On 10 April 1875 the differences that divided Young and Pratt reached a climax. Young demoted Pratt from second in seniority among the apostles to fourth. Young rationalized that because Pratt had been excommunicated in 1842, he had lost his original position in the quorum even though his excommunication had been declared void.
Pratt's active involvement as a church leader waned. He died after an extended illness on 3 October 1881, two weeks after his seventieth birthday.
See: Gary James Bergera, "The Orson Pratt--Brigham Young Controversies: Conflict Within the Quorums, 1853 to 1868," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 13 (Summer 1980); Gary James Bergera, "Seniority in the Twelve: The 1875 Realignment of Orson Pratt," Journal of Mormon History 18 (Spring 1992); and Breck England, The Life and Thought of Orson Pratt (1985).
Gary James Bergera