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Bloggernacle Back Bench: Celebrating Pioneer Day

Published: Tuesday, July 24 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

This scene comes from "Legacy: First Encampment," a new Mormon Messages video.

Mormon Messages YouTube

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The blogs are full of ideas for celebrating Pioneer Day. Find history lessons, printables, pioneer recipes and faithful stories about those who blazed the trail, both modern-day and from earlier centuries.

Pioneer history: Have you ever visited the “Mormon Pioneer Memorial Monument” in Salt Lake City? Thanks to this cemetery enthusiast, today you can virtually visit the grave site in honor of the holiday. Learn about where Brigham Young is buried and see the monuments and sculptures that adorn the small park. And when did members outside of Utah start celebrating Pioneer Day? The exact date is not known, but as this post outlines, those in the Southwestern States Mission were celebrating Pioneer Day by the beginning of the 20th century. Click to see how they celebrated so far from the heart of Mormondom in Utah.

Pioneer activities: Looking for ways to celebrate pioneer heritage with your family? You can print off these “U is for Utah Pioneers” pages and games that are perfect for preschoolers. Or you can try to make this authentic “Historical Hearth Bread” (or at least read about how much work went into making it.) An easier recipe is this “Ash Cakes and Honey Drizzle” that use both simple ingredients and cooking over the fire, something pioneers walking the plains had to do almost every day. Click in!

Pioneer faith: This genealogist has a special reason for remembering the pioneers “because 14 of my 16 great-great-grandparents were pioneers.” Click to see why he exclaims “Blessed, Honored Pioneers.” And finally, this blogger reproduced her “Sacrament Meeting Talk (on) Pioneers” in which she outlined three ways we can be like the pioneers: “The trek west is a symbol for the profound transformation that must occur within each of our hearts in order to live in a Zion way, or in a kingdom community. This is the core of all of Jesus’ teachings. The gospel is not about rules and checklists; it is about finding the strait and narrow way that leads directly to a Zion heart. And where IS that way? Jesus said it simply: 'I am the way, the truth and the life.' It is the process of becoming like Christ. That is what the pioneer spirit is all about. That is why we journey. As I’ve examined the lives and stories of the pioneers, I believe there are three things in particular that we can take from them on our own treks toward Zion. They are … 1. Seeking, 2. Sacrifice and 3. Solidarity.” Click in to see how she expounds on these points, and come away with more of an appreciation for pioneers of all ages.

Now let’s honor other Bloggernacle posts from the past week:

Power pick: There is a new Mormon Message video arriving in perfect time for today’s celebration. “Legacy: First Encampment” describes how those first pioneers arrived in the valley and showcases where they camped. As they entered the valley, they shouted “Hosanna! Hosanna!” Click in to watch this beautiful video. Of course, I would be remiss to not show you this classic Mormon Message on those “Modern Pioneers” narrated by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. Combined, these two videos would make a lovely pioneer devotional.

Techie tip: Be a technology pioneer and help in this new initiative on vineyard.lds.org. In just a few minutes, you can provide a review of your local LDS chapel on Google, which in turn shows up for people Google-searching churches. Click in to learn how to leave “LDS Chapel Reviews on Google Local.” Awesome.

Bloggernacle Back Bench: Celebrating Pioneer Day

"Legacy: First Encampment" is a Mormon Messages video that gives an overview of the pioneer's first camp in the valley.

Emily Warburton Jensen loves searching through the LDS blog world for developments and testimonies that best capture the ever-evolving LDS online experience. Email: ejensen@desnews.com

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