The Utah Sons of the Pioneers hosted the Patriarch of the Europe East Area , Tom Rogers, at their luncheon last week. Rogers has a BA in international relations from the University of Utah, a B.A. in language and literature from Yale, and a PHD in Russian language and literature from Georgetown University. He taught as assistant professor of Russian at Harvard, associate Professor of Russian at the U of U, and professor of Russian at BYU. He also taught at BYU China.
Rogers has served as a president of the Provo MTC, as a mission president in Russia St Petersburg, and currently serves as the European East Patriarch. He also speaks twelve languages.
He has served for four years in this role. Rogers lives in Utah and travels to Europe East to give blessings. He has traveled seventeen times in the last four years to the area as a part of this calling. He has given more than 2,000 patriarchal blessings.
Rogers spoke of the quality of individuals in the area with which he has interacted and their strength in the gospel. He shared stories of those he had met who had tremendous faith and who had sacrificed for their faith.
Rogers spoke of Jesus Christ as the great fisherman and shared the “hooks” he had experienced in his life. He shared some of the experiences that had prepared him for his current assignment. He spoke of his mission and how it prepared him. His experience in Yale in the department of drama when he took a course on a Russian playwright started him down his current path. From the experience in this class he decided to pursue Russian. After graduation he worked at the University of Utah and was approached by BYU to teach there. This decision allowed him to take time away to serve as a mission president and then return to his position at BYU. All of these experiences prepared him for his role as patriarch.
In addition to Rogers, Jay Taggart spoke as member of the month and shared information about his life. He shared what he called “Taggart’s axioms.” They are:
You don’t worry about problems you always look for opportunities.
Never look down on people, they may end up being your boss.
You have to be goal directed.
You can’t hide from the Lord.
Understanding will come with just a little love.
Stan Stevens presented the pioneer of the month. Stevens spoke about his ancestor Christian Peterson. Peterson lived in Denmark in the mid 1800s. Peterson joined the LDS Church and emigrated to Utah.
The meeting was held at Larry’s Spring Chicken Inn and was very well attended. The food was excellent, the company engaging, and the stories enlightening.
The Sons of the Utah Pioneers (SUP) was founded in 1933. There are organized chapters in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. SUP members enjoy:
Individual chapters meet monthly with wives and guests at a dinner meeting to enjoy fellowshipping with friends, interesting speakers about pioneer heritage, and musical programs.
SUP Members enjoy “Treks” to see important pioneer sites and participate with their chapters in erecting monuments honoring special places or events in pioneer history.
The National Convention is held once a year, usually in August or September. It is sponsored by one of the chapters and held in that chapter’s community. — The 2010 National Convention will be held October 2010 in St. George, Utah.
Those who may become members are male persons of good moral character, principles and ideals, and desirous of perpetuating the goals of the National Society of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and its programs.