Vienna Jacques is one of two women mentioned by name in the Doctrine and Covenants of [http://Mormon.org The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the other is Emma Smith. Vienna Jacques was notable for her willing heart and her commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jacques, spelled Jaques in the Doctrine and Covenants, was born on June 10, 1787, to Henry and Lucinda Jacques at Beverly, Essex County, Massachusetts. She was a nurse, a single woman in her early 40s, and a devout Christian, but she became dissatisfied with her religion and began searching for a church with the spiritual gifts the New Testament describes. She requested a copy of the Book of Mormon; however, the power of the sacred record did not at first inspire her. Later, while she was praying one night, she saw a vision of the Book of Mormon and a desire to know the truthfulness of the book became her quest. Through continual prayer and study, a testimony of its divinity came to her. At age 43, she traveled alone to Kirtland, Ohio, to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith. She was baptized and returned to her home where she helped convert several of her family members.
She returned to Kirtland two years later, with $1,400 in savings and some other valuables. On March 8, 1833, Joseph Smith directed her to give her savings to the Church, which she did. Ten days later, Joseph received a revelation directed toward her:
- And again, verily I say unto you, it is my will that my handmaid Vienna Jaques should receive money to bear her expenses, and go up unto the land of Zion;
- And the residue of the money may be consecrated unto me, and she be rewarded in mine own due time.
- Verily I say unto you, that it is meet in mine eyes that she should go up unto the land of Zion, and receive an inheritance from the hand of the bishop;
- That she may settle down in peace inasmuch as she is faithful, and not be idle in her days from thenceforth. (Doctrine and Covenants 90:28–31)
She arrived in Jackson County, Missouri, a few months later. In September she received a letter from Joseph Smith, saying:
- I have often felt a whispering since I received your letter, like this: ‘Joseph, thou art indebted to thy God for the offering of thy Sister Vienna, which proved a savior of life as pertaining to thy pecuniary concerns. Therefore she should not be forgotten of thee, for the Lord hath done this, and thou shouldst remember her in all thy prayers and also by letter for she oftentimes calleth on the Lord.’
- History of the Church 1:408