Mormonism in Norway
|Mormonism in Norway|
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway (Norwegian: Mormonere and Jesu Kristi kirke av siste dagers hellige) is a Restorationist free church with a total membership of 4,300 people in Norway.
The first Norwegians who joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were emigrants from Norway, living in a colony on the Fox River in Illinois, America. In 1842 George Parker Dykes came to this Norwegian colony as a missionary sent from Nauvoo. In a short time, he established a Norwegian congregation, and soon thereafter brought the message of the Restoration to other Norwegian settlements in Iowa and Wisconsin.
Knut Pedersen from Stavanger and Erik Hogan from Telemark were some of the many Norwegian members that migrated west to the Utah Territory after the death of Joseph Smith Jr. They were met in the mountains by a group heading east who had been called to open the Scandinavian Mission: Erastus Snow, the Swede John E. Forsgren, and the Dane Peter O. Hansen. George P. Dykes joined the group in England, and was particularly helpful because of his knowledge of Norwegian from his time at Fox River.
In the summer of 1850 they came to Copenhagen, which was a headquarters for the Scandinavian mission until 1950. The Book of Mormon was translated into Danish in 1850 as the first language other than English; this formed a basis for the early missionary work in Norway, as the Bible and the Book of Mormon was used together in preaching.
The first baptism in Norway were in Risør on 26 November 1851, and in 1852 branches were organized in Risør, Brevik and Fredrikstad. Membership grew rapidly after these branches were organized, and new congregations were organized in major cities along the coast over the next 2–3 years.
The growth of the church within Norway was historically limited by continuing migration to the United States until after World War II. Today there are over 4,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway, and membership is again increasing.