The pioneering ethic

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  • Grace Bakersfield, CA
    July 25, 2011 1:24 p.m.

    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.

  • DUPDaze Bakersfield, CA
    July 25, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    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"?

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    July 25, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    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 spirit?

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    July 25, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    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 taxation?

  • Hubble65 Sandy, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    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.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 25, 2011 9:48 a.m.

    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.

  • runwasatch Ogden, UT
    July 24, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    @ 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!

  • skeezix FPO, AE
    July 24, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    July 24, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    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 pioneers!

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    July 24, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 24, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    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.