Alexander Neibaur is considered to be the first Jew to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was the first dentist to practice in Utah.
Neibaur was born on January 8, 1808, in Ehrenbreitstein, near Koblenz, France. He had been educated to be a rabbi but decided to become a surgeon and dentist and was educated for that profession at the University of Berlin.
He converted to Christianity in approximately 1829. He moved to Preston, England, in 1830 and on September 15, 1834, he married Ellen Breakel. In 1837, he converted to the Church of Jesus Christ after reading the Book of Mormon in three days, but was persuaded to delay his baptism in order to prepare well for the ordinance. He was baptized on April 9, 1838.
Neibaur moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, on April 18, 1841. Here he became close friends with Joseph Smith and helped him study German and Hebrew. Neibaur was fluent in seven languages and several dialects.
After Smith’s martyrdom in 1844, Neibaur and his pregnant wife stayed in Nauvoo until the second company of Saints departed (Brigham Young was captain of that company). By 1848, they had rejoined the main body of the Saints in the Salt Lake Valley. He continued practicing dentistry and manufactured matches.
Neibaur was one of the people to introduce the gospel to Morris D. Rosenbaum, a Jew from the Grand Duchy of Posen, in Prussia. Rosenbaum was baptized in March 1868 and a month later married Neibaur’s daughter Alice. Charles W. Nibley married Neibaur’s daughter Rebecca. Neibaur’s daughter Margaret Jane married William Miller, who was the son of Eleazer Miller who taught and baptized Brigham Young. Among Neibaur’s great-grandsons are renowned scholar Hugh Nibley, pianist and composer Reid Nibley, and violinist and composer Richard Nibley.
Neibaur died on December 15, 1883, in Salt Lake City. He is the author of the words to “Come, Thou Glorious Day of Promise” (#50), which is included in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.