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Ambassador of Iceland Visits Church Headquarters, Pioneer Memorial

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Bergdís Ellertsdóttir, Iceland’s ambassador to the United States, recently visited Salt Lake City, Utah, where she met with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and toured Church sites.

On the afternoon of Thursday, January 18, 2024, Ellertsdóttir met with the First Presidency of the Church — President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy also were in attendance.

Earlier Thursday, Ellertsdóttir visited Welfare Square before meeting with Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson.

On Friday, January 19, the ambassador visited the missionary training center in Provo and then met with Brigham Young University (BYU) President C. Shane Reese.

After giving a lecture at BYU, Ellertsdóttir traveled to Spanish Fork to see a memorial erected in honor of the Icelandic Latter-day Saint pioneers who settled there between 1854 and 1914.

The memorial, which depicts a lighthouse and a wall with the pioneers’ names, was dedicated two different times — once in 1938 and again in 2005. The first part of the memorial, the lighthouse, was dedicated in August 1938, while the memorial wall and a one-ton rock brought over from Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland, was dedicated in June 2005 by then Church President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008). The former president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, attended the ceremony.

A similar monument resides in Vestmannaeyjar along with a permanent museum exhibit titled “Icelandic Heritage among the Mormons.”

About 400 Latter-day Saints reside in Iceland in three congregations.

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