Letter From David Udall to William Doust
Putney, 12 May 1848
My Dear Brother,
I received your kind letter and am glad to hear that you have a comfortable wife, and that you are in search of immortal souls. It is my sincere prayer that you may preach the pure gospel to them and that you may be the instrument in the hands of God of leading them into all truth and saving their souls.
You ask me a few questions concerning my faith Ė I believe that God is the father and I live by the faith in his son and not by the works of my own.
In my first letter I asked you some questions that we might have something to write about and instruct each other. You said that there was no necessity for me to be baptized Ė I think that all the Wesleyans are in the dark or otherwise. John the Baptist and our Savior Ė all the Apostles were in the dark Ė for our Savior set us the example when he was baptized by John and he told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel, and he that believed and was baptized shall be saved. Know if that is gospel then the Wesleyans preach a part of it. When Peter at the day of Pentecost when three thousand asked him what they must do to be saved, he told them to repent and be baptized and they should be saved, and all the Apostles baptized as soon as they were converted. Therefore I conclude that itís as much necessary for salvation as it was for the children of Israel to blow rams horns before the walls would fall, and they were to look at the serpent before they could be healed.
You said what could water do? I ask you, what could ramís horns and looking at the serpents do? They were commandments and baptism is a commandment, and we must obey them before we can have rights to the tree of life. Our Savior says except a man be born of water and spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. But Wesleyans baptize children and say that itís not necessary for a man to be baptized but our Savior says except a man be born of water. I know that you will not say nay more that our Saviorís commandments are not necessary.
You said that my Sunday work would not correspond with Godly life, but I am under no condemnation for that. I could explain it, but time and space will not permit.
The Latter-day Saints believe in universal salvation, predestination and election, and they can prove that there is no other church that preaches all the gospel.
In my first letter I asked you who called you to the work of the ministry. I think a man ought to be very careful, for all the ministers pretend to be called by the Holy Spirit. Now I ask you William, you believe that the Holy Spirit teaches one man to believe in one thing and another another thing, and that the commandments of our Savior do not matter, and is it the Holy Spirit that teaches men to baptize children when we cannot find one place where children were baptized, but the apostles baptized men and women? Therefore I conclude that the Holy Spirit has not called but very few of them. Some men read where our Savior told the apostles to preach the gospel and they think it commissions them to preach, but it only commissions the apostles to teach, and no other man. In this sense is so much confusion and so many doctrines. I cannot believe that the Holy Spirit is the author of confusion. If you can show me that I am in error I should be much obliged, for I want to be led into the truth.
I should be much obliged if you would send this note to Ann Udall, for I have written to her and cannot get an answer. I hope this will find you in possession of every blessing that is needful both for soul and body. Please to remember me to your father and mother and I shall never forget the instructions I have received from them. Remember me to your wife and all friends and relations.
(written on margin of previous pages)
Please to excuse my letter, you will pick it out I hope.
I have been praying to be led into all truth, I think I must gain them. I should like to see you.
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