I concure with the "rose-colored glasses" analogy for us non-Utah
residents. Californians do the other end of the spectrum with our
overly-analytical, full vetting historical review. To our detriment sometimes,
but we find it more healthy not to be beholding to any sacred cows. We will
acknowledge the contribution of German industriousness to our frontier taming.
We will not allow their partisans to omit the contributing factors of myopia,
apathy or prejudice that lead to the rise of the Third Reich. Harsh and not an
equitable analogy for Utah's history, but our history books give equal time to
accomplishments, handcart failures, struggling and mountain massacres.From our neck of the woods, it would be refreshing to see a Utah that is open
to full disclosure of their entire pioneer past. Visiting family in Utah and
Idaho for reunions that happened to coincide with July 24's is an out-of-body
experience. I can only equate it to Muslim friends who have made the Hajj to
Mecca. Nothing warty can ever be spoken of Mohammed, even on the other 364
days. They don't agree with radical reactions to his cartoonists, but they'll
never discuss those warts.
Great! I say laud our ancestor's accomplishments on our sacred Pioneer Day. No
problem for those of us who are old enough to have heard first-hand accounts of
those who sacrificed: both from generational retelling and from our proud
eyewitness of beloved pioneer ancestors... My grandparents back 7 generations
will always be my heroes. But that's because they were honest about their full
history, not just courageous parts that make 95% of our print.Are we
ever going to have Introspection Day, for reviewing our past collective
mistakes? Will we ever get to have an open national dialogue without the
Cinderella head-in-sand-dwellers refusing to acknowledge our historical
"warts"? Will the new converts here ever know all the reasons why we
were "persecuted for our beliefs", without our history rewriters
scrubbing off the warts? We can always send out a simple 5-question survey in a
church publication, the SL Tribune, this news venue, BYU history classes and
seminary/Institute classes to see how much our members know of the last 5%. Along with the glory stories, where are those on the guts and gore that
resulted from "the heady survival mode of the frontier"?
Another question: Would expanding the role of the Utah Housing Authority to
facilitate housing for Utah citizens be a violation of the Utah's pioneering
Almost before they could catch their breath from the journey west, Utah pioneers
were working with neighbors in small settlements, creating from scratch the kind
of culture and community that would nurture their families.So even
as they worked to eke out a living for their families, they also learned to work
together in building roads and irrigation systems, cultivating orchards,
establishing schools, founding clinics, publishing newspapers and developing
other cooperative community organizations.Questions: Was the secret
hand of capitalism the motivating force? Could they do this today without
This was rose colored glasses looking at the pioneers and not grounded a lot in
reality. Hard work, illness, death and fatigue were the lot both on the trip out
here and once here. Perseverance is the word I think of when you examine the
lives of all pioneers. One thing I think people in Utah overlook is that there
are many pioneers who came west. My family started out in Virgina as indentured
servants, got free, fought in the American Revolution, got land and moved to
what is Kentucky, then left Kentucky to Indiana, then to Iowa and to Nebreska
and eventually to the Vancouver Washington area. My point is they weren't LDS
and they weren't the rugged individualists, just a family looking to better
themselves and their conditions which is truly the heritage of the pioneers.
They sacrificed greatly to give their families better opportunities in the
future. That is something I think we can all celebrate.
no fit in SG | 10:39 a.m. July 24, 2011 The history of one culture
replacing another is not unique to the settlers of the American West. For
millenia warring Native American tribes have been conquering and displacing
other cultures in order to occupy their lands. The settlements in Utah were some
of the most benign in American history.
@ no fit in SG | 10:39 a.m. July 24, 2011 St.George, Utah What
race was destroyed? The truth is none.Hind sight is 20/20. What our
ancestors were thinking, or not thinking, as they spread out and settled in new
areas will remain a mystery until we have the opportunity to ask them.What is not a mystery is that ancestral people of all races and nationalities
when faced with hardship and persecution have looked elsewhere and too often
became perpetrators of the same injustices they were fleeing.Also
certain is that none of us - not you, not I - are unstained by the unsavory
expolits of some of our progenitors.Standing on our Ivory Towers of
sanctimonious pride and denegrating the less than perfect efforts of many
peoples and nations that resulted in this great nation serves only to keep our
collective conscience mired in the mistakes of the past, divided as a nation,
and unappreciative of the great blessing that arose and stands.It is
a blending of the best, and the worst, of our ancestors that makes us what we
are today.God Bless our imperfect ancestors!
Your description of LDS migration sounds a lot like the New Englanders'
17th-century emigration from Enland: a community seeking a place to settle and
secure a particular belief. A more generational ethos than di-it-up-shoot-'em-up
tales with no future.
Awesome article! I love the Deseret News because it gives me insight into Church
history. I may be a convert, but I'm so grateful for these pioneers. I'm
constantly impressed with what they accomplished. Please continue to have great
articles like this and ignore those people who wish to denegrate those wonderful
Does anyone ever think about the greed, pain, destruction of an entire race, and
horror of manifest destiny that occurred here in America?It has been so
glorified and said to have been destined by God.We still see this horror
with our modern eyes throughout the world today.
The ethic is great. But let's put an end to the cast of little house on the
prairie dragging carts down roads cars use.