The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway

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The Church of Jesus Christ
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Early Congregations in Norway[edit | edit source]

Emigration of Early Members from Norway[edit | edit source]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Finding ancestors in the Norwegian records for the Church may be an important step in building the family story. Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (both membership records and emigration records) may help in finding the place of origin in Norway or may simply provide interesting facts about the family, their faith, and their courage.

The first missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints arrived in Norway 11 Sep 1851.  One of those was Hans F. Peterson, who baptized the master blacksmith John Olsen and his assistant Peter Adamsen, Nov 26, 1852, in Risør city.

The first resident Norwegian to join the Church, however, was a ship captain named Svend Larsen. He joined the Church in Ålborg, Denmark, having been baptized 23 Sep 1851.  Svend Larsen had brought Hans F. Peterson to Norway from Denmark, and he gave great support to the missionary work in Norway. 

The first branch in Norway was organized in Risør, Aust Agder County July 16, 1852, and the Brevig (Kristiania) Conference was organized August 14, 1852.  

A dissenter Law, regarding religious freedom had been passed in Norway as early as 1845.  As time would show the Norwegian government did not consider the Latter-day Saints, Christians, therefore they were not protected under that law.
Instead there was great persecution of the Saints, both through imprisonment and fines. They were fined for proselyting and baptizing, and being too poor to pay the fines they were put in prison.

Because of all the difficulties the members faced, the church encouraged the Saints to gather to Utah; "Zion" or the "Promised Land", where they could practice their religion in peace. Ole Olsen.

The first Norwegian convert left Copenhagen for Zion Dec 22, 1853.

Files of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Research use: These records will make it possible to find most of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway. Many of these members were never well documented by the the Church, some never emigrated or lost contact with the Church. These records will also provide detailed information about member emigrants who are undocumented or poorly documented in the emigration sources presently available. These will prove to be a valuable tool and resource for any member whose ancestors joined the Church in Norway.

Record type: Records gathered by Norwegian government agencies regarding members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These include files kept by the Department of Justice and files kept by the Department of Religion and Education.

Time period: 1851 to 1940.

Contents: Lists of Latter-day Saints and those affiliated with them listed parish by parish. These were submitted by local priests at the request of police officials. Also lists of persons baptized, emigrating, arrested for preaching, and so forth. Also files pertaining to court cases involving Latter-day Saints, their crimes of preaching, their imprisonment and so forth. Provides names and residences, sometimes ages, dates of baptism, activities.

Location: The National Archives of Norway [Riksarkivet] has the files of the Department of Religion and Education; these are in Section KUD - Kontor A, Pakke - Mormonerne. Judicial files are kept at the archives of the Department of Justice in the city of Oslo; these are in Section JPD - Trossamfunn Samling - Mormon Pakke.

Percentage in Family History Library: 0%.

Population coverage: 90% of the Latter-day Saint population; less than 1% of the general populace.

Reliability: Excellent.[1]

Records of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Norway,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1997-1998.