Missionaries crossed the border from England to Wales as early as 1840, but the gospel was not preached to Welsh speakers until late 1843, when William Henshaw was sent to the Merthyr Tydfil area. There were nearly 500 Welsh converts when Captain Dan Jones was assigned to preside over members and missionaries in Wales in December 1845. Many pamphlets and a monthly periodical, Prophwyd y Jubili (Prophet of the Jubilee), together with a small missionary force resulted in an increasing number of convert baptisms in WalesÃ¢â‚¬â€about 500 during 1846, nearly 1,000 during 1847, and more than 1,700 during 1848.
When Dan Jones departed for America with about 330 Welsh converts in early 1849, William Phillips, Abel Evans, and John Davis began to preside over the LDS Church in Wales. Church membership there peaked at more than 5,000 in 1852. In August of 1852, Dan Jones returned for his second mission and experienced success similar to that of his first mission.
More than 500 Welsh converts went with Captain Jones to America in April 1856, and at this point the Latter-day Saint presence in Wales began a sharp decline. The periodical ceased publication in April 1862, and for many years membership consisted of only a handful of members and missionaries. The Church experienced a resurgence in the twentieth century. There were 1,500 members in 1950, and the first stake was organized 12 January 1975 in Merthyr Tydfil. By the year 2000 there were 7,097 members living in two stakes with 20 wards and branches.
[Year-end 2005: Est. population, 2,952,000; Members, 7,904; Stakes, 2; Wards, 16; Branches, 9; Percent LDS, .27, or one in 377; England Leeds Mission; Source: 2007 Church Almanac.]
Dennis, Ronald D. The Call of Zion: The Story of the First Welsh Mormon Emigration. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1988.
Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€. Welsh Mormon Writings from 1844 to 1862: A Historical Bibliography. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1988.
Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã¢â‚¬â€, ed. and trans. Prophet of the Jubilee. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997.
1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1998. 402-3.
RONALD D. DENNIS
From Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, eds., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 1304. Used with the permission of the Deseret Book Company. Copies prohibited by law.