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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Christian Jensen 1825–1916 Legacy of Sacrifice: Missionaries to Scandinavia, 1872–94

Christian Jensen   Legacy of Sacrifice: Missionaries to Scandinavia, 1872–94

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/legacy-sacrifice-missionaries-scandinavia-1872-94/i-j

1825–1916
Residence: Mount Pleasant, Sanpete Co., Utah
Arrival date in Copenhagen: 24 September 1878
Missionary labors: Copenhagen Conference
Departure date from Copenhagen: 5 July 1880
Name of departure ship: Leo (Cato)
Birth date: 7 June 1825
Birthplace: Soesmarke, Majbølle, Maribo, Denmark
Father: Hansen, Jens
Mother: Hansdatter, Birthe Marie
Spouse: Pedersen (Jorgensen, Petersen), Karen Marie
Marriage date: 8 October 1856
Marriage place: Spanish Fork, Utah Co., Utah
Spouse: Fredricksen, Anna Kjirstine
Marriage date: 16 April 1902
Death date: 3 August 1916
Death place: Mount Pleasant, Sanpete Co., Utah
Burial place: Mount Pleasant, Sanpete Co., Utah


When Christian was twenty years old, he went to Copenhagen, and for the next eleven years he worked in the palace of King Frederick VII. At that time, he weighed ninety-two pounds and had black curly hair. He courted Karen Marie, a young woman in charge of the palace linens (see History of Sanpete and Emery Counties, Utah, 244).


Karen joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 28 October 1854. Christian was baptized one week later on 5 November 1854. Christian’s family was upset with his decision to become a Mormon and had a farewell party for him. The following song was composed for Christian at the farewell:


Now it’s time to say goodbye, the clock is striking
You go away and your fate awaits you.
You have told me that your faith so bids,
But Alas! What folly! A fool’s imagination!
Why? I ask, do you go in blindness?
Why leave fatherland and home where you were born
Where faith was given you and
Where love and charity led you onward.
Farewell! Farewell! For the last time you hear the sound
Of your brother who has warned you.
Goodbye! To foreign lands your faith leads you
Farewell from the place where you were raised.
Good luck! Good luck! That is the desire of my heart.
Good luck! May you always eat your bread in peace.
To God I send my hidden thoughts
And think of you now as if you were dead.


Christian left Copenhagen on 29 November 1855. The king was so fond of him and Karen Marie that he gave them one thousand dollars to help defray the expense of immigrating to America. It took Christian and Karen Marie almost ten months to journey from Denmark to the Salt Lake Valley. They crossed the plains in the ox train company of Canute Peterson (seeHistory of Sanpete and Emery Counties, Utah, 244). They arrived the evening of Saturday, 20 September 1856, in the Salt Lake Valley.


Christian married Karen Marie on 8 October 1856 in Spanish Fork, Utah County, Utah. They remained in Spanish Fork for three years before moving to Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County, in 1859. In Mount Pleasant, Christian assisted in building a fort. He and his family lived in the fort until February 1860. It was in this area that he acquired 140 acres and became a prosperous farmer. He was a stockholder in the first co-op store and tannery in Mount Pleasant. He took an active part in the Black Hawk War and fought in the Saline Canyon Battle. For his defense of Latter-day Saints, he was awarded a medal (see Barney, “History of Christian Jensen and His Wife, Karen Marie Petersen,” 1).


On 21 November 1862, he was ordained a seventy and selected as a president of the Sixty-sixth Quorum of the Seventy. He is credited with assisting immigrants to Utah and with being a builder of the St. George Temple (see Barney, “History of Christian Jensen and His Wife, Karen Marie Petersen,” 1).


He was set apart for a mission to Scandinavia on 2 September 1878 by President Joseph F. Smith. On 24 September 1878, he arrived in Copenhagen and was assigned to labor in the Copenhagen Conference. After completing this assignment, he departed from Copenhagen on 5 July 1880 aboard the steamer Cato with 346 emigrating Latter-day Saints ' (see Jenson, History of the Scandinavian Mission, 244).


Returning to Mount Pleasant, he enjoyed planting tulips and poppies. Reputedly he was the first to bring these flowers to the community. He served in the community as a ward teacher and in 1895 as a member of the city council. He remained very active and agile most of his years. At age ninety-one, he was still able to stand on his head. At one point, he was the oldest citizen residing in Mount Pleasant. When the Pioneer Association hosted its annual ball, although he was ninety years old, he led the grand march. He died in 1916 at Brigham City at age ninety-one

 (see Barney, “History of Christian Jensen and His Wife, Karen Marie Petersen,” 1).






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