Rest of the Story on Pioneer Day

Elder Marlin K. Jensen

Days of 47’ Sunrise Service in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. July 24th, 2010

“The pioneers no more discovered the great basin than Columbus discovered America. …From the day the 1847 pioneers first put their plows in the ground, “settlement” for them would mean displacement for Indians. …I think telling the rest of the story requires one to acknowledge that Indians made sincere and often heroic efforts to absorb the tide of Mormon emigrants and to peacefully and even symbiotically co-exist with them. …Regardless of how one views the equities of Indian-Mormon relations in those times, the end result was that the land and cultural birthright Indians once possessed in the Great Basin were taken from them.  

…What we can do? The least we can do from a distance of 160 years, is to acknowledge and appreciate the monumental loss this represents on the part of Utah’s Indians. That loss and its 160-year aftermath are the rest of the story. We can also work until the rest of the story becomes an integral part of the story; until Wakara, Wanship, Washakie and Black Hawk have their appropriate place in Utah’s history books as well as Brigham, Heber and Parley; until Utah’s history includes Indian history and July 24th commemorates everyone’s contribution to our state’s unique past.”