Sunday evening in Ogden, Utah, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke during the annual Pioneer Days Devotional in front of a crowd of 11,500 people in the Dee Events Center at Weber State University. He joked that he was almost late because, “Harriet and I were busy winning the World Cup,” referencing Germany’s 1-0 victory over Argentina earlier that day.
Below are some of our favorite quotes from the night:
“From the pioneers we can learn to have faith and trust God; we can learn to be compassionate to others; we can learn that work and industry not only bless us temporally but spiritually; and that happiness is available to us no matter our circumstances.”
“What they and those who followed them did was very difficult and dangerous. I doubt that many of those who set foot on that journey really understood what they were getting into or that they looked forward to the daily effort it eventually required. They knew it was going to be hard, that there was a possibility they or someone they loved would not finish the journey. And yet they came.”
“They believed that God had a plan for them and a place prepared where they could worship God and live their religion in peace.”
“[I am eager to meet these] legendary giants who gave so much to found these cities here in the valleys of the mountains.”
“I think they will be pleased by our interest in them. I think they will be humbled by our admiration. But I also believe that they will be far more concerned not about what they did, but about what we did as a result of their sacrifice.”
“The best way we can show our gratitude is by incorporating into our own lives the faithfulness to God’s commandments, the compassion and love for our fellowmen, the industry, optimism and joy the pioneers demonstrated so well in their own lives.”
President Uchtdorf was joined by his wife Harriet and by Weber State University President Charles A. Wight who also spoke.
Ogden Pioneer Days has been an annual tradition for the lst 75 years and was first organized as a western festival to boost the spirits of the locals and entice tourists to visit the city. For a calendar of events see the website here.