“I thank you good brethren for conferring upon me this honorary life membership as one of the Sons of the Pioneers.
“I am proud of my pioneer heritage. My father, President Joseph F. Smith, walked across the plains as a young boy. My ancestors, as well as yours, came here in the early days to find a place where they could worship the Lord according to the dictates of their own consciences, and where they could work out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.
“We are so far removed from our pioneer forebears that the record of their service and sacrifice sometimes [becomes] dim in our minds. We do not realize all that they went through—their hardships, their sufferings, the persecutions, the murders, the drivings that came upon them before they started on their westward journey—and yet they arrived in this valley rejoicing. It was President George A. Smith who was responsible for the statement that “they came here of their own free will and choice—because they had to.”
“They crossed the plains, many of them pushing handcarts, containing the meager possessions which they had. They traveled the weary miles with sore and bleeding feet, through hardships and suffering which we do not understand and arrived in this Valley of the Salt Lake, and were grateful to the Lord that He had preserved their lives and brought them to a place where they could worship; and all this, if you please, because they loved the truth.
“Brethren, it is my prayer that as Sons of the Pioneers we may exemplify in our lives the characteristics and attributes which made our fathers great; that we may stand firm and true to the same gospel truths for which they lived and labored.
“In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”