The Journey West—
This is one of the most fun sections of the SFHO and perhaps the one I like most. Can you imagine selling all you had, home, farm, shop, giving up a good job with an insurance or government firm, and then plan on moving across the Atlantic ocean, via a ship of sail with three masts, traveling by the primitive steam engines on land and at tracks end, walking along side wild oxen for over a thousand miles. All of this because of a mustard seed, a grain of truth planted that grew to fill the whole world. Or so it would seem. How pleased am I, a benefactor of this family's decision to put aside the gains of the world, to follow that inner light to Zion, to Utah.
I stand all amazed as I read the trials and tribulations of the Sorensen’s family journey from Haverup, Søro, Denmark to Great Salt Lake City and then Mill Creek, Pond Town and Mendon, Utah. That they helped others when they could, that despite having the profits of his labors stolen in Provo. They could not steal their faith. Please read these source accounts with care, they were created and preserved for us today.
Isaac Sorensen gives us the following lines—
The outfit for the journey to Zion was procured through the winter of 1856 preparatory to start in the spring of 1857. We had to procure a pass from the clerk of our district, denoting our size, color of hair, age, etc. With this we were permitted to leave but without we could not, except we were smuggled away. The time arrived for our leaving old Babylon, we took leave from the old homestead where father had dwelt 27 years and raised a family of 12 children 10 alive, 2 dead.
After having left a faithful testimony with all the relatives and friends and procured the genealogy of hundreds of our relatives, we embarked on a steamship (L. N. Hvidt) at Copenhagen (the Capital of Denmark) on the 18th of April, 1857, and crossed the North Sea, landing at Grimsby, a sea port town in England. The next day we went by rail across England to Liverpool. Where we went on board, aboard the sail ship Westmoreland, we was 7 weeks crossing the Atlantic Ocean, had considerable sickness.
I was not so bad as some but not so well as I could liked to have been. We arrived in Philadelphia, after seven weeks on the sea, and was very glad to step ashore on the land of Joseph, that we had so much longed to see and walk upon. For with knowledge of the truth of Mormonism came the spirit of gathering to the land God had prepared for his saints, even the land of Joseph where his Prophets and Apostles dwelt. We now felt that the most dangerous part of our journey was accomplished and we were all (fathers family) alive and pretty well, for as soon as we got on land the sea sickness left us, or the most of the people and they soon experienced a difference from the beautiful smells of the fertile landscape to that of the offensive sea air.