This past year has been an amazing ride for me as president of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. Two years ago when I was elected as president elect I had no idea how this would play out. Covid-19 has caused each of us to re-write aspects of our lives, how we act, operate and feel. The Sons of Utah Pioneers is no different. We needed to be creative in our chapter meetings, treks and national activities. After a year of canceled meetings, an encampment and symposium, along with last year’s 24th of July activities, I am happy to let you all know
that for the most part life in the sup has gotten back to normal. Chapters are meeting in person, having dinners and taking treks. The national office and library are open and conducting normal business. On a national level this year we were able to hold an in person symposium, the SUPer-DUPer Day, pull hand carts in the 24th of July parade and are planning on a great encampment in Rexburg later this month. Covid is still running strong, please be wise and safe. You all know what to do to protect yourselves.
Yesterday my wife Mardee and I took a little drive to Paris Idaho and visited the Paris Tabernacle. This is a fascinating building with a rich pioneer history that shows the faith of the early settlers in the Bear Lake area. If you are looking for a great afternoon trek this fall take a drive to Paris, look at the fall leaves along the way and enjoy a delicious raspberry shake. Check the Paris Tabernacle web site to find their fall tour schedule.
I am excited about the upcoming encampment September 16-18, 2021 in beautiful Rexburg Idaho. There are some great treks and activities planned along with dinners that bring us closer together as friends and as an association. We will be announcing the results of the president elect election at the Saturday luncheon; you won’t want to miss that. Please get registered and plan on attending. We need each other to succeed.
Being the president of the National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers for the past year has been a great honor and one of the highlights of my life. I have associated with many of you through chapter meetings and treks, training events, the symposium and the week’s activities for the 24th of July along with the upcoming encampment. I have been able to do things I could never have done if was not for the SUP, such as sitting next to President Dallin H. Oaks and conducting the devotional at the Super/Duper Day. I have gained strength and a greater understanding of the pioneers and the heritage that they left us from each one of you.
You are the backbone and strength of the SUP, never forget that. If I were to say the one thing I would like to leave with the SUP as a message it would be to write your history and testimony for your family to have and cherish for generations to come. Just as you gain strength from the pioneers your family can gain strength from you and your testimony.
Larry Gibson will be the next president of the SUP and assume responsibilities at the encampment in Rexburg. Larry is a great man with a great love of the pioneers and a burning testimony of the gospel. He has a great vision of the future of the SUP and we are lucky to have him. I look forward to continuing to serve each of you and the Sons of Utah Pioneers as a past president for as long as I am able. I hope that is a very long time. Thank you for the opportunities you have given me and the brotherhood we share. Be pioneer strong and I will see you on the trail.