Letter From David Udall to William Doust
Putney, 12 Aug 1848
I now take up my pen to address you under the influence of a prayerful spirit, hoping this will find you and your wife under the smile and approbation of your creators and enjoying all the blessings of a married life, which I know nothing about.
I received your kind letter with pleasure and hope you will excuse what I called you in my last letter. You said how could I hope you were doing good if I was to believe that you were doing no good – that I must believe Wesleyans never did me any good. But I believe that they have been a great blessing to me, but that’s no reason why I should not leave them if I can prove that they do not preach the whole gospel, which I can. I have often prayed to be led to the truth and to be delivered from error, and when the Latter-day Saints preach the gospel with truth and simplicity I cannot refuse it. If you can prove by scripture that even a child was baptized I will not say anything against baptizing them. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit” – not a child. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Where do you get your authority or command for baptizing infants? Nowhere.
You asked me where I come from and where I lived before I entered this world. Where I came from I know not, but I believe I had before I entered this world. I do not believe that my spirit had not a previous being before I entered this body of clay. You asked me where I was stationed before I entered this world. If you can tell me where you will be stationed after you depart from this world, I shall be able to answer your question. Those signs that scripture speaks of seem to confuse you. If you can prove by scripture that those signs will not follow the believing church, I shall be able to prove that scripture is a romance and that infidels are right. And if you can find any church in any age of the world that had not the signs then you will prove that those signs are not always necessary. I believe that you can not find any church or any man of God for what had one of the signs. Our Savior promised that these signs should follow the believing church. Therefore if the churches have not these signs there must be a something missing.
Dear brother, I think it all most useless to write about it for I have no doubt that you would be a Latter-day Saint as well as I if you were to investigate the principles. You said in your last that you hoped I should build on sound footing – if I am led astray ‘tis the Bible that will lead me astray.
My dear friend, I often think of you and wish I had you here to converse with you, for I am no hand of writing on different subjects. I often think of our younger day – how happy we were when we were at work in the fields and of the love we had for each other and of the hay fields and of our sleeping together. Youth is the time of joy, but since that we have had temptations, tribulations and perplexities and the world, flesh and the devil to stand against – which is almost too much for us. It is hard work to stand against them.
Believe me to be your sincere friend as ever.
I hope you will excuse this imperfect note for I have wrote it two evenings between daylight and dark. I should like to hear from you soon, and excuse me for not writing.
Give my respect to your parents, and I thank them for the many kindnesses I have received from them.
I hope you and your wife live comfortably and get on well in business. I hope this will find you happy and comfortable as it leaves me at present. I should hope to see you.
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