I have a love-hate relationship with this holiday. I love my ancestors who are remembered on this day, and the sacrifice that they went through to preserve the church. I hate the fact that sometimes it is an excuse to perpetuate the cultural aristocracy that we sometimes see whereby those who descend from the famous families in church history are seemingly more important than rank-and-file members.
I know, I know, there's also lots of talk about modern pioneers. But sometimes, the modern pioneer thing sounds to me more like an apologetic afterthought than sincere praise. It's not that I'm bitter or jealous, either; I have a pretty rich church history pedigree myself. I just don't like the aristocratic tendencies it creates. It seems at odds with the democratic and egalitarian attitudes the gospel seems to espouse. God could raise up children of Abraham from inanimate rocks if he wanted to.
That's why I love this talk. Given by J. Reuben Clark in 1947, it should be read every July 24th.