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Howells, William - Letter to William Phillips - 8 Aug 1850

7 Rue Tourmon, Paris, August 8, 1850


In Boulogne, on the 24th of June, we arose early. Bro. Taylor addressed our Heavenly Father, entreating him to open the hearts of the chief leaders of this kingdom, to facilitate the mission. After that, we went to Messieurs Fountaine, the Lord Mayor of Boulogne, to request permission to preach the gospel of Jesus to the inhabitants of this town; this was granted nobly with the greatest amiability.

After that we went to a gentleman by the name of Monsieur Tatar to request permission to preach in his "Salé de Concerts," which was granted immediately. Then we went to the editor of the newspaper "Interpreter," Mr. Peter, to request permission to write about Mormonism in his paper; this was granted directly. God answered our prayers; it is good to begin with God in the morning for a blessing. "Thy father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly" (Math.6:6)

In the evening we went down to the beach on the seashore where Brothers Taylor, Bolton, Piercy, Pack and Stayner and I went on our knees before the Lord. Bro. Taylor offered the following prayer:

"O Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we thy servants, at this time, bow ourselves before Thee, and for want of a better place on the sea shore, in the shade of night, unnoticed by the children of this world, we call upon Thee, for thou art our Father, and thy mercy has been extended to us. Thou saidest unto some of us that are here, by the mouth of thy servants, while we were in the Valley of the far distant west, to leave our homes, and come to this place to preach the Gospel.

Thus far, O Father, we have obeyed thy word, and we are here according to thy command. Thou hast brought us here in safety, while travelling over mountains, deserts, plains, oceans, and seas. Thou has preserved us from plague, pestilence, shipwreck, and the sword. Our lives have been precious in thy sight, and we are found here as monuments of thy mercy. There are also others here, our Brother Howell, who has been here before, and our Brothers from the city of London, who have also left their friends, to labor in thy vineyard. And, Holy Father, we ask Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to give unto us wisdom to lay before this people the principles of eternal truth; for we have come to unlock the door of salvation to this mighty nation, and we ask thee, O Lord, to aid us in our enterprise, and to help us to fulfil the callings that devolve upon us, in a manner that shall bring glory to thy name, do honor to ourselves, and lead many to a knowledge of the truth; that thousands in this land may rejoice in the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel of peace. And we pray thee, O Father, so to dispose the hearts of the rulers of this people, that they may further us in this work, and not put any legal obstruction in our way; but that we may have an opportunity of presenting thy words before all grades and conditions of men, that they honest in heart may be gathered out and participate in those blessings which thou hast revealed unto us. And we pray thee to clothe us with wisdom, intelligence, and the power of thy Spirit, that we may be enabled to magnify our high and holy calling. May we have widom given us so that we may know when to speak, and when to be silent, what principles of truth to advance, and what to retain, so that we may never, by word, or action, throw a stumbling block in the way of any that are honest in heart. Forgive us our sins, Holy Father, if we have sinned against thee in word, or thought, or deed; we ask thee, in the name of Jesus, that Thou wilt blot out our transgressions, and remember them no more against us for ever. May we be girt about with the power, wisdom, and spirit of the Most High, and be enabled to conduct ourselves with dignity, and as men of God, while we sojourn in this land, and may we be enabled to preserve our bodies and spirits pure before thee. We ask thee also to bless our wives and children, and our families, that we have left behind; comfort them in their lonely situation. May thy angels, O Lord, protect, and thy Holy Spirit brook over them. May their wants be all supplied, and may they lack no good thing that is calculated to make them comfortable and happy. Preserve them from the power of the destroyer, and from the hands of wicked men. We ask thee, O Father, that thou wilt bless thy servant, Brigham Young, and his counsellors. Clothe them with the power of thy Spirit, and let the revelations of Heaven be unfolded to their view. Bless all thy people be joyful in thy salvation. Let Zion be established in righteousness, and all nations flock to her standard. And now, O Lord, we dedicate ourselves unto thee, together with our wives and children, and all that we have, and are, for we are thy chilren, and thou art our God. And we ask that thy peace and blessing may be with us, and abide with us, from this time henceforth, and for ever, in the name of Jesus, "Amen."

June 26.--Monsieur Piclard, the French Minister in Havre, has come over here after us from London. He was the first who believed the gospel in France after he questioned me in detail for eleven hours; he wishes to live with us, and will doubtless receive baptism soon. Every day he spends some of his time with us; he does not know so much as one word of English. He is in our meetings and everywhere that we are. May God prompt him to hasten to cast his lot with us, for such a one is greatly needed.
-- 29.--We received a kind letter from the Mayor of Boulogne granting us permission to preach in the Salé de Concerts, 21 Montseigny.
-- 30.--We went with Bro. Taylor to the Catholic Church where the priest preached in English on the "Necessity of works for Salvation--works of piety, charity, and penitance." Amidst the errors he said much truth. As he preached he sat down frequently in his pulpit to take a "pinch of snuff."
July 1.--In every street in town the following information is being presented to the eyes of the men who gaze at the papers plastered on the walls. They wonder how the Latter-day Saints came to possess such authority in the place. Then they read the account of the lectures which Bro. J. Taylor intends to deliver (admission free) in a large hall in the center of town.

This small letter is full; I shall go on in the next one to portray the lectures and the debate. My love to you all.




Howells, William


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