For many years, the Sons of Utah Pioneers have held an annual Historical Symposium on the Saturday before Mother’s Day at our Headquarters Building in Salt Lake City. In recent years we have held Regional Symposiums in other locations in Utah and Idaho. We invite qualified speakers with widely varying backgrounds to speak to us on unique and interesting themes from LDS Pioneer History and related subjects. The presentations range from scholarly to inspirational, but are always aimed at expanding the attendees’ knowledge and understanding of the historical events and persons being discussed.

The format consists of four speakers who each make a 50-minute presentation during a four-hour block on Saturday afternoon. That session is followed by a dinner program, which includes a keynote speaker who is usually well-known and highly regarded. The content and quality of our presenters have made the Symposiums a highlight of our annual series of S.U.P. programs and events..


The Purpose of the Sons of Utah Pioneers Historical Symposiums

The Sons of Utah Pioneers focus their attention on the men, women and children who crossed the American plains to settle in the Intermountain West twenty to thirty years sooner than natural events would have otherwise carried such settlers.

The catalyst for this early settlement of Utah, the Great Basin, and surrounding areas was the religion of this unique set of pioneers.  The Mormon Pioneers were a relatively large and organized group looking for a refuge in the West that no one else wanted. They found that haven in the barren deserts of what they began to call Deseret, a word from the Book of Mormon denoting the honeybee and signifying the industrious and community-centered nature of the new settlers. Deseret included parts of the West that eventually became the territories and states of Utah and Nevada, and parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, and California.

The religion of the Utah Pioneers is not the primary focus of the Sons of Utah Pioneers, this website or the Annual Historical Symposium. But the history, the settlements, the people, and the religion are so intertwined that they cannot be separated. Our organization reflects this same dichotomy:  we admire and respect the pioneer history and tradition, and at the same time we are also descendants, actual or adopted, of their religious legacy. The themes of the S.U.P. Symposiums include topics on both the historical and the religious origins of the Mormon Pioneers of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona and other parts of the West.

S.U.P. Symposiums are open to the public, men and women. While S.U.P. membership is limited to men, most activities and meetings include spouses and friends. Some chapters vary.