By Wilma Sevdin granddaughter
To read the diary of Anna Christine Anderson Thorup is to read one of the sweetest love stories that has been written, for she truly loved her husband, her family, her fellow man, and the Lord, as her story will confirm.
Anna Christine Anderson was born December 16th 1857 In Ebdrup, Randors, Denmark, the fourth child of Andors Rasmussen and Ann Pederson. Her father died March 25th 1860--only a little over two years after her birth, so she was too young to remember her father. Her mother remarried a few months later, and by this union there were 4 children born also two girls that were still births and two boys. One of the boys died before he was a year old, but the other ones Jens Larsen became quite important in the later years of Anna Christine’s life.
Anna Christine’s mother, Ann, was of average height, well built, and mentally alert. She was also very generous by nature kindly and of a sweet disposition. One of her sisters who had not been able to have any children of her own asked Ann for the privilege of raising one of her children and it was arranged that Anna Christine would be the one. Just how long she lived with her mother’s sister we do not know, but she was at home at the time of her confirmation. She was probably not far from her mother so she grew up with this Aunt and had the love of her own mother as well whenever the occasion arose. She also grew up under the influence of the Lutheran Church,.
It was during her adolescent years that some of her friends were contacted by Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and they told Anna Christina about it. She became greatly interested and naturally wanted her mother to know also, But the mother’s reaction was not favorable--she tried to discourage the girl, However through her girl friends, ways and means were devised so that the teaching of the Gospel to Anna Christine continued.
Her mother was very staunch in her Luthern faith, and for her daughter to become involved in this new religion was shocking. She forbade her daughter to have anything to do with the Mormon Elders. But Anna Christine had received enough of Mormon doctrine that she desired more. She often said that it didn’t sound like a new religion to her, but that it had a familiar ring to it and she readily accepted every word of it. Her generous-hearted mother would help anyone–even a Mormon. But religion was out. If they spoke religion, she was through and they had to leave. Knowing this, Anna Christine dared not mention it anymore in the home, but she nourished it in her heart and through her friends was able to keep contact with the Church. At times she would sneak away to learn more of this wonderful religion. Quoting her, "The more I heard, the more convinced I was of it’s truths and she was baptized into the Church. Her half brother Jens was also converted and baptized. By this time, Anna Christine was in her late adolescent years and more or less in a position that she could choose for herself. So not fearing her mother she told her that she and Jens had joined the Church. Her mother became so wroth with them that she disowned them and drove them out of their home. She refused to have anything more to do with them. They had been fairly well fixed financially, but she and her brother forfeited all this by joining the Church,
No place to go, they left for Copenhagen where both found work. Anna Christine found work in the home of a business man, and began saving money for a journey to Zion. There was persecution even there in Copenhagen when her employers learned that she was a Mormon, but always her love for the Gospel led the way. With the assistance of her brother Jens, the two of them were finally able to make the trip.
They were many weeks on the voyage to America and the two of them were destined to go to Monroe, Utah. A Bishop, presumably a missionary to Denmark, was sponsoring them. However on the ocean they became acquainted with some missionaries who were returning from their missions in Denmark. One of them was Herman F.. F. Thorup. This acquaintance became something more as the journey continued and Elder Thorup persuaded Anna Christine to remain in Salt Lake City. It was soon a fine romance, and Elder Thorup asked her to be his wife. Elder Thorup had been married before, but his wife and two children had died. His remaining two children were living with his parents in Salt Lake City. So she became the second wife of Herman F. F. Thorup, December 29, 1881 when they were married in the Logan Temple.
Anna Christine accepted the Gospel in all its fullness barring none. If it required that she give up coffee (which was so widely used in Denmark), she would do it. Polygamy was another part of the Gospel at this time. She suggested that Herman could marry Jensine Jensen, one of her girlfriends from Denmark, and this he did Dec. 21. 1882.