On Monday morning, July 24, under the direction of the Salt Lake Pioneer Chapter, the seats in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square were filled for our annual sunrise service. It was a remarkably moving and spiritual experience. The speaker was Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who related touching stories of his family’s pioneer heritage. Marvelous music was presented by the West Valley combined Institute choirs, which stirred our souls. Maurine Smith, of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, introduced the Days of 47 Royalty, who sang so beautifully, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Our entry in the days of 47 parade again this year was 11 handcarts accompanied by 35 of our members, family and friends, and represented each of the pioneer handcart companies that came into Utah. It was a pleasant overcast day for the parade, and we were cheered on by a numerous and enthusiastic crowd.
For the first time in many years the National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers was invited to participate in the Bountiful Handcart Days Parade on July 21st. As president of our association, I was provided with a sleek Mercedes convertible and driver, and was well received by a friendly crowd, which included President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, who was enjoying the parade as a spectator. What a thrill and a privilege.