Biography of Jensine Jensen Thorup
July 17 1940
Jensine Jensine was the daughter of Niels Peter Jensen and Berths Maria Rasmussen. She was born July 17, 1861 at Benson Hodo, Randers, Denmark, the oldest of eleven children. She attended school in Denmark from which she was graduated.
Her father was called to war with Sweden. This caused her to leave home for work to help keep the family. Jensine went to work on a Large gore or ranch as a cook. On this ranch they had many helpers, 1st and 2nd girls. When she was through cooking she would knit stockings or gather turf and other things. She often worked until midnight. She was allowed to go home once a year to see her folks. She was homesick, all alone in the world, away from her people. Her mother had taught her to pray and through this she received great consolation.
While at this ranch, the Mormon Elders came with their literature and Invited them to their meetings. It seemed as if she had always known the Gospel that these missionaries were teaching. When it came her turn to go to Church on Sunday, she visited the Mormon meetings. But to be sure it was true she made it a matter of serious thought, study, and prayer.
One day they all went to the seaside for a holiday- Jensine and two other girls went in bathing. They swam too far out. The tide came in and the people screamed for help as they feared these three girls would drown. But Jensine and the two girls had climbed a huge rock. And the water kept rising higher and higher. Still they clung to this large rock. The water came up to their necks. They were frightened and felt they were going to drown. Jensine said, "I will pray." She prayed aloud to God to spare their lives, "If there is a God in Heaven I know our lives will be saved" !
After praying the water went down and their lives were spared. Jensine knew then for sure there was a God in heaven who hears and answers prayers. This was a testimony to her. One evening she went for the cows to bring them home from the meadows. She was knitting stockings on the way. It was a little early so she sat down to wait until the sun had gone down. She was sitting by a hollow log when her ball of yarn rolled away from under her arm down into the hollow. She tried to pull it, but the more she did the more the ball ran on. So she went down after the ball of yarn. When down in this hollow she looked around and could see no one so she thought here I can pray to God for I am all alone. She knelt down and prayed to God, for she knew there was a God in heaven. She asked Him which church was the right one. And as she rose, a light shone down on her and she heard a voice say "Jensine, this is the true church which the Elders are preaching -- the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
This also gave her a deeper testimony of God. She knew then what church to belong to. She was so happy that she applied for baptism. It was February 1st , 1878 Jensine was to be baptized in the river of Denmark. Ice was all over the river. She was sixteen years old. The Elders had to chop a hole in the ice, When the Elder who was to baptize her could not pull off his shoes, he pulled till sweat rolled down his face and still he could not pull it off. The Elder said, " I will baptize you with my shoes on if I have to. The devil is not going to stop Jensine from receiving the truth." Not until they had prayed to the Lord to help them and had rebuked the evil one did the shoes come off as easy as ever. In this cold icy water they baptized her, but she was so happy that she did not feel the cold. From that time on persecution was heaped upon her because she had joined those ‘hateful Mormons". The people she worked for hated the Mormons and had been watching Jensine as she was baptized so they did not wont her to work for them.
But they later also joined the church and they regretted they had let Jensine go. They tried three times to get her to come back, but she had found other work.
At the age of 18 she was working in a laundry. Here she had an infection in her thumb and had to have half of the bone out off without any anesthetic. The doctor said she would have to have her thumb taken off because he felt it would not heal, Jensine went to the Elders’ home and they blessed her and promised it would be made well through her faith in God. It was healed.
Later Jensine came to America as did several of her convert friends, and here she met Herman F. F. Thorup and became his third wife. (His first wife had died, but the second one Anna Christine Anderson Thorup was still living.) Once again, Jensine had prayed for wisdom as she made the decision to marry in plural marriage which was being practiced at that time. Quotation from the writings of Herman F. F. Thorup states: "The Lord through His holy spirit told me that if I did not obey the Law that I should be damned. So I had to bow to His will, He having led me to a virtuous woman, full in faith of the Gospel. And today I feel to praise my Creator that He did give me strength to obey that Law".
They were married in the Endowment House December 21st 1882. From that time to her death one trouble after another came to her because of Polygamy. She had to be kept in hiding from place to place. Her third baby died because she and her baby had to hide and the baby had to drink milk from seven different cows. The baby died and father put a gunnysack over her coffin and buried her in the cemetery–a martyr for the Gospel. Her fifth baby was a boy, their first son. When he was five months old the Marshall came and nearly tore the baby out of mother’s hands. But she held on and ran with the baby to the neighbors. When she was hauled into court the baby nursed many different mothers who were witnesses and had "excited milk ". When he was home he was taken to Aunt Christine’s home. Mother was not allowed to go there so as to save father from prison. Mother would go around Aunt Christine’s house and hear her dear baby cry with hunger longing to feed it herself. But they feared her coming in would endanger the position of father. Then the dear little baby got sick and mother begged to see it. She plead to come in, and when she finally got to see the baby and saw how sick it was, she cried unto the Lord to spare her baby. Then it became conscious and smiled at her but began to cry again with pain, and she prayed to God to take him home. The baby died, he too was martyred for the Gospel’s sake. Father made a wooden box and mother made clothes for him. They put him in a box covered with gunnysacks and drove to the cemetery in the wagon and buried him.