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Autobiography of Christian J. Larsen, con't.

(January 24, 1853 - April 15, 1853)
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.

JANUARY, 1853

     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
Vaterland.

     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
worship.

     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.

     24th.  Brother Beckstrom brought me the "Scandinavian Star" and some letters.
One was from Brother Hahn in Copenhagen, two from the brethren Sven P. and Emil
Larsen in Vaterland.

     25th.  I fasted this day.  Wrote letters to the saints in Brevig and also to S. P. and
Emil Larsen.

     26th.  I wrote to Brother Emil Larsen, giving instructions to them, about what I
wanted them to do in Brevig, if they were permitted to land.

     27th and 28th.  I wrote letters to my brother C.G. Larsen in Bornholm, Denmark,
and to Brother Jensen in Brevig.

     29th and 30th.  All of us fasted.  Day spent in prayer, singing and conversation.
Received a letter from John Olsen, the president of the Risoer Branch.

     31st.  Spent that day in the same way.

FEBRUARY, 1853

     1st.  We felt to rejoice in the blessings of God.

     2nd.  I received two very encouraging letters from the presidency in Copenhagen.

     3rd.  I wrote letters to President H. P. Jensen; two of the brethren, Emil and
Sven P. Larsen, visited us in the evening.

     4th.  Spent the time by writing.

N.B. From this date and to the 26th of this month, the leaves of my diary are lost.

     26th.  I wrote to the saints in Brevig to obtain their signatures to our petition.

     27th.  I wrote to President Willard Snow.  One of the brethren brought three
strangers, as visitors, to whom we explained our doctrine of the gospel.

     28th.  This day I was unwell, and stayed in bed most of the day.

MARCH, 1853

     1st.  I wrote to the brethren, who were confined in Elverhoj, trying to cheer them
up and to take courage, and not to neglect their prayers to God, who is our friend.

     2nd.  In the evening we were visited by two friends, I commenced writing an account
and report of our mission in Norway, for publication, in the "Scandinavian Star". I was
introduced to a captain, who was a visitor with Mr. Fjeldsted, and explained to him our
faith and doctrine.  Two of the brethren brought me letters from Jensen.

     3rd.  I answered the letters which I had received the day before.

     4th.  The decision  of the higher court was read to us, which was to the same
effect as that from the lower court, but decided to appeal again, and proceeded to write
another plea in our case.  Elder P. Beckstrom and Emil Larsen were here.  Some of
our friends had applied for baptism, and I advised that in doing so, to be wise and very
careful, yet to perform that sacred  ordinance to any one that they found worthy and
fully converted to the gospel.  Carl Widerborg was baptized that evening by Emil Larsen.

     5th.  Finished our written plea to the Supreme Court.  Carl Widerborg came here,
and Elder Ahmanson and I confirmed him by the laying on of hands, I being mouth, and
at the same time we ordained him to office of priest.  We felt much joy and gratitude
towards God, for we realized that we in that man would have much needed help, and we
gave him in commission to rewrite and correct our written plea, before  it was to be
forwarded to the Supreme Court.

     6th.  I wrote a letter to the saints in Risoer to obtain their signatures to our
petition for religious liberty.  Brothers Beckstrom and Widerborg came here and
brought some good news from Denmark.  In the afternoon we were permitted to go out
and visit our friends in Vaterland and in the city. In the evening we had a visit from
the brethren from Elverhoj prison, and we had a joyful time with them by singing and
pleasant conversation and prayers.

     7th and 8th.  I wrote more concerning our mission and to Brother Widerborg,
asking him to proof write it for us, and sent our message to him by Miss Maria
Fjeldsted, the daughter of our prison host.  Several members of the church made us a
visit, and we had a fine time with them, singing our hymns and in prayer.

     9th.  I wrote a finishing testimony to our mission report and had it forwarded to
Brother Widerborg. Brother Emil Larsen was put in jail on bread and water diet,
because he was a Mormon. I received a letter from Brother Jensen in Brevig
containing some encouraging news.

     10th.  I wrote three letters today; one to my parents and to my brother John and my
sister Stine and one to Brother Jensen in Risoer.  In the evening we had a visit from
Brother and a Mr. Gunder and Bouen, with whom we had a long and interesting
conversation upon the principles of the gospel, and they were very attentive listeners.
We had a fine time with them.

     11th.  I wrote two letters and forwarded our mission report to Denmark.

     12th.  I wrote some encouraging letters to the saints in the city and I received a
letter from Brother John Olsen, the president of the Risoer Branch.  A man by name,
Berthart Hansen, a mason by trade, but at the time imprisoned in Christiania, sent me
a letter, asking me to forward some of our tracts to him.  Brother Peter Kerup asked
to be permitted to emigrate with the next company going to Zion, as  he did not wish
to be drafted into the army.

     13th.  I wrote letters to Risoer and forwarded a copy of our petition.  In the afternoon
a police man took us out to Vaterland.  We found the saints there engaged in a prayer
meeting and we joined them and had a pleasant time with them. I received a letter from
Brother, who was in prison, in which he expressed himself as troubled in his mind,
and I, therefore, wrote to him, trying to cheer him.

     14th.  Brother Sven P. Larsen and Emilie Halvorsen were here together with her
brother Halvorsen.  Mr. Billington, the sheriff, brought a prominent citizen of the
town into us, and we had a very interesting conversation.

     15th and 16th.  I wrote letters to Brothers Emil Larsen and J. Johansen, and also
sent a copy of our petition to the saints in Brevig.  In the afternoon Elder Svend Larsen,
one of our fellow prisoners, received a communication from the county judge, granting
him the privilege to leave the prison, which he had asked for.

     17th, 18th and 19th.  I wrote letters to Brother Jensen in Risoer, and also to Elders P.
Beckstrom and Svend Larsen.

     20th.  I fasted this day.  Mr. Fjeldsted, the son of our jailer, took us on a visit
to our imprisoned brethren in Elverhoj.  We were also visited by the two sisters,
Widerborg and Bruum, and we appreciated and enjoyed their visit. In the evening we
administered to Randine Larsen, who was sick, and we had a pleasant talk with Mr.
Fjeldsted's family.

     21st.  This day I filled my 22nd year.  I wrote a letter to Brother Widerborg and
I felt much joy.

     22nd.  I received a  letter from Pres. H.P. Jensen, in which he invited me to
come to conference in Copenhagen, April 6th, if possible.

     23rd.  I wrote to the county judge, petitioning for the privilege to go to Copenhagen,
offering security or bonds for my re-appearance, whenever wanted.  This was done by
me according to instructions from the presidency in Copenhagen, and with the consent
of my fellow prisoners.  Several of the brethren were here, and we had a very pleasant
time together. I received a letter from the saints in Risoer, wherein they expressed
the hope that we would soon pay them a visit.

     24th.  I did some writing.  Some of the saints were here, and I blessed and
consecrated a bottle of oil for Sister Randine Larsen.  We had a good time together.

     25th.  I wrote two letters.  I had a talk with the family of Mr. Fjeldsted upon the
principles of the gospel.

     26th.  Writing some today.  In the afternoon I was invited down into the private
rooms of Mr. Fjeldsted's, where I was introduced to several strangers with a view
of explaining to them our doctrines and faith, but they were much opposed to our faith,
yet the Lord sustained me by His spirit, and when they left, they were inbued with a
much more friendly disposition towards us.

     27th, Sunday.  I wrote letters to Brevig and Risoer.  In the afternoon the brethren
from the other prison in Elverhoj were here on a visit, and we enjoyed ourselves by
singing and in prayer and pleasant conversation.

     28th.  I wrote out a report of conditions of us and mission in Norway, to the
presidency in Copenhagen.  Brother Johansen, the branch president, brought some
good news of the work in his district.  Two persons had been baptized the previous
Friday, and three others on Sunday.  We gave thanks to God for His blessings.

     29th.  Several members of the branch made us a visit, and we enjoyed ourselves
with them, in singing and in prayer.

     30th.  I received a communication from the county judge to the effect that I might
be liberated, by giving bonds and security.

     31st.  That day, about 4 p. m, I was liberated on certain conditions, and attended
a prayer meeting with the saints that evening, where I spoke to them, instructing them
as well as encouraging them to be faithful and diligent in their duties as saints.  In the
night I returned to my lodgings in the prison.

APRIL, 1853

     1st.  I left the brethren (in the prison) and went to Brother C. Widerborg in the
suburb, on the other side of the river, and returned with him in the afternoon; we
held a council meeting then, in which Brother Emil Larsen was honorable released
from acting as clerk for Frederickstad Branch, and Carl Widerborg sustained in that
position.  It was also decided to hold a council and general meeting with the saints in
the country district outside town, on the 4th of that month, and to have as many of the
saints attend as possible.  Also, that we celebrate the 6th of April, the date when the
church was organized, by coming together and rejoice by songs and prayers, and thus
be in harmony with the saints, who on that day will meet in conference in Copenhagen.
I occupied some of the time in speaking, encouragingly, to the saints.

     2nd.  I had a conversation with some strangers upon the principles of the gospel,
and afterwards I visited the brethren in prison, and also Brother Johansen, the
president of the branch and the Bruun family.  Brother P. Beckstrom was with me.

     3rd, Sunday.  Brother C. Widerborg and I visited and had a conversation upon the
gospel principles, a family, a little outside the town, and we found them favorable
impressed with what we explained to them. In the afternoon we held a well attended
meeting at a wealthy farmer's, by name, Jorgen Johannesen, his farm called Orle.
Brother Widerborg delivered a lengthy sermon upon the first principles of the Gospel,
and he was greatly blessed by the spirit.  When he was through, I felt impressed to
speak, but as I was  only enjoying my freedom on condition that I would refrain from
preaching, I told the people so, but I thought that I had a right to tell them what had
caused my arrest and confinement in prison, together with the other brethren.  I had
not promised to be silent altogether, and I could see that the people were desirous to
know the nature of our offence, I would tell them all about it--our teachings and acts
in administering the Gospel ordinances, etc. , and that it all was in perfect harmony with
the teachings of the Savior himself, and no one had been able to prove anything to the
contrary, not even their own educated parsons and clergymen, and therefore we had
been imprisoned. I bore testimony to what God had done in establishing His church,
through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  The family in whose house this meeting was held,
were converted and joined the church, by baptism, a short time after, and several
others in that neighborhood did the same, and everything went off very quietly, although
some of them could not find room inside the two large rooms in the house, and were
obliged to stand in the doorway and entrance hall.

     4th.  Brother Widerborg and I visited the brethren in the prison and obtained
permission for them to accompany us to Ingulsrud, where we held a council meeting,
in which it was decided that Brother Carl Widerborg should be ordained an Elder and
Ole Ellingsen to be ordained a priest.  I occupied some time in speaking to the brethren
counseling them to seek wisdom and act accordingly in all things.  The spirit of God
was with us in a great measure. Afterwards the two brethren were ordained to their
respective degrees in the Priesthood--Elder Sven Larsen being mouth.  I pronounced
the benediction.

     5th, Tuesday.  Elder C. Widerborg and I went out to Vaterland to try to settle some
difficulties between Brother S.P. Larsen and his wife, as they had not been on good
terms for some time. I had talked to them on several occasions, while I was confined
in prison, but seemingly to no avail, but after I had talked to them quite a while, with
regard to their duties as saints and also as between husband and wife, the spirit of
God touched their hearts, and they asked forgiveness of each other, and then we bent
our knees before the Lord, in their behalf, and prayed with them, and afterwards we
blessed their son Peter.  Later on, we visited the brethren in the prison and also
Elder J. Johansen, the president of the branch.

     6th, Wednesday.  I fasted; .went to Ingoldrud, where we met in conference in
Brother Niels Ingoldrud's house. Having opened our meeting with song and prayer,
I explained to them the necessity for us to sustain the authorities of the church, even
from President Brigham Young as the head, down to the man who held the least degree
of the Holy Priesthood in the church.  I also spoke upon other subjects, particularly
upon the duties connected with the Priesthood.  By unanimous vote it was decided that
Elder Svend Larsen, Emit Larsen and S.P. Larsen proceed to the branches of Brevig
and Risoer, to cheer up the saints there, and at the same time do all what they could
to promote and strengthen the work of God in that part of the country.  After this, I
presented for the acceptance and support of the saints, the authorities of the church in
their regular order, from the presidency in Zion down to our own mission organization
in Norway, and all these officers were sustained by unanimous vote.  Several of the
brethren spoke their feelings, and the spirit of God was with us in a great measure.
In connection with Elder Peter Beckstrom, I blessed Elder Svend Larsen, Emil Larsen,
Elder C. Widerborg and Priest Ole Ellingsen, setting them apart for their missions.
I also administered a blessing to Sister Regine, who was sick, and we all felt greatly
blessed and gave praise to our Father in Heaven.  The conference adjourned sine Die,
by singing and prayer. We then went to Brother Widerborg's home, where all the saints
who lived in the city had supper, and finally closed the day's proceedings with song and
prayer.

     7th.  I received a letter from my girl and after Brother Widerborg and I went to
Vaterland to Brother Emil Larsen, who then turned over the record books and accounts
to Brother Widerborg.  We also blessed a child, belonging to Brother Johansen and
afterwards made a brief visit to the brethren in prison.  I had a conversation with a
sea captain this day and also with the family of Brother Bruun.

     8th.  I visited the brethren in the prison, and then went to Vaterland, to Emil Larsen
where I found Brother Jens Jensen, who had arrived from Brevig. He and I then went
to visit the brethren in prison on Elverhoj, and we stayed with them a couple of hours.
I had a lengthy conversation with Mrs. Michelsen, the wife of the jailer, explaining the
principles of the Gospel, and I, joining the children in singing.  From there we returned
to Vaterland, where we held a council meeting in the evening.  I spoke to the brethren
upon their duties in the Priesthood, and proposed that Brother Jens Jensen from Brevig
should be ordained an Elder, and Brother . . ., shoemaker, to the office of Priest,
which was agreed to by a unanimous vote. All the brethren who were present spoke,
expressing their feelings and their testimony, after which I, in connection with Elders
Svend Larsen and P. Beckstrom, ordained the brethren. After a song and prayer, the
meeting was dismissed.

     9th.  Elder C. Widerborg and I went to Vaterland to take leave of the brethren who
were off, and I gave to Elder Svend Larsen a letter of certificate and appointment,
directed to the saints in Brevig and Risoer, informing them of Elder Larsen's special
mission and duties until such time when I could come and visit them myself.  Before
their final departure we joined with them in song and prayer, and with a fair breeze we
saw them set sail and get off. Afterwards we visited the brethren in the prison and thren
crossed the river over to the suburb, where we came in conversation with some people,
who called themselves Evangelists. We consecrated a bottle of oil to be used by and for
the sick; I wrote a letter to my girl in Denmark and also commenced on a letter to my
parents.

     10th, Sunday.  I had an opportunity this day to bear my testimony to some strangers
in the home of Brother Widerborg.  In the afternoon I visited the brethren in our prison
and I found Mr. Fjeldsted very much excited because we had preached to his family. I
pleaded that it was his daughters that had come to us in our prison and inquired about
our belief.  From there I went to Brother Johansen, in whose home was held a meeting
that day.  All the saints present engaged in prayer, and I occupied some time in speaking
to them, and I also blessed two children, belonging to Brother Ole . . . ,  and confirmed
one brother by the ordinance of laying on of hands. Elder J. Johansen assisting. We a
felt greatly blessed.  The meeting was adjourned by song and prayer.  In the evening I
had an opportunity to speak with some strangers.

     11th.  This day I finished my letter to my parents, and I also wrote a letter to Pres.
Willard Snow, and also one to each of my own brother Johannes Greis and to Brother
Jens Hansen in Fune.

     I2th.  I had a lengthy conversation with some strangers, this day, in the house of
Brother Brown, and among them was a seafaring captain Jensen; they seemed to be
quite interested.

     13th.  I went to Vaterland, and from there I started for Elverhoj, intending to visit
the brethren imprisoned there, but on the way I met Mr. Michelsen, the sheriff, who
informed me that I would not be permitted to see and communicate with the brethren
except by a written permit from the county judge or the mayor of Frederikstad, and he
furthermore forbade me to talk to his family and disturb their peace of mind, and he
would himself assume all responsibility for this. I answered him and said that I had not
intentionally deprived his family of their peace of mind, nor would I personally assume
any responsibility for them in the future. I then retraced my steps to Frederikstad,
where I visited the brethren in the prison there. In the evening three persons were
baptized in Vaterland.  I explained the principles of the Gospel to some strangers that
were present, and Brother Widerborg and I also spoke to the newly baptized members
and then confirmed them by the laying on of hands and we had a very pleasant time
together.

     14th.  A man from a place called Aarii, called and asked me to go with him to Houge
as there were some people who desired to hear us, and when we arrived there, we had
a lengthy conversation and we found them very attentive and interested in our testimony.
I sang for them and prayed with them before leaving, and then went to Vaterland, where
I attended a prayer meeting that evening and stayed over night.

     15th.  I visited the brethren in the jail,, and next I crossed over to the other part of
Frederikstad (Forstaden) and from there I accompanied Sister E. Larsen out in the
country about seven miles, to visit and explain the Gospel to some of her relatives.
We found them very attentive and conversed with them for a long time, and had a very
enjoyable time with them.

     

LINKS

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