Pioneer Grandmothers and Helping Babies Breathe in Nepal

By Kimberly Sears

My eyes still well up with tears when I recall the excruciating ordeal of my first baby’s birth. The most comforting thing during those thirty-one hours was when my mom whispered to me, “Kimberly, all the grandmothers are here, in this room, watching over and helping you.” How did she know my pioneer foremothers were on …

Read More

Living the Bucket Life, or Why We Reenact a Pioneer Trek

By Sherilyn Stevenson

For four days last summer, I lived out of a bucket. Besides what I wore, a five gallon container held everything required to reenact a pioneer trek. I also took along my husband and our seventeen year old son (not in the bucket). Some of my family and friends seemed perplexed by my going. “Did …

Read More

Swelling with Pride

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Patriotic Flowers Garden flag from Flymeflag.com, Green Bay, WI

In July my ward swells to double its size. The church building is situated near the entrance to the Uintah National Forest in Utah which is a mecca for 4th of July and Pioneer Day campers, vacationers and reunion groups. The deacons have the distribution of the sacrament down to a science. On those “standing room only” days there is always enough bread, and the boys carry two trays of water each. They move through the throngs with grace and reverence. I think it’s a combo of years of practice and some “loaves and fishes” mojo thrown in.

July also brings a proliferation of patriotic songs to our meetings.

Read More

Looking for a Book Club Pick? Try Sarah Dunster’s Lightning Tree

By Angela Hallstrom

I was introduced to Sarah Dunster’s fiction when she won Segullah’s fiction contest in early 2011. “Back North,” Sarah’s contest entry (which you can read here) was lively, smart, and compelling. Its main drawback? It was a novel excerpt, not a short story, and I wanted more. Soon after notifying Sarah about her win, she sent me an email with an exciting announcement: the novel from which “Back North” had been excerpted had been accepted by Cedar Fort. This was good news for Sarah, of course, but I also knew it was good news for me. It meant I’d be able to finally know how things would turn out for Magdalena Chabert, the unforgettable heroine of Lightning Tree.

Read More

Honoring Jane Manning James: Courage on a stage of Bigotry

By Susan Easton Black

Jane Manning James was a black Mormon pioneer known for her faith, endurance, and charity. She joined the Church at age nineteen in Connecticut. She and her family walked 800 miles to Nauvoo, where they were taken in by Joseph and Emma Smith at the Mansion House. Failing to find employment as her family members …

Read More

The Making of Jane Manning James: Your Sister In the Gospel

By Margaret Blair Young

THREE YEARS AGO, film maker Scott Freebairn began filming tributes to black pioneers Jane Manning James, Green Flake, and Elijah Abel. Most of the footage was devoted to Jane James. Scott filmed Lita Giddins, Denise Cutliff and Tamu Smith—all of whom have portrayed that great pioneer—at “This is the Place Heritage Park” in Salt Lake City. …

Read More