Parley P. Pratt wrote A Voice of Warning over a two-month period while on a mission to New York. The economy in Kirtland was collapsing, and dissension was rife among Church members. Even Parley became caught up in the dissension and was for a time estranged to Joseph Smith. In an act of renewal, Parley went to New York to preach the gospel and purify himself. With few doors open to him, Parley focused himself on writing, producing A Voice of Warning. At first, few took notice of the work, but in time it became the most important of all Mormon missionary tracts of the 19th century and was eventually published in more than 30 English editions and several non-English versions.
The eventual impact of A Voice of Warning was profound. In 1870, the Mormon dissident Edward Tullidge commented, “Ask the people what brought them into the church, and you would hear from every direction Parley Pratt’s Voice of Warning.” One Latter-day Saint diarist of the 19th century observed, “We had every encouragement to read the Church publications: A Voice of Warning; the Pearl of Great Price; and Key to Theology.” That these two of Parley Pratt’s writings would be on the same footing as the Pearl of Great Price, canonized in 1880, indicates the special status these works held among early Church leaders and members.
In 1864, A Voice of Warning was one of two works Brigham Young recommended to a correspondent for an overview of Mormon doctrine. And in 1875, A Voice of Warning was the first title mentioned in the Church’s Deseret News list of books worth reading. Parley Pratt’s A Voice of Warning continues to be worthwhile today, providing the modern listener a powerful and persuasive witness regarding the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
©2017 Legacy LDS Audiobook Foundation (P)2017 Legacy LDS Audiobook Foundation