When my plane descends into the Salt Lake City International Airport, I usually experience some form of turbulence. I’m a bit jostled in my seat, wondering how close we are to the ground at this point. Through the window, I see white clouds smeared across sharp, blue skies. In the background, the low humidity puts the mountains into sharp focus. As the ground rises up to meet us, I’m filled with a mix of apprehension and excitement. The Wasatch Front has that effect on me.
[Photo by Coty Creighton via Creative Commons]
I turn to see the newly minted Elder Austin looking at the fasten-seat-belt sign. He was set apart fewer than 24 hours from our descent. We’ve traveled from Indiana in order for him to enter the Missionary Training Center. While he wasn’t born here, he knows that I was—as were grandparents, great (and great, great) grandparents, as well as scores of other relatives. The landscape has been altered by their labor and by fragments of their bodies.