John Jaques

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John Jaques was a poet and writer and wrote the lyrics to the hymn “Oh Say, What Is Truth?” which was included in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He was born on January 7, 1827, in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England. He was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 12, 1848. He served as a missionary for the Church in Stratford-on-Avon. He and his wife, Zilpah, joined the Saints in Utah Territory in 1856, traveling there via the ship Horizon to Boston, train to Iowa City, and then with the Martin Handcart Company. His 1-year-old daughter died in the snowstorms in Wyoming.

In 1869, Jaques served a mission for two-years in England. He co-edited the Millennial Star for one year and then for one year was the sole editor. When he returned to Utah, he worked for The Deseret News and in 1874 became its principal editorial writer.

During his work as Assistant Church Historian, he served on a committee that presented plans for a genealogical association of the Church, which became the forerunner of the Family History Library. He served as the first librarian of the Genealogical Society of Utah.

He died on June 1, 1900.

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