By Aaron Shafovaloff
εὐαγγέλιον (yoo-ang-ghel’-ee-on) is “gospel” in Greek. In light of that, consider εὐαγγελιστής (yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace).
Not knowing Greek, which do you think is the more likely accurate translation of the second word?
1. Someone who shares/communicates/brings the good tidings, the good news.
2. Someone who gives patriarchal blessings.
Now consider how the term is used by Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2-5:
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Given this usage, what do you think is the more likely meaning of “evangelist” here: publicly preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, or giving individual patriarchal blessings?
Joseph Smith on “Evangelist”:
“An Evangelist is a Patriarch, even the oldest man of the blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham. Wherever the Church of Christ is established in the earth, there should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints.” (History of the Church, 3:381)
LDS Bible Dictionary on “Evangelist”:
“In popular usage throughout Christendom, an evangelist is one who proclaims the gospel. The idea of traveling to preach is also associated with current usage. In the popular sense, the writers of the four Gospel records are called evangelists, as also are Philip (Acts 21:8) and Timothy (2 Tim. 4:5). Paul lists the office of evangelist in the organizational structure of the Church (Eph. 4:11).
However, in latter-day revelation an evangelist is defined as a patriarch (D&C 107:39–53).” (Source)
The Biblical Role of the Evangelist, by William W. Combs
The New Testament Evangelist, by Duane Matthew Smets
Chapter 16 of Gospel Principles, where evangelists are identified as patriarchs
Word Studies from the New Testament by John W. Welch (Ensign, January, 1995)
The Stake Patriarch, by Boyd K. Packer