Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fréttir 6

The DVD Fire on Ice The Saints of Iceland
Steven J. Andersen recently donated to the Icelandic Association of Utah two cases of the DVD Fire on Ice: The Saints of Iceland.
This generous donation means that the popular Fire on Ice DVD is readily available again from the Association's Gift Shop. To order Fire on Ice, send $24 ($20 for the DVD plus $4 for shipping and handling) to
The Icelandic Association of Utah
PO Box 874
Spanish Fork, UT 84660

Fire on Ice The Saints of Iceland, captures the compelling history surrounding the conversion, emigration, and assimilation of the early Icelandic Latter-day Saints. This remarkable story of faith, courage and sacrifice highlights the nearly 400 pioneers that left their homeland between 1855 and 1914 and the powerful legacy they left behind. On June 24th 2005, 150 years after the arrival of the first Icelander Samúel Bjarnason, a Memorial in Spanish Fork was erected and dedicated by President, Gordon B. Hinckley in honor of these early pioneers.
Featured interviews include the President of Iceland, Ólafur R. Grímsson, prominent Icelandic Historians Gunnar Karlsson and Jonas Thor, as well as many of today´s Icelandic Latter-day Saints. This unique story becomes a cherished part of America’s pioneer ancestry, woven by the faithful saints of Iceland, past and present.
You will want to hear their stories. This DVD is a must-have item in your collection. Also, Fire on Ice makes a remarkable gift to friends and family.
The DVD is based on the book, Fire and Ice by Dr. Fred E. Woods, Producer Russ Kendall, Executive Producer Steven J. Andersen, Written and Directed by Ethan Vincent, Cinematography Brian Wilcox, and Music Composed by Sam Cardon.
Also included on the DVD are Special Features:
Excerpts from interview with Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland
Excerpts from interview with Jónas Þór, Icelandic Historian
On Thingvellir by Dr. Fred E. Woods
David B. Timmons about Haldór Laxness
Scenes of Iceland
Icelandic Festival Choir at Selfoss, Iceland
Centennial Celebration at Spanish Fork, 1955
The Centennial Celebration at Spanish Fork, 1955 was recorded by Finnbogi Guðmundsson in 1955 and given to me (David Ashby) in 2005 when I was in Iceland.  

The Monument to the Emigrants
The “Monument to the Emigrants” was erected as a tribute to the faithful Icelandic pioneers who immigrated to Utah between 1854 and 1914.
The monument was dedicated on June 30, 2000, by Elder Wm. Rolfe Kerr, Area President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. David A. Ashby, President of the Icelandic Association of Utah, Inc. presented the monument to the people of Iceland on behalf of the Icelandic Association of Utah. Sigrun Inga Sigurfeirsdottir, president of the city council, Vestmannaeyjar, accepted the gift on behalf of the people of Iceland.
The sculpture atop of the monument is an eight-foot-tall angel, titled the Messenger, by Gary Price. Each side panel has the name of each of the Icelandic emigrants to Utah, listed. The monument also includes a biblical passage from Ezekiel 20:34.
The center pedestal, also in both Icelandic and English, reads: “In Honor of the Icelanders that heard the call to build Zion and moved to Utah 1854 to 1914.”
This beautiful monument is located near the Mormon Pond which received its name from the many Icelanders who were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the early days of the Church in Iceland.
In 1851, two natives of Iceland, Þórarinn Hafliðason and Guðmundur Guðmundsson, were studying in Copenhagen, Denmark where they came in contact with two Mormon missionaries from Utah. After careful investigation, they joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Shortly thereafter, they returned to their native Iceland to spread their new faith.
In 1852, Guðmundur Guðmundsson described the valley where the Mormon Pond is located as “a beautiful little round valley, surrounded by nature’s own mountain walls. In the midst of this most picturesque valley was found a small grassy plain, as level as a floor, and containing something like 20 acres of land. We approached this place one at a time, in order to avoid being noticed by our opponents and persecutors. Here in natures pure embrace, with nothing but the blue canopy of heaven for our covering, we raised our hands and our voices ‘on high,’ and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus to bless and sanctify this lovely spot, surrounded by these romantic mountain walls.”

Emigrant of the Month
GUÐRÚN MAGNÚSDÓTTIR - Born 29 June 1840. Her parents are Magnus Sigmundsson, born 1810 at Vestur Holt, Hafur, Rangarvalla; and Haldora Jonsdottir, born 16 September 1814 at Hatun, Kirkjubaejar Klaustur, Austur Skaftafell, died 7 September 1867 at Berjaneskotl, Steinar, Rangarvalla.
On 6 November 1870, she married Einar Eiriksson, born 30 December 1847 at Medalfell, Bjarnanes i Hornafiridi, Austur Skaftafell. His parents are Eirikur Runolfsson, born 1 June 1798, died 1851; and Gudrun Jonsdottir, born 19 December 1801.
Gudrun joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized by her husband on 16 August 1874. In 1880 some money was sent from Spanish Fork, Utah, by a few Icelanders who lived there, to help some of the Icelandic Saints immigrate to Utah. Consequently, on 23 April, 1880, Gudrun with her four children, Lilja, Bardur, Eirikur, and Helga, together with eleven others, left Vestmannaeyjar for Utah. Einar followed, leaving Iceland on 7 June 1880. Gudrun and Einar had seven children: Halldora Helga, born 16 April 1871, died 28 November 1871; Lilja, born 8 October 1872, died 26 March 1948; Bardur, born 10 September 1875, died 22 July 1970; Eirikur, born 12 July 1878, died 27 March 1965; Helga, born 3 September 1879, died 31 May 1962; Magnea Sina, born 3 January 1884, died 14 May 1890; and Elias W., born 8 September 1887, died 9 January 1975. Magnea and Elias were born in Spanish Fork, Utah; the other five were born in Iceland.
In 1889 Gudrun and Einar moved to Cleveland, Utah. Gudrun died 18 May 1930 and is buried in the Cleveland Cemetery. She went by Gudrun Erickson.