The Reverend W. R. Davies vs. Captain Dan Jones



In 1838 when forty-year-old William Robert Davies was ordained minister of the Baptist Caersalem Chapel in Dowlais (two miles from Merthyr Tydfil) he had probably never heard of the Latter-day Saints. Halfway into his eleven-year ministry at Caersalem, he would become the most vociferous foe of Mormonism in Wales. In addition to constant sermons against the new religion, Davies also published extensively in the various religious periodicals. And all of this opposition was conducted according to the established “modus operandi” for the nineteenth-century polemic.

However, after a three-year-long battle with W. R. Davies, Elder Dan Jones left Wales with a group of over three hundred Welsh Mormon converts headed for their “Zion”in Salt Lake City; he no doubt felt victorious. Davies’s congregation, however, continued to be a sizable one in spite of a few desertions. His pen fell silent after June 1848, and he died of cholera in September 1849. Others would oppose Mormonism in Wales over the years, but none with quite the same vehemence or constancy as did the Reverend W. R. Davies.


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