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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

James Monsen Finalizes His Mission in Norway


James Monsen



While thus engaged, others joined the group, and upon learning.............



      tered.  He  no doubt decided there is that Mormon, because the first word he uttered was "W don't want any of your Mormon stuff here; get out of my home."  His wife seeming not so excited bade me to stay for a few questions.  At which he said, "No questions til I get through with him."  He raved on with filthy, vile and false accusations, to which I paid little attention until he began reflections on the character of my mother, my wife and all good women I knew.  The thought flashed through my mind "I will be a coward if I don't call him a liar.  For a moment chips were flying high and fast.  I think of the three, his wife was the most calm.  In meeting my companion who was waiting for me on the highway, he remarked "What has happened to you?". "You look upset".  In answer I said, "Who wouldn't be upset meeting the Imp that I have?"

A letter from home ... his wife:


It read, "We miss you at home. and often wonder how you are received among strangers .  If you may be driven from the door, mistreated and ridiculed, have this in mind:  You are not better than the Master.  Pray for those who would mistreat you."  After reading the letter, I looked at my companion and said,  "Here is the difference in Christianity.  My wife at home with the care of six children sacrificing the society of her husband, subjecting to ridicule  and scorn, then asking him to pray for an old heathen like that guy up on the hill, if that isn't true Christianity, there is no such thing."

A meeting at Christensund

Elder Knudsen, who after returning to Utah became President of Snow College, met up with a circumstance in which he desired assistance and wired headquarters for help.  A traveling minister had entered the city with a panorama portraying pictures in various countries, Utah, Salt Lake and Brigham Young were included, with varying misinterpretations, falsifying the true situation, and also deceiving true Mormon principals.  Elder Knudsen in the minister's own meeting,shouted out,  "You are not speaking the truth."  No doube the statement from Elder Knudsen was a surprise  to the minister, as well as the people, and created a stir, arousing their curiosity; and more so when he said, "If I can procure the use of this hall, I will answer the minister in the near future". Upon the arrival the meeting was scheduled and well advertised.  Knudsen, being an able speaker, used for his subject the social conditions of the people in Utah and reading speeches from non-Mormons such as M.W. Powers, a noted lawyer of Salt Lake City, and a senator from Arizona, in Congress assembled setting forth the thrift,honor, honesty and true citizenship of the Mormon people. 
The Pastor arose in the audience and in substance said.  "You have heard a glimmering and diplomatic speech, but I warn you to beware of these men. They are not what they represent themselves to be.  There are such things as false prophets and wolves in sheeps clothing, and these men are it."  

The Subject of Polygamy 

At another meeting, I stated "We don't deny the fact that many men had more than one wife, but at no time did more that one percent of our members have more than one wife and in all cases the children born in polygamous families bore the father's name with no distinction, being provided for and educated to the best of the father's ability.  Grnd you for argument's sake polygamy is on a par with polygamy in Norway.  The percentage is not as great, and conditions much different.  How many of your illegitimate children bear the father's name, and do the fathers assist the mothers in educating and providing the necessities of life?  The difference in polygamy in Norway and Utah is striking.  I leave you to draw your own conclusions.  When you have swept your own yards clean, we invite you to join us again in sweeping ours." 

Winter of 1902

We were desirous of seeing Norway in summer's bloom.  Hense Elder Jensenof Grigham City, Helper,of Richfield and Larsen of Tremonton joined us in a sightseeing trip which was very much enjoyed by all.  The natural beauties of Norway, I think are unexcelled .  We were fortunate while sailing through its narrow fjord, to have the brightness of the midnight sun.  In which we reveled on land and sea.  We had heard much about the Laps and seen little of them.  Across the fjord, about a mile from Tromso, is a small valley called Tromso Valley, where huts were built by the Laps for use in summertime, which we Elders had pleasur of inspecting, also seeing reindeer by the hundreds grazing on the hillsides nearby.  The valley was divided by a stream of water flowing from the hillside, which at the head was easily passed over.  

His Release

On my return to Trondjhem, July second, I received my release to go home which from the outset of my mission had been looked forward to in fond anticipation, but now it had come.  I seemingly was not ready to go.  I had made my friends and grown accustomed to their ways and more interested in the work.  Seemingly so much to be done and having comparatively done so little, not until we sighted land at Boston and saw the Stars and Stripes did I really become anxious to get home. Arriving in Provo, July 28th.  I was met by my dear wife and three children, Austin, Paul, and Ruth.  The next day we arrived at the depot by scores of friends and relatives.

Now I was home again, confronted with problems very much in contrast to those under which I had been laboring the last two years. 


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