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on this day in 1847, Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley and firmly declared, “This is the place!”

I’m not from Utah — I wasn’t born or raised here, and despite having lived here for more than 10 yrs now (cumulatively, not consecutively), I still don’t think of this as home — but I have tremendous respect and reverence for the families and individuals who endured such incredible hardships to settle the American West. leaving family, friends, property; sometimes setting out knowing that they’d been disowned for their beliefs and their faith in the call to go West; traveling long distances under primitive circumstances and in some of the harshest possible conditions; often losing loved ones along the way.

I’m both proud and humbled to know that I have great-great-great-(not exactly sure how many “greats” should be in there)-grandparents who made those sacrifices themselves, as early Mormon pioneers; it’s somehow symmetrical to realize that, generations later, I also started a new life in the same place they did.

happy birthday, Utah! 🙂