Why I like Pioneer Day (perhaps more in theory than practice)

On Sunday the opening hymn for sacrament meeting in our ward was “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” which made sense because it was the Sunday before Pioneer Day. I like Pioneer Day much more in theory than I do in practice. Most Pioneer Day festivities don’t do it for me, but that’s due mainly to me being a stick-in-the-mud who eschews festivities in general. But just because I don’t like fun doesn’t mean that I lack holiday spirit entirely. I like the idea of celebrating Pioneer Day very much. I know some people who don’t even like the idea of Pioneer Day because they feel it reinforces some Utah-centric bias in the church and/or makes church members who don’t come from pioneer stock seem like second-class Mormons or something. I don’t know. I guess I understand where they’re coming from, but I just can’t really relate. Aside from the two years or so I spent as a baby in Dugway, Utah, when my father was in the army, I have very little first-hand experience with Utah. And seeing how I don’t remember any of the aforementioned first-hand experience, I reckon none of it counts. I really don’t know what it’s like there. But then, I did grow up in the West (and you know, America), and perhaps there isn’t that much difference between Oregon Mormonism and Utah Mormonism. Maybe my father being from Idaho makes me half-almost-Utah-Mormon. How would I know? My point being that I don’t have strong feelings about Utah, aside from knowing that I wouldn’t want to live there. (Mostly for weather reasons–no need to get offended!) Therefore, I can’t get exercised about things that are Utah-centric unless they are stupid for other reasons.

Also, it may be that I like Pioneer Day because I do come from pioneer stock, technically. I say “technically,” because although I have some pioneer ancestors on my dad’s side, I don’t really know anything about them and therefore have no particular feelings about them personally and therefore cannot say I have warm and fuzzy feelings about pioneers because I’m related to them. I’ve made no secret of my complete lack of interest in genealogy.

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