Church History
Dan Jones

Dan Jones

Dan Jones, a prominent early Latter-day Saint from Wales, was born into a mining family but soon left the trade to travel the world as a mariner. In 1840, he immigrated to the United States with his wife, Jane Melling Jones, where he was a steamboat captain on the Mississippi River. In 1843, Dan and Jane Jones joined the Church in Nauvoo. Jones became a close friend and business partner of Joseph Smith, who purchased a half-share in Jones’s steamboat, the Maid of Iowa. When the Prophet went to Carthage Jail in June 1844, Jones accompanied him.

On June 26, 1844, Jones spent a restless night with the Prophet. When Smith asked him if he was afraid to die, Dan Jones’s reply was simple: “Engaged in such a cause I do not think death would have many terrors.”

In response, Smith spoke his last known prophecy: “You will yet see Wales,” Smith told Jones, “and fulfil the mission appointed you.” The next morning, Jones was sent on errands by the Prophet and was gone when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred.

A few months later, Dan and Jane Jones left for Wales. Jones preached the restored gospel in person and in print with a zeal matched by few others. In the April 1845 conference of the British Mission, Jones said “he had been in search of the principles of truth—he had sought it in almost every clime” but had not found it until he met the Latter-day Saints. Jones then pledged to be an instrument in bringing his countrymen into the Church. His words, said the clerk in the meeting, were so moving that “we ceased to write, in order to give way to the effect produced upon our feelings.”

For more than a decade, Jones fulfilled several missions to Wales. During his time as a missionary in his homeland, Jones produced several tracts and other published materials to expound and defend the doctrine of the Church. In 1846, as the president of the Church in Wales, Jones began publishing Prophwyd y Jubili, the first Welsh-language periodical devoted to defending the Latter-day Saints. Through his preaching and publishing, Jones brought numerous converts to the Church and helped many of them immigrate to Utah.