Pioneers

October 20, 2021 08:28 AM MDT
Returning to his boyhood ward, President Henry B. Eyring repeatedly urged his audience to “follow the prophet” as he spoke at the 80th anniversary celebration of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers monument in Salt Lake City, honoring Utah’s silkworm industry.
1 Min Read
July 23, 2021 03:14 PM MDT
Editor’s note: “This week from the pulpit” highlights recent messages by General Authorities and General Officers of the Church.
4 Min Read
By  LDS Living
July 29, 2020 04:20 PM MDT
This story originally ran in the July/August 2020 issue of LDS Living.
5 Min Read
By  Emily Abel
July 24, 2020 11:19 AM MDT
Editor's note: "This week from the pulpit" highlights recent messages by General Authorities, General Officers, and leaders of the Church.
2 Min Read
July 24, 2020 11:00 AM MDT
Brigham Young was lying in the bed of a wagon, having been severely ill for the last twelve days, when he saw the valley for the first time.1 He was forty-six years old, short and quite stocky, a carpenter by trade and physically robust; but “mountain fever” could put even the strongest men flat on their backs. Several diseases fell under that generic name because they all produced high fever, severe head and body aches, deep pain behind the eyes, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Colorado tick fever was one of the least severe of these illnesses, usually passing in a few days after the onset of the symptoms, but Brigham had been down for almost two weeks, suggesting that he may have contracted the more serious Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If so, it was remarkable that he was still alive. That strain persisted for weeks, and the fatality rate was high owing to the inflammation of the heart, lungs, and brain or the kidney failure it produced. The only known treatments were home-brewed remedies and rest, but sleep was hard to come by in a wagon on the plains. Summer days were bright and hot, and Brigham would have felt every bump in the road as the wooden wheels rolled over the uneven land. And he wasn’t alone in his suffering. Thirty-seven other Latter-day Saints traveling with him had also contracted the fever—a full quarter of the company. But they did not have the luxury of time to grant the sick much rest.2
7 Min Read
Fun
July 23, 2020 11:30 AM MDT
When you think of pioneers, you most likely think of converts from England, Scandinavia, or the East Coast of the United States. But these early members of the Church actually came from all over the world. The new Saints series presents a number of stories about pioneers from different countries, including Denmark, England, South Africa, and the Pacific Islands. But there were also pioneers from countries that aren't highlighted in the books. For example, a Saints video released last year briefly highlights how one member of the Willie handcart company was from India. Here is a little more about her in celebration of Pioneer Day.
2 Min Read
February 03, 2020 06:54 PM MST
It’s been 174 years since the pioneers left their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois, and began the trek west in search of religious freedom.
1 Min Read
November 13, 2019 09:24 AM MST
In 1848, Miriam Slade visited her cousins, the Hills, in southwest England. They always looked forward to seeing Miriam, for she brought a certain fun charm and attitude when she was in town. However, this time was different: she had recently adopted a new religion, and all she could seem to do was talk about it. She told her family: “God had spoken from the heavens to a man named Joseph Smith; the Gospel was restored to the earth, the honest in heart were commanded to gather to the land of Zion for safety, for this was the last Dispensation, and the hour of God’s judgment had come!” She had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
5 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
August 02, 2019 04:15 PM MDT
It's that time of year again. The time when Latter-day Saint youths don bonnets and straw hats as they head out on an epic pioneer journey reenactment called trek.
1 Min Read
Fun
By  Emily Abel
July 24, 2019 12:54 PM MDT
It can be hard to imagine what life was like for the pioneers. We read stories of their miracles and tragedies, but what about the time in between? What was daily life like? Comparing certain aspects of our lives to their's side-by-side may help you better understand and appreciate how life has changed since 1847. Here are nine glimpses of life from a pioneer's perspective:
2 Min Read
July 24, 2019 09:00 AM MDT
Most of us have heard of Ephraim Hanks, Porter Rockwell, Eliza R. Snow, and many other high-profile pioneers who accomplished notable events during the early years of the Church. But there are also others who were influential members of the Church who impacted the Latter-day Saints as well as the outside world. Here are just a few significant pioneers that you may never have heard of before.
7 Min Read
July 22, 2019 12:38 PM MDT
Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in the unveiling of the Pioneer Children’s Memorial at This Is the Place Heritage Park on Saturday in Salt Lake City. The new landmark honors the lives of more than 650 known children who died during the 1,300-mile journey Latter-day Saints made in the mid-1800s from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Utah.
2 Min Read
July 20, 2019 11:24 AM MDT
On June 1, 1801, Brigham Young was born in Whittingham, Widdham County, Vermont. At the same time, approximately 900 miles southwest of Whittingham, four-year-old Elisha Hurd Groves was growing up on a farm in Madison, Kentucky. No one could guess at the time the succession of events that would bring these two men together as they fled their homes and journeyed halfway across the country.
8 Min Read
July 10, 2019 01:09 PM MDT
"This is supposed to be where she was going to have a final resting place. And it's a little heartbreaking, I think, for the whole family," Jacob Oscarson says.
1 Min Read
June 13, 2019 01:52 PM MDT
Ardis E. Parshall became tearful as she walked across the cemetery lawn to see the new monument honoring William and Marie Graves. Although she knew their story, it was like she was meeting them in person for the first time.
13 Min Read
May 23, 2019 02:39 PM MDT
Where there was once only a slightly bent metal wagon wheel adorning Rebecca Winters's grave, now her final resting place has not only moved but has also gained a headstone and a signpost commemorating her trek west, her passing, and, in some ways, every Latter-day Saint pioneer.
1 Min Read
May 17, 2019 11:51 AM MDT
Sissel, the world-renowned vocalist known for her ethereal arias throughout the Oscar-winning film Titanic, will join the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square at the 2019 Pioneer Day concerts. The concerts will be held in conjunction with communitywide celebrations at 8 p.m. mountain standard time on July 19 and 20 in the Conference Center. The concerts will be conducted by Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director.
2 Min Read
May 10, 2019 08:41 AM MDT
When the coast-to-coast telegraph was completed in Salt Lake City in October 1861, Brigham Young sent a clear signal to President Abraham Lincoln: “Utah has not seceded but is firm for the Constitution and laws of our once happy country.” Less than eight years later, on May 10, 1869, hundreds gathered at Promontory, Utah, to witness another coast-to-coast completion. The driving of the last spike of the transcontinental railroad reverberated continuity to a once broken nation.1
12 Min Read
May 09, 2019 02:00 PM MDT
In A. J. Russell's iconic photograph of the celebration following the driving of the golden spike, Samuel S. Montague, chief engineer of the Central Pacific Railroad, is shaking hands with Grenville M. Dodge, chief engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad. Somewhere in the crowd is Leland Stanford, who first missed and then tapped the golden spike into a pre-drilled hole in a special railroad tie made of polished California laurel.
4 Min Read
May 06, 2019 08:22 AM MDT
Mary Fielding Smith grew up a farmer’s daughter. Born in Honidon, Bedfordshire, England, on July 21, 1801, she was the sixth child of John Fielding and Rachel Ibbotson Fielding. During her most tender years, Mary learned from both her father and mother the meaning of hard work, discipline, devotion to God, and sacrifice. Two of her siblings, Joseph and Mercy, emigrated to Canada in March of 1832 to establish themselves as farmers, and Mary joined them two years later, where the three joined a small break-off group of Methodists. But in the spring of 1836, Elder Parley P. Pratt arrived from the United States to preach the gospel. His message was not well received. However, Elder Pratt had persuaded a man named John Taylor, who was not yet baptized, to join him on a preaching circuit through the countryside. Nine miles outside of present-day Toronto, they came upon the farm of Joseph Fielding. Wary of the preachers, Mary and Mercy went to the home of a neighbor, “lest they should give welcome or give countenance to ‘Mormonism.’” But their brother Joseph stayed and greeted the visitors by saying, “We do not want a new revelation or a new religion contrary to the Bible.”
9 Min Read
February 15, 2019 10:03 PM MST
“I knew in whom I had trusted, and with the fire of Israel’s God burning in my bosom, I forsook my home.” So wrote Jane C. Robinson Hindley, who was one of about 90,000 European converts who gathered to an American Zion in the mid-19th century.
9 Min Read
October 25, 2018 12:13 PM MDT
What a fascinating article from Atlas Obscura, which remembers one of the many Latter-day Saints who lost their lives on their journey to a new home.
1 Min Read
October 23, 2018 01:15 PM MDT
In the winter of 1838, Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued an Extermination Order demanding that Latter-day Saints leave Missouri by March 8, 1839, or be killed. More than 5,000 Saints fled the state by crossing the frozen Mississippi River into the tiny town of Quincy, Illinois. With throngs of Latter-day Saint refugees overwhelming the kind-hearted community, shelter was scarce, so one family gladly—and knowingly—took refuge in a haunted farmhouse.
2 Min Read
By  LDS Living
July 25, 2018 04:51 PM MDT
As Utahns celebrated Pioneer Day on July 24, President Donald Trump issued a statement praising the state's religious founders for their "ingenuity, industry, and unwavering commitment to faith." In addition to mentioning Brigham Young and the persecution and hardships the pioneers faced, President Trump focused on the pioneer's "incredible leap of faith into the unknown:"
1 Min Read
By  LDS Living
July 24, 2018 01:14 PM MDT
He was a rescuer sent by Brigham Young from Utah. She was a member of the Willie handcart company. It's an unusual setting for a love story but one that has lasted through generations.
1 Min Read
By  LDS Living
July 24, 2018 12:29 PM MDT
Nothing can compare to the feeling that comes when President Thomas S. Monson starts in on one of his famous stories. The emotion and power behind his words can make us not only laugh and cry, but have a desire to truly change our lives. So, in honor of Pioneer Day, we wanted to share three of our favorite pioneer stories shared by President Monson throughout the years--pioneer stories that show how they can come from all ages and parts of the world.
10 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
July 24, 2018 08:23 AM MDT
This year, celebrate our LDS pioneer heritage with a good laugh at these 14 hilarious pioneer-based comics and memes.
1 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
July 24, 2018 08:19 AM MDT
Happy Pioneer Day! No matter where you live, you can celebrate the pioneers' sacrifice by learning more about them. Start out with this quiz! Click through the pages to find out the answer to each question!
1 Min Read
July 23, 2018 05:02 PM MDT
Visitors walking near the Assembly Hall at Temple Square will likely see the golden statue featuring two seagulls, wings spread and perched atop a granite column standing 30 feet tall.
9 Min Read
July 23, 2018 09:07 AM MDT
Most Church members today don’t realize the depth of mistrust and resentment some Mormon pioneers harbored toward the United States in 1846 and 1847. When the Mormons arrived in the Great Basin, they were actually arriving in northern Mexico. They purposely crossed an international border and were fleeing the United States.
4 Min Read
July 21, 2018 09:06 AM MDT
Several days before embarking on the ship Julia Ann, Australian Latter-day Saint John Perkins wrote in his diary: “Monday 3rd September 1855: The brethren and sisters are beginning to come in to go by the Julia Ann or the port of San Francisco.” This ill-fated adventure would be a singular event in Mormon history because it would be the only known shipwreck that claimed the lives of multiple Mormon pioneers on their way to Zion.
8 Min Read
Fun
July 21, 2018 09:00 AM MDT
A spectrum of emotions is experienced while on an LDS trek. Here are a few of our favorites. Please share your favorite trek experiences in the comments below.
1 Min Read
July 19, 2018 11:44 AM MDT
The following comes from a recent Ensign article which tells the story of three modern-day pioneers who converted to the LDS faith. About their journeys, these converts shared:
1 Min Read
Fun
July 19, 2018 08:15 AM MDT
For those parents who struggle with getting their kids to unplug long enough to learn from the amazing heritage we have as Church members, here are a couple of ideas to help spark your children’s interest in the pioneers:
3 Min Read
Fun
July 16, 2018 09:58 AM MDT
Mud. Animals. Pioneers. Stories. Food. Flash floods. Everything you could possibly want to celebrate summer, the great outdoors, and pioneer history. And you can find it all at the Castle Valley Pageant in Castle Dale, Utah. One of a handful of pageants sponsored by the Church, the Castle Valley Pageant is based on true stories of pioneers who were called by Brigham Young to settle the Castle Valley area. And like its sister pageants, it inspires crowds of people every time it runs, just like it’s creator, Montell Seely, dreamed it would. Read on to learn about the miracles that accompanied the pageant’s beginning and what its cast and volunteer workers have to say about it.
12 Min Read
July 13, 2018 02:31 PM MDT
This month's edition of weekly FHE lessons is based on the new family movie Trek, which follows a young Mormon teenager named Tom and his friends on their handcart journey. Each lesson includes a scene from movie to watch and discuss. Your whole family will laugh along and be inspired by Trek: The Movie, available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.
2 Min Read
Fun
July 11, 2018 09:55 AM MDT
Whether you’re traveling or simply want to know more about some of the significant Church history sites you’ve heard about in Sunday School and seminary, this guide, based on new pages and information from the Church History Department, will answer all your questions! Follow the trail west as you pick a state from the list below and learn about all the historic Church sites in that area.
7 Min Read
July 06, 2018 09:40 PM MDT
This month's edition of weekly FHE lessons is based on the new family movie Trek, which follows a young Mormon teenager named Tom and his friends on their handcart journey. Each lesson includes a scene from the movie to watch and discuss. Your whole family will laugh along and be inspired by Trek: The Movie, available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.
2 Min Read
Fun
July 03, 2018 09:00 AM MDT
Today, we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrate our pioneer heritage. Stories will be told and heroes will be remembered—the bravery of the Saints at Winter Quarters, the sacrifice of the selfless young men on the banks of the Sweetwater, and the deep relief of Brother Brigham's famous declaration, "This is the right place. Drive on."
3 Min Read
June 29, 2018 09:28 AM MDT
This month's edition of weekly FHE lessons is based on the new family movie Trek, which follows a young Mormon teenager named Tom and his friends on their handcart journey. Each lesson includes a scene from movie to watch and discuss. Your whole family will laugh along and be inspired by Trek: The Movie, available at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.
2 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
June 02, 2018 09:25 AM MDT
Does your child have a pioneer trek coming up this summer? Or are you a "ma" or "pa"? Deseret Book has you covered! Everything that you need, from suspenders to skirts, can be found in stores or online today.
1 Min Read
May 31, 2018 03:28 PM MDT
The following is from the 2014 BYU Religious Education Student Symposium. In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the revelation that extended the priesthood to black men in the Church, we wanted to share this article highlighting female black pioneers and their sacrifices for their faith.
2 Min Read
Fun
May 31, 2018 02:43 PM MDT
Broadway stars Matthew Morrison and Laura Michelle Kelly will join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for “Music for a Summer Evening,” a concert held annually in conjunction with community-wide Pioneer Day celebrations. This special Broadway-themed concert will be held on Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21, at 8:00 p.m. in the Conference Center and will be conducted by Mack Wilberg, music director of the Choir, and Ryan Murphy, associate music director.
3 Min Read
January 15, 2018 04:00 PM MST
On November 14-18, 2017, the Baja 1000 motorsports race hosted its 50th-anniversary event. Nineteen riders signed up to race in the Ironman class as motorcyclists. Only five finished.
9 Min Read
November 07, 2017 12:00 PM MST
Read how Martha Hughes Cannon, a mother, a champion for women's suffrage, and a Mormon became the country's first female state senator.
1 Min Read
October 02, 2017 08:00 AM MDT
We wanted to reshare this article in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first time the Salt Lake Tabernacle was used for general conference!
5 Min Read
Fun
By  LDS Living
August 09, 2017 07:27 PM MDT
LDS father Dennis Draleau from Grangeville, Idaho, needed a device that would allow him to haul gear and carry his young children while walking. Frustrated with options such as garden carts and wheelbarrows, Draleau turned to a historical alternative—the pioneer handcart. Since he couldn't find an inexpensive handcart with the features he needed, he decided to create his own modern version of the handcart.
1 Min Read
July 24, 2017 12:26 PM MDT
Ephraim "Eph" Hanks was a Mormon pioneer and well-known Mormon settler in the early Church. His experience shaping new frontiers proved invaluable, particularly to the stranded Martin Handcart Company.
13 Min Read
Fun
Departing from Fort Laramie, a vanguard company of Saints, including President Brigham Young, trekked across the high plains of Wyoming, passing such landmarks as Independence Rock, Devil’s Gate, and South Pass. During this phase of the journey, the pioneers encountered Jim Bridger, the legendary mountain man who offered advice and encouragement about the unfamiliar territory stretching before them. Bridger spoke optimistically, though cautiously, about the Salt Lake Valley. Wilford Woodruff recorded, “He spoke . . . highly of the great Salt Lake for a settlement,” but warned “there was but one thing that could operate against it . . . that would be frost.”
3 Min Read
July 21, 2017 11:00 AM MDT
Nearly 70,000 Latter-day Saints traversed over 1,000 miles to arrive in a desert land far away from loved ones and civilization, but of those faithful pioneers, only about 3,000 came by handcart. Here are some unique and inspiring stories straight from their journals.
8 Min Read
July 20, 2017 02:59 PM MDT
What an exciting discovery!
1 Min Read
July 18, 2017 05:08 PM MDT
On Monday, Elder Holland shared stories of his Utah heritage, including how his non-Mormon ancestors found the Church.
1 Min Read
By  LDS Living
July 17, 2017 02:11 PM MDT
Not long ago, a memory photo popped up on Alex Boyé's Facebook feed. It was a picture of him singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. “As I sat there looking at that picture I thought to myself, ‘Boy, I really miss singing with those guys!’” Boyé told the audience of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Pioneer Day Concert on July 14.
1 Min Read
July 14, 2017 05:29 PM MDT
Despite numerous health challenges over the years, Elder Robert D. Hales has done much for the Church through his calling as an apostle. And to honor his sacrifices, Elder Hales was awarded the President's Award as a "Pioneer of Progress" by the Days of '47 committee.
1 Min Read
July 12, 2017 04:03 PM MDT
What a fun way to connect to the early pioneers of the Church.
1 Min Read
Fun
July 07, 2017 01:22 PM MDT
Pioneer life wasn't all deprivation and sorrow. There was quite a bit of laughter, too.
1 Min Read
July 06, 2017 02:51 PM MDT
Did you hear about the new guest artist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Day concert?
1 Min Read
June 20, 2017 03:02 PM MDT
On Thursday, the Church dedicated the Sixth Crossing Visitors' Center, a historic crossing for the Mormon pioneers.
1 Min Read