Thursday, July 24, 2014


If you're not from Utah, you may not even know today is Pioneer Day.

Pioneer Day is absolutely one of my favorite holidays, in large part because I grew up in Salt Lake.  I have so many memories of this day and it's importance.  As a little girl, I felt so privileged sleeping outside on South Temple to get the best spot for the Days of '47 Parade.  We would ride the Temple Square carriage in the middle of the night and my older cousins would give me advice -- on everything from elementary school woes to kissing boys to making the best dirty Diet Coke.  Some of my best memories revolve around July 24th.

The Mormon Pioneers were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who were forced out of their homes in the Midwest and migrated West across the United States, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, or what they called "Zion" on July 24th, 1847.

So, what is "Zion"?  Zion is "the pure in heart".  Zion is our hopes, our desires, our dreams.  As we turn to God and put His will first, all of these dreams and desires can be realized.  I think it is inherent human nature to be a part of the crowd, to be popular and in sync with the times.  We look for recognition and validation in our efforts, but often that is not where true conversion lies.  We must be forced out of our comfort zone, out of those social norms -- this is where we innovate and transform, this is where we become leaders.

We must love.  We must serve.  We must work.  We must consecrate ourselves and turn to God in all that we do.  Only then, can we become "pure in heart".  Only then can we build each other up.  Only then, all blessings that can be had, that God is willing to grant, will be ours.

{I love art & naturally, Vincent Van Gogh says it perfectly}

This Pioneer Day I am especially grateful to be on a mission, to be developing the characteristics and confidence to change, to be different, to be a pioneer.

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