Mormon Missionary Diaries
About the Collection
Lyman Hinman Jacobs
by Jeffrey S. Hardy
Lyman Hinman Jacobs was born on 5 November 1903 in Magrath, Alberta, Canada, to Zebulon Jacobs and Dora Hinman. As a youth he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and remained active in that organization for the duration of his life. Sometime in his early life his family moved to nearby Cardston, where he received his primary education. Thereafter he studied at and eventually graduated from the University of Alberta.
Lyman’s studies were interrupted by a call to serve as a missionary in the Northern States Mission of the LDS Church. He left home on 23 September 1928, bound for Chicago, Illinois, and after arriving at mission headquarters he was assigned to labor in Indianapolis, Indiana. After preaching at his first street meeting Jacobs remarked, “I have felt shaky before in my life but never more so than that night.”1 He soon found that he enjoyed tracting, however, and engaged in that pursuit nearly every day. He often expressed a desire to do the work of the Lord; on one occasion he exclaimed, “I must work harder and pray harder and longer… I must study hard and think more.”2 On 4 November 1928 Lyman was transferred to Terre Haute, Indiana, and spent the next several months preaching in and around that city.
Jacobs became well versed in the Bible and frequently engaged in lengthy arguments on various gospel subjects. A highlight of his mission came when he visited Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois, the site of so much Church history. Afterwards he noted, “It was a fine thing to say after we left that we had seen it all.” 3 In March 1929 Lyman transferred back to Indianapolis, where he was appointed District President. As such he traveled all over the area, visiting the branches of the Church and overseeing the missionary work. After two years in Indiana, Lyman completed his missionary duties and returned home to Cardston.
In 1934 Jacobs moved to Raymond, Alberta, after accepting a teaching position at the local high school. He was appointed principal of the school in 1939 and maintained that post until his retirement in 1969. In addition to concentrating on scholastics, Lyman involved himself in high school athletics. He helped form the Alberta Schools Athletic Association, which organized interschool competitions in Alberta, and led his high school men’s basketball team to four provincial titles. During the mid-1930s he married Ethel LaVon West; they were blessed with four children, three of whom survived infancy.
Lyman served in the Church organization as high councilman and Sunday School superintendent for the Raymond Stake. In 1969 Jacobs was elected mayor of Raymond, a post preceded by six years on the city council. After only two years, however, he resigned as he and Ethel were called to serve in the Australian Mission of the Church. In his retirement he pursued his favorite pastimes: gardening, fishing, hunting, and photography. Lyman Hinman Jacobs passed away on 7 September 1995 at home in Raymond at the age of ninety-one.
1 Lyman H. Jacobs, “Diary, 1928–1929,” 29 September 1928. MSS 635, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
2 Ibid., 29 October 1928.
3 Ibid., 15 March 1929.
Bitton, Davis. Guide to Mormon Diaries & Autobiographies. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1977.
Hicken, J. Orvin, ed. Raymond 1901–1967. Lethbridge, Alberta: Lethbridge Herald Company, 1967.
Jacobs, Lyman H. “Diary, 1928–1929.” MSS 635, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
Turner, Lawrence. Raymond Remembered: Settlers, Sugar, and Stampedes. [Raymond, Alberta: History Book Committee, Town of Raymond, 1993].