Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Amazing Faith

I love history, and lately I’ve been diving more into my family history and the more I learn about my ancestors the more inspired I am.
Niels Petersen was my Great-Great Grandfather.  He was born in Denmark.  At a fairly young age Niels became interested in religion.  His Autobiography says, “When he was about fourteen years old, he had a dream or vision in which a messenger came to him and told him that over in the western part of America, there was a strange people, and that this people had the true gospel.”
He never forgot the dream, and in 1867 when he was 26 years old he left his family and native land and set sail to America.

Upon arriving in New York he was able to get a job with the union pacific railroad, and was in Utah when the final spike was driven.  However, because he was still learning English, he wasn’t able to converse well with the hundreds of people who were there for the celebration; as a consequence he did not realize that he had reached the borders of the land he was seeking. 
.  He moved westward to Nevada, California, up to Oregon and then he got a job as a cattle rancher and moved back to Utah.  While there he learned of some old friends from Denmark living in the area and went to visit with them.   It was there that he met Mary Mortensen and was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He was later baptized a member of the church, and went on to marry Mary.
What faith.
The more I think of this story, the more I realize that this dream he had must have been extraordinary to convince him that it wasn’t just a random dream.  He left his entire family, sailed to a country that he knew little about, and didn’t even speak the language, and in the hope of finding truth.
He is amazing to me.
What a leap of faith.

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