October 1974

“Contents,” Ensign, Oct. 1974, 1


October 1974

Volume 4 Number 10

On the cover: “Today we have 18,600 missionaries. We can send more. Many more! … I am asking for missionaries who have been carefully indoctrinated and trained through the family and the organizations of the Church. … Every able worthy man should shoulder the cross. What an army we should have teaching Christ and him crucified! … We will need to make a full, prayerful study of the nations of the world which do not have the gospel at this time. … I believe that the Lord is anxious to put into our hands inventions of which we laymen have hardly had a glimpse. … He will open the gates and make possible the proselyting. Of that, I have great faith. … I believe the time has come when we must … change our sights and raise our goals.” Spencer W. Kimball

Inside back cover: “Mormon-Praedikanter” (Mormon Preachers). Painted in 1856 by Christen Dalsgaard, noted Danish painter. “Two Mormons in their wandering have come to a carpenter’s cottage in the country where by preaching … they seek to win adherents.”

So wrote Christen Dalsgaard of his painting, “Mormon-Praedikanter.” But much more than this is told in the faces of his subjects: the intellectual interest of the carpenter as he scans a tract; the scepticism of the white-haired old man; the timid curiosity of the child beneath the table; the mature, although silent, wisdom of the elder missionary as he listens to his young companion preach of the Restoration.

The Scandinavian Mission, with headquarters in Denmark under the direction of Erastus Snow, was opened in 1849, just six years prior to Dalsgaard’s portrayal of this Danish cottage meeting. Since that time, the Church in Scandinavia has grown to a membership of 15,600; in addition, there are thousands of Church members around the world descended from emigrant Scandinavian converts.

Dalsgaard, who distinguished himself as an interpreter of rural community life in Denmark, was noted as a painter who knew the mind of the common man “in those patriarchal times.” Regardless of changes in the country since those times, missionary work remains much the same in Denmark, and throughout the world, as Dalsgaard portrayed it.

Earnest young men still preach the gospel with all the fervor that youth and the Spirit endow. And, as was the case those many years ago, there are still those who sit in another room refusing to listen. But that was not where Dalsgaard’s interest lay, nor is it where ours is focused. Rather, consider the blind girl, lips slightly parted, brow hopeful, head erect. She searches for the truth.

“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.” (Isa. 29:18.)