The gospel (French)

Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).

John Davis Publications: The gospel (French)

D5 HOWELLS, William. L’Evangile. (The gospel.) Merthyr Tydfil: Printed by J. Davis, Georgetown, [1849].

2 pp. 17 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 29.

L’Evangile is essentially a French translation of The gospel, a tract written in English. Consequently, although William Howells did not compose the contents of the tract, it was he who was responsible for getting the translation and printing done as part of the preparation for his mission to France, which began in July 1849.

Howells, the first Mormon missionary to France, took a generous supply of pamphlets with him to his field of labor. In a 10 September 1849 letter to John Davis, he mentioned having distributed in LeHavre during one month “about 1,500 pamphlets in French, Italian, Creole, English and Spanish” (Zion’s Trumpet, September 1849, pp. 172–73). Many of these he sold or loaned; but the French leaflet he gave away to interested parties at no charge.

Only a few minor modifications of the English version were made in the French translation. The most significant is the omission of the following phrase: “Infant sprinkling is therefore unnecessary and unscriptural.” Perhaps Howells considered this too strong a condemna­tion of a widespread practice among French Catholics.

L’Evangile has 33 scriptural references in support of the basic principles of Church doctrine that are mentioned in the text.

The Gospel

WHAT is the Gospel? It is the power of God to eternal salvation.—Romans i, 16.

Its first principles are Faith, Repentance, and Baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Hebrews v, 12; vi, 1—3.

Reader, have you become obedient to this Gospel? If you have, it is good; if not, do not delay in becoming so, for the “Lord Jesus shall shortly come in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of Christ.” 2 Thessalonians i, 7, 8.

Jesus says, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”—John iii, 5. Accept, then, your salvation, on God’s terms, namely, the scriptural plan.

First,—Believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ his Son, and in the Holy Ghost; believe also the Doctrine of Christ. 2 John 9.

Second,—Repent, confess your sins before God, and turn away from your sins.

Third,—Be baptized in water for the remission of your sins. Matthew xxviii, 19, 20; Mark xvi, 15, 16. Acts ii, 37, 38; x, 48; xxii, 16. The correct method of baptism is immersion in water. Matthew iii, 16; Acts viii, 38, 39. Romans vi, 3—6; Colossians ii, 11, 12; John iii, 23. But who are the proper subjects of baptism? Adults, or per­sons capable of hearing, believing, and repenting. Acts ii, 38—41; viii, 5—12, 35—39; xviii, 8. There is no command, no precept, nor example, either from our Lord, his Apostles, disciples, or any of the first Christians, of Baptism of children.

Fourth,—Receive the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ, for the gift of the Holy Ghost in the ordinance of confirma­tion. Acts viii, 14—19; xix, 1—7.

These are the first conditions of the Gospel; all those who comply with them receive remission of sins, and are made partakers of the Holy Ghost. Through these conditions, they become the adopted sons and daughters of God. Through this process they are born again, first of water, and then of the Holy Ghost, and become children of the kingdom, heirs of God, and Saints of the Most High. But mark! These ordinances are to be administered by those having authority to act in the Kingdom of God, otherwise they are void and illegal. 1 Samuel xiii, 10—14; Mark iii, 14; Romans x, 14, 15; Hebrews v, 4.

The holy priesthood has been lost; but it is again restored to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The angel has flown through the heavens, bent his way to earth, brought the everlasting Gospel, and commissioned men to preach it once more in all the world for a witness. Then shall the end come. Revelation xiv, 6. Matthew xxiv, 14.

It is the privilege of the saints to receive the gifts and blessings which flow from the Holy Spirit through the proper administration of the above ordinances, such as the gifts of revelation, prophecy, visions, the ministering of angels, healing the sick by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ, speaking in new tongues, and interpreting them, the working of miracles, and in short all the gifts as mentioned in the Holy scriptures, as enjoyed by the ancient saints. Mark xvi, 17-20. John xiv, 12; xvi, 13. Acts ii, 17, 18. 1 Corinthians xii—xiv. James v, 14, 15.

Reader! Cast aside all prejudice, search the Holy scriptures and see whether these things be so, pray to God for wisdom, and come forth and embrace the fulness of the Gospel, for the day of ven­geance and burning is at hand. Therefore! Remember well, O reader, and perish not!