Christian Daniel Fjelsted or Fjeldsted, one of the
First Seven Presidents of Seventies from 1884 to 1905, was born Feb. 20,
1829, in Sundbyvester, a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark. His parents, Henrik
Or Henry Ludvig FJELDSTED (AFN: 8D4N-7G) and Ane Katherine HENRIKSEN (AFN:
8D4N-B0) moved in the humbler walks of life, and belonged to the respectable
working class. Thus the subject of this sketch was taught early in life
to work for a livelihood, and he learned the trade of a moulder. After
the death of his father, he was obliged, though only ten years old, to
do all he could toward supporting his mother.
At the age of twenty he married a wife, Karen Olsen
by whom he would father five children and in 1851 he first heard the glorious
truths of the gospel preached; for it had been brought to Denmark the year
before through the instrumentality of Apostle Erastus
Snow and his fellow-missionaries. Brother Fjeldsted believed and was
baptized, together with his young wife, on February 20, 1852, by Christian
Samuel Hansen, and confirmed by Ole N. C. Monster.
Soon afterwards Brother Fjeldsted began to preach
and bear testimony to his fellow-workmen, as he felt anxious that they
should enjoy the same blessings that he had become a partaker of. As soon
as his employer heard of this he dismissed him from his service one cold
winter day, which virtually meant that he was turned into the street without
a penny for the support of himself and family. After a short time, however,
he obtained other employment.
Not long after his baptism he was ordained to the
Priesthood and appointed to preside over a district on the island of Amager;
he then held weekly meetings in his home. On Sundays he usually performed
missionary work in the neighboring towns and villages. On July 25, 1853,
he was ordained an Elder by Peter O. Hansen, and in the fall of 1855 he
was called to labor as a traveling Elder in the Copenhagen conference.
After working in that capacity for about one year he was appointed to preside
over the Aalborg conference. In this calling he was signally blessed, and
hundreds of people identified themselves with the Church during his two
In 1858 he emigrated with his family to Utah, arriving
in Salt Lake City in October of that year. He made his home in the Sugar
House Ward, where he took an active part in Church affairs, and also performed
much hard manual labor in order to support himself and family. He was ordained
a Seventy, Feb. 5, 1859, by Elder William H. Walker.
On July 3, 1859 Elder Fjelsted entered into the practice
of plural marriage by taking Johanne Maria CHRISTENSEN (AFN:36ZJ-T1)
to wife. She would present him with four children. On May 13, 1865 he took
as his third wife, Johanne Maria's sister,Catrina Marie CHRISTENSEN (AFN:8D4S-CP).
The couple had no children of record.
In 1867, he was called on a mission to Scandinavia.
Accompanied by other Elders he crossed the plains in an ox train, and reached
Copenhagen, Denmark, after eight weeks' travel. During the first year of
his mission he presided over the Aalborg conference; later he labored as
a traveling Elder in the Scandinavian mission, and finally was appointed
to take charge of the Christiania conference, Norway. Being honorably released,
he returned home in 1870.
On September 4, 1871, Elder Fjelsted took as his
fourth and final wife, Josephine Margarethe LARSEN (AFN: 1XLX-SS). The
couple had six children.
The next year 1872 he was called to labor as a missionary
among the Scandinavian Saints in the northern counties of Utah, and he
located at Logan, Cache County. In 1881 he was called by Pres. John
Taylor to take another mission to Scandinavia, this time to preside
over the mission. He occupied this position about two years and a half.
After his return home in 1884, he was ordained one
of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies by Pres. Wilford
Woodruff. This ordination took place April 28, 1884. In 1886 he was
called on another mission to Scandinavia, when he labored as a traveling
Elder in the Scandinavian mission for two years, and then succeeded Elder
Nils C. Flygare, in the presidency of the mission. After an absence of
four years he returned to his mountain home in 1890, and resumed his labors
among the Seventies.
In the spring of 1897 he was called on a special
mission to Chicago, where he assisted in the raising up of a branch of
the Church, consisting largely of Scandinavians. He returned to Utah in
the fall of the same year. In the beginning of April, 1901, he left his
home on still another mission to Scandinavia. Pres. Fjeldsted was universally
loved and respected by all who knew him. Especially is this the case with
the Scandinavian Saints, in whose interest he has devoted nearly his entire
life. His affable manner and pleasant, genial nature has paved his way
to the hearts of the people, both Saints and strangers.
He assisted President Anthon L. Skanchy in selecting
a site for the building of a new meeting house in Copenhagen, Denmark,
and was present when that edifice was dedicated July 4, 1902. He was also
present when a new mission house was dedicated in Christiania, Norway,
July 24, 1903, and was in Stockholm, Sweden, Oct. 23, 1904, when a mission
house recently purchased by the Church and partly reconstructed in that
city was dedicated. After that Bro. Fieldsted was placed in charge of the
Scandinavian Mission, succeeding Anthon L. Skanchy in that position Dec.
6, 1904. He presided until July, 1905, when he was succeeded by Jens M.
Christensen, and returned to Utah.
Soon after his return home, Elder Fjeldsted's health
began to fail, and he died in Salt Lake City Dec. 23, 1905, after an operation.
At the time of his demise he was one of the veteran members of the Church,
having been converted to the restored gospel soon after the arrival of
the first Latter-day Saint Elders in Scandinavia.