Written by her son, John T. Thorup
20 June 1913
After the Lord had commenced His latter day work On this the promised land’ He remembered His chosen people dwelling in foreign lands and commanded His Prophets to send Elders to them. It was about this time when the Gospel was restored that the subject of this narrative Mary C. Christensen was born.
She was born September 19, 1824 in Myrupsgaard, (Vaster Egensborg Parish), Praesto, Denmark. Her father and mother were among the wealthy class and owned well stocked farms and plenty of this world’s goods. Her mother died while she was yet but a child and she was raised without a mother’s care During her girlhood days she received a common school education and was taught in the Lutheran religion.
When she became a young woman, she became acquainted with Herman August Thorup, who was one of the best cabinet makers In his day and age. On February 25, 1848, they took upon themselves the obligations of man and wife. The Lord blessed them with a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters. The children were as follows: Herman F. F. Laura E., Laura A., John T., Christine V., Mary, Byrum E., and Joseph.
They had not been married long when they moved to Copenhagen, where the Gospel wag being preached by Apostle Erestus Snow. A great deal of persecution was going on In the city at that time and they, like many others of the early days, began to investigate. Our subject was slow to believe the words of the Elders who labored with her and her husband, and after considerable thinking she resolved to ask the Lord. This was something new for her to bow her knees before her Maker, though she was of a religious train of mind. She declared in all soberness that she went to her chamber, closed the door after her, and there she poured out her soul unto God and asked Him to give her a testimony of the divinity of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and In her own language she declared that she saw two lights shining bright before her and she received a testimony at that time, which never left her to the time of her death--that God lives, that Jesus Is the Redeemer of the world, and Joseph Smith a true Prophet of the Lord.
On April 9th 1853, she and her husband entered into the waters of baptism and became Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Now the trouble began. Our subject was an outcast with her father and relatives. Persecution kept up. The brethren and sister* were molested in their meetings, but this mode no difference to them. They had received the truth from God; their joy was full--they were satisfied
Now the spirit of gathering took possession of them. Their hearts’ desire was to gather with the Saints, but the time had not yet come. Our subject’s husband became the secretary of the Copenhagen Conference and went on a mission tour with Patriarch John Smith, and her oldest son, Herman F. F. Thorup was called on a local mission. Her joy was in her children, and to See them become good and faithful, she sacrificed nearly everything for, to bring them up In the knowledge of the Gospel.
The time had now arrived that the Lord opened the way for them to emigrate, and on May 8th , 1868, they left the shores of Denmark and bid goodbye to the land of their birth, rejoicing in the fact that they would soon be gathered with the Saints of God in the valleys of the mountains After a voyage of 3 days over the North Sea, they arrived at Hull, England, took the railroad from there to Liverpool and there embarked on the Ocean Steamer. On May 26th they arrived at New York, took the train from there to Chicago, Illinois, where they arrived on June 1st. At the counsel of the President of the Scandinavian Mission, they remained at Chicago, until the following emigration, but through some unforeseen power they failed to get word in time and missed the emigrants and were compelled to stay there until the next season. Here they had to keep quiet as the Mormons were not allowed to remain in the city more than 24 hours.
After a stay of fourteen months they were notified by the Emigration Agent at New York and on August 1st, 1869, at 11:00 A.M. they took the train for Council Bluffs where they arrived the following day and caught the Emigrants a few hours later at Omaha, Nebraska. After five days journey across the plains, she with her husband and children arrived at Ogden, Utah on the 8th day of August and arrived at Provo, Utah August 16th.
For a few years they lived in Provo. She with her husband and children worked hard to get a new start in life, and had quiet an experience during the grasshopper plague and other things during their stay she made many friends and had a great manifestation. She with her son John T. was out in the field one day. A heavy storm came up. The field being close to the mountains, the rain came down in "sheets". While the storm was raging she and her son saw a man come down the steep mountain followed by a horse without a bridle, halter or anything at all. He sat upon the a large rock and the horse stood by him all during the storm, and they heard singing like that of a thousand voices. After the storm had subsided, the man got down off the rock and walked up to the mountain again, where no human person could walk, though he walked with ease and the horse followed him again.
In September 1873, she and her family moved to Salt Lake City and located in the First Ward. During her lifetime, she took pleasure In discharging her duties as a member of the Church, and did a great deal of Temple work. She and her son John T. had the first King and Queen of Denmark sealed together as man and wife, as the subject of this sketch was a Royal descent. She was faithful and true to the last thankful to God for having had the privilege of entering into a covenant with Him, and coming to the land of Zion. While she was cast out and disowned by her father, relatives and friends, and left the land of her ancestors she was a true daughter of Israel and a true follower of the meek and lowly Jesus. She died In her 81st year on July 13th, 1905.