterson over to the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord, that he may learn not to transgress the commandments of God’ [History of the Church, 1:367]. We have no further history of him as to his conduct or when he died.”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:148–49.)

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