We recognize that you don’t have amazing magical families like so many of us do, but we are still glad you are here at Hogwarts . Some of you have demonstrated real promise on your Newts and Owls despite your lack of inherited magical blood!
While you are here, you will be sorted into houses named for famous pure blood wizards that many of your better-pedigreed classmates claim as ancestors. We invite you to honor and revere the heads of house for whom you are named: Salazar Slytherin, Helga Huffelpuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Godrick Gryffindor . These are amazing wizards of pure blood on whom this entire school was founded, each representing the virtues we hope you will learn despite your muggle upbringing: cleverness, friendship, intellect and bravery. They endured great hardship, uniting the wizarding world that we now enjoy. Your lessons will refer to their stellar examples throughout your time at Hogwarts , and you would do wise to emulate them. As you build friendships with your betters within your houses, we hope you will quickly become accustomed to our magical ways, leaving behind your quaint muggle customs and inferior birth.
Although some of you may be of mixed wizard blood, we do not condone the use of the term Mudblood. Bear in mind that some wizards are rather proud of their strong magical heritage, after all who can blame them, and therefore you may occasionally be subject to the occasional racial slur due to your more ordinary ancestry. This should be expected. It is impossible for us to police every interaction between students, but for those from non-magical families who feel somewhat sensitive about your inferior parentage, we recommend you steer clear of the Slytherin house which is known for its pure bloodlines. Don’t let their superior genetics intimidate you! We suspect a few of these old houses may be secretly harboring a squib relation here or there, a thing far worse than even a Muggle or (excuse the term) Mudblood.
Pay these students no heed, or if you must interact with them, be sure to demonstrate the proper deference due to their honorable family names. Many of their families supply the donations that keep Hogwarts running, whereas your families are, shall we say, freeloaders to the magical cause, generally unaware of the powers they are dealing with and often unappreciative of your special gifts. Your new magical family welcomes you and hopes you will strive to live up to the honor of your new associations.
If you focus on your studies and listen to your elders, you too can achieve your potential regardless of your unpromising backgrounds. That’s the beauty of education in general and Hogwarts in particular.
Yours in magic,
Dolores Umbridge, Acting Headmistress
I grew up in Pennsylvania where there really weren’t many members who had pioneer ancestors. Most were either first or second generation converts from that area who had never lived out west. Pioneer day wasn’t celebrated by our ward until one year when one of the families who did have pioneer ancestors felt we needed to celebrate it, so we held a Primary parade for their famous forebears. They proudly shared stories about the challenges these people faced in crossing the plains. It seemed a little desperate and attention seeking to me at the time. Nobody else was asking for parades to celebrate their family trees, and some of them had some pretty cool ancestors of local fame! It didn’t seem like a Mormon holiday so much as a Utah holiday; none of the parents had the day off work for it. Not until I went to BYU did I realize that Pioneer Day in Utah is competing with the 4th of July in terms of patriotic fervor, not just some lame founders day. It’s apparently big stuff.
As our current Arizona stake announced the trek the youth will be reenacting later this week, they asked all the kids with pioneer ancestors to stand. 60% or more of them did while a few remained uncomfortably seated. Then they further recognized those with ancestors in the ill-fated Martin & Willy handcart company, the elite of the elite (as the less tried & tested were asked to sit down). Speaker after speaker talked about how the church would not exist if it weren’t for these pioneers and their sacrifices, and that although many of them endured great suffering, none of them wavered in their testimonies. Ever. Even as they cut off frostbitten extremities or buried baby after baby or had to leave all their possessions behind. Given what I know about some of my own ancestors and human nature in general, these perfect pioneer stories strain credulity.
The hope is that by reenacting their trek (the theme is Faith in Every Footstep), the youth will likewise build testimonies through physical endurance, hiking in a circle around a cell phone tower within sight of the freeway behind trucks loaded with porta-potties. Participants were asked to trek in the honor of one of their pioneer forebears. They will dress in period costumes .
The last person who spoke at this trek kickoff mentioned that for those who didn’t have any pioneer ancestors, their ward could assign them someone else’s pioneer ancestor to research .
My feelings about the pioneer worship at church have moved from mostly negative to ambivalent. My own kids are mudbloods whereas I was a muggle. There is some value in having a shared narrative of sacrifice and community. Even better if we can avoid the baggage of elitism that seems so frequently to sneak onto that handcart. The handcart’s heavy enough for some of us to pull.
How do we honor the narrative of pioneers as fewer members have pioneer heritage?  Or is it more valuable to create a shared narrative, even though a shrinking number of members share a direct connection to that narrative?
 or our sister schools at Hogwarts-Provo, Hogwarts-Idaho or Hogwarts-Hawaii.
 aka Allred, Bingham, Bennion, Turley, Kimball, Young, etc.
 including our manuals Teachings of the Living Wizards.
 While that sounds like a lame substitute, I do heartily approve of any activity that takes electronics out of our kids’ hands for three days in a row. A true hardship to be endured.
 Also available from White Elegance for $80–and two outfits are required. It seems ironic to honor your impoverished forebears by spending exorbitant sums of money on a costume you will wear once! But of course, they are all modest (wink, wink) if also immodest in their materialism.
 Apparently, this isn’t a concern as handcarts have been shipped to Australia for their stakes to do trek reenactments.