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AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHRISTIAN JOHN LARSEN

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JOURNALS OF CHRISTIAN JOHN LARSEN
(Located in Church Historians Office, 2nd Floor; Salt Lake City, Utah) Microfilm MS 1090 Larsen, Christian J. 1831 - 1915 Journals 1851 - 1914 Volume 1 Ledger Book about 8 inches x 13 inches Donated to Church Historians Office in 1914 by John C. Larsen (156 So. 1st E., Logan) May 1851 - Sep 1890 119 pages written in Danish (partly in ink, partly in pencil) Volume 2 Ledger Book Dec 1877 - Aug 1903 page 100 - page 357 written in English Volume 3 May 1851 - Mar 1853 page 1 - 162 written in English translation of volume 1 different style of handwriting Volume 4 Apr 1853 - May 1908 page 1 - 129 written in English same handwriting as volume 3 continuation of volume 3 Volume 5 May 1851 - Sep 1914 217 double-spaced type written pages (in English) appears to be a typed copy of volumes 3 & 4 I had the privilege to hold and look at the original volume 1 in my hands at the Church Historians Office - August 2, 2000 - Dennis M. Larsen

Published Autobiography
Title: Biography of Christian J. Larsen
Compiled by Shauna S. Olsen, Westminister, Ca., 1998. 100 p.
FHL microfilm # US/CAN Film 2056045 Item 8

Note: Christian John Larsen was born in Denmark in 1831.  He joined the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1850 and served as a missionary for several
years before coming to Utah.  He brought his first wife Barbara Jensine Dorothea
Olsen who is believed to be the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark.  After
arriving in Utah he settled in Ogden before settling in Sanpete county.  He married
 three additional times, two in polygamy, to Eingeborg Louise Ellefsen and later
her sister-in-law Inger Margretta Peterson Ellefsen.  Information on his life, his
mission and his family is included in this material.  Descendants live in Utah,
California, and elsewhere.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CHRISTIAN JOHN LARSEN

(March 21, 1831 - June 27, 1851)
I, Christian J. Larsen, was born March 21, 1831 in the town of "Greis", County of Veile, in the province of Jutland, Denmark. When I had reached the age of between six and seven years, I passed through a very severe sickness and I have been told by my mother, that for three days she had considered me dead and had commenced to prepare my burial clothes. I recovered, however, and afterwards I found employment in a cloth factory in my native town where a number of other children, both boys and girls also worked, besides some older people, and we were, by the latter, led to much improper talk and conduct, and I well remember, that at one time, we smaller ones tried to excel each other in who could beat in swearing. I was then only between seven and eight years old, but one day, while we were thus engaged in that wicked practice, I had a feeling of fear come upon me and a voice within my heart said: "What are you doing ? You know it is sin. " And, at the same time I formed a resolution that I would never do it again, nor would I drink any intoxicating drinks, if my Heavenly Father would only forgive me for the past and I felt that I had indeed made a covenant that I have made with Him since I entered the Church for this was in my childhood, long before I came to a knowledge of the Gospel. My parents, Lars Johansen and Anna Margrethe Sorensen, were very sincere in their religious belief, Lutherans, and they would generally take their children with them to church every Sunday and I therefore know that I would have received a severe chastisement, from them if they had learned of my evil ways, but when I had repented, I did not let anybody know about the resolution and covenant that I had made with God until I became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. I continued to work in the before mentioned factory till I had reached the age of 14 years and was then confirmed according to the rites of the Lutheran Church. We worked twelve hours a day and between the hours of 7 and 9 in the evening I attended school, the school teacher coming down from the nearby village to the factory for that purpose. After having passed the "Confirmation", I became an apprentice with my brother Johannes, who was a tailor, and we worked at that trade in his home and also at times in other places in the neighborhood till I was 17 years old, and then I moved to Copenhagen. This was in the year 1848, when war had broken out between Germany and Denmark, and, as one consequence of that event, work in our line of trade in Copenhagen was plentiful, and I worked together with brother Johannes, sewing clothing for the soldiers. In the Spring of 1850, I hired out as a servant to Colonel Coletevin and family, who were very kind to me, allowing me much freedom and only having very light work to perform; yet, there was something within that made me feel dissatisfied, and I therefore quit my employers, although they made me some very tempting offers, if I would remain in their service, and even exempting me from serving my country in the army. About that time, my brother Johannes had frequented the Baptist congregations and had taken much interest in their doctrines, yet I would not go with him to their meetings, but attended service in the Lutheran Church in the forenoon on Sundays; yet I found no spiritual food or satisfaction in the fry and ready-made sermons of he pastor, and I often meditated upon the cause for this and wondered why- it was that I could not get a taste for religion like so many other church goers, some of them I had myself seen drunk and unable to get to their home without me helping them, and I had heard them swear and use other bad language, and yet they were Christians -- it was a puzzle to me, how that could be. Sunday, August 11, 1850, my brother Johannes, having attended Baptist Meeting, came to me in the evening and informed me that some men had arrived from America, who said that they were disciples of Jesus like those in the days of the Apostles. That declaration made a very curious impression upon my mind at once, and I told my brother that I would go with him to Baptist meeting on purpose to see and talk with those men, and he told me that on the following Wednesday evening, I could go with him to meeting, and then I could see them. To this proposition assented and I longed for the intervening days to pass. I well remember how, while on my way to that meeting, I prayed to God in my heart that He would assist me to understand what the Baptist minister would have to say, but, to my surprise, it was no clearer to me than what I had heard in the Lutheran Church. The following Friday, in the afternoon, I had the first opportunity to hear a discussion between two Baptists and Elder Dykes, one of the missionaries from America, and was all the time in sympathy with the new doctrine and peculiar pleasant influence rested upon me that I had not experienced before -- I was converted, and the following Monday, August 19th, I was baptized by Elder P. 0. Hansen, another of the American missionaries, in the Sound (Eoresund), and when I came out of the water, it seemed to me that the heavens were opened and my mind lightened to such a degree that I could see and comprehend many things which I have not even thought of before. The following Sunday, which was August 25th, I was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under the hands of Apostle Erastus Snow. That same day the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered to the Saints for the first time in Scandinavia and I did receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and even as I went home from that meeting the spirit revealed to me the doctrine and principle of the gathering to Zion. Oh, how I desired to live among people who believed in God as I did and would serve him. It must be understood that nobody had yet given me the first hint or said a word about that subject, yet I felt so sure about it, that I believed that I could convince anybody about the truth of these principles, but it was not many days afterwards till I learned that the testimony must come from God, and He gives as he pleaseth. I met two of my friends -- a young man -- and in my happy zeal and joy, I commenced to impart to them some of my feelings and experiences of late and they seemed to listen with interest to what I related without uttering a word. I thought that they were almost converted, but then one of them lifted his foot and gave me a kick in the stomach that sent me on my back in the gutter. I was, however, not hurt by that heavy fall, but it gave me a lesson in using wisdom, when offering the Gospel truth to strangers. In the month of October, 1850, I was ordained a Deacon by Elder John Eric Forsgreen, who was one of the missionaries from America, and I was appointed to labor among the saints in company with a brother Aagreen, who had been ordained a Teacher. While thus engaged, I was often much affected by evil spirits who revived .in my mind many of my former evil habits of talk and thinking, yet, while I was speaking to the saints on Gospel principles or praying with them, those evil influences would leave me, but would return and torment me again afterwards to such an extent that I sometimes could feel the sweat on my back and underwear. In this condition I suffered for about two weeks, but I did not reveal it to anybody, except my Heavenly Father of whom I prayed for deliverance. At that time Apostle Erastus Snow was in England on purpose to raise some money for publishing the Book of Mormon in the Danish language, and after his return he held a priesthood meeting, giving much valuable instruction -- among other subjects also concerning evil spirits and the way to conquer them and their influence by fasting and prayer. He referred the fact that Jesus taught His disciples , that certain spirits would not be conquered and depart without fasting and prayer. I at once made a covenant with God that I would fast four nights and three days that God might deliver me from those abominable and wicked influences, and thanks to God, I had not fasted very long till I was delivered from them, yet I kept my promises of fasting while I was visiting the Saints and admonished them to be faithful to the covenant that they had made with God, which labor was very necessary at that time, for some of them were more or less in doubt about the covenant and doctrine they had embraced and this doubt more so among the members who had formerly belonged to the Baptist Faith. While I was fasting and visiting the Saints in this way I would each day go out in the royal park, Frederiksberg, and in this secluded grove seek the Lord for strength and He gave the strength I needed and my testimony of the truth of the gospel became stronger and stronger. During the winter months we had considerable persecution from the mobs in our public meetings and for some time we had to hold meetings only in the private homes of the saints. In the month of January, 1851, Brother Aagreen and I were appointed to call on the King -- Frederick the Seventh -- at his residence, the palace "Christianborg," with a petition for protection in our religious meetings and to present him with a copy of the Book of Mormon. March 11th, 1851, I was ordained a Priest by Apostle Erastus Snow and appointed to go as a missionary in company with Elder Christen Christiansen to the city of Aalborg, to assist Elder George P. Dykes, who had established a branch of the church there. On March 12th, we left Copenhagen by train for Roeskilde and from that city we traveled on foot to Horsoer and remained there one day waiting for a steamer to take us to Aarhus in Jutland. Arriving in Aarhus we went on foot to Aalborg, where we arrived Sunday morning, March 16th, and received a hearty welcome from Elder Dykes and the saints, and on the same day we attended two good meetings and became acquainted with the saints. In the evening we were invited to administer to a sick child in the family of Sister Maria Olsen -- Dykes, Christiansen and I -- and it was on that occasion that I for the first time met the young lady who afterwards became my first wife, and it was a strange feeling that came upon me at once when I saw her -- an impression like this; "There is your wife. " This impression however, I took to be a temptation, because I had formed an idea, from what St. Paul writes, that it is better for a missionary to be not married, and I had sincerely prayed to God that He would make use of me as a missionary preaching the Gospel to my fellowmen, because that had given me so much happiness. I labored most of the time in company with Elder George P. Dykes -- on week days mostly out in the farming country, but on Sundays in the city holding meetings, and once a week we held council meeting. We had found much success in our labor in a village called Hals and the farming district around that place, and on May 11th a branch of the church was organized there, with Brother Domgaard as president, and there were members of that branch in "Kjeld's Gaardene, " Hasris and Klarup. After a meeting held in Aalborg, May 11th, I went to the home of Taylor Olsen, whose family were members of the church, but he was not, and it was his daughter, Barbara Jensine Dorthea, who had made such an impression upon my feeling that first time I saw her and felt impressed that she was to become my wife; but I had been fasting and praying to God that He would remove that feeling from me, if it was against His will that I retained that feeling, or else to give me a testimony that He approved of it. To this end I revealed my feelings to the girl's mother and asked her permission to speak to her daughter on the subject, and she gave me her permiss- ion at once and told me that her daughter had had the same impression on the very first time she saw me, but that she had struggled against that impression, thinking that it originated from and evil source. After that conversation with the mother and subsequently with the daughter, we agreed to get married whenever it should be our happy lot to emigrate to Zion, and all recognized the hand of God in this arrangement. May l2th, I wrote letters of encouragement to C. P. Nielsen in Hjorring and Knud in Klarup, who were hindered from attending our council meetings. In the evening I attended the council meeting and I was there appointed to visit the saints in Hals branch to encourage them in their faith. I closed the meeting with prayer that night. Remained in Aalborg May 13th and also visited the saints on Sunday. May 14th, I accompanied Elder Christiansen some distance out from Aalborg on his way to Skive where he was going to bring the glad message to his parents. I also wrote letters to my brothers Johannes and Lauritz and also to my parents. In the evening I attended meeting in Aalborg. May 15th. On my way to Hals, I visited a farm and talked to the people concerning the Gospel. When I reached Hals, I found Sister Lina very sick, but after administer- ing and praying for her, she recovered at once and became well. May 16th. I held meeting in the house of N. C. Domgaard and administered the Sacrament to the saints. On the 17th, I visited some strangers and in the evening we had a prayer meeting. May 18th. Being Sunday, I went to Kjelk to hold meeting; and in Moustown; many came to hear and received a strong testimony of the truth. After meeting I went to Jens Bister in Kjarup and came in conversation with a number of people about the Gospel. After having held a prayer meeting in the house of Brother P. Christensen and administering the Sacrament that evening to the saints, I baptized a girl by the name of Anna Maria Elizabeth Hermansen. May 19th, Monday, I went to Knud Nielsen in Kjeldgaard to encourage the saints there. Tuesday, May 20th, I returned to Aalborg, where I had the pleasure of meeting Elder Dykes, who had just returned from Sleswig. In the evening we had a council meeting, where I reported my last missionary labors. I also wrote a letter to Elder Chr. Christiansen. Wednesday, May 21st, I wrote a letter to President E. Snow and also one to my brother. Christen. We had a Love-Feast in our Assembly Hall and we had a splendid time. Elder Dykes was the principal speaker. May 23rd, Friday, Elder Dykes went to England. Some of us were out in a grove, singing and offering prayers. I visited that day a farmer by name of Gardener and bore my testimony to him about the Gospel. I gave him my New Testament. May 24th. I went over to Sunby after Sarah Jensen for Sister Petersen who was sick; it was only 4 o'clock in the morning. Later in the day we had a meeting in the house of Brother Jens Thompson and the afternoon we had a meeting in our Assembly Hall, where I was the speaker as in the previous meeting, and administered the Sacrament I baptized two girls in the evening and we all felt well. May 26th, Monday I wrote a letter to my brother Lauritz and also one to Elder Chr. Christiansen I also wrote a letter for Sister Olsen to her brother in Copenhagen In our council meeting on Sunday I was appointed to go to Kjeldgaard to hold meeting, June 1st. May 27th, I visited the saints and also wrote a letter of encouragement to the saints in Hals. May 28th, I visited the saints and wrote a letter for Sister Andrea Petersen to her father in Copenhagen, and then went to Kjeldgaard. May 29th, I held meeting in the house of Brother Knud Nielsen, I afterwards in the company of the brethren, Jens Jorgensen, Nels Petersen, and Hans Nielsen, went to North Kongerslev, where we had once held a meeting before, in the house of the magistrate, but he was not willing to permit it again. We therefore went to a Baptist congregation and tried to convert them, but we found them to be very stubborn, and some of the villagers became so angry that they mobbed us and pelted us with stones. As we were leaving and in the edge of the village, we were invited to hold meeting in the house of a widow as she wished to hear us, and we accepted, but we had only sung a couple of verses before we found the mob had again surrounded that house, and, with stones, crushed the windows and broke the doors, and we were compelled to leave, yet pursued by the mob who continued their attack upon us with stones; but, fortunately, none of us got hurt. I remained over night at Brother Knud in Kjeldgaard. May the 30th, I went to Aalborg and attended prayer meeting in the evening. May 31st, I visited the saints in the town. JUNE, 1851 June 1st, Sunday, I attended meeting and also blessed Sister Petersen. Later I baptized Gardiner Jens Jensen. In the evening I conducted a small prayer meeting. June 2nd. I wrote letters to Elders Forsgreen and Dykes. June 3rd On this day I was in North Sundby visiting the saints June 4th I held a meeting and the evening attended council meeting and reported my missionary labors in Kjelgaard and Kongerslev I was appointed to go to Hals and hold a meeting with the saints there the following Sunday. June 5th. I held a meeting and in the evening attended council meeting and fast meeting,. I also wrote letters to Elders Chr. Christiansen and H.F. Jensen, encouraging the saints to faithfulness. June 6th. I started for Hals -- fasting -- and on the way, I had a ride along with a couple of farmers and had an opportunity to preach the Gospel to them. June 7th. Saturday, I spent visiting the saints in Hals. June 8th. I held meeting with the saints in the house of Brother Domgaard and administered the sacrament. June 9th. Accompanied by some of the saints, I went to Mous, a village, and conversed with some of the people, seeking an opportunity to hold a meeting, and in two places we were given opportunities, but the blacksmith followed us everywhere and disturbed our efforts. We finally had to leave and went to Brother Peter Christiansen in Gudomlund, where we held meeting and administered the sacrament to the saints and also preached to some strangers and from there I went to Brother Knud Nielsen in Kjeldgaard and stayed over night. June 10th, Tuesday. I visited Niels Mikkelsen and had a good talk with him, and he said that he would soon be baptized. I also visited a Sister Stine in Skoustrup; she was much in doubt, but when I left her she felt some improved in her faith. From there I went to Brother Knud in Klarup and administered to him for his sickness, and he was at once restored. From there I went to Aalborg . June 11th I wrote a letter to my brother, Christen, and in the evening held a meeting in our hall. June 12th, Thursday, I wrote to Elder Forsgreen. I also tried to encourage a Brother Jens Jensen, who was wavering in his faith. In the afternoon I had a meeting and in the evening, in council meeting. I reported my mission to Hals. June 13th, Friday. I wrote to Soren Nielsen, also visited some strangers, among which was also a school teacher and conversed with them about our belief. In the evening I attended a prayer meeting and spoke for a little while. June 14th, Saturday. I wrote a letter to Maren Hansen, in Linvig and also one to Brother Domgaard in Hals and visited some of the saints. June 15th, Sunday. Attended meeting and I occupied part of the time in speaking and praying with the saints. We had news from the great conference lately held in England. June 16th. I wrote a letter to Brother Bjergaard and also visited some of the saints. Council meeting in the evening. June 17th. I went to visit some of the saints in Gjestrup and in Linstrand, but did not find them at home. June 18th. I visited brother Jens Jensen again and encouraged him to be firm in the faith and good works. In the evening council meeting and I opened with prayer. June 19th. I wrote a letter to Brother Forsgreen in Copenhagen and also one to Chr. Christiansen in Hjorring. I blessed Brother S. Thomson for his sickness to be healed. June 20th. I administered to Sister Maria Olsen for her sickness to be healed. Prayer meeting in the evening. I spoke some. June 21st. I went to North Sundby and visited the saints. June 22nd, Sunday and Fast Day. I blessed Maria and Julia Olsen and administered the sacrament. I spoke to the saints and the Spirit of God was with us and we had a time rejoicing. After meeting we went down to the water for the purpose of performing the ordinance of baptism, and we sang a hymn, but before we got any farther, a great crowd of the people from the town had come down, and we tried to present to them the Gospel principles, but in vain. They only made a row and finally seized some of us to bring us before the chief priest that we should prove our doctrines before him, and to this we were more than willing. Two sailors had hold of me -- one under each arm -- and led me ahead of the crowd back to the city and the residence of the parson, but he would have nothing to do with us, although the people urged him very much to do so and he finally expelled them from his home, but he advised us to remain on his porch till the mob had dispersed, yet they would not leave, wherefore Brother Jensen and I started for our friend, Taylor Olsen, and the crowd followed us but did not harm us -- thanks to God. A man, Jens Olsen, defended us when we arrived there, but the mob afterwards went to our hall and did a great deal of damage there and stayed around there till late that evening. An incident in this mob scene I will mention. The time when I was violently taken away to the priest, I lost my hat and I entertained no hope of ever seeing it again, but after having passed about a whole block in the street, a small boy came along and pressing through the crowd brought it to me, which act on his part I consider was the inspiration from some good source for him to do so. When we arrived at Taylor Olsen, the parson, P. Miller, appeared and asked for an interview with Brother H. P. Jensen, but as he had gone home to Sundby, I had to take his place as defense therefore had a very long discourse with that clergyman upon the principles of the Gospel. I challenged him to prove his doctrine from the Bible and agreed to do the same with regard to our doctrine; in the heat of excitement, he some- times became very angry and said many things about us that were untrue and unreason- able, and even when I would take the Bible to prove our doctrines, he would put his hand on it to prevent me from using it and at one time puffed me in the face with it. At last he became more rational, and in parting declared that our doctrines were pretty good sense after all. I bore my testimony to him concerning the mission of Joseph Smith, the prophet, and told him that when we should meet in the great Hereafter that he should know and remember my testimony. We parted friends. The mob, however, had continued their spoliation work at our hall till past midnight, when they were finally- dispersed by- the soldiery, which was called out to quell the disturbance, but at the same time arose a great thunder storm and lightning with rain, that helped still more to drive the mob home, we all felt very grateful for having escaped without any serious harm or bodily injury. June 23rd, Monday. I wrote a letter to Brother Forsgreen and attended a council meeting in the evening in the house of Brother S. Thompsen, and I was appointed to go to Hals the following Sunday. The mob had again gathered and soon they broke in a window, and the soldiers were again called out to disperse the mob, and two soldiers were placed to guard the door. Brother Jensen was obliged to remain with me through the night. June 24th. I wrote letters to my brother Lauritz Larsen and to Elder P. 0. Hansen. In the evening the mob again became very violent and broke in the windows in the house of Jens Olsen and Thomsen and again the soldiers had to be called out to disperse the mob, and the street was closed by a guard. While this hostile affair lasted, I passed from the Thomsen family to the Olsens and back again cheering and encouraging them and praying with them. June 25th, Wednesday. I visited some of the saints that day and cheered them the best I could. In the evening the mob again made their appearance and broke in the windows in the homes of Brother Lind and Jens Thompsen. I remained in the home of Brother Soren Thomsen in the hope that the mob would leave us in peace after 12 o'clock and we had our evening prayer and were about to retire and for safety I was just putting a bolt in to secure the outside shutters of the window in the room which faced the street, when a stone struck the post and broke it without breaking the sashes or glass. In the larger room there were four or five windows which all were broken before the soldiers succeeded in dispersing the mob. June 26th. This day Brother Soren Thomsen was arrested by the police, being accused of having thrown stones on the mob from an upstairs window, which, however was not true. I now went to North Sundby, intending to proceed farther on to Hals, but was met by one of our Sisters who had just come from there and she reported that the mob was raving mad there also and advised us not to go there for the present, and I, therefore, returned to Aalborg. In the evening the mob smashed the windows in the home of Brother H.P. Jensen and also made some damage to his outdoor property, his iron foundry. June 27th. Brother Jens Thomsen and I spent the time out in the forest in prayer.

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