Keith Johnson, Deseret News archive
A decorative, old pioneer wagon sits on Main Street at This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City in 2010.

I decided long ago that I just wouldn’t have made a good pioneer crossing the plains back in 1847. I need air conditioning — badly. Spiders and snakes spook me. And I might have grumbled more than a time or two about climbing through rugged mountain passes and having only a handful of flour to eat for an entire day.

So my admiration for the Mormon pioneers’ dedication, faith, hope and sheer willpower is huge. They had to dig deep for the inner strength to persevere, as even the simplest daily activities depended on mammoth amounts of courage due to weather, illness and other complicating hardships.

In this Sunday’s edition of “Mormon Times TV,” we’re doing something we’ve never done before — we’re taking the show on location to This Is the Place Heritage Park. The setting provides the perfect backdrop for the stories we are presenting as we look back to the pioneering history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

You’ll see President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, talking about his own pioneer roots and what that means to him. It was a rare privilege to hear some of his family stories as well as what he thinks Brigham Young would say if he were looking out over the Salt Lake Valley today.

Also on July 22, filmmaker T.C. Christensen will also be with us recounting some of his favorite moments making the pioneer film “17 Miracles.” You’ll see what lessons he believes we can learn from the hardships and heroism of the past.

Emily Utt will be along from the LDS Church History Department, showing us three great historical hikes for your family that turn our thoughts to the pioneers. And popular bluegrass musicians Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband will entertain us throughout the show.

You’ll also meet a family that makes handcarts for a living. If you’ve pulled or pushed one, chances are good the Burches made it. It’s a family tradition, and you’ll see why they’re humbled to carry it on.

Plus we’ll take a look at some of the amazing floats being prepared for Tuesday’s Days of ’47 Parade. You’ll see what it takes to pull off this enormous task and learn of the spiritual themes they’re aiming to convey.

The “Mormon Times TV" television show airs weekly on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. on KSL-TV following the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast. It can also be viewed online at, where you can see past episodes. And we invite you to follow us on Facebook at and join in the conversation. We’re always looking for inspiring, uplifting stories that involve people of the LDS faith. If you have some ideas you’d like to share with us, drop me an email at [email protected].

Michelle King is the host of "Mormon Times TV," which airs Sundays at 10 a.m. on KSL. Email: [email protected]