Our government terrorized the Latter-Day Saints both prior to and after their
arrival in the Great Salt Lake valley. We should remember the sufferings of our
forefathers and not be so quick to blindly support the government today.
I'm not sure I could have hacked it as a pioneer. I didn't even get
my garden in this year! Technically the Wasatch front is not an arid
climate but it is not far off either. Lots of moisture arrives in the
mountains. The land is pretty arid and was only able to be settled by a large
group willing to share the water flowing out of the streams coming from the
mountains for the benefit of the group instead of for the individual. Either way I am thankful for my pioneer ancestors who came west and settled
some of the west!
Utah is far better off than the rest of the nation. Employment rates are
higher, education achievement is higher, and social ills are lower than the
rates of the country at large. The reason for this is that Utah has thus far
followed the principles of the Pioneers.The Pioneers believed in
hard work, honesty, and morality. They believed that every person owed a duty
to society to be a productive and moral citizen.Utah is now at a
crossroad. The citizens must chose whether they will continue to follow the
principles of the Pioneers and thus, enjoy a peaceful and happy existence, or
whether to act like the rest of the country by indulging in selfishness and
immoral conduct, and thus immersing themselves in social ills.
Some have commented that the Saints who entered the valley were highly skilled,
which experience they had gained in building settlements in Kirtland, Missouri,
and Nauvoo. While that is true, there were also a large number of converts
immigrating from Europe who had no such pioneering experience. Of course, they
would learn to be resourceful like their brethren in the states, but people need
to realized that they didn't start out that way. It is amazing what you
are able to learn when your life depends on it, and when you have the dedication
and faith in God and His covenants to persevere.
As I have said in other posts to articles in the DN, "The Wasatch Front was
not, and is not now, a desert".Making the desert bloom like a
rose when applied to the Wasatch Front is a myth.Places like Mesa
AZ, Mesquite NV, and St George UT do deserve the accolade, making the desert
bloom like a rose.Read these two paragraphs from the article."One of the myths that has prevailed through the years is that the
Salt Lake Valley was an arid, barely habitable desert. While the land
wasn’t an ideal place to settle, it wasn’t a wild desert, according
to Steve Olsen, senior curator at the LDS Church History Library.“Some of the early pioneers were very impressed by how luxuriant it was,
how well watered it was, how much grass was growing here," Olsen said.
"That’s not to say they didn’t have to dam up the creeks and
create networks for irrigation, but it wasn’t the kind of arid landscape
that we often think about.”
This is to finish my comment that was longer than the allowed 200 words (all of
which was written before I saw the comment of "sherlock holmes," who was
basically making the same point): They sought refuge first in Clay
County, and later in unsettled territory further north, mainly in Caldwell and
Daviess Counties. When Gov. Boggs' "Extermination Order" forced
them to abandon those settlements, they fled to Illinois. There, they built the
new community of Nauvoo. When they arrived, in 1839, there were only three
buildings there. Within six years, it rivaled Chicago in size. Accordingly,
with the exception of the converts who came to Utah straight from Europe, most
of the initial settlers of Utah DID have experience building new communities.
This is a good article, except for the statement that few of the pioneers had
any experience creating a new community. On the contrary, the core of the
Church had had multiple experiences of that nature, beginning with the
settlement of Kirtland (where many of them had settled and become members of
Sidney Rigdon's Campbellite congregation, before they knew anything about
Joseph Smith or Mormonism). Then about half the Church was drawn to settle in
Jackson County, Missouri. While the community of Independence already existed
there, in infancy, for the most part the church members did not move into
existing homes but rather built their own. Within a short time, they were
driven from those homes and farms.
Just think, if Brigham Young had a cell phone, they would have continued to
California!! :) :) A joke, folks; a joke!!
These pioneers were NOT unskilled. They had built Nauvoo in to a nice city,
and would have done the same in Independence, MO had they been permitted to
stay. In each of the places they left, they gained skill, understanding and
knowledge in how to build a community. Finally, in SLC, they could do it
without interference. This is not to say, however, that it was
easy, or without challenges. They truly did a magnificent work.
I also had ancestors in the vanguard group. My Great Grandfather Tunis Rappleye
was one of the first men into the valley. I am so grateful for their example of
faith. If you want to know what it was like just step outside today about 2pm
and realize they had no trees, no AC or fans and only high grass and the items
they brought with them. They had to plant seed immediately to grow something for
the coming winter and the nearest relief was California still another 900 miles
west. I doubt any of us could have pulled it off as well as they did.
What a wonderful reminder of our pioneer heritage. My ancestors were among
those pioneers, my Great Grandfather Job Pitcher Hall, called to settle many
towns in southern Utah. My husbands family were also pioneers
however, they came in the 1850's and settled in Cache County, by Railroad.
The difference between the two families, one came by Wagon train,
the other by the Railroad. However, both families had a strong Faith in the
Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. I am so grateful for this pioneer heritage and for the sacrifices they
made that I might have a better life.
A good reference for those wishing to know more is the book "Great Basin
Kingdom" by Arrington. I found it a bit amusing that he states that by 1900
all the acceptable areas in which to live in Utah had been settled in some
fashion. I interpret that as saying all the low-hanging fruit had been picked.
Looking at the State today, one thinks of how it has changed in the intervening
years. I understand that Brigham Young said that there would be as many people
living west of the Jordan River in the Salt Lake Valley as lived east of it. A
photo in 1947 at the centennial of the pioneer's arrival, taken from
"This Is The Place Monument" looking west, shows absolutely very little
west of Redwood Road. My, how times have changed in the most current 67 years.
This article fails to point out that after Brigham and the "Pioneer
Company" entered the valley in July, the "Big Company" followed in
October with about 1200 people. Brigham met Parley Pratt and John Taylor at Fort
Bridger as the Big Company was making its way to the valley while Brigham and
company were headed back to Winter Quarters. When they met, Brigham chastised
the two apostles for bringing this many people to the valley without any way to
feed them. As I read the history of the first year in the Valley, a significant
miracle was how the Saints survived the first winter.
I am ever impressed with the pragmatism of the pioneers. Within hours of their
arrival, the Brethren had discovered the hot springs in the north end of the
valley and were soaking their tired bones and rinsing off 1,000 miles of trail
What kind of fish was in Ut lake, back then.