23 July 2010

O Pioneer

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pi•o•neer (p -nîr )


1. One who ventures into unknown or unclaimed territory to settle.

2. One who opens up new areas of thought, research, or development: a pioneer in aviation.


1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of early settlers: the pioneer spirit.

2. Leading the way; trailblazing: a pioneer treatment for cancer. (Source: The Free Online Dictionary)

Since tomorrow is July 24th, here in Utah we celebrate Pioneer Day. There are all kinds of celebrations: parades, eating contests, carnivals, and fireworks. We take this day very seriously. We celebrate our roots, and that of the original settlers of this great state.

Talking about roots, Tristi Pinkston sent to us her article named “The Roots of Testimony.” Tristi is an LDS fiction author with five published novels, a stay-at-home mom, homeschooler, and media reviewer. Her article is about something as simple as a small tree, but it’s interesting when we can find a lesson out of the small things (kind of like the parable of the mustard seed, right?) She says: “Last spring, our landlord brought around a small tree and planted it in our yard. He put tall metal stakes on either side and wove a rope around the trunk of the tree and through the stakes, lending the new tree stability it would need as its roots took hold in the ground. … A few months ago, a high wind came up and my two sons ran outside. They reached out and held on to the tree, which was bending back and forth in the gusts.” Keep reading to see how it ends, you’ll like it. I did.

From ‘Molly Mormon’, Molly has “Pioneer Day in Utah!” contributed by Steve Olsen. The article gives a quick history of the holiday we’re about to celebrate. He comments: “The first company of Mormon pioneers, led by Brigham Young, officially entered the Valley of the Great Salt Lake on 24 July 1847. For Latter-day Saints, this event has come to signal the founding of a new homeland for the purpose of establishing their earthly Zion.” I have a comment about the picture I have accompanying this paragraph, it’s from my own personal files. In 1997 we moved to Wyoming, due to a schooling opportunity. That was the year of the sesquicentennial, do you remember the re-enactment? Well, we passed the wagon train a few miles past Independence Rock, WY, on 17 June 1997. Of course we stopped on the side of the road to watch them trek by, and take pictures. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. All of a sudden it got really quiet, and their strength and courage gave us such a testimony of the real event they were recreating. I will never forget the way I felt at that moment. The pioneers sacrificed a lot so we could practice our religion peacefully, we shouldn’t forget that.

We also have a Family Home Evening lesson from ‘LDS Family Fun,’ it’s named “This is the Right Place.” There’s a video: “Brigham Young”, watch it and then discuss about the covenants the pioneers made and how keeping these same covenants today will help us to be "Pure in Heart."

As usual, on Fridays Positive Music and Downloads offers Free Download Friday. Please enjoy the music of Danielle Vaughn, and her song "Come, Come."

Have a great time this weekend, and go ahead and drop off a few words in the comments section, we'll certainly appreciate that.

To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Friday, 23 July, please click here.
Images from www.sxc.hu/ and www.thinkstockphotos.com/ . Also from Gardner files.

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