Missionary Moments: Two Miracles with a Swedish Family

Contributed By William Franklin Farnsworth, Church News contributor

  • 7 March 2017

River in Sweden.

I was called to serve a mission in Sweden from 1946 to 1949. Toward the end of my mission, when I was serving in the city of Jönköping, my companion, Lawrence Pearson, and I met Irma Karlfelt, whom we taught a few lessons.

I completed my mission on April 30, 1949. That morning I went to tell Irma good-bye.

Irma recalled, “Elder Farnsworth said he felt inspired to leave his Doctrine and Covenants with me. After he left, I sat down to read. As I read the first verses a marvelous feeling came over me. I have difficulties to describe what then happened within me. I understood I really had found a pearl. In this manner I received my testimony. It came suddenly and made an indelible impression on my soul.”

Irma attended church for two years and then was baptized on October 29, 1950, by Elder Pearson. Soon after her baptism, some of her family members also joined the Church. She said, “I am so thankful for Elders Farnsworth and Pearson. I believe they were led to my house years ago. My most precious gift was the feeling I received when I started to read the Doctrine and Covenants. That feeling has never left me. It has been my strength and consolation during all my years since May 1949.”

In 1999–2000 my wife, Rhonda, and I served a mission at the Stockholm Sweden Temple. We visited the city of Lund, where Irma was living. Because she was ill we were only able to visit via telephone.

Fifteen years later, in 2015, our granddaughter, Kalli Paulson, received a mission call to Sweden. She served in several areas, including the city of Lund. She was able to meet Irma’s daughter Sophia, granddaughter Josephine, and great-granddaughter Kajsa. She discovered that Irma had passed away in 2013 but that Josephine was in possession of that very same copy of the Doctrine and Covenants I had given Irma 65 years earlier. Kalli had the privilege of holding in her hands the copy of the Doctrine and Covenants I gave to this special lady so long ago.

On June 27, 2015, the temple work was done by the family for Helge, Irma’s husband, in the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.

After becoming acquainted with Kalli, Josephine found an ancestor, Ephraim Millennium Peterson Mansfield, on her father’s line, Rune Sjöstedt. Ephraim married Margaret Lucinda Farnsworth. She is the daughter of Philo Taylor and Margaret Yates Farnsworth. Margaret is a sister to my grandfather Franklin Dewey Farnsworth. We have two miracles now with this wonderful Swedish family.

—Brother Farnsworth is from the River Heights 4th Ward, River Heights Utah Stake.