As I'm sitting here in bed taking my math final waiting for the world's sleepiest baby to wake up, I'm reminded that it's Pioneer Day. I'm reminded of how sad I am that I'm not in Utah or Idaho so that I can actually celebrate this holiday. When I first moved to Utah and found out the Pioneer Day was a holiday and that people actually got work off for it, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing ever.
While living in Utah and getting to hear all the stories about the early church pioneers that sacrificed so much of their lives so that they could exercise their freedom of religion the way they wanted to, I couldn't be more grateful. If it wasn't for those pioneers who made the trek out west, eventually the church members would have either died of persecution, or denied the faith to save their lives and their families.
When I think about the tragedies that happened to so many of the early saints, especially the Willie Handcart Company, my heart gets so full, and I may or may not get a tear in my eye just thinking about it. I have so much sorrow for their loss, yet so much gratitude that they were willing to put their lives on the line for their religious freedom and the joy and blessings they would have once they finally made it to the Salt Lake Valley.
This is just another testimony building experience for me in knowing that those early pioneers would not have put their lives and their families lives at risk, and those who died would not have willingly done so, if this church was not true. It is true, and it gives me so much hope and strength to try to become a better person each day so that I can be worthy of all the blessings that wait for me in this life, and in the life to come. Happy Pioneer Day Everyone!