Restoration and Church History
No Sacrifice Too Great

Hide Footnotes


No Sacrifice Too Great

During World War II, while reading some anti-Mormon literature, Þorsteinn Jónsson, a fisherman, was approached by an unknown person who invited him to read the Book of Mormon instead. Years later Þorsteinn contacted Church headquarters, and two Icelandic Church members were assigned to correspond with him. While waiting 15 years for baptism, he purchased and read “nearly every book the Church had ever published.” Finally, some elders from the military branch almost 50 kilometers away contacted him, and he was baptized and ordained an elder in 1974.

The only fully active Icelandic member at the time, Þorsteinn was overjoyed when missionary work resumed in Iceland a year later with the arrival of missionaries Byron and Melva Geslison. For Þorsteinn, no sacrifice to help them seemed too great. When the Geslisons could not find housing, he let them stay in his apartment while he lived on his fishing boat. He provided blankets and food. He translated the Joseph Smith story into Icelandic and spent hours tutoring the Geslisons and their twin sons in that language.

Þorsteinn was so zealous in serving the missionaries that they learned to be cautious about mentioning any needs, because they knew he would always be willing to sacrifice to fill them.