On Pioneer Day it's worth noting: We're all pioneers

July 24 is a Latter-day Saint holiday! It commemorates our Mormon pioneer heritage. There are many known and well-documented stories of the early pioneers trek westward. Men, women and children sacrificing everything they owned, even their very lives at times, just to find a place to worship free of persecution. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their faithfulness, perseverance and love of the gospel.

At the same time, aren't we all pioneers in our own way? When I look back at my immediate family, I see converts who bring a richness of their heritage to the LDS Church. My wife's father is Armenian and her mother is from Germany. My wife went to Brigham Young University as a non-member and joined after her freshman year. My wife's sister also joined the church. She and her husband have sons who, along with ours, will serve missions in the next few years. I have cousins in California who joined before I did, and they come from a Jewish and an Italian background. Mine, of course, come from Greece. All these ancient cultures converge within our small family to open the gospel doors to future generations, hopefully in many parts of the world.

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