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.