28 Heber Preaching

Is Anything too hard for the Lord–Parley P Pratt in Canada

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Elder Pratt was called to serve as a missionary in Toronto, Canada. He and a companion traveled into Canada via Niagara Falls where they stopped and marveled at the wonders of God’s hand in creation. Elder Pratt arrived in Hamilton, Ontario. Here he found a flourishing community, but he was bound for Toronto, on the other side of the Lake. If he walked around the Lake it would take days and be an arduous journey. If he took passage across the Lake, he would be there by day’s end. The problem—he was out of money. “Under these circumstances,” he wrote, “I pondered what I should do. I had many times received answers to prayer in such matters, but now it seemed hard to exercise faith…because I was among strangers and entirely unknown.”

How could the Lord possibly help him? No one in the town knew him. Nonetheless, at the Spirit’s urging, the missionary retired to a secret place in the woods to pray for the money to make the boat journey across the Lake.

Upon concluding the prayer, he returned to Hamilton and began to talk to people. “I had not tarried many minutes,” he said, “before I was accosted by a stranger who inquired my name and where I was going. He also asked me if I did not want some money.”

Elder Pratt said, yes, whereupon the man gave him ten dollars and a letter of introduction to a man named Taylor in Toronto. Elder Pratt arrived in Toronto that night, called on the Taylors, and put up for the night. The next morning he traveled throughout the city seeking to establish contacts to begin his work, but no one would allow him to preach, nor would anyone open their houses to him. He had been promised great success in this city and yet, he could not so much as open a conversation with anyone in town.

Once again he retired to the woods and poured out his heart to God. “I had exhausted my influence and power without effect,” he said. Upon the close of the prayer, he returned to the City and, having no other recourse, went to the home of the Taylors to collect his bag and be on his way. Just then a woman entered the home. Her name was Isabella Walton. The Taylor’s explained Elder Pratt’s presence, and upon hearing the tale, she said, “Passing your door the spirit bade me go in, but I said to myself, I will go in when I return; but the Spirit said unto me, ‘go in now.’ I accordingly came in and I am glad that I did so. Tell the stranger he is welcome to my house. I am a widow, but I have a spare room and bed, and food in plenty. He shall have a home at my house and a room to preach in just when he pleases. …I feel by the Spirit that he is a man sent by the Lord with a message which will do us good.”

That very night, Isabella Walton took Elder Pratt to her home, invited all her friends and relatives, and with them listened attentively to the message. Like a sunrise over the mountain it was the opening of a miracle in Canada and subsequently in England. From that night forward the work grew until Elder Pratt had to request help. Hundreds and finally thousands joined the Church because of that mission. That praying missionary was Elder Parley P. Pratt. The year was 1836, and among the significant converts made—Isabella Walton, Joseph, Mary, and Mercy Fielding and John and Leonora Taylor. Indeed, nothing is too hard for the Lord, if we ask.

Source: The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt: https://archive.org/stream/autobiographyofp00prat#page/146/mode/2up

This story is available as an audio download at historyofthesaints.org

Watch the full story of Parley Pratt’s Mission to Canada in the History of the Saints’ episode Show 6:9 Parley P. Pratt’s Mission to Canada available as a video download at historyofthesaints.org


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