Today is a special day. On July 24, 2009 the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley after years of persecution and an arduous trek of over 1300 miles – blazing what became known as the Mormon Trail. I have blogged before about Honoring The Mormon Pioneers, and my own pioneer heritage. It is something I treasure. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for their courage and determination to build a life free to worship how they choose, and raise their families in security. This video shares clips of movies reenacting that experience. It is set to one of the most beloved hymns of The Latter-day Saints – a song written during the trek that became an anthem of the pioneer legacy, and a song of faith and hope for all generations. “Come, Come, Ye Saints“.
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My family and I will be making our own trek this morning. Since today is a State holiday, all of the Utah LDS Temples are closed. This posed a problem. We have been striving to attend a temple each weekend as a family. Instead of allowing our goal to be thwarted, we decided to take a family road trip to Idaho where we will get to attend TWO temples; The REXBURG IDAHO TEMPLE and the IDAHO FALLS TEMPLE . As we embark this morning, I can’t help think of the contrasts between this experience and that of our ancestors! We will be driving in the luxury of our air-conditioned SUV, while listening to music on a radio. We will drive over 200 miles which will take us less than 4 hours. If we get hungry for a snack, or have to go to the bathroom, we will just stop at a gas station or Rest Area for a few minutes. When we arrive at our destination, we will attend not one, but two beautiful Temples of our God, and tonight we will be sleeping in a hotel with a swimming pool, showers with hot running water, and fluffy mattresses. How does one express enough gratitude for this? I can’t. I don’t know. It makes me feel so many mixed components of guilt and joy. I suppose the best way is just to go forward in faith and joy. I really can’t help thinking there is no better way for us to honor Pioneer Day. But, before I get into that fluffy hotel bed tonight, you can be sure I will be kneeling beside it with my family, and we will thank our Heavenly Father for the pioneers.