When Niels O. Mortensen, Bodil’s father, first heard Elder Erastus Snow preach the doctrine of gathering in Denmark, he told his children he always believed that he was one of the children of Israel being gathered to the mountains. In 1856 Bodil (10) emigrated in the care of her parents’ friends, Jens and Else Nielsen, with the Willie Handcart Company. She was to join her sister who had come to Utah the previous year, in waiting for the rest of the family.
Bodil shared in the responsibilities of this family. She helped to look after the young son, Niels Nielsen (5), and gathered buffalo chips, wood and sagebrush for fires. On Oct. 23, Bodil and Niels struggled through a blizzard across Rocky Ridge and on to the next camp at Rock Creek Hollow. Else Nielsen could render them little assistance as her husband’s feet had frozen and she courageously saved his life by pulling him in the handcart. However, Bodil and Niels lost their lives from the cold that night and died by the fire of the Peder and Helena Mortensen family, the fruits of Bodil’s responsibilities clutched in her hands in the form of sagebrush. Bodil and Niels were buried the next morning in a common grave with 2 other children and 9 adults.
Ezekiel 38:8 : After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.