John spoke in many churches in France and debated with ministers as he’d done in England. Some people joined to the Church, but most of the French citizens were too worried about political unrest to think of religion. Napoleon’s nephew, Louis Napoleon, was elected president. He then took over the army, suppressed the newspapers, and had the senate make him the Emperor – a revolution was in the making.
John worked hard for two years in France and Germany. When he knew the time for his mission was drawing to a close, he wanted to meet with the Saints in Paris to say farewell. He loved them and wanted to bear his testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel to them one last time.
The authorities had forbidden John to preach in Paris, but that didn’t stop him. He called for a conference of the members. Brother Bolton told him it was too dangerous.
John decided to hold the meeting on the day Louis Napoleon was to become president. The soldiers in Paris were busy with the election so no one noticed the Mormons. About four hundred Saints attended the conference. John organized a presidency for the area so that the work could go on without him. He planned to leave for England the following day.
By the next morning, the authorities had heard about the conference and came to arrest John. His train was to leave in the afternoon, but the Spirit told him to get away as soon as he could. He said good-bye to his landlord and slipped out the back door to catch a cab. Just a few minutes later, the police knocked at the door looking for John. He learned later in a letter that his landlord had invited the officers in and the landlord’s sister-in-law served tea. The landlord and his sister charmed the officers, but soon the police realized what had happened. By then John was on his way to England and safety.5