Henrik, during this period of comparative loneliness, read much. He always carried a book in his pocket when out among the hills and fields, and many a moss-covered stone became his reading table. He had procured a number of English books which he delighted in, for they brought to him much that had not yet been printed in his own language.
After the harvesting was over that summer, Henrik directed his attention to another line of work, pointed out to him by the New Light. He gathered the genealogy of his forefathers. His was a large family, and when he searched the old church records at Nordal, at Christiania, and at a number of other places he found that the family was an old and prominent one, reaching back to the ancient Norsemen. He derived a peculiar satisfaction in this work, and he extended his researches until he had a large list of names on his mother’s side as well as on his father’s. “Among these there are many noble and true,” thought Henrik. “Many will receive the gospel in the spirit world, and all will have the opportunity. I shall have the necessary earthly work done for them. If my labors for the living will not avail, my dead ancestors shall have their chance. Who knows but even now the gospel is being preached to them, and many of them are looking eagerly for someone to do their work for them.” The thought filled him with enthusiasm.
The following spring Selma married, which left Henrik quite alone. He met Marie at the wedding festivities. She was silent and quiet. He made no strong efforts to win her back to him, so they drifted apart again. Then Henrik arranged his affairs so that he could remain away for some months. He said he was going to America to visit his uncles in Minnesota,—and yes, very likely he would go farther west. His friends shook their heads misgivingly, but he only smiled at their fears.
Henrik sailed from Christiania in company with a party of his fellow-believers, and in due uneventful time, landed in the New World. He found America a wonderfully big and interesting country. He went directly westward first, crossing the great plains and rugged mountains to the valleys beyond. Here he found and visited many of his former friends. He lived with the Latter-day Saints in their homes, and learned to know their true character and worth.
Then he saw the temples in which the Saints were doing a saving work both for the living and the dead. While in conversation with some of the temple workers, he told them of what he had in the way of genealogy, which they commended highly, telling him that he had an opportunity to do much good for his family.
“I am glad to hear you say that,” replied he, “for you know, this work for the dead was what first impressed me in the gospel. It came to me naturally, it seems, for I had no trouble in accepting it.”
Henrik learned much regarding the manner of procedure in this temple work. He could do the work for the male members of his family, but a woman must officiate for the female members. This was the true order, he found.