Family Pioneer Celebrations
April 1997

“Family Pioneer Celebrations,” Ensign, Apr. 1997, 73

Family Pioneer Celebrations

This year, as the Church celebrates the sesquicentennial of the pioneers’ entering Salt Lake Valley, individuals and families are invited to commemorate pioneers both past and present through family home evenings and other family activities. Such activities will strengthen ties to pioneers who have influenced each family’s journey to come unto Jesus Christ.

Family Home Evening

Family home evenings can give families opportunities to read about and learn from the examples of pioneers. Families can discuss what it means to be a pioneer both historically and today. Members can consider how their lives have been influenced by pioneers from their families, wards, stakes, or communities, as well as by pioneers from Church history. They can also discuss ways they, as members of the Church today, can set examples of faith and dedication for future generations.

Lessons on the “Faith in Every Footstep” theme can focus on various aspects of faith, such as faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the prophets, the gospel, one’s family, oneself, and society. Lessons can also focus on turning faith into action by building stronger individuals, families, and communities. Members may also wish to become acquainted with the faithful examples of their brothers and sisters in the gospel by learning about other areas and cultures throughout the world where the gospel is spreading.

Family History

Individuals and families may wish to focus on pioneers in their own families through personal history and family history activities. Families could work together to interview other family members and collect information for writing family histories. Individuals and families may decide to recommit themselves to keeping a journal, writing personal histories, and writing letters to faraway relatives.


Families and individuals can perpetuate the pioneer spirit through service. Families may organize programs that encourage family members to serve one another or others in their neighborhood. Members can consider local needs and organize service projects, such as cleaning yards, visiting the elderly, collecting food for a homeless shelter, or volunteering at a community center. Performing temple work provides invaluable service to ancestors. Members may also wish to serve missionaries throughout the world by writing letters to them.—Adapted from “Pioneer Sesquicentennial Celebration Guidelines” (1995).

Illustrated by Scott Greer

Photography by John Luke and Greg Frei