Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Pioneer Day!

Here in Utah we are celebrating Pioneer Day because 162 years ago today Brigham Young entered the Great Salt Lake Valley and established the Mormon Pioneers in the middle of this desert. They built forts and homes, cultivated the land, irrigated, and established an oasis in the wasteland that I now call home—a place where they could worship God without being persecuted.

I can’t help but think about my ancestors who were part of this migration and who paid such a price to come here. One of my grandmothers was about to deliver a baby and after many days on the trail, she couldn’t go any further. The rest of their company moved on while she and my grandfather waited. But there was little food. So he made her a bed under the wagon to protect her from the hot sun, took the gun, and went out hunting for food.

While waiting for my grandfather to return, my grandmother prayed that he would find something. While she prayed, a bevy of quail landed next to her. She reached out and grabbed two birds, wrung their necks and continued to wait. When Grandfather returned he was empty handed, but they ate the birds grandmother had caught and thanked God for the answer to their prayers.

As we are told in the book of Ether, one of the reason Orihah was a good and righteous king is that he “did remember how great things the Lord had done for his father, and also taught his people how great things the Lord had done for their fathers” (Ether 6:30). Even if you don’t live in Utah, take time to remember the pioneers in your family and to tell the stories of faith to those around you.


Anonymous said...

I agree, I love Pioneer Day. It's a great day to celebrate our great state and the pioneers who made it happen. It's also a time to celebrate and honor our ancestors who sacrificed so much so that their future descendants would worship and live in freedom. I feel humbled to come from such determined and dedicated people.

Wendi said...

Wow, your grandmother was a tough one. I don't think I would have the courage to kill a bird with my own hands. That was quite a direct answer to her prayer. Happy Pioneer Day to you too! :)

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Cathie, It is a great time to remind us to be thankful!

Sherrie Mills Johnson said...

Wendi, She was a tough one. Her last name was Crowfoot and for years my brother told everyone we had Indian ancestors, but she wasn't Indian--just sounds like an Indian name!