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