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Autobiography of Christian J. Larsen, con't.

(November 1, 1852 - January 23, 1853)

     1st,  Monday.  I received a note from some of the brethren, who were imprisoned
in another part of the country.  The note was signed by Ole Olsen, Jeppe J. Folkmann,
Chr. Knudsen and N. Hansen, and brought to us by Brother Emil Larsen, and inquired
of me to advise them whether or not they should accept an offer from the police to be
discharged and liberated on condition that they would return to Denmark and not come
back again.  To this proposition I felt constrained, by the spirit, to say, "no", not until
I was released and called back to Denmark by the same authority that sent me to Norway
even if I would to remain in prison all the rest of my mortal life for the sake of the people
transgressions, if the Lord would sustain me, to stand the trial, to the honor of His name
All the brethren in the prison with me signed this my decision and reply to the other
brethren.  During the rest of that week, we occupied ourselves by reading and prayer as
well as singing and bearing testimony to visitors who were admitted to come in to see us.

     7th, Sunday.  I fasted and we enjoyed ourselves very much in the society of the few
saints that were admitted into our prison room.

     8th.  I wrote a letter to Elder Ahmanson and to the saints in Risoer Branch.

     9th.  The imprisoned brethren in Elverhoj were taken before the county judge for
examination that day.

     10th.  Berk Reichenvald, the county judge, and Mr. Berg, the mayor of Frederickstad
and a priest by name such came into our prison room about 9 o'clock that morning and
he county judge especially treated us in a very impolite manner, as if we were criminal
and when we made any reply, he would roughly tell us to "shut up"; but we did, neverthe-
less take advantage of every opportunity to show them that our doctrines were in perfect
harmony with the Bible and true Christianity. We were requested to answer several
quotations from the "Scandinavian Star" in writing.  By our request, we were granted
the privilege to go out once in a while to visit with our friends, the saints, but guarded
by a police officer.

     11th, Thursday.  I wrote a letter to the Presidency in Copenhagen, and I stated on the
required written reply to quotations from the "Scandinavian Star".  I received a very
encouraging letter from President Willard Snow, and a five dollar bill enclosed, which
I answered right away.

     12th.  We finished our reply to the before mentioned questions, as required by the
court, and at 2 p. m. that day, I was brought before county judge at his office and there
I found the other brethren had been brought in from their prison, which was some miles
distant from the city of Frederickstad.  Beside the county judge, we found ourselves
confronted with quite an array of legal dignitaries, all interested in our case, to viz. :
the superior chief of the district (Amtmand) B. Reichewald; the chief clerk, Mr. Bing;
Mayor Berg, secretary Cherning, Mr. Ask, the constable, and a Lutheran clergyman.
Brother J.J. Folkman and I were the first of the prisoners examined and the following
colloquy took place;
What is the relationship of the "Scandinaviens Stjerne" to you and your religion ?
Answer. It is a publication in which the saints can present and advocate their
religious views, as we find them sustained by the doctrine of our faith and
the Bible,  and I added, that I was willing to answer any and all questions
that the court might put to me, God being my helper.
Question.  If I was present at a conference, held in Copenhagen, Aug. 12th, at
which it was decided to have "Skandinaviens Stjerne" issued twice a month.
Answer. Yes.
Question.  If I had answered in writing the several questions which had been
submitted to me on a former occasion.
Answer. Yes, and I then produced the papers which were then read, but did not
seem to be entirely satisfactory to the court, and I was, therefore, interrog-
ated further concerning certain points  in our reply, but in such a threatening'
and crafty way that it became evident that they were only trying to ensnare
me in the meshes of the law, wherefore I again referred them to written
statement and the Bible.  To this the chief, the Amtmand, tauntingly replied,
why I did not send the Bible instead of coming myself into court, inasmuch
as I always referred to the Bible as my answer to legal interrogations.  He
wanted me to know that I was here arraigned before a civil court, and that
I would be judged according to the legal laws of the land and not according
to the Bible, and it was their desire that truth and justice might prevail,
etc.  To this last expression of the judge, I replied that this was a source
of joy to me, for we were here for no other purpose than to promote right-
eousness and proclaim the truth, and that we, like the apostles of old, taught
the people to honor God and to respect and obey all good laws and the legal
authorities of the land, and that the Bible did not teach anything contrary to
Question.  For what purpose have you come to this country ?
Answer. We have come here to teach the people the true gospel of Jesus Christ
and to warn them, so as to prepare themselves for the second coming of
Question.  With regard to the insufficiency of the Written Word or Revelations ?
But as this point had been explained in our written reply, I only referred to that
again, and the accompanying quotations from the Bible.
Question.  Who of us held the Melchesidek Priesthood and who only the Aaronic
Priesthood and what was the difference between the two, and what was the
difference between a president and an Elder and if a person could hold both
of these positions ?
I informed them that in their Bible they could find the difference between the
Priesthood, which John the Baptist, held, and that which the Apostle Peter
held, and as they continued in a sneering way to call me "President, " I at
last said; You call me so, and that is just what I am, in the name of Jesus
Christ and to His honor.  The chief officer (Amtmand) then, in a very
insulting tone exclaimed: "I am not Felix; and you are not Paul, " to which
I replied; "You, yourself, compel me to answer you. "
Question.  If I had any revelations concerning him (the Amtmand) while I had
been confined ?
Answer. If God should see fit to give me one command, me to inform you about
it,  then I should surely do so.
Question.  If I would return to Denmark, if I was liberated from prison ?
Answer. Not till God shall release me, through His servants, who sent me here.
Question.  If I would refrain from preaching and baptizing as well as from
performing any other act or ordinance pertaining to our faith ?
Answer. If you or any of your priests can convince me that our doctrine and
faith is not in accordance with the doctrine of Christ, then I will, for I desire
to obtain salvation, and to do the will of God, and would advise you to do the
same.  To this the chief contemptibly replied: We consider it beneath the
dignity of our priests to argue with you, and for this reason we have brought
you before the civil court to investigate your doctrines and your belief, and
I now forbid you to mislead any more souls by your false doctrines; for I
have a great responsibility resting upon me, if I don't stop it, and, said he,
people have come to me by the hundreds and thanked me for what I had done
towards stopping this heresay, and wherever I come, I am requested to do
my best to stop it.
Question.  Where I thought that Zion was located ?
Answer. Zion consists of "the pure in heart, " and wherever they were, there
would be a Zion.
Question.  If I believed it was by the Great Salt Lake in North America ?
Answer. Yes, and I referred them to the Scriptures, where the prophets of
old had spoken of the gathering of the Gentiles as well as of the Jews, and I
asked them to read for themselves about this. Elder Ole Olsen was next
asked if he would desist from performing any ceremony or ordinance
pertaining to our religious belief, here in Norway, and if he would leave the
country and return to Denmark ? His answer. Yes, if he could be released
inside of the present month, and if I would give my consent, and he added,
that he had written to me about that proposition some time ago, and that said
letter had been forwarded to me through the Mayor.  I was then asked if I
had said letter in my possession, to which I answered in the affirmative, and
that I had received it all right.  A constable was then sent for it in our prison
room but returned without it. I was asked if I would permit Olsen to leave the country.
I was, meanwhile, sent back to our prison in charge of a constable, to bring Brother
Olsenss letter into court, and after producing it, it was read in court.  While I was
absent. Priests Folkman and Knudsen had been interrogated, if they would leave the
country and return to Denmark, and they had given the same answers as Elder Ole Olsen
had given previously.  I was again asked if I would give my consent to their departure.
I answered that each one of them had their own free will and choice in that respect, and
could do as they pleased, but as for myself, I would stay in prison for the cause of truth
and testimony of Jesus, as long as God would require it of me, and I hoped, that He
would give me strength to endure it.  I was again asked, if I believed that all people
should go to Zion in order to be saved ?  In my reply, I referred them to the prophesied
of Joel, 3 chap. ; Esaias 2nd and 6th chap, ; Jeremiah 16th chap. ; Hezechia, 20th chap. ;
and Micha 4th chap.  They tried in various ways to bring me to say something that would
enable them to bring us under the ban of the law, as an unchristian sect. Again I was
asked to persuade the people to emigrate to that place also ? My answer was, that we
were teaching the people the Gospel of Christ, as it is found in the Bible, and if that
sacred book teaches us to flee to Zion in order to escape the destructive judgements of
God, that will precede the second coming of our Savior, we would go there, and all
who would obtain a like testimony, could do so also if they wished to, and we would not
have need to use persuasion.  They continued their interrogations, however, in various
ways, trying to catch me and even threatened me with imprisonment on bread and water
diet, for contempt, if I did not answer their questions by a straight Yes or No, but I
continued as previously, to refer them to the Bible.  The other brethren were then
remanded back to the sheriff's prison (on Elferjoh) and Brother Emit Larsen was next
brought into court, and asked if he had administered baptism to anyone, etc. He was
also interrogated concerning the "Scandinavian Star" and the "Book of Mormon", and
he answered these questions very properly, as a whole, and I was then asked if I agreed
with him in what he had stated.  I answered that I did not believe that the Bible had been
corrupted as they had made Brother Larsen say, by their trick interrogations, and did
not believe that Brother Larsen carried such an idea, but that our views, in regard to
the two books, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, was that the Bible had been translated
by uninspired men, while the Book of Mormon had been translated by revelation and the
power of God, and yet we believe in and teach the doctrines and principles contained in
the Bible, and that all men, who will believe and obey these precepts, will be saved and
we also believe that all men, who do not do so, will be punished according as it is
written in that sacred book.  Brother Larsen was permitted to explain what he meant
by this expression "Corrupted" in reference to the Bible, and he did that in a very
intelligent and consistent manner.  The court adjourned at 9 p. m. that day.  I felt as
though I had been greatly blessed and sustained by the Lord during these court
proceedings. and felt in my heart to pray for those men who were thus trying to deprive
us of our liberty, and I give the glory to Him, who is Alpha and Omega, Beginning and
the End, Amen. When I came back to our prison I found Elder Ahmanson there as he had
been brought there from Risoer but he was not permitted to remain in the same room
with us until after he also had been tried before the court.  The brethren and I gave thanks
to Our Heavenly Father and praised Him in song before retiring for the night.

     13th.  We fasted this day.  Elders Ahmanson and Beckstrom were brought before
the court for trial, and they were interrogated in the same way as we had been tried,
and they answered accordingly.  I wrote a letter to the Presidency in Copenhagen that
day.  After the trial was over. Elder Ahmanson was placed in the same prison room
with the rest of us, and it appeared a remarkable circumstance that we thus two
representatives from each of the three Scandinavian nations, to viz. : 2 Danes;
2 Norwegians and 2 Swedes, which perhaps had never happened before, at least not for
the sake of preaching the gospel of Christ.  Elder Ahmanson brought good news from
his late field of labor in Risoer and Brevig, four had been baptized in Risoer and three
in Brevig, and we felt to rejoice in the progress of the work of God.

     14th, Sunday.  We fasted and spent the day in prayer and in song.  I wrote an
encouraging letter to the saints in Risoer and I had an opportunity this day to bear my
testimony to the jailer and his family.  Later in the day we were visited by some of the
saints, the jailer admitting them into our room, and we partook of the sacrament with
them and had a regular meeting with them, preaching, praying and singing, and we felt
to rejoice in the blessings  of God.

     15th.  We continued to fast this day with prayer and song, and we felt ourselves
blessed by the Lord after these three days fasting.

     16th.  Elder Dorius, Ahmanson and Larsen were before the court a short time this

     17th, Wednesday, and 18th, Thursday.  We spent the time by reading and singing
for joy, praising God, our Heavenly Father.

     19th.  I was invited to take dinner with the jailer and his family, and had thus a good
opportunity to lay before them the principles of the gospel.  After dinner, the jailer,
Mr. Fjeldsted, accompanied us on a visit to the saints in Vaterland.

     20th.  I wrote in my journal and some letters.

     21st, Sunday.  I received several letters from Denmark.  Some of the saints were
permitted to visit us in our rooms, and some strangers also, to whom we bore our
testimony concerning the Gospel.

     22nd.  I did some writing.  Was visited by some of the brethren in the evening and
had a good time.

     23rd.  I wrote four letters this day.  In the evening was visited by four brethren
and sisters. All well.

     24th.  I did some writing.

     25th.  Mr. Fjeldsted, our jailer, took me out on a visit to the saints in Vaterland.
We found them all well. Afterwards he took me out to Elverjoh Prison to visit our
brethren there, and we found them all contented. After our return to Frederickstad,
I took dinner with Mr. Fjeldsted.  The other brethren were visiting in Vaterland that

     26th.  I held a fast day and did some writing.  In the evening Brother Emil Larsen
and Sister Emilie visited us.

     28th.  I wrote a letter to the presidency in Copenhagen.  Brother Beckstrom was
permitted to go out and visit the brethren in Elverjoh, and in the evening two of these
brethren, Folkman. and Hansen, together with some of the saints, visited us in our
prison, and we had a very enjoyable time together by singing the songs of Zion and

     29th and 30th.  I held a fast day and did some writing, and I felt myself very much
blessed by the Lord.


     1st.  Elder F. Dorius and I visited some of the saints in Vaterland and in the city,
and we found them all full of joy in the gospel.

     2nd.  Brother Emil Larsen and Sister Emilie visited us, and we rejoiced by prayer
and singing.

     4th.  Brother J. Johansen and Emil Larsen were here, and it was arranged so that
Brother Beckstrom was liberated on condition that he would not officiate in any
ordinance pertaining to our religion.  It was presumed that he would work at his trade for
Brother Johansen, who was a shoemaker. A couple of ruffians ill treated Sister Emilie
while on her way home.

     5th.  I received letter from Brevig and Risoer, bringing the painful news that two
of our brethren had perished at sea, during a voyage to Denmark.  Their names were
H. Evans and H. Jorgensen, but found condolence in the assurance that they had died in
hope of a glorious resurrection.  I, therefore, wrote to the saints in Risoer imparting
to them such condolence as I could.  Elder Ahmanson was permitted to visit the imprison
brethren in Elverjoh. We fasted and prayed for the bereaved families.

     6th, Monday.  I wrote a letter to Erastus Snow, the Apostle; afterwards Elder Dorius
and I visited the saints in Vaterland and in the city and we happened to have a
conversation with the before mentioned Mr. Kjerulf about the principles of the Gospel,
but we found him to be just as bitter and hostile to us as on a former occasion.

     7th, Tuesday.  I wrote a letter to President Forsgreen and also one to Carl Dorius.
Some of the saints visited us in the evening.

     8th.  I wrote a letter to my betrothed girl, and some of the saints visited us in the

     10th.  I wrote a letter to the presidency and also one to the saints in Brevig.

     12th.  I wrote an encouraging letter to the saints in Risoer.

     13th.  Elder Svend Larsen and I wrote a report of the court proceedings, to be entered
in the Record book of the branch.  We were visited by some of the brethren in the

     14th.  This day we fasted and finished writing the report of our trials in court.  Elder
Beckstrom had received a letter from President Forsgreen, requiring Beckstrom, Ole
Olsen and Knudsen to Copenhagen, if possible, so that they could go to Zion with a
company of emigrants that was to leave on December 22nd. We spent part of the day by
prayer and singing the songs of Zion, and we felt very much blessed.

     15th.  We fasted this day.  Brother Niels Infulsrod was here and we sang the songs
of Zion and prayed.

     16th.  I spent the time by reading and in prayer.

     17th, Friday.  Elder Svend Larsen and I visited some of the saints in Vaterland,
and we found them in good cheer and with Brother C. Knudsen, E. Larsen, we met
a Mr. C. Widerborg, a merchant from the suburb of Frederickstad. He believed in
our doctrines and asked for baptism.  We thus had occasion for much rejoicing and
gave praise to God.

     18th.  I spent the day by fasting and doing some writing.  Elder Ahmanson and
F. Dorius were in Vaterland.

     19th.  I wrote some letters and later in the day Elder Svend Larsen and I visited
our imprisoned brethren in Elverhoj, remaining with them five hours.  On our return
trip we visited the saints in the city and spoke words of comfort and consolation to
them. Arriving at our quarters we had a good talk with the daughters of Mr. Fjeldsted
the jailer.  Brother Beckstrom, Emil and S. Larsen had been inquiring for us while
we were away.

     20th and 21st.  I fasted and spent the time by prayer and in song.  Some brethren
visited us.

     23rd, Wednesday.  Mr. Berg, the Mayor, called on us and inquired if we had any
complaint to make with regard to our treatment.  In the afternoon we were brought
before the court, but none of us who had been tried previously were interrogated this
time, only some of the saints were put through, as before.  A priest, by the name of
Falkenberg, and a constable by name of Amborg, were sworn in as witnesses, and
the last named did not tell the truth either, and the court understood it too.  Finally
the court adjourned about 5 o'clock.  Two of our brethren were on a visit in Vaterland.

     24th.  I wrote a letter of condolence to the saints in the city and the environments,
and included some doctrinal points for their benefit, reminding them of their duties
and obligations towards God and one another, not forgetting their prayers. Elder F.
Dorius and Jensen were out visiting the saints in Vaterland.

     25th, Saturday.  Eight of the saints were permitted to come in to us in our room,
and we enjoyed ourselves together with song and in prayer, as well as in conversation,
and the time passed off very pleasantly.  Later in the day, I, in company with Elder
Ahmanson, Svend Larsen and J. A. Jensen were permitted to go out visiting, I and
Brother Larsen spent quite a while with Carl Widerborg and afterwards joined us at
a place called Trara, where quite a number of the saints had assembled.  The before
mentioned pastoral letter, which I had written to the saints, was read, and all seemed
to appreciate its contents and to rejoice, and it was indeed a day of liberty, especially
so to us prisoners.  Later, our guard, Mr. Billington, took us back to the city and
out to Vaterland, where we met with some of the saints that lived in that neighborhood,
and we had again a very enjoyable time with them.  Elder S. Larsen on that occasion
blessed the child of Brother S.P. Larsen, naming it Gabrielle Jessie Larsen.  From
there we went to our prison hotel.

     26th, Sunday.  Some of the brethren came to visit us and Brother Johansen's
mother-in-law came with a very wicked spirit against us, but I spoke to her and
warned her against the dangers of giving way to an accusing and fault finding spirit,
and she seemed to be converted and left us in a much better mood.  The same day we
were visited by five strangers from Risoer, to whom I explained the principles of the
gospel.  Later in the day I and Elder Ahmanson and F. Dorius, accompanied by Mr.
F. Billington, the constable, visited the saints in Vaterland, and had a very enjoyable
time with them, for four hours, in conversation, song and prayer.  On our return to
our home, the jail, our guard took us into his own home, where we also spent a short
time pleasantly, singing and talking to his family.

     27th, Monday.  I fasted and the other brethren likewise,  I did some writing.  Our
brethren, Johansen, the branch president, Emil Larsen and Svend P. Larsen were
here.  The decision of the higher court was read to Brother Johansen and E. Larsen,
the sentence being five days imprisonment on bread and water, besides paying the cost
of court.  This was the same sentence as the one given in the first and lower court.
The brethren then took an appeal to the king. We sang and prayed to the Lord, and thren
it was agreed that Brother Emil Larsen should be ordained an Elder,  in order to go and
visit the saints in Brevig and Risoer.  Accordingly I and the others ordained him.

     28th.  I occupied some time by reading.  H. Fjeldsted took me to Vaterland.
I received three letters from Aalborg, dated 17th and 18th.  In the evening received a
visit from two of the saints.

     29th, Wednesday.  Spent some time by writing; we decided to fast next day.  Some
of the saints called here.

     30th.  We held a fast day and sang and prayed.  I did some writing.  Elder Johansen
was here.

     31st.  Sister Randine Larsen brought some letters for me from Brother Olsen, the
president of Risoer branch, with two dollars enclosed and good news from that quarter.
I wrote a letter to the saints in that branch, comforting and encouraging them in their
faith and good works.  We stayed up all night, singing and praying.  Elders Ahmanson,
Dorius and I sang 24 Hymns.


     1st, Saturday.  Brother C. Widerborg and four of the sisters visited us, and we
rejoiced with them in singing, prayer and conversation.  In the evening, we. Brothers
Ahmanson, Dorius and I, were accompanied by Mr. Billington, the constable, to our
people in Vaterland, where we found a meeting in progress and I prayed with them and
sang several songs with them and we felt greatly blessed.

     2nd.  I wrote a letter to the saints in Risoer.  In the afternoon I had a lengthy
conversation with Mr. Fjeldsted, the jailer, and his family.

     3rd, Monday.  Mr. Fjeldsted took Brother Ahmanson and me to Vaterland and to
Brother Johansen, the president of the Frederickstad Branch.

     4th.  At 6 in the morning we all started, accompanied by Mr. Fjeldsted, for a place
called Kjeroldsrud, where a court proceeding was to be held that day, a distance of
about 5 or 6 miles.  None of us prisoners, however, were examined, but several
saints and some strangers were interrogated with regard to our moral conduct from
a Christian standpoint, and they all testified to our good and Christian like behavior
in every respect.  One woman present, who believed in the gospel, but had not been
baptized, because her husband objected to it, would not submit to be placed under oath,
but who was compelled to do so by the court, The other brethren from Elverhoj were
also present on this trial.  The court adjourned at 1 p.m. to convene again on the 14th
of the same month.

     5th, Wednesday.  I wrote letters to the saints in Brevig and Risoer, requesting
them to petition the government for religious liberty. I also wrote a letter to my
betrothed girl, and was that day visited by Brother Emil Larsen and Sister E. Halvorsen

     6th.  I wrote a letter to Brother R. Johnsen.  Ahmanson and Dorius were in

     7th, Friday.  I wrote a letter to President Willard Snow.  Spent the day in prayer
and song.

     8th.  We asked the mayor to grant us more personal freedom but this was not
granted.  Elder Ahmanson was on a visit with the brethren in Elverhoj.  Brother
Johansen brought us letters from Copenhagen and from Risoer.

     9th.  Elder P. Backstrom came here, and two visitors from Risoer to whom we
bore our testimony.

     10th.  Brothers C. Widerborg and Emil Larsen  started for Christiania in order to
present a petition to the Ecclesiastical Department to be granted liberty to public

     12th.  Did some writing.  In the evening Mr. Billington took us all to Vaterland.
I received nine letters this day; eight of them from Denmark, and some of them more
than a month old,  I also received the "Scandinavian Star" and some pamphlets--good
news in them.

     13th.  Writing, singing, and praying--the day went well.

     14th.  We were again summoned to be in court at the same place as before, Kolberg
None of us prisoners, however, were interrogated. Two persons, not of our faith,
were examined under oath, but they had nothing to say against us.  The court adjourned
to convene again on the 19th of the same month.  On our way back to our quarters, we
called on Brother Widerborg at his home.  He and Emil Larsen had returned from their
mission in Christiania, and had had an interview with the secretary in the Ecclesiastical
Department, and they had learned that our petition had been forwarded to the King.

     15th, 16th, and 17th.  We spent the time singing and in prayer, and felt much joy
in our souls.

     18th.  I wrote letters to Johannes and Lauritz Larsen, my brothers, and to Stine
Larsen, my sister.

     19th.  I wrote letters to Soren Larsen and to Rasmus Johansen.  At 2 p.m. we
were brought into court and one witness was examined.  We were asked if we had
anything further to add to our statement in court as regards polygamy, "which they
said, was practiced by our people in America.  I said that I had never heard about
that practice and that the court might feel justified in considering us, as a people,
unchristian.  Furthermore, I said, that if they or any one else of the inhabitants in
Norway, would convince us of any wrong doctrine in our religion, the Gospel of Christ,
then we would recant and join them.  I had made a similar declaration in court before,
but notice had not been taken and recorded.  The court adjourned at 9 p.m. and we all
felt to praise God, who had evidently sustained us.

     20th.  Brother Sven Larsen and I wrote a report of this last court proceedings in
our record book, and

     21st.  We continued that work and finished it.  I received a  letter from Brevig.

     22nd.  I wrote to the saints in Brevig, encouraging them to be patient and faithful.

     23rd.  Mr. Fjeldsted took me out in town for a sleigh ride.  This was Sunday.



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