It was on July 24, 1847, that Brigham Young led the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley. Pioneer Day is an official holiday in Utah: parades, fireworks—and, in Provo, the first-ever Temple to Temple 5k. Over 5,000 people are running from the Provo LDS Temple to the City Center LDS Temple, which is under construction in downtown Provo. According to the website, the purpose of the race is two-fold—to remind participants of the Mormons' journey west from Illinois, and to honor one's ancestors:
Temples are special places where families can be sealed for time and eternity. They allow us to perform ordinances in behalf of our ancestors, if they choose to accept them. We invite you to use this chance to remember a specific ancestor who is important in your life that you plan to run for. Tags will be available for you to put their names and stick them to your bib.Registration for the Temple to Temple 5k was closed early due to the overwhelming response, but maybe I'll get in next year. I would be glad for the chance to remember my ancestors. Their eternal destiny, however, was determined the moment they died. There is no proxy ceremony that can add to the perfect blood of Jesus, itself enough to purchase their pardon from a holy God and a home in heaven. The only question is: did they place their trust in Jesus? (And, have you? Learn more here.)
But while I'm on the subject of Utah culture, here's an invitation that was taped to my door one day:
Also, don't miss this amusing list of my state's idiosyncrasies. It's good reading on Pie and Beer Day—I mean Pioneer Day.