Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pioneer Day--Ashirah

For no reason that I can fathom, I am strongly affected by Pioneer Day. I greatly admire those who can commit themselves so irrevocably to a cause that is larger than themselves. Those who give up family, creature comforts, even their own lives for their religion are exceptional human beings. These people usually only come along rarely; yet here were hundreds of men, women, and children who united to try to build Zion on earth. Their journey was epic, and inspires those such as myself, who are related in no way other than by a common belief system. I know myself only too well--I'm no modern-day pioneer. I live a soft life, and I make few sacrifices to live my religion. But at least once a year, I welcome the opportunity to ponder what I give devotion to, and what might be possible--When you believe.

4 comments:

Lucy said...

I so know what you say. What they did for us is more than I can ever repay. That trek is in my mind, my heart and my gut entrenched so deeply. And I don't have the words to explain it. The decision my great grandfather made to join the church, to go through all those persecutions in Missouri, in Illinois and then the trek affected the lives of hundreds...thousands down the line. How do you ever thank somebody for that. One decision. One decision. Thanks for your post.

djinn said...

People were moving west. Approx. 52,000 pioneerst raveled to Oregon on the Oregon trail, while about 250,000 pioneers traveled to California on the California trail. About 66,000 pioneers went to Utah. People were on the move. It seems to me, with my 100% pioneer ancestry, that people from back East were moving out West for a wide variety of reasons--land, gold, religion, restlessness; you name it. I find this privileging of our Pioneer ancestors understandable, but ultimately unsatisfying. Don't you think a fair number would have headed out without the added Religious prod? And if not them, than certainly others would have made the move.

Bored in Vernal said...

Djinn, yes, I think the western United States would have been colonized without the Mormon pioneers. But I am focusing on a religious journey which was made by a people who held to their faith even when it became inconvenient, when it forced them out of the homes and into an unknown wilderness. Pregnant women, the elderly, little children, whole families made this trip without proper preparation or any idea of what would await them. I think it really is an exceptional event.

JustRandi said...

I couldn't agree more. I love the post and I love the video just as much!