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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 21, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 25May00

Summarized by Joyce Feustel

Completing the circle: Mormon, Danish connections established through art
Orem UT Daily Journal 15May00 A4
By Stephen Carter: Journal Publications

OREM, UTAH -- About 150 years ago, LDS missionaries went to the country of Denmark and over a period of years some 18,000 Danes converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. These Danes then sailed for Utah. At this time Mormons were not generally welcome and the populace of the locality were rather glad to see them go. The converts were usually subjected to persecution and abnormal hardships. Now, after those 150 years, these 18,000 are going back to Denmark in a symbolic way.

These 18,000 Danes are symbolically returning to a more welcoming homeland. There have been two sculptures in bronze which will be placed on permanent display in Denmark at the Denmark Sesquicentennial Celebration. They will stand in commemoration of the mutual effect of the LDS Church in Denmark and of the Danes in the LDS Church. It is believed that 40% of the population of Utah can trace their roots back to Denmark.

The first sculpture is called "Kristina" and represents the great grandmother of sculptor Dennis Smith. She sailed with her family to join the Mormons in Utah and will be placed at the Copenhagen harbor where the ships for Utah were launched.

A much larger sculpture called "The Family. The Mormon Immigrants" will be placed at the entrance to Rebild National Park and will be unveiled on July 6. It represents Kristina's family, including an infant brother who died during the crossing and her grandmother, turned to look back toward her home and a husband who had not joined the church.

"We want to show the people of Denmark how we feel about going back and awakening an awareness of our roots," said Smith.


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