Ronald D. Dennis, trans. and ed., Defending the Faith: Early Welsh Missionary Publications (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2003).
P14 DAVIS, John. Welcome song. Merthyr Tydfil: [John Davis], 1851.
1 p. 17 cm. Welsh Mormon Writings 63.
Dated 3 November 1851, Welcome song was composed in English by John Davis to honor Apostle Lorenzo Snow on the occasion of his visit to Wales. The poem consists of three stanzas of eight lines each.
The first three lines of the second stanza (“Welcome, brother, to the people who received the truth from you through the mission you appointed”) refer to the call Elder Snow had issued to William Henshaw in late 1842 or early 1843, to take the gospel to Merthyr Tydfil and environs. From Henshaw’s efforts came several hundred converts in the following three years, at which time Dan Jones took his place.
In his journal, Lorenzo Snow recorded his reaction to Davis’s poem:
During my stay in Wales, I attended a number of very interesting meetings. On the evening of the fourth of November, I addressed a very large assembly, convened in a hall in Tredegar, in Monmouthshire. In the course of the meeting, Elder J. S. Davies [sic] arose, unanticipated by me, and read a poem composed by him, in which he alluded to my visit in Wales as an Apostle, as a very remarkable and wonderful event. I gave him full credit for his good motive and generous feelings, but at the same time felt not a little annoyed that he should have chosen such an unseasonable occasion—in the presence of a large congregation, nine-tenths of which were Gentiles, to read an article of that character. (Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow [Salt Lake City, 1884], 189)
No Welsh translation of Welcome song ever appeared in the pages of Zion’s Trumpet.
Composed on the occasion of Elder LORENZO SNOW, one of the Twelve Apostles, visiting the Saints in Wales.
Let us, Cambrian Saints, be grateful,
Let us join to praise the Lord,
For he sendeth his Apostles
To delight us with his word.
‘Tis not long since brother Taylor
Caused our hearts in faith to grow;
Now, again, another cometh—
And he is Lorenzo Snow.
Welcome, brother, to the people
Who received the truth from you,
Through the mission you appointed;
And they number not a few.
We rejoice to have his presence,
For thro’ him great blessings flow;
And these Saints will long remember
Their beloved brother Snow.
May God bless him with his Spirit,
That he may be strong indeed,
To fulfil his glorious mission,
And to sow the precious seed.
May he prosper in all countries,
While to Zion he shall go,
Where the humble Saints of Cambria
Hope to meet with brother Snow.
Merthyr, Nov. 3, 1851. J. DAVIS.