Extraordinary Experience

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Oluf Christian Larsen

Extraordinary Experience

Source:  LDS Church Archives, Microfilm:  Journal of History Index, 22 March 1882

Transcribed by Annette Larsen, Checked by Lois F. Larsen, 29 September 2005


Brother Oluf C. Larsen, while laboring as a missionary in the Hedemarken Branch in Norway in 1882, had a most extraordinary experience on a certain occasion when he baptized a man and his wife in the Lake Mjosen.  Following is his own narrative of the interesting affair.

"On Wednesday, March 22, 1882, a young couple by the name of Martin Johansen and wife presented themselves for baptism and to avoid mob violence we had to perform the sacred ordinance in the evening, and in order that we might not be observed we walked through fields and pastures far away from the main road.  It was very hard to travel over this rough land.  Coming closer to the main road there came a blast of wind that seemed as if it would root up the trees and when the wind ceased there came a sudden darkness, so dense that we could hardly see the way before us.  Coming to the main road we could hear the water splashing against the shore, but the road led up on to the hills and the water was some distance below.  Being so dark I was afraid to venture down the steep hill, so I went to the fence and tore off a small rail with which to feel my way.  Taking the hand of one of my companions I told the two others also to hold hands and string out in a line so that if I fell into the water they might pull me out.  Little by little I stepped downward feeling my way with the rail till at last I reached the water's edge.  After we and all stood on the beach, I again went forward to test the depth of the water with my rail and found it to be just a suitable depth.  I then went back to the rest of the party throwing the rail away for baptizing.  I then observed jets of light on the rail.  Not only that, but I noticed that there were jets of light on each of my fingers.  Drawing the attention of my companions to the strange phenomenon I said:  ‘Look at my finger tips' and they said: ‘Yes and look at the light over your head!' and then each said to the other: ‘See the light over your head!'  I could not see the light on my own head, but I glanced up at the brim of my hat and from ear to ear on the brim of my hat were jets of light about two inches apart at regular intervals.  I passed my hand through the lights to see if it was warm, but it did not disturb the light at all, only seem to brighten it still more.  After talking and wondering I said: ‘Let us pray!' and we knelt in a circle and offered prayer, and then prepared ourselves to perform the sacred ordinance, the lights making the place almost as bright as a lighted room.  After we had finished the ordinance we started homeward and everything was quite and peaceful, but the lights had now gone.  On the road home the man who had just been baptized asked me: ‘Brother Larsen, does that appear often when you baptize?'   I told him, being acquainted with Church history from the beginning, I had not before heard of such an incident.  Now this is the plain truth.

The man, Martin Johansen, lives in Richfield, Utah.  Whether he is still faithful, I do not know, but knowing him to be an honest man, he will I know, testify to all that is written here.  His wife died several years ago.  The other person present was Sister Bertha Olsen Holm.  The last I heard of her she lived in Payson, Utah County.  She was a faithful member of the Church then but where she is now I do not know."

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