What a privilege it is to celebrate Pioneer Day and honor those who came before, as well as their incredible sacrifice and their unparalleled legacy. I am grateful to claim a rich pioneer heritage, as I have ancestors that crossed the plains, both with Brigham Young and with the Martin handcart company. My great grandfather Stephen Chipman settled American Fork City in the summer of 1850. Members of my family have lived there for generations, and it is the place of my birth.
Utah’s history is laced with stories of those who sacrificed everything to travel to Zion, building a promising future for generations to come. They faced an unprecedented adventure, leaving their homes and all they knew in the face of tremendous persecution, blazing the trail to settle the West. While there are many accounts of strife, hardship, and immense personal loss, there are many wonderful stories of endurance and miracles as well.
As I study the lives of the pioneers, I am struck time and time again by their unquenchable determination and fire of faith. May we remember their significant contributions and work to follow their example of resolve, devotion, hard work, success, and faith.