In 1854 Brother Fjeldstead, later of Logan,
Utah, and his companion, were the first missionaries to preach the gospel
to the Sorensen family. According to Isaac, one of Nicolai’s sons, “When I
was 14 years old the L.D.S. Elders came to our town, and in time all of
our family was converted. Father sold his farm in the spring of 1856, and
lived in his workshop until 1857,” when he left for Zion. He used much of
his means to help many saints come to Zion.
According to his diary, Nicolai and his
family left Haverup on April 14th, 1857 for Copenhagen. On April 18th,
they left Copenhagen on the ship L. N. Hvidt bound for England,
where they docked at Grimsby, England on April 21st. Crossing England by
rail, on April 25th they left Liverpool on the sailing vessel
Westmoreland and arrived in Philadelphia on May 31st, 1857. Malena the
mother was sick most of the way.
Disembarking at Philadelphia, they went by
rail to Iowa where they purchased a wagon and two teams of oxen with which
to make the journey to Utah. When they arrived in Salt Lake Valley with
the Mathias Cowley company, September 15th, 1857. They settled in Mill
Creek and spent the first winter on a small rented farm.
They lived here until the approach of
Johnson’s Army, when they moved south and stayed at Pondtown, now Salem.
Then returned again to Mill Creek. In 1859 Nicolai with two sons, Peter
and Isaac, went north to Cache Valley. Later in the year they went back to
Salt Lake and moved their families to Mendon. They lived in the fort for
some time, which consisted of two rows of houses running east and west
through what is now the south side of the public square.
According to the account of Isaac Sorensen
again: “In the spring of 1859 the move to Cache Valley began. I walked to
Provo, forty miles south of Salt Lake, for my brother Peter. He and I with
two yoke of oxen and a wagon spent nine days in reaching the site where
Mendon now stands. The fort consisted of 25 log houses, with dirt floors.
Our house had three rooms. Each room had a fire place. In the spring of
1864 the old fort was broken up and the city laid out, and homes built on
the city lots of hewed logs with nice doors and lumber floors. We were
each given 20 acres of farm land and a little hayland. 1867 was a year of
much building, especially rock houses, and it was this year that fathers
two story rock house was built.”
In America Nicolai’s financial status was
far below the comfortable and highly respected plane he lived on in
Denmark, but he never complained; rather he fervently thanked the Lord for
bringing him to Zion.
According to Franklin Sorensen, a grandson
of Nicolai; “When Nicolai was crossing the plains he offered to go back to
search for a child which had been lost. On finding it and returning to the
camp he was commended for his kindness and was told by one of the leaders
to ask anything that his heart desired and it would be granted to him. He
requested that he and his wife Malena, never be separated in this life. He
realized this blessing as he and his wife died on the same day, 30 March,
1887, only a few hours apart and were buried in the same grave.”
Nicolai Sorensen and his wife died March
30, 1877 and were buried in the cemetery at Mendon, Cache County, Utah.1