John Jaques

John Jaques

Among the people Alfred Cordon knew in his lifetime was John Jaques. John was converted to the church in England, 1845 around the time Alfred was serving a mission in Vermont. When Alfred returned to England 1848 for his second mission, John Jaques was involved in missionary work as well. John loved to write poetry and started writing for the The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star publication in England. He wrote the words for the hymns “Softly Beams the Sacred Dawning” and “O Say What is Truth?“. John went on to join the Saints in Zion and was part of the Martin Handcart Company in 1856. He was later an Assistant Church Historian and was part of the committee who organized the Genealogical Society of Utah which later became the Family History Department of the church.

John Jaques

Alfred Cordon mentions his name a few times in his journal, his first reference to him was in March 1850, “I staid with brother Jacques for the night, he treated me verry kindly and gave me when I left the sum of 5/”. It was in July of 1850 Alfred and Elder Toone set him apart as a traveling missionary for the area. Elder Jaques traveled with Alfred throughout the conference over the next few months and got to know each other well. When Alfred left the mission in September of 1850 to return to his family John gave him a poem. Alfred recorded the composition in his journal.

Almighty Father of the human race
Who sits enthroned in glorious majesty
Yet takest peculiar delight in
The workmanship of thy hands; that looketh
Down to smile upon and bless the sons of Man,
and favour thy obedient Children
Listen, O Listen to my souls desire,
From thy high court above answer my prayer
I crave for my brother Alfred Cordon
O Lord, thou knowest his faithfulness and
Strong desire to fulfill all righteousness.
His sterling virtue, firm integrity
And constant watchfulness. How cheerful
His ready mind follows the council of
The Holy Priesthood, and obeys its call, My Father,
He has right nobly fulfilled his mission
And cheered the hearts of thine afflicted sons
Many through him have heard and felt and loved
The truth, and now rejoice in liberty.
Throughout all ages they will call him blest,
And thank the Providence that shaped his course.
For manfully he bore to them the word And spirit of Life.
He has proved himself A messenger of Peace,
an herald of Salvation, a bearer of glad tidings
To a benighted people.
In tearful gratitude Now he is leaving us we say–
Adieu God speed thee brother,
Haste to the bosom Of the Church,
thy wife, and family;
The prayers and blessings of ten thousand
Saints are thine. Farewell!
Great Father of our Spirits
Bear him safe o’er the wide world of waters.
To his mountain home.
Preserve him from all
Dangers by sea or land.
Give the rude winds
And the foaming waves charge concerning him
That he may again embrace his loved ones
In the sweet Valleys of the fertile West.
And shake hands with the nobles of Israel
In the heights of Zion.
May his good wife live long to his glory
And bring him many children to give
Honour and support to him in his declining years.
May their lives be devoted to the Public good,
May they be ambassadors to the nations;
May strangers point and Say,
These were born in Zion.
O let the choicest blessings of high heaven
Descend upon his head,
Stretch out thy hand
Watch over him for good,
Bless him out of Zion Thy holy habitation.
Prosper him In all things he shall set his hand unto
Establish him in the high mountains of Ephraim.
May his inheritance become
Verry fruitful, and his posterity
Be multiplied, may his flocks and herds
And all his possessions greatly increase
Stir up his pure mind
To a remembrance of the Warwickshire Saints,
when he reaches the Hills of Zion
That he may plead for their deliverance
From Gentile bondage.
In holy places And within the more sacred walls of thy Temple,
may he petition thy throne on Their behalf.
Yet more my Father,
May he overcome the evils of the World,
and escape the evils of deceivers,
Deliver him from the snares of Satan,
Shield him from the venomous dart of wicked Men and devils.
Comfort him on his long dreary journey,
Bear high his spirit, far exceed his hopes,
And fond anticipations.
Illuminate His soul and fill his mind with perfect peace.
Guide his feet in all righteousness,
Lead him In the bright ways of everlasting truth,
May he grow in knowledge and thy favour
And swiftly run the great race before him.
May his sun no more go down, nor his
Light within him be darkness, and may he drink
Still more deeply from the pure fountain of
Intelligence and wisdom.
And may his Continual course rise upwards to the Gods.
May his name never be blotted from Heavens Archives
But through all eternity may it be
Had in honourable remembrance.
In thy Kingdom Crown him with a royal diadem
Of Unfolding Glory and Celestial worth;
Grant him to wave a righteous sceptre
Of untold splendour and sanctified Millions.
Grant all things in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen and Amen

John Jacques, Coventry, England September, 1850

Alfred Cordon’s journal entries end around this time and we don’t have any of his writings about his journey home to join his family. Luckily John Jaques makes mention of hearing about Alfred Cordon’s safe arrival to St. Louis, he wrote,

Received a letter from Sister Betsey McGregor containing twelve postage stamps, also stating that her brother, John, was doing a good business at St. Louis, U .S .A. They had also heard from Elder Alfred Cordon from St. Louis stating that he had arrived there safe as far as his person was concerned, but he had been on the railway in two collisions, but himself and his luggage escaped scot free. Whilst on the steamboat before that time, being very tired, he fell asleep and some one, taking advantage of him, contrived to rob him of sixty-five sovereigns, partly his own and partly belonging to other families. The Saints at St. Louis gave him sufficient to help him to Council Bluffs.

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