Celebrating the Pioneers

Each July many members of the Church worldwide pause to honor the pioneers who entered the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Here is an experience that one young woman shared with us:

“Sometimes our ward has pioneer activities,” says Analee B. of Burke, Virginia, USA. “People dress up in pioneer outfits, and we usually go on some type of ‘trek’—it’s really a walk. We also talk about pioneers, and we do games that pioneers would play. In Virginia it is really hot and humid in the summer, and we always have these celebrations outside, so with the hot weather we really feel like pioneers.

“For me personally I am almost always reading a book about Church history. Reading those books makes me appreciate the pioneers even more and helps me understand better what they went through.”

How, in your area, do you celebrate the past or present pioneers in the Church? Remember, pioneers can include anyone who prepared the way for others to follow.

My Favorite Scripture

2 Nephi 32:5 has been my favorite scripture since I was in Primary because it tells you what to do when you are given the gift of the Holy Ghost. You must receive it and be worthy of it, and then the Holy Ghost will guide you on the right path.

Peaches C., age 16, Trinidad, West Indies

How to Gain a Testimony

A testimony is a very important part in our lives as members of the Church. To gain a testimony, do what Moroni invites us to do: ponder in your heart the message or the principle that you want to know is true; then ask God in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost (see Moroni 10:3–5). I can testify to you that if you pray with all the faith of your heart, our Heavenly Father will answer your prayer.

When I was an investigator, I decided to pray and ask Heavenly Father if everything I had learned was true. Never in my life will I find words to describe the feeling I had, but I know that it was the answer of my Heavenly Father because I have received a lot of blessings from it.

Jordi R., age 20, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

“All things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart” (D&C 59:18).

Right: photograph of pioneer reenactment by Welden C. Andersen; nature photographs by Deanna Van Kampen