How Mormons Can Think About Anti-Racism

How Mormons Can Think About Anti-Racism
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

On Friday, the state of Utah will observe Pioneer Day, the annual holiday commemorating the first Mormons who settled the Salt Lake valley in 1847. Having fled religious persecution in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois, these Latter-day Saints had at last established a homeland outside the borders of the United States — Utah was at that time part of Mexico — in which they could practice their religion in a safe haven.

With Pioneer Day happening during a global pandemic, this year there will be no parades through downtown Salt Lake City, no large cookouts, no re-enactments or handcart pulls. (I did find an article about an outdoor heritage festival happening in St. George, Utah. The organizers say that social distancing will be maintained but that they are also having some sort of bouncy castle for children, which seems like a social distancing nightmare. Masks will not be required.)

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