The First Principal of Weber State University Wrote the Lyrics to “Hark, All Ye Nations”
Born in Germany in 1847, Louis F. Moench studied education at a college in Chicago before setting off to become a teacher in California. His trip west took him through Utah and it was there that his path in life would take an unexpected turn.
While passing through Utah, Moench came to know the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was baptised a member of the church and eventually made his home in Salt Lake City. He taught various classes at schools across the Wasatch Front, including University of Deseret, which would eventually become University of Utah.
In 1889 the Church founded the Weber Stake Academy. The school’s mission was to make secular and religious education accessible to those living in the area surrounding Ogden, Utah. Moench’s experience as an educator and supervisor qualified him for his appointment as the school’s first principal.
Moench was the principal for nine years before David O. McKay took over. Today, Weber State University, as it’s now called, covers more than 500 acres with 62 buildings and more than 26,000 students.
In addition to his work in education, Moench served a mission for the Church in Switzerland and Germany. During his time as a missionary he published many materials for German speaking church members. “Hark, All Ye Nations” was among the works published by Moench. The text was eventually translated to english, set to music, and added to the hymnbook. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings the song in the video below.