A Thousand Copies of the Book


It was the summer of 1948 and, for the seventh time, my companion and I were visiting a house in Kolding, Denmark. Each time previously, a small lady with a cane had answered the door, accepted our missionary tract, smiled, and slowly closed the door without saying a word.

We decided to try one last time to converse with her. Prepared for the usual rejection, we were surprised when her husband answered the door. His name was Marinus Mogensen. A friendly, inquisitive man, he asked many questions about the Mormons.

My companion, Elder Young, told him about the Book of Mormon, which caught his attention. We showed him a copy of the book and challenged him to read it. “I will be most happy to read your book,” Mr. Mogensen told us. “I read everything, and so why not read your Book of Mormon? Come back and visit me in two weeks and I shall have the book read.”

Two weeks later Mr. Mogensen reported that he had read the first ninety-six pages and thought it was a wonderful book. “I have read each chapter several times, and that is why it has taken me so long,” he explained. “This book is more than a novel. This is the type of book that takes a lifetime to read.” He assured us that he would continue to read the Book of Mormon and told us to keep in touch with him.

A few weeks later, we saw Mr. Mogensen driving down the street in his car. He waved and indicated that he wanted to talk to us. As we approached the car, he opened the door and said in a loud voice, “Elders, the book is true, I know it is. I have just finished reading it, and I want to buy one thousand copies from you.”

Elder Young and I were astonished. Mr. Mogensen explained that he had spent a lot of time studying the Book of Mormon and he knew by the Spirit that it was true. He wanted to share the great messages contained in the book with his fellow countrymen. He asked if we could make contact with the mission president to make the necessary arrangements.

The mission president was delighted, and the two met in order to arrange for the books to be delivered. Mr. Mogensen kept several copies of the Book of Mormon for his friends and family. He gave the rest to the missionaries to loan out to interested investigators. Many lives were blessed as a result.

Later, Brother Mogensen told Elder Young and me that he had had a dream many years earlier in which a young man came to him and gave him a book to read. He read it and it gave him much happiness and joy. Looking at Elder Young, he said, “Elder Young, you are the man that I saw in my dream many years ago.”

[illustration] Illustrated by Doug Fryer

Thomas M. Hadley, is a member of the Highland Ward, Ogden Utah East Stake.