Prophet of the Jubilee

Book Notice

Prophet of the Jubilee, translated and edited by Ronald D. Dennis (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997)

In July 1846 in Rhydybont, Carmarthenshire, Wales, Dan Jones published the first issue of a monthly LDS periodical in the Welsh language on a press owned by John Jones, Dan’s brother, who was an ordained Congregational minister. The periodical, Prophwyd y Jubili (Prophet of the Jubilee), ran monthly thereafter through December 1848. Jones’s great-great-grandson Ronald Dennis has presented what he calls a “facsimile translation” (xxix) of the complete series, retaining original fonts, layout, and pagination, slightly enlarging font size for readability. Text and index are over seven hundred pages, and Geraint Bowen, former Archdruid of Wales, offers a superb introduction.

Many articles in Prophet of the Jubilee rebut arguments of local anti-Mormons or apostates. Articles entitled “The ‘Hater of Deceit’ Proving Himself a False Prophet Again!!” and “The ‘Rev. W. R. Davies, from Dowlais,’ and His Cruel and Shameful Persecution Again!—Again!!” give a glimpse of the intense feelings between early Welsh Saints and their religious adversaries. Jones garnishes his numerous doctrinal treatises with occasional fiction and poetry, excerpts translated from the Millennial Star, the neighboring LDS periodical in England, and portions of articles on religious topics taken from European and U.S. newspapers.

A brief summary of each article is provided at the beginning of the book, but after that the reader is left to plod through the text without annotations. While pagination is sure to confuse some readers, Prophet of the Jubilee opens up LDS historical documents that have been inaccessible to most English-speaking readers for 150 years. Here is a mass of interesting cultural and doctrinal history, as well as the voice of Dan Jones himself, one of the most prolific and persistent missionaries in the history of the Church.

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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X