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HomeFHE LessonsPioneer Day FHE Lesson - How to Have Pioneer Zeal

Pioneer Day FHE Lesson – How to Have Pioneer Zeal

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This pioneer day FHE lesson is about how we can have great zeal and faith like the pioneers. 




Alma 27:27

And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.



Carry On | Hymn #255

1. — Firm as the mountains around us,
Stalwart and brave we stand
On the rock our fathers planted
For us in this goodly land—
The rock of honor and virtue,
Of faith in the living God.
They raised his banner triumphant—
Over the desert sod.

And we hear the desert singing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Hills and vales and mountains ringing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Holding aloft our colors,
We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright,
Carry on, carry on, carry on!

2. We’ll build on the rock they planted
A palace to the King.
Into its shining corridors
Our songs of praise we’ll bring,
For the heritage they left us,
Not of gold or of worldly wealth,
But a blessing everlasting
Of love and joy and health.

And we hear the desert singing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Hills and vales and mountains ringing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Holding aloft our colors,
We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright,
Carry on, carry on, carry on!




For Children

Begin the lesson by singing the Primary song “Pioneer Children Sang as they Walked.”

Ask: Why do you think the pioneer children sang as they walked?

Read aloud: The pioneers had something we call zeal. It means they were very enthusiastic. They were committed to following God and traveling out west to a land they knew God had prepared for them, called Zion.

However, the pioneers experienced many difficult trials. They had to walk hundreds of miles with their wagons and handcarts. Sometimes they ran out of food. They had to crossing freezing rivers and got caught in snowstorms. Many pioneers even died because of exhaustion, hunger, and illness.

Yet still, pioneers had zeal! We can learn to be like the pioneers and have zeal too, even if our lives aren’t easy or we are going through a really hard time.

Ask: What do we normally do when things are really hard?

Read aloud: It isn’t easy to have zeal. The pioneers had zeal because they had a lot of faith in what they were doing. They believed in their cause. The pioneers knew God had prepared a place for them. They knew they were doing the right thing.

Ask: How can we be like the pioneers and have zeal, even when things are hard?

Finish the lesson by sharing any personal experiences and bearing your testimony.

For Teens & Adults

Begin the lesson by reading the following story from President James E. Faust. Before you read, ask everyone to think of how they have reacted to difficult times in their lives.

“A teacher, conducting a class, said it was unwise ever to attempt, even to permit them [the Martin handcart company] to come across the plains under such conditions.”

Then President McKay quoted an observer who was present in that class: “Some sharp criticism of the Church and its leaders was being indulged in for permitting any company of converts to venture across the plains with no more supplies or protection than a handcart caravan afforded.

“An old man in the corner … sat silent and listened as long as he could stand it, then he arose and said things that no person who heard him will ever forget. His face was white with emotion, yet he spoke calmly, deliberately, but with great earnestness and sincerity.

“In substance [he] said, ‘I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism?

“‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’”

He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.

“‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’”

Read aloud: Just as the handcart pioneers, we will face suffering in this life. We aren’t meant to simply smile through it. However, we do our best to cultivate the same attitude of zeal and fortitude.

Ask: What does it mean to you to have pioneer zeal? Is there a time in your life when you were able to draw closer to God through hardship and that gave you strength?

Share a personal experience about how you received the strength to move forward when you knew you were following God. Invite others to do the same.

Ask: How can we cultivate zeal in our lives, in spite of hard trials?

For Single Study

Watch the movie Legacy, available below. As you watch, contemplate what kept the pioneers going. Write in your journal about what keeps you going in hard times.




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FHE TreatTreat

Pioneer Taffy


-2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 cup water
-1 cup white corn syrup
-1 teaspoon salt
-2 teaspoon glycerin (found at the pharmacy)
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-2 tablespoons butter
1. Place all ingredients but the vanilla and butter into a heavy sauce pan. You can find glycerin at most pharmacies. It is a very important ingredient. The taffy will not turn out well without it.
2. Bring your taffy to a boil over medium high heat. Let it keep on a boiling until your candy thermometer reaches 258 degrees. This should take about 35-40 minutes.
3. I like to check the temperature of the taffy by dipping a spoon into the pan and then running cold water from the tap over the top of it. See how the taffy is kind of stiff looking…that means it is ready to go. If you cook it much past this stage you it will be really hard when you pull it. If you under cook it…you may have a sticky mess. This water trick really helps. However, you can rely on your candy thermometer as well.
4. When your taffy is cooked take it off the heat and pour in your vanilla.
5. Add your butter to the pot and give the bubbling beauty a good round of stirring. Stir until the butter is all melted.
6. Butter a large cookie sheet.
7. Pour the taffy onto the sheet.
8. Let the taffy cool for about 5 minutes, or until it is cool enough to handle. The edges will start to set up a bit faster than the middle.
9. Pinch the taffy into 12 separate pieces.
10. When the taffy is cool enough to pick up, hand out a piece to each lucky participant. Then you can start to pull the taffy. The trick is the stretch it out……
and then fold it back together. Stretch and fold, stretch and fold until your taffy turns a beautiful white color. Or if some of your pullers are 3 years old, until they get tired of pulling. It still tastes mighty good, even if you don’t pull it long enough for it to turn white.
11. Stretch the taffy into a long rope shape and set on a piece of wax paper. You can break the taffy into pieces by holding it in the palm of your hand and tapping it with the handle of a butter knife.

(Courtesy of Lion House Cookbook)


FHE Game / ActivityActivity


Homemade Butter in a Mason Jar



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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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