Pioneer Day Activities Celebrate the Heritage of Early Saints

“Pioneer Day Activities Celebrate the Heritage of Early Saints,” Ensign, Oct. 1992, 74

Pioneer Day Activities Celebrate the Heritage of Early Saints

Despite their hardships and the persecution they endured, the Mormon pioneers left behind them physical and spiritual legacies that still benefit those who have come after them, said Elder Loren C. Dunn of the Seventy at the annual Days of ’47 Sunrise Service, held on July 24 to honor the Latter-day Saint settlers of the Salt Lake Valley.

Elder Dunn, who is serving as area president of the Utah Central Area, told listeners in the Tabernacle that “through [the pioneers’] faith and prayers, through their planting and building, it was clear they wanted to leave something for those who would come after them.”

The sunrise service was one of many activities that commemorated the arrival of the Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley in July 1847. Other activities included the Days of ’47 Parade and Youth Parade, a marathon, and a hike to Ensign Peak.

Elder Dunn also recognized other Utah pioneers—those people of other faiths who came to the Salt Lake Valley and shared and upheld values of the community to pass on to succeeding generations.

Although we, like the pioneers, may not immediately see the results of our efforts, Elder Dunn continued, the generations that follow us will.

Later in the morning, the annual Days of ’47 Parade rolled along Main Street in Salt Lake City. The two-hour-long parade, which is the third largest annual parade in the United States, featured 130 entries portraying the theme “The Old World, the New World, the Age of Discovery.” President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, and his wife, Frances, rode with others near the front of the parade.

A week earlier, nearly six thousand children throughout the Salt Lake Valley participated in the Days of ’47 Youth Parade.

Thousands enjoyed watching the July 24th parade, which included entries from church and community organizations. (Photo by Ravell Call, courtesy of Church News.)