Sunday was Pioneer Day, which got me to thinking about our cult of pioneer worship and how, even though we give lip service to the idea that any convert is a “pioneer,” of sorts, I get the impression that many people who don’t have pioneer ancestors (in the traditional sense of the word) don’t feel much of a connection to the holiday.
I propose, therefore, that January 24th (six months after Pioneer Day) be celebrated as Converts’ Day.
– On Converts’ Day, we ask all converts to bring something that represents a source of joy and beauty they had in their life before their conversion. (We hope that converts can add diversity and new ideas to our organization, not just blindly assimilate into the preexisting culture.)
– On Converts’ Day, all the converts march in a parade. People who aren’t converts may also march, but they have to dress in the costume of a convert ancestor. (This means that if your parents converted in the ’70s, it’s time to break out the bell bottoms. Also, the parade can be moved indoors to accomodate regions where January is not parade season.)
– On Converts’ Day, we cook food that we’ve never cooked before and then we eat food that we’ve never eaten before. (It’s hard to be pushed out of your comfort zone, and we should be considerate of people who are way out of theirs when they come to worship with us.)
– On Converts’ Day, we don’t pretend that good people always have faith and confidence and only bad people have doubts or fears. We light candles to remember those who have left the Church, for whatever reason, to remind us that their souls are still of worth and that our unkindness should never be the cause of a brother or sister’s departure.
How will you celebrate Converts’ Day?