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Viewpoint: Our Own Pioneers

This week, residents of Utah and Latter-day Saints in many parts of the Church will observe Pioneer Day, commemorating the occasion on July 24, 1847, when President Brigham Young, leading the vanguard group of Mormon pioneers, gazed upon the Salt Lake Valley and uttered the words, “This is the right place.”

Though it is a state holiday in Utah, it is an occasion for remembrance among Church members everywhere. The heritage bequeathed by the 1847 pioneers belongs to each and every Latter-day Saint, including the most recently baptized convert in the farthest-flung locale.

They carried forward the vision established by the Prophet Joseph Smith by helping to continue the prophesied gathering of Israel. Their sacrifices made it possible to establish a base in the Rocky Mountains from which the gospel could be carried to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and the recipients of that gospel could begin to establish Zion in their own lands wherever they lived.

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