In the years of 1879-'80, and 81, I was laboring as a missionary in my native country. I was called to preside over two large branches of West and South Sjaelland, in the Copenhagen Conference. Several brethren were also laboring as traveling Elders in the same branches. Elder Jacob Hansen of Bear River City, Box Elder County, was, in the year 1880, appointed to travel in those branches.
He never had been on a mission before, consequently it was trying; to him; but he was a humble man, and had the desire of fulfilling his mission to the glory of God.
One day late in the season of the year he wanted to go with me, out among strangers leaving money and everything behind us. and to trust in God alone. So we Started early one morning after leaving, our blessings with the Saints. When we had traveled a few miles we entered the houses of the farmers, spoke to them of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, called on them to repent of their sins and turn unto their God, but no one seemed to care to listen to what we had to say. At each house we left a few of our tracts with the people. Night was now approaching, and still we had eaten nothing since morning, nor was there any prospect of our getting either food or lodging. We were already several miles distant from any of the Saints, but had no desire to visit them, as they were mostly poor. Wherefore we trusted in God that He would open up the way for us. We were just at this time passing a small graveyard, which we entered for the purpose of calling on the Lord. I was mouth at the time, and in my prayer I asked the Lord that He would open up the way so that we might get a place of entertainment.
After we had offered up our supplications before the throne of God, we started again, not knowing where to go or what to do.
Finally, as we were walking along the road we came to a fine, two-story brick building. I felt impressed to call at the house. We knocked at the door, and a gentleman who was dressed very nicely appeared. He invited us to enter, which we did, and found ourselves in what appeared to be an office of some kind. I was the spokesman, and told who we were and what we were doing.
He then asked if we knew who he was. We told him we did not, whereupon he said he had authority to arrest us if he so desired as we had no right to sell our books and tracts in the country. I told him that we did not believe he could do this as we had not sold any of the books, but had given most of them away for nothing, yet at the same time if we were given some in exchange for the books we took it, for we had to pay for the printing and bindings of the books.
After some remarks had passed between us, I began to tell him that we were sent out to warn our fellow-men and to tell them that God had again spoken from heaven and restored the Priesthood unto the children of men. But he did not care for our waning voice. He said there was lots of Christianity in the land, and that we better return home and do something else than preach.
I had a small valise with me, and he been impressed by the Spirit of God to want to know what it contained. I therefore opened it, and on the top was on top was a pamphlet called "Invitation to the Kingdom of God." He looked at and told us if God wanted him in His Kingdome he would have to come and tell him Himself and present the invitation.
As it was now getting rather dark, and not knowing where we might find entertainment for the night, we thought we better leave the house. Brother Hansen already outside, but I lingered somewhat. When I took my hat to leave the gentleman unlocked and opened his writing -desk taking something out of it. I now bade him good by; but he extended his hand toward me saying Take this and use it for your nights lodging.
I was greatly surprised, for he uttered the same words as I did at the graveyard when asking our Heavenly Father for what we needed. I did not look at the money but asked God to bless him for the good he had done to us.
When I came down upon the street where Brother Hansen was I said to him "What do you suppose I have in my hand" for I felt that Brother Hansen did not believe there was any good in that gentleman, because of the way he spoke to us. I opened my hand and found that I had been given two crowns, just enough for our nights lodging.
I heard a voice say to me. "Do not spend that money for your night's lodging, but go and buy provisions with the money and then go to the family of Brother Folkersen, for they have nothing to cat, and your bed is already made for you."
I told Brother Hansen what I had been impressed by the Spirit of God to do with the money. Brother Hansen felt as I did in regard to the matter, so when we came to the other village we bought bread, hatter, cheese, sugar, etc., with the money, and then started for Brother Folkersen's place, a distance of three miles. When we came to the house we saw a light within, and through the window we saw our bed as the. Spirit had told us it would he. Knocking on the door, the sister came and opened for us, saying as she did so, "I knew you were coming. "She had felt very sorrowful, however, because she had nothing in the house to eat, and her husband had not come home yet.
When we got inside we placed all that we had bought on the table. Our sister looked at it and began crying, saying that it was a shame that we had to spend our money in that, way. I told her not to cry but to hurry up the meal, for we were hungry, having had nothing to eat since early morning:. While thus speaking to her Brother Folkersen entered the, kitchen and said to his wife. “Mother, I was not able to get any bread. The' baker would not let me' have any on credit, and I could not, get any money for my work today and here are my brethren and we have nothing for them to eat." He then opened the door into the room where we were, and seeing all the provisions laid on the table and began to cry like a child. In his tears he said, "Brethren, this is too much for you to do. You have left your families, your homes for our sake, and then spend your money to buy provisions for us. "
I told him not to feel sorrowful, but "let us get to the table, for we are hungry, and we believe that you and your wife are also hungry, and when we have satisfied our hunger we will tell you how we came to. So we all sat down at the table and gave thanks to our Father and God for His many blessings which He had bestowed upon us, asking Him to bless this food which He in very deed had prepared for us, and for the poor and worthy Saints. We all had a good supper, which we enjoyed, for we had the best sauce of all, a good appetite.
After we had eaten our supper we told Brother and Sister Folkersen our experience of the day, and how we happened to get the money. When they heard this they both wept, and we could not restrain our tears, not because of sorrow but for joy, for we all realized that we had a good and kind Father in heaven, who watches over all His children, and provides for them in His own due time, and to Him we gave the honor, praise and the glory.
Brother and Sister Folkersen both died years ago, but they passed away in full faith of the work of God. They have a son and daughter in Zion who are both faithful in the Church.
May the Lord bless the young readers of this little piece, that they may learn that we have a kind Father in heaven, who provides for all those who seek Him and try to do His will.
H. F. F Thorup. Juvenile Instructor
1 April 1895 pp 220-222