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LDS Church cancels Pioneer Day Devotional

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LDS Church: 'We need to find a venue,' cancels Pioneer Days Devotional

After years of celebrating the Ogden Pioneer Days Devotional, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has decided to revisit the event and not hold one this year.

Traditionally, the spiritually focused meeting took place in the Dee Events Center at Weber State University sometime before the Lindquist Family Symphony Pops and Fireworks. However, this year, organizers are taking a step back after a decline in attendance. 

Blake Wahlen, a volunteer with the LDS Church public affairs branch in Ogden, said this year’s cancellation does not mean devotionals will stop being held in Ogden. 

Wahlen said the church has held the devotional for many years, but last year’s event, in particular, had low attendance. He said the church is now considering a smaller venue for future devotionals.

 

I was surprised by this since I know that this devotional has been running since at least the 70's and the Ogden population has grown substantially. We can guess the reasons for the drop in attendance.   

 

Phaedrus

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The Church has taken many actions over the years to stave off any notion of regional "special" identity.  We can make good guesses at the motivations behind the actions.

A good example is shutting down the LA and Logan Tabernacle Choirs.  This looks like that to me.

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3 hours ago, USU78 said:

The Church has taken many actions over the years to stave off any notion of regional "special" identity.  We can make good guesses at the motivations behind the actions.

A good example is shutting down the LA and Logan Tabernacle Choirs.  This looks like that to me.

The implication from the article was the change was made due to a decline in attendance.  While the LDS population in the area is higher than ever I wonder if it's a bit of church fatigue that is causing the lack of interest. 

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I wonder if Pioneer Day is losing some of it's spiritual significance after this many years?  

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Fourth of July has become much bigger in Utah than I remember back when I was in college or the vague memories of visiting Grandma. Two massive major parade level holidays within 20 days of each other...I think burnout is more likely with that than church in general.

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Posted (edited)

Among the good guesses we can make I would say that generally members are going out less to all Church social functions, from Ward social parties to Stake and Area events like this one.

Maybe it's time to move this event to an online venue so that people can tune in wherever they have a computer or a phone to relay it, either to watch it or listen to it like an old fashioned radio program.

Edited by Ahab

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1 hour ago, phaedrus ut said:

The implication from the article was the change was made due to a decline in attendance.  While the LDS population in the area is higher than ever I wonder if it's a bit of church fatigue that is causing the lack of interest. 

I got that  ...  not sure I bought that, as you see.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, bluebell said:

I wonder if Pioneer Day is losing some of it's spiritual significance after this many years?  

The fireside was only a component of a big citywide Pioneer Day celebration in Ogden, including a parade. Is there indication that interest in the entire celebration is dying out?

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Fourth of July has become much bigger in Utah than I remember back when I was in college or the vague memories of visiting Grandma. Two massive major parade level holidays within 20 days of each other...I think burnout is more likely with that than church in general.

I recall as I was growing up that people were more apt to attend their own community celebrations as opposed to driving miles to attend crowded parades in Salt Lake or Provo. I’m not sure that has changed. 

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34 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I recall as I was growing up that people were more apt to attend their own community celebrations as opposed to driving miles to attend crowded parades in Salt Lake or Provo. I’m not sure that has changed. 

This may be true...but for others like me..i like to stay off the highways during holidays..but I am an old fogey.😋

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

I wonder if Pioneer Day is losing some of it's spiritual significance after this many years?  

Would the addition of youth treks make the spiritual significance seem tired do you think?

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I recall as I was growing up that people were more apt to attend their own community celebrations as opposed to driving miles to attend crowded parades in Salt Lake or Provo. I’m not sure that has changed. 

Has around here from what I hear unless the kids are in the parade.  I don't do parades in July so it is all word of mouth.

Edited by Calm

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I like parades for some reason but I have to pull my husband's arm to go to one. If you're from the Davis county area, I'll give you a hint, go to the Bountiful parade if you want to see alot of Salt Lake floats and dignitaries or famous people. It's almost always the night before the Days of '47 parade. So easier to go to IMO. 

Well atleast the church built the rodeo stadium for the Days of '47! 😏

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28 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I like parades for some reason but I have to pull my husband's arm to go to one. If you're from the Davis county area, I'll give you a hint, go to the Bountiful parade if you want to see alot of Salt Lake floats and dignitaries or famous people. It's almost always the night before the Days of '47 parade. So easier to go to IMO. 

Well atleast the church built the rodeo stadium for the Days of '47! 😏

I love parades too!!  I just pretty much stay local...there is so much...save my seat drama here in Logan.

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1 hour ago, Jeanne said:

Would the addition of youth treks make the spiritual significance seem tired do you think?

I don't think so.  I think it's just the time that has passed since 1847 and more people moving into Utah from out of state and not having the same spiritual connection that it used to have for so many.

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The fireside was only a component of a big citywide Pioneer Day celebration in Ogden, including a parade. Is there indication that interest in the entire celebration is dying out?

I really don't know.  Our family doesn't ever attend any Pioneer Day stuff so I don't know how crowded they are.

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I feel pretty 'all in', but if I lived anywhere near Utah and had an opportunity to celebrate Pioneer Day, I don't think I'd put a devotional near the top of my list...

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34 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I don't think so.  I think it's just the time that has passed since 1847 and more people moving into Utah from out of state and not having the same spiritual connection that it used to have for so many.

The Days of ‘47 continues to be a huge draw in Salt Lake City and surroundings. The Bountiful Handcart Days event is very popular also. In Utah, at least, I don’t see any sign of Pioneer Day losing its popular appeal or spiritual connection any time soon. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I feel pretty 'all in', but if I lived anywhere near Utah and had an opportunity to celebrate Pioneer Day, I don't think I'd put a devotional near the top of my list...

There’s an annual sunrise service in Salt Lake on July 24 in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. It customarily features an address by a General Authority of the Church. 

While working for the Church News I had occasion some years to cover it. For a while it was rather sparsely attended, but in recent years, attendance seems to have picked up substantially. I don’t know what to attribute that to. Larger population, perhaps. 

Many people who are coming downtown for the parade start their day of celebration with the sunrise service. 

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As long as they have stake callings to organize local parades, I suspect it will keep going strong.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Calm said:

As long as they have stake callings to organize local parades, I suspect it will keep going strong.

As well it should. 

Participation by area stakes in the Day’s of ‘47 parade is coordinated at Church headquarters, from which individual stakes are assigned each year to prepare floats for the main parade (our stake has that assignment this year) and entries for the youth parade held a few days earlier. Typically, the Church president or a member of the First Presidency is the grand marshal for the main parade. 

I have the impression that preservation of our pioneer legacy is and always has been important to the Church leadership. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The Days of ‘47 continues to be a huge draw in Salt Lake City and surroundings. The Bountiful Handcart Days event is very popular also. In Utah, at least, I don’t see any sign of Pioneer Day losing its popular appeal or spiritual connection any time soon. 

 

The article said that they were discontinuing the Ogden celebration because attendance was down. Apparently it’s losing its popular appeal in some parts of Utah. 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

As long as they have stake callings to organize local parades, I suspect it will keep going strong.

I live in Davis county and I’ve never heard of any of the local stakes being involved in organizing local parades. Does it only happen in Utah County?

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Posted (edited)
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Apparently it’s losing its popular appeal in some parts of Utah. 

At least part of the celebration...

Maybe people don't want to end the day inside or they have a hard time shifting gears to the spiritual.  

What was the clothing requirement?  If women in dresses and men in suits, I can see why interest would drop.

Edited by Calm
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I live in Davis county and I’ve never heard of any of the local stakes being involved in organizing local parades. Does it only happen in Utah County?

I only knew of it because my friend was called one year as coordinator.  I had previously assumed it was just a city thing before that.  Scott's comment seems to indicate more statewide....except that might be just in terms of the main parade.  Local parades may be a stake by stake thing...or rather city by city since even my small town has three or four stakes.

Edited by Calm
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