Airs. Gertrude Anderson, who supplied the loving tenderness and
the watchful wisdom, otherwise denied him by his mother's un-
timely death. She taught him to honor his soldier father who
marched away with the flower of Denmark's army, in 1848. So
attached did he become to his grandmother that he begged to
remain with her after his father returned from the wars, and
moved to a distant city.
His grandmother was the soul of honor ; her discipline might
be severe at times, but her love shone through every act and word.
She recognized the great gifts of her tiny grandson and sent
him to a private school when only four years of age. When he
was seven he entered the public school, and from the first was
an honor pupil.
His grandmother taught him to love the Bible. She was
herself a God-fearing woman and she loved to listen to the clear,
childish voice reading the solemn history of God's hand-dealings
with His children of olden time.
When the gospel was brought to Denmark his uncle Jens
and his grandmother were among the first to receive its teachings.
She was baptized in 1853, her son Jens Anderson being one among
the very first baptized companies in Denmark. Sister .\nderson
filled her home with the Church books and these were eagerly
studied by her gifted and precocious grandson.
Imagine how her heart must have swelled with pride to see
her darling Anthon lifted upon the table when not fourteen years
old, by President C. D. Fjeldsted to give his missionary report to
the assembled conference.
This lofty spirited woman forsook all her friends and asso-
iates and with her grandson Anthon took ship at Hamburg, in
1862, in the Benjamin Eraiiklin, arriving in the Valley September
PR ESI 1)1-: NT l.L'NL) \\'.\S I',.\ I'TIZP:!) NEAN TTIE i'.RIDCl-: IN THIS AAI.BOKC, CANAL.
RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
24, 1862. Sister Anderson removed to Cedar, where her son
Jens was already located, and there died in 1866, respected by
her friends and loved closely and truly by her family and kindred.
She bore the severe trials incident to changed surroundings, a
new language, pioneer conditions, and the inevitable misunder-
standings of new friends and associates, with the same fortitude
and patient submission which marked all her life. She was one
of those quiet heroines, those modest noblewomen whom life
tosses on the waves of adversity but finally lays tenderly on the
golden sands of the eternal shores, crowned with the diadem of
achievement, her breast composed in the peace that passeth all
MRS. SARAH ANN NELSON-PETERSON.
The subject of this little sketch was known to most Saints
in the stirring pioneer days of Utah's founding. She was the
mother-in-law of President A. H. Lund, and she had a lasting
influence on his life and character. The following sketch was
prepared by him at the time of her death :
There are no great ex-
ploits or brilliant feats to
relate, nor many such thril-
ling incidents as are gen-
erally considered necessary
to make up the life of a
heroine ; still she was a
heroine in the true mean-
ing of the word, for her
life was an unbroken chain
of good works ; and as long
as genuine goodness, un-
flinching integrity, and un-
wavering faith and trust in
the Lord are traits esteemed
so highly by the Latter-day
Saints, so long will such
lives as that here described
be admired and held in the
greatest veneration. We
think that our readers will
be interested in the history
of one of the true mothers
Sister Sarah Ann Peterson, wife of President Canute Peter-
son of the Sanpete Stake of Zion, was born in Kendall Township,
MRS. SARAH A. PETERSON,
Mother-in-law of President T.und.
MUTlUiRS Of OUR LEADERS IN ISRAEL. 247
Orleans County, New York, February 16, 1827. Her parents
were Quakers. Her father, Cornelius Nelson, with his wife,
Kari, and four children left Norway in 1825, to escape religious
persecution. They were passengers in the little sloop Restaura-
tionen which carried the first company of emigrants from that
country direct to America. With the rest of the company which
came across the ocean with them they settled near Lake Ontario.
While she was still but a small child her father died. Grandma
Peterson's father was a man who had implicit faith in God and
always expressed his gratitude to God for His kindness to him,
as this little incident will show. When great-grandfather Nelson
came to New York he had to struggle to get him a house built,
which was made of lumber. One day, shortly after his house
was finished, while he was at work, a fire destroyed the house
and every piece of furniture contained in it. When he came
home his family were all standing in the street. The first thing
great-grandfather asked was, "Are all the children safe?" His
wife answered, "Yes." Then he immediately knelt down in the
road and thanked God for His kindness in preserving his wife
and children. Her grand-uncle Kleng Person, had visited Illinois
and was charmed with the fertile lands he found there, and he
persuaded most of the Norwegians living in Kendall Township
to move to that state. Her mother went with them. They took
up land in La Salle County, and the family soon became pros-
The Nelson homestead became famed for its open-handed
hospitality, and many a weary traveler rested under its friendly
roof. This was in the days before the genus tramp had become
so abundant. Mrs. Nelson was kindness itself, and always ready
to help others. Often when the traveler had left his wet stock-
ings at the hearth to dry she would wash and mend them while
he slept, and the change effected in them would at times be so
great that he would not know the pair he found in the morning !
A training under such a mother could but leave its impression on
the young girl, and loving kindness and solicitude for the welfare
of others became the leading traits of her character, and they
were quite marked even when she was a girl. She was a general
favorite with the family, and her pleasing manners and warm-
hearted sympathy endeared her to all who became acquainted
with her. When she afterwards left her home to gather with
the Saints the young "Mormon" girl was held in kindly remem-
brance by many people. Thirty-four years later she visited the
]>laces so well known to her childhood. Going through a by-lane
one day she overtook a poor blind woman whom she had often
befriended in her young days. Calling her by name in the old
familar wav, the blind woman over-joved turned round and said :
248 KELlEl- SOCIEIY MAGAZINE.
"Is it possible that Sarah Nelson has come back?" She did not
know that Sister I'eterson was in the neighborhood.
When she was fourteen years of age some Latter-day Saint
elders visited the Norwegian settlement and quite a number
joined the Church. Mrs. Nelson was quite fond of some of
those who belonged to the Church, but being a Quaker she could
not see the necessity of baptism. She did not hinder her daugh-
ter, however, when she became convinced of the truth of the
gospel, from being baptized. Sister Sarah joined the Church at
the time when persecution was raging in the state against the
Saints, and they were driven from Nauvoo. All manner of lies
and false rumors concerning them were in circulation, but believ-
ing the gospel with her whole heart nothing could deter her from
casting her lot with the people of God.
In 1849 most of the Saints in that neighborhood left to gather
with the body of the Church. Now came the great trial of her
life. The counsel to the Saints was to gather. She knew that
only in the meetings of the Saints could she receive spiritual food ;
nearly all those who remained who had been members of the
Church were tainted with Strangism and apostasy ; to remain
would be spiritual starvation ; but on the other hand the Saints
had been driven out into a desert and nothing but the wildest
umiors respecting their fate was passing from mouth to mouth.
She had a good home, and she loved her folks with an affection â€”
the strong affection few are capable of feeling. What should she
do? She sought the Lord earnestly to guide her to choose the
right. Her answer was in the words of Jesus: "He that loveth
father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." This made
her part clear to her ; but it was nevertheless an excruciating
ordeal for her to bid her loved ones good-by. Her mother asked
the blessings of the Lord to follow her.
The company with which she went traveled with teams across
the states of Illinois and Iowa to Council Bluffs where the com-
panies were fitting out for the journey across the plains. It was
a slow way of traveling, and it took weeks to go the same dis-
tance that now is passed over in the course of a day and night
iij the cars. Before reaching the Missouri River cholera broke
out in the camp. Among those attacked was Sister Sarah A.
Nelson, who became dangerously sick ; the sisters did all possible
for her, but she was rapidly growing worse. She had no rela-
tives with the train. When Canute Peterson who was along in the
company heard how sick she was, he was deeply affected. He
had known her from her childhood, and after his mother died
he had been treated in her mother's home as if he had been one
of the family. He thought of the great sacrifices she had made
for the Gospel's sake ; and then how her family would be shocked
to hear of her death. He went down into a grove of trees by
MOTUIiRS Ol- OUR LllADlLRS IN ISRAEL. 249
the river side and there wrestled with the Lord in earnest prayer.
He received a marvelous answ^er to his prayer. The Spirit of
God came upon him in a manner he had never before experienced.
He felt that the gift of healing had been bestowed upon him, and
without allowing his thoughts to be directed upon any other
subject he went straight up to the wagon where Sister Peterson
was lying, and as there were several sisters in the wagon he could
not enter it, but put his hand under the wagon cover and laid it
upon her head and in the name of the Lord rebuked the disease
and commanded it to leave her. Her groaning ceased, the cramp-
ing pain left her immediately, and within an hour she was up and
trying to help others who were sick. She said in telling her ex-
perience on this occasion, that as soon as she felt his hand upon
her head she knew whose it was although she could not see him.
and she felt a power thrill through her whole system removing
her intense suffering at once. It was a great testimony to her
that the signs follow those who believe.
During the short time of her sickness Brother Peterson
learned how much she was to him. They were not engaged. Her
pleasant manners had always charmed him ; her integrity to her
faith had won his admiration, and he looked upon her as almost a
superior being : she had been deeply touched by the love she had
witnessed between him and his invalid mother, and by his dutiful
course in bending every energy towards earning means for her
support, a responsibility that fell on him when he was hardly in
his teens, after his father's death ; and her esteem for him had
been heightened when he had filled an honorable mission to a
neighboring state. Entertaining such feelings toward each
other, and circumstanced as they were, it is but natural that these
feelings should ripen into the stronger feelings of love. Many
suitors had sought to gain the winsome girl, but none had been
able to strike a responsive chord in her heart until Canute Peter-
son told her of his love. He had nothing to offer her but his
honest heart, but she knew that that was beyond price to her.
They were married July 3, 1849, at Council Bluffs by Apostle
Orson Hyde, and they spent their honeymoon crossing the almost
trackless plains which lay between Missouri and Salt Lake City.
They arrived in Salt Lake City, October 25, 1849. They moved
into the Old Fort, and here was born their first son the year after.
In 1851 they moved to Lehi and were among the first settlers
who located at that place. The next year was spent in clearing
the land and building a little house, and then Brother Peterson
received' a call to go to Norway on a mission. His labors had
been hitherto directed to making a home for his wife and child.
There was no money in circulation, and he had none either to take
him to his field of labor or to leave for their support during his
absence. The thought of leaving her in a place just being settled
250 RELIEl' SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
aiid without any relatives or any of the friends that had come
with them across the plains was particularly trying- to him ; but
his wife was ready to make another sacrifice for the sake of the
gospel, which held first place in her heart, and encouraged him to
go where his duty pointed, and she assisted him in making" prepar-
ations for the journey.
She did feel lonesome when he had gone. Rumor had it that
he would be gone seven years. He was not gone as long as that,
but a little daughter born some months after his leaving home
was able to read fluently in the first reader when he returned.
Sister Peterson was blessed in having many friends, and they
were a great comfort to her.
During her husband's absence an Indian war broke out in
Utah County, and the few settlers at Lehi moved together for pro-
tection. Sister Peterson and Sister Kearns, whose husband was
laboring as a missionary on the Sandwich Islands, moved into a
little house which they occupied together. They found much
comfort in each other's society and a strong attachment sprang up
between them and also between their children. When their hus-
bands returned they became almost like David and Jonathan. It
was interesting to hear Sister Peterson relate their experiences
during- this trying period. When exciting news had been re-
ceived of the depredations of the Indians in the neighborhood it
caused them many sleepless nights. The footstep of a passer-by
or the tramping of roaming cattle would fill them with anxiety ;
any unusual noise in the stillness of the night would startle them.
If one of them should fall asleep the other would be sure to be
Sister Peterson also passed through the grasshopper war
during the time her husband was away. While so many families
had to live on roots and greens, not being able to procure flour,
she and her children never lacked for bread. She felt the Lord
provided for her and it filled her with deep gratitude to Him.
It was a happy meeting when her husband returned. She
was proud and thankful that he had accomplished an honoral)le
and successful mission to the land of her forefathers, and had
brought a large company of Saints back with him. He had gone
literally without purse or scrip and the Lord had marvelously
opened the way for him. He found that she had been a splendid
manager, for she had not only sustained herself and her children,
â– but was in a much better condition financially than when he left.
After his return Brother Peterson worked hard to make his
family comfortable, and the Lord prospered him. He also spent
much time in the ministry, being called to act as counselor to
Bishop Evans of Lehi. In those early days there were no rail-
roads and all travel and freighting were done with teams. As
Brother Peterson was so well known to the Scandinavians, and
MOTHERS OF OUR LEADERS IN ISRAEL. 251
living only a day's travel from Salt Lake City, his place became
a convenient point for them to stop both going to and returning
from the city, and hundreds received a welcome under his hos-
pitable roof. Sister Peterson had the peculiar knack of making
people feel entirely at home when they were her guests.
In 1867 her husband was called to be bishop of Ephraim.
Again she had to bid good-by to a host of dear friends and help
her husband begin a new home. This she did cheerfully. Soon
after her arrival at Ephraim the sisters chose her to preside over
the Relief Society there. From this time began her public career
as a leader among the sisters in charitable works, and this was
continued till her death â€” nearly thirty years.
Under her able management this society became very pros-
perous. Nearly all the women in Ephraim were enrolled as mem-
bers. The poor were looked after and the sisters would take
turns to watch over and nurse the sick. Besides this the prime
object of the society the sisters built a hall of their own in which
they held their meetings ; these were almost as the love feasts of
ofi!, a sisterly affection binding all the members together. When
the Manti Temple was building, the society made large donations
towards its erection. When the First Presidency counseled the
];eople to store up grain for a time of need this society stored up
many hundred bushels of wheat. Considerable means were also
furnished missionaries to take them on their way and to their
families at home. All was raised through small contributions.
Shortly after she had become President of this society great
exertions were made by the Saints to gather the poor from the
old countries. Several thousand dollars were collected in Ephraim
alone for this purpose. Sister Peterson and the sisters devised a
scheme as novel as it was unique, to raise means for this worthy
object. The members of the society agreed among themselves
that they would donate all the eggs their hens should lay on
Sundays for the purpose of emigrating the poor. This was car-
ried out for many years and some of the other settlements fol-
lowed the example of the good sisters of Ephraim. It looked
as if the chickens entered into the spirit of the thing for they
seemed to lay more eggs on Sunday than on any other day in
the week ! Hundreds of dollars were raised in this way and
many a poor Saint owes his deliverance from Babylon to the eggs
deposited on Sunday by the feathered layers.
When the Sanpete Stake was organized, in 1877, Bishop
Canute Peterson was appointed to preside over it. Sister Peter-
son was made counselor to Sister M. A. P. Hyde, the president of
the Relief Societies in that stake. Her sphere of action had now
become enlarged, but she found time to attend to her duties and
she performed them faithfully. With her husband she often
visited the different towns in the stake and she would meet with
252 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
the members of the various societies. Her presence was always
hailed with delight by the sisters, her counsel was highly valued,
and her influence for good over them was very great.
Sister Peterson was a loving mother and an affectionate wife.
She was the mother of nine children, of whom two daughters and
four sons survive her, namely: Peter C. Canute, (dead), Sarah
Ann, Parley P. Canute, W. Nels, (dead), Martha A., (dead),
Herbertia W., and John. She and her husband had known each
other since they were children. The love which united their
hearts in early life grew stronger and stronger during forty-
seven years' companionship in married life. It made them insep-
arable in life, it will make them one through all eternity. They
were both firm believers in all the principles of the gospel, and
she sustained her husband faithfully in yielding obedience to
them. Her course in all the conditions of life, and especially in
the family relation, was a most judicious and exemplary one.
She showed her faith in her works.
In the winter of 1895-6 "Grandma" Peterson, as she was
lovingly called, had a severe attack of sickness from which she
never entirely recovered. She bore her suffering with saint-like
fortitude and patience. Though afflicted with an incurable dis-
ease she tried to keep this fact from the knowledge of her loved
ones, that she might spare them the pain the discovery of this
would cause them, and even under these circumstances she had
comforting and encouraging words for others. Her youngest
son had been called to go to Norway on a mission ; seeing his
mother so sick he told her he would get his mission postponed
until she was better. "No, my son," said this noble woman, "go
and do your duty and obey the Lord's call. If we do not meet
again here on earth we shall in heaven." She lived only a little
more than a week after he left. On the 20th of May, 1896, her
gentle spirit took its flight from its earthly tabernacle, and re-
turned to Him who gave it.
Sister Peterson was an industrious and economical house-
wife. It was a mystery how she accomplished so much. She
never seemed hurried and she was never too busy to render a
service to others. Her husband loved to hear her read, and they
often found time to enjoy the papers or some good book together.
She was an excellent nurse. How welcome she was in the sick-
room ! None could make the pillow so soft, none could make the
food so palatable, and none could make the sick forget their
suffering as she could. How many nights she has spent at the
sick bed of others ! Her husband gently remonstrating would
say, "They are wearing out my Sarah." She had a genial and
happy f'isposition. She would discover a bright side to all the
hap])enings of life. She had studied ami learned well the lesson
of acknowledging the hand of the Lord in all things. Simshine
MOTHERS Ol- OUK LEADERS L\ ISRAEL. 253
oi storm, joy or sorrow, prosperity or adversity, all inspired her
with gratitude and submission to the good Father. She had a
remarkable power to imbue others with the same cheerful hope-
fulness which she felt. Wherever she went she filled the house
with sunshine. Her life was a beautiful one. She lived for the
happiness of others and in doing this she found the key to true
Brother C. C A. Christensen, who was well acquainted with
her for nearly forty years, writes to Bikiibeii: "In my opinion
Sister Peterson came as near to perfection as it is possible for
mortals to do. She was noble-minded, self-sacrificing, and un-
selfish, free from vanity, diligent, and God-fearing, saving toward
herself, but liberal to the needy; and her greatest pleasure was
to do good to others and ameliorate their sufferings."
The Ephraim Enterprise says: "The funeral services were
held in the Tabernacle Friday, May 22, 1896. People from all
parts of the State who knew and loved the deceased were present
to pay their last sad tribute of respect to the departed sister.
Feeling addresses were made by Apostles Francis M. Lyman and
John Henry Smith and many others who spoke of the noble char-
acter of the deceased, and eulogized her for the grand work she
had done for humanity. The funeral procession was the largest
ever seen in this city.''
The Tabernacle was tastefully decorated with white crepe
and flowers. The coffin was also white and covered with flowers
and other tokens of the love and respect she had won. At the
foot of the coffin was an inscription encircled with beautiful
flowers w^hich in a few words sums up the pretty story of her life :
"Faith, hope, and charity were in her soul combined.
And noble deeds like lovely flowers through all her life entwined.
She now has left us, but has only gone to rest,
And with the Saints in Paradise is happy and is blest."
SARAH ANN PETERSON LUND.
The wife of President Lund. Sarah Ann Peterson-Lund, is
the eldest daughter of President Canute Peterson and his wife
Sarah NelsonPeterson. She was born in Lehi, January 4, 1853.
Her father had left the expectant mother to go upon a mission to
Scandinavia, in December. 1852. He was on the ocean, off
the New Foundland coast the night of January 4. in a terrific
storm, doing his strenuous part at the jiunips to prevent the dis-
tressed ship from sinking. After hours of superhuman effort he
was released for a little rest. Throwing himself on his bunk
he fell asleep at once, and was transported on the magic carpet
of dreamland to his cabin in the W^asatch mountains. He saw his
RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
v;ife in her bed of recent delivery, saw the tiny baby girl who lay
ucside her on the pillow, also he saw all the others in the room
exactly as they were then engaged, and he lifted up his heart and
rejoiced before the Lord. He wrote home the full account of
this dream before ever he heard a word of news concerning the
Sarah Peterson was the merriest, keenest witted, best loved
girl in the village of Lehi. She early showed that finely balanced
character which won the
respect as well as the ad-
miration of her associates.
She inherited the quick wit
of her father, the wisdom
and sweetness of her moth-
er's spirit, and added to it
a reticence all her own.
She never sought friends
nor friendship for she had