Temple moments - A missionary, a friend

When William Pedersen of the Fourteenth Ward, Salt Lake Stake, served in Denmark in 1983 on the fourth of his five missions, he and his wife, Krista, were invited to the home of Svend and Inger Borgen of Bornholm for dinner. Although Inger and son Per were members, Svend was not. In fact, when missionaries were invited to the home, Svend always stayed in the background, working in his greenhouse and slipping away before dinner. This time, however, Elder Pedersen, who is a native of Denmark, made it a point to become acquainted with Mr. Borgen.

"When I was called to come and eat, I suggested in a friendly way, `Aren't you going to join us?' When he responded in a positive way, we were all happy." This began a friendship that continued to develop whenever the Pedersens were invited to the home for dinner, which was frequently during their stay in Denmark.The Pedersens returned home to Salt Lake City after their mission but remained in contact with the Borgen family. Years later, in the mid-1990s, they returned to Denmark for a visit. They were pleased to find that Mr. Borgen was now a member of the branch choir. He also participated in family home evening and family prayer. To their great joy, he expressed a desire to be baptized.

However, to the sorrow of his family and friends, he contracted a terminal illness and was too ill to be baptized. He died a short time later.

"Being in close contact with the Borgen family since our mission and knowing that neither Inger nor Per had been to the temple because of medical problems they experienced, I felt impressed to invite them to make it a matter of prayer to see if this was not the time to go to the temple and take care of the sealing of the family," said Brother Pedersen.

Inger and Per Borgen decided to attend the temple despite their medical problems. They also asked their faithful friend Brother Pedersen to do the proxy work for Mr. Borgen.

"Together with another former missionary who had also served in Bornholm, Paul W. Jespersen, I went to the Salt Lake Temple and he baptized me for Svend Vilhelm Borgen," said Brother Pedersen. "This made it possible for the Borgen family to to be united for time and all eternity."

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