Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Scandinavian jubilee album : issued in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the gospel to the three Scandinavian countries by Elder Erastus Snow and fellow laborers online

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Online LibraryChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsScandinavian jubilee album : issued in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the gospel to the three Scandinavian countries by Elder Erastus Snow and fellow laborers → online text (page 1 of 15)
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University of California Berkeley

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Ttie Prophet.






Among the thoughts inspired by the Scandinavian Jubilee in 1900 was tr\e preparation of a Souvenir Album, containing views
aqd portraits representing places of interest, and persons who h,ave beer) active workers in the Scandinavian, mjssion., since its
corrirrieqcement in 1850. The plan, was laid before th,e Scandinavian Saints, in a circular, and generous responses were received
from, all parts of the country. Trje publishers therefore epplied themselves to th,e work, and they now have the pleasure of pre-
senting to the public tne result of several monthX careful and conscientious labor. In doing so, they hope th,at \3r\e perusal of
tr\ese leaves will bring to the hearts of th,e readers rnuch joy, rqany happy recollections of the past, and inspire continued faith-
fulness in ttie Gospel of Jesus, first proclaimed in the northern countries half a century ago.

The publishers, while doing their utrr\ost to present all th,e data with historic accurracy, dare n ot hP e ' have been able to
do so in every instance, the tim.e for publication being too short for an absolutely accurate work of this kind. But they trust that
no serious errors rjave crept into th,e pages. And now, in sending this little volume out am,ong its friends, we rjope and pray for
thie speedy corning of the day when a " faithful laborers in the cause of trutr) shall receive tr;eir final reward.

Salt Lake City. June 14, 1900.


An Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.




HE general conference held in Salt Lake City in
October, 1849, marked an important epoch in the his-
tory of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
On that occasion, for the first time in this dispensation,
a little army of soldiers of the Cross were sent forth to
unfurl the banner of the Gospel to different nations of
the earth.

The noble Pioneers, escaped from the fury of mobs, had
barely had time to erect for themselves and their families some
primitive huts for shelter, and to provide, to some extent,for ex-
istence in these valleys, and then their first thought was of
reaching their fellowmen with the message entrusted to them
by (ind. They were not in a position to form missionary socie-
ties, with monthly, or annual, contributions; they had no fa-
cilities for rearing colleges and universities in which to equip

missionaries for the work of the ministry, according to the
pattern of the world; they were separated from civilization by
a stretch of desert, one thousand miles wide, and risked their
lives in untold perils, whenever they set out to cross this ex-
panse. But the voice of the Lord had come to them: "For
verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the
world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth the Gospel
must be preached unto every creature, with signs following
them that believe. And behold the Son of man cometh." (Doc.
and Cov. 58: 64, 65.) They knew that the Lord never gives a
command without imparting power to comply with it, and
therefore, notwithstanding their poverty and all other disad-
vantages, they offered themselves on the altar. The following
brethren were called to leave the valley for foreign missions:
To England 'Apostle Franklin D. Richards, and Elders

Joseph W. Johnson, Joseph W. Young, Haden W. Church,
George B. Wallace and John S. Higbee.

To France Apostle John Taylor, and Elders Curtis E.
Eolton and John Pack.

To Italy Apostle, now President, Lorenzo Snow and !'.!-
der Joseph Toronto.

To Denmark Aposte Erastus Snow and Peter 0. Hanscn.

To Sweden Elder John E. Forsgren.

To the Society Islands Elders Addison Pratt, James
Brown, and Hiram Blackwell.

Two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden
were thus among the first to be selected to receive the invita-
tion to the "marriage feast of the Lamb." Undoubtedly among
the inhabitants of northern Europe the seed of Israel is abun-

The missionary zeal manifested at this early period of the
history of the Church is better appreciated, if it is remembered
that at this time the Saints in Utah numbered only about
5,000 souls. They were battling against the climate, and the

countless insects, as well as drought. The situation here was
described in the General Epistle by the First Presidency, is-
sued in the spring of 1819: "In the former part of February,
the Bishops took an inventory of the breadstuff in the valley,
when it was reported that there was little more than three-
fourths of a pound per day for each soul, until the 5th of July;
and considerable was known to exist which was not reported.
As a natural consequence some were nearly destitute, while
others had abundance. The common price of corn since har-
vest has been two dollars: some have sold for three; at present
there is. none in the market at 'any price. Wheat has ranged
from four to five dollars, and potatoes from six to twenty dol-
lars per bushel, and though not to be bought at any price at
present, it is expected ilu'ix- will be a good supply for seed by
another year."

This will give an idea of the temporal condition of the
Saints at the time the Scandinavian mission was founded. Did
the world ever present a more striking example of that im-
plicit faith in God, which conquers all difficulties and obtains

^ HE student of history can clearly perceive that the Scan-
dinavian countries at this time were being specially pre-
pared to receive the Gospel of Jesus. In Denmark the
ancient spirit of liberty, too long held captive in the
narrow formalism of the state-church, commenced to
break its chains. We will only mention the eloquent plea
for religious liberty by Dr. A.G. Rudelbach,and the iconoclastic
thunderbolts hurled with unerring precision by Dr. S0ren
Kjerkegaard. Such efforts were not without effect. They pre-
pared the masses for the light that was to break forth, and
gave an entirely new direction to the religious life. And their
voices were heard far beyond the boundaries of Denmark. They
re-echoed through the valleys and mountains of the Scandina-
vian peninsula, on both sides of Kj01en.

Religious liberty and liberty of the press became two of
the characteristics of the constitution framed for the kingdom
of Denmark in 1849 the year when the Scandinavian mission
was decided on and later signed by King Frederik VII. With-
out these concessions, it is difficult to see, how the standard
of the Gospel could have been planted in the three northern
conn tries.

Whenever the Lord undertakes to bring forth among His

children something out of the ordinary, something more di-
rectly preparatory for the advent of His Son, He always ra
up messengers to prepare the way. And in this light tin; var-
ious nreachers of repentance in the Scandinavian countries in
the first half of this century must be considered. In Ham-
burg, Pastor Oncken had succeeded in gathering a circle of
friends who believed in baptism by immersion, as taught by the
English and American Baptists. And from Hamburg this
spark of Scripture light was brought to Copenhagen by P. C.
M0nster and to Gothenburg by F. 0. Nilsson, a sailor. The
latter embraced the doctrines of the Baptists in the year 1847,
and gained some friends in Gothenburg, but he was promptly
banished from Sweden. In the year 1849 a young Lutheran
clergyman, Pastor A. Viberg, wrote against the established
church and was suspended for six months. But he never re-
turned to that church. He embraced the faith of the Baptists
and was baptized in Copenhagen by Mr. Xil.sson, who was then
in banishment. Mr. Viberg unfolded great religious activity,
and was wonderfully successful. Through him thousands were
drawn away from the state-church, and the path he had broken
w,i- followed by a number of various denominations. In Nor-
way the work of preparing the way for the Gospel may be

said to have devolved upon the famous preacher of repentance,
Hans Nilsen Hauge, who died in the year 1824, and upon hi=
followers. He never renounced the doctrines of the established
church, but he laid bare, without mercy, the rationalism and
hypocrisy of the clerical caste. He was a man without much
book learning, but with burning zeal for what he considered the
truth. He insisted that he was commissioned by God to cry
repentance, and although he was incarcerated for ten years
for his religion, he remained faithful. In his twenty-sixth
year he commenced to preach to his friends, and then he trav-

eled throughout the entire country of Norway, and finally went
to Denmark, in the year 1800, where he also gained many fol-

There were in the Scandinavian countries many noble
messengers, who each in his day prepared the way for the
Gospel. It was all the work of the Almighty. It was a mani-
festation of that Power, which had set about to gather together
the dry bones in the valley, and which will not cease, until
they are all clothed over with new forms, in which the divine
Spirit lives.



JOURNEY across the American continent and the
ocean at that time was an undertaking of the magnitude
of which the present generation, with its ocean grey
hounds and fast express trains, hardly can have a true
conception. The conference was held on the 6th and
7th of Octobcr,and il was already late in the season fora
trip across the mountains. But the missionaries had been
called, and set apart, for a work of vast importance, and they
did not hesitate. They made such preparations as time and
their limited means would permit, and on the 19th of October
they were gathered at the mouth of Emigration canyon, where
they were organized into a traveling party, by President Brig-
ham Young. There were thirty-five men in the party, with
twelve wagons and forty-two horses and mules. Shadrach
Iloundy was appointed captain. And now the start was made.
The hand of the Lord was over the little party. According to
the testimony of Elder John Taylor, the season was inclement,
but the preserving hand of the Almighty was clearly seen.
"The snows had fallen," says Elder Taylor, "on our right and
left, but with a slight fall on the Sweetwater, and another on
the day of our arrival at Old Fort Kearney, we have escaped

The party arrived at Fort Kearney on the Missouri river
on the 7th of Dec., 1849, and a few days later at Kanesville,
where they were received by the Saints with many tokens of
love and joy. From Kanesville the missionaries took different
routes to the coast, and across the Atlantic. Peter <). Ilansen
landed in Liverpool on the 8th of April, 1850; Erastus Snow
came there on the IGth, and John E. Forsgren on the 19th. At
the time there were about 30,000 Saints in Great Britain, and
those set apart for the European mission were aided financially
by them. Elder P. 0. Hansen proceeded to Scotland, where
he was liberally provided for by the Saints, and from there he
went to his native land, Denmark, arriving in Copenhagen on
the llth of May, I860. One of his first efforts was the publi-
cation of a little pamphlet entitled "En Advarsel til Folket"
(A Warning to the Nation). Elder Erastus Snow, the Apostle,
spent several weeks in England and Scotland among the Saints,
but finally he was prepared to start for the goal of his long
journey. He left London on the 8th of June, accompanied by
Elder George P. Dykes, who had performed missionary work
among the Norwegians in La Salle county, 111., in 1842, and
who consequently had some knowledge of the Danish-Norwe-
gian tongue. In Hull the two Elders were joined by Elder

John E. Forsgren. The three embarked in the steamer Vic-
toria on the llth of June, and arrived in Copenhagen on Fri-
day, the 14th of the same month, at ten o'clock in the morn-
ing. They were met at the landing by Elder P. 0. Hansen,
who conducted them to a hotel, and here, in their room, one of
their first acts was to offer up thanksgivings to the Almighty
for His preserving care over them, and to dedicate themselves
to His service in this to them foreign land, imploring His pro-
tection and blessings upon their labors.

On the following day, the little party, after earnest pray-
ers, set out to find a family with whom to stop. Their quest
was not in vain. The Lord guided them to No. 196, Bredgadc,
where one Mr. Lauritz 15. Mailing lived, of whom they rented a
large and commodious upper room, boarding with the family.
They were treated with the utmost courtesy. Mailing and his
wife, later, joined the Church, though they did not remain
long within its folds.

The kingdom of heaven has been likened to a mustard
seed, which, though small, grows to a large tree. From a small
beginning it develops into large proportions. It was so in
Denmark. On Sunday, June 16, the missionaries commenced
their work by attending a meeting conducted by Rev. Peter C.
Menster, a Baptist minister who had suffered much perse-
cution, at the instigation of the Lutheran clergy. Mr. M0n-

ster received the strangers cordially. In the afternoon they
had a pleasant conversation with Captain Simonsen, a gentle-
man, who gave them much valuable information of the country
and the people.

On Monday they received a call from Rev. M0nster, the
Baptist minister. He told the brethren the quite interesting
story of his religious labors and his sufferings, at the hands of
mobs as well as of officers of the law. The Elders, in turn, told
him of the work of the Lord in America, and explained to him
the nature of their message. They assured him that they had
not come to undo what the Lord had done through him, but to
aid him and his people to still greater perfection. The inter-
view was a pleasant one.

On Tuesday, June 18, Elders Erastus Snow and George P.
Dykes paid a visit to Walter Forward, the U. S. minister in
Copenhagen. He welcomed them cordially and made many in-
quiries about the ''Mormons" and their religion. He denounced
the spirit of persecution that had been rampant in the United
States, and promised the missionaries every assistance he could

On the 19th Elders Dykes and Hansen visited Rev. P. C.
M0nster and imparted to him much instruction. They also
visited other families and bore their testimony wherever they
found an opportunity to do so. The result was that they very

soon found themselves surrounded by a circle of friends, some
of whom were earnestly investigating the Gospel. On the 21st
of July the first public meeting was held at the house of Peter
Biickstrom, Store Kongens Gade. Quite a number of Bap-
tists were present, and a spirit of investigation was manifest.
The Lord was opening the way for a great and marvelous work.
If the brethren had entertained the hope that Kev. M0n.
ster would be among those who received the Gospel, they were
doomed to disappointment. As soon as he realized that the
work of the missionaries of necessity would result in the es-
tablishment of a church separate from the Baptist denomina-
tion, he retreated and warned his flock from having friendly
associations with the Elders. It costs much self-abnegation for
a man in Mr. Meiister's position, to embrace the truth. He
had left the Lutheran church, undoubtedly after a long mental
struggle, and identified himself with a people, despised and
persecuted. Was he to take another step and incur still great-
er persecutions? He concluded not to do this. But some of
his flock had already accepted the Gospel, and decided to
ask for baptism at the hands of the Elders. Elder Snow rather
held them back, urging them to investigate fully the principles
taught. At last, however, he was shown in a dream, that it
would be acceptable to the Lord, to grant baptism to those who

had applied for the ordinance, and he concluded not to post-
pone the matter any longer.

On Monday, the 12th of August, 1850, the holy ordinance
was performed in the waters of 0resund, by Elder Erastus
Snow. He had learnt some Danish by this time, and uttered
the impressive words: "Ole Ulrich Christian Menster, Med
Fuldmagt fra Jesuni Christum daber jeg dig i Faderens, S0n-
nens og den HellSraanda Navn. Amen." 0. U. C. Menster
(not the previously mentioned Kev. M0nster) was the first one
baptized in this dispensation in Denmark. There were four-
teen others baptized at the same time. They were: Marie
M0nster, the wife of (). I". C. Menster, Hans Larsen, and
wife, Eline Dorthea; Andreas C. S. Hansen, and wife, Anna;
Johan B. F0rsJ,er and wife, Henriette; Andreas Aagren, Anim
Biickstrom, Johanne Andersen; Marie Nielsoii, Jacobsen,
Langstorff, and a man whose name is not on the records. It
was a beautiful Danish summer evening, when the holy rite
was performed. Anna Biickstrom, the first woman baptized,
afterwards became the wife of Elder Erastus Snow. She is
still living and residing in Salt Lake City. On the following
Wednesday, the 14th of August, the ordinance of the laying on
of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost was attended to
in the house of Peter Biickstrom, and those who had been
baptized were confirmed members of the Church.


The corner stone had been laid for a grand and magnifi-
cent structure. The seed sown with many a prayer and suppli-
cation had started to grow. The Lord had stretched out His
hands to gather His people from the northern lands.

Four days after the first baptism, eleven more converts
were added to the Church. Among these were Knud H. Bruun,
and Christen Christiansen. Brother Bruun was the first mem-
ber of the Danish Lutheran church to embrace the Gospel.
Elder Dykes performed the baptism.

On Sunday, the 18th of August, 1850, the converts were
confirmed members of the Church in the house of Hans Lar-
sen. Three children were aslo blessed on this uccasion. Four
more persons were baptized on that day, and among these were
Peter Biickstrom.

On Sunday, the 25th of August, the Sacrament was ad-
ministered for the first time in Denmark, in the house of Hans
Larsen. Brother Bruun was ordained a Priest, and another
brother was ordained a Teacher.

During the month of September the brethren appealed
to the Ivultus minister, or secretary of ecclesiastical affairs, for
permission to preach in Denmark, and their request was grant-
ed, but his excellency informed them, that they might have
trouble with the police, owing to the evil reports circulated
about the "Mormons" a prediction that proved but too true.

On the 15th of September, 1850, the first branch of the
Church was organized in a rented room in Vingaardstraedet,
with a membership of about 50, and Klder George P. Dykes as
president. John B. F0rster was appointed clerk, and Lauritz
B. Mailing, Ole Swendsen, and Andreas Aagren a finance com-

A suitable hall was now rented, and the work proceeded.
Baptisms were performed, and the power of God was manifest
in spiritual gifts.

About this time Elder Snow issued his well known pamph-
let "En SandhedsRest, " and later a translation of the Book
of Mormon was prepared for the press by Klders Snow and P.
0. Hansen. Elder Forsgren, who had been banished from
Sweden, was appointed to labor in Copenhagen and vicinity,
and Elder Dykes went to Aalborg, Jylland.

While the brethren were laboring faithfully and sur-rr>
fully, the adversary mustered his forces, too. The newly bap-
tized converts were the objects of hatred and persecution. One
of the most active persecutors was stricken by the hand of the
Lord, and became a raving maniac, literally possessed by an
evil spirit, but this did not deter others from raging against
the Saints. On account of the disturbances by mobs, the public
meetings had to be discontinued for a time, and the Saints
gathered quietly in their homes, where they engaged in prayer

and worship. They also sent a deputation to the king, Frodorik
VII, presenting him with a copy of the Book of Mormon and
Elder Snow's "En Sandheds E0st," It is said the king sent
the books to the queen dowager, and that they made such an
impression on her, that she became sick for several days.

At the close of the year 1850, there were about 130 mem-
bers of the Church in Denmark. The foundation had been
laid for the Scandinavian mission, which has been, and is, so
important a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day


rr -ro s-\vi<:i>K'.x.

>6 ALKKADY stated, ->i the < ctober conference held in
Sail Lake City in the year 1849, Elder John K. Fors-
gren was set apart as a messenger of the Gospel to
Sweden. Accordingly, he took an aflVot innate farewell
of his brethren in Copenhagen on the l!)th of June,
1850, and proceeded to Gefle, his native town. "He took
leave of us," says Apostle Krastns Snow, "with our blesssings
upon his head, and full of the Holy Ghost, though his eyes were
full of tears and his heart ready to burst."

It has often been the case that the messengers of the Gos-
pel have found the way prepared before them by the Lord,
through visions, or dreams, and Elder Forsgren had a similar
experience. On his arrival in Gellc he learned that his sister
some time previous had had a remarkable vision which had
made a deep impression upon her. She was sitting in church
one Sunday morning, having previously engaged in devotional
exercises. As the hymn was sung, she saw clearly a personage
standing before her, who said: "On the 5th of 'July a man will
come to you with three books, and all those that believe in the
things written in the books shall be saved." When Elder Fors-
gren arrived with the .Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the
Doctrine and Covenants, she believed his testimony.

The Lord, further, sealed hi- pn aching with a wonderful
miracle of healing. Elder Forsgren's brother, Peter, was suf-
fering of consumption, but he was completely restored through
faith and prayer, lie was the first to receive baptism, on the
19th of July. Elder Peter A. Forsgren is still a faithful mem-
ber of the Church, residing in Brighain City, I'tah. Shortly
afterwards, on the 3rd of Augu-t. l-'.lder Fcn-sgivn Uipti/i'd his
sister and two other person.*.

Lliler Peter Forsgren relates a remarkable incident. His
brother was one day summoned to the office of the public
prosecutor, and the latter asked him if he had a picture of the
Prophet Joseph. He procured a picture, and the officer set
fire to it. While it was burning, Elder John Forsgren had a
vision in which he saw the city of Gefle destroyed by fire. He
told his friends of this vision, and also that they would be in
America, when the visitation would take place. Xineteen
years from the date of the burning of Joseph's picture, the city
of Gefle was almost totally destroyed by fire, and the conflagra-
tion started in the very house, where the picture of the Prophet
had been sacrificed to the flames.

Elder Peter Forsgren continued his labor under many
difficulties. Among the first to embrace the Gospel were seven-

teen persons who were about to emigrate to the United States.
Some of these, it is believed, found their way to the settlements
of the Saints in the West.

According to the laws of Sweden at that time it was a
criminal offense for anybody but regularly appointed clergy-
men, to preach the Gospel, or administer in the sacred ordin-
ances. The consequence was that the faithful messenger of
the Lord was arrested and sent to Stockholm, the capital of
the kingdom. As a prisoner he had many opportunities, as
the Apostle Paul formerly, to bear his testimony to civil and
ecclesiastical authorities, and his name became known all over
the country. In the capital, many flocked around him and
listened to his message of love and salvation. Finally it
was decided to banish him and send him to America. He was
then put aboard a vessel. But he soon gained favor with the
captain, and when the ship touched at 0resund he was given
an opportunity to escape to Elsinore, where the American min-
ister gave him protection against the persecution instigated
by the Swedish consul at that place. In company with the
American minister, he arrived in Copenhagen on the 18th of
September, 1850.

Not till 1852 was another attempt made to bring the mes-

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Online LibraryChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsScandinavian jubilee album : issued in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the gospel to the three Scandinavian countries by Elder Erastus Snow and fellow laborers → online text (page 1 of 15)