President’s Message: May 2021

by Brad Clayton, SUP President

One year ago many of our worlds stopped spinning. The Covid-19 virus and subsequent I pandemic had essential halted life as we knew I it. I don’t think any of us could have imagined that a virus could have closed the Temples, canceled church worldwide and affected our I world in a strange and profound fashion. The Sons of Utah Pioneers was not exempt from the effects of Covid-19. In March 2020 all in person events for the foreseeable future I were canceled. These included the national symposium, the 24lh of July festivities, the 2020 encampment and chapter meetings.

Many of us became quite ill with Covid-19 and sadly to say we lost a few SUP members to this virus and pandemic. By following our local, state and federal government medical officials along with our church leaders we have been able to take the fight to Covid-19 and beat back the virus. Because of each of your efforts in mask wearing, physical distancing, safe and effective vaccines and endless prayers life is beginning to return to normal. Here is a brief recap of how the SUP is returning:

  1. Through the pandemic the executive board has continued to meet weekly by Zoom.
  2. The SUP board of directors and Pioneer magazine committee has continued to meet monthly by zoom.
  3. The Pioneer Magazine has not missed any issues and continues to be published.
  4. Many chapters are holding monthly Zoom meetings.
  5. The 2021 SUP National Symposium was held last week on April 24th, in person and by Zoom.
  6. The days of 47 activities are planned and on schedule for in person participation to include
    1. The SUPER/DUPER day at This Is The Place Heritage State Park on July 19th, 2021
    2. The annual Sunrise Service is planned for July 23rd, 2021 and will be in person.
    3. The annual Days of 47 Parade is on schedule for July 23rd, 2021.
    4. The annual SUP Encampment is planned for September 16th-18th, 2021 in Rexburg Idaho.

On Saturday, April 24th we held the 2021 SUP Symposium. This was a great event held in person and over Zoom. The study at this year’s symposium was the 125th Anniversary of Utah’s Statehood and the Women’s Suffrage movement. There were four great presenters during the afternoon session including two SUP past presidents, Tom Alexander and Wayne Hinton. They were joined by Matthew Godfrey and Katherine Kidderman. The evening session was held at the SUP headquarters building with a fine meal followed by our keynote speaker Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. Elder Curtis gave an excellent presentation focusing on Utah’s path to Statehood. We were all very happy that we could hold this event in person as a well as on Zoom.

Those who attended the symposium were able to see the latest SUP historical plaque and monument that was placed in the SUP headquarters building on April 15th, 2021. This new monument explains the Bear Flag that was placed in the building earlier this year. I encourage chapters and individuals to visit our headquarters building on a trek to see the Bear Flag and this new monument and plaque.

This has been a crazy year with all of the changes to our lives caused by Covid-19. By remembering and practicing the pioneer values that we each have and cherish we are getting through this. The National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers is alive and well. Join with your chapters in whatever way you can. I look forward to seeing each of you at the 24th of July celebrations and the National Encampment. Be safe, have a great month, thank you and be Pioneer Strong.

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