Church Statement “Discourages” Large Pageants

Contributed By Camille West, LDS.org Church News

  • 27 October 2018

In a scene from the 2016 Mormon Miracle Pageant, an actor portrays Jesus Christ visiting the ancient Americas. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

“As it relates to existing pageants, conversations with local Church and community leaders are underway to appropriately end, modify, or continue these productions.” —Church statement

A Church official statement released October 27 says that while local celebrations of culture and history may be appropriate, the Church now discourages larger productions such as pageants. Existing pageants are being reviewed with local Church and community leaders.

The statement in full reads:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is growing across the earth. As this occurs, local Church leaders and members are encouraged to focus on gospel learning in their homes and to participate in Sabbath worship and the Church’s supporting programs for children, youth, individuals, and families. The goal of every activity in the Church should be to increase faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to share His gospel message throughout the world. Local celebrations of culture and history may be appropriate. Larger productions, such as pageants, are discouraged. As it relates to existing pageants, conversations with local Church and community leaders are underway to appropriately end, modify, or continue these productions.”

In the past, the Church has sponsored or supported pageants in Arizona, Utah, Illinois, New York, and Great Britain. LDS.org lists the following pageants: in Utah, the Castle Valley Pageant in Castle Dale, the Clarkston Pageant—Martin Harris: The Man Who Knew, and the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti; the Nauvoo Pageant in Nauvoo, Illinois; the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, New York; the Mesa Easter Pageant Mesa, Arizona; and the British Pageant in Chorley, Lancashire.

Beginning with the announcement of the temple open house and dedication of the new Concepción Chile Temple, the Church also discontinued youth cultural celebrations that traditionally preceded new temple dedications in favor of youth devotionals with visiting Church leaders.

Today, after touring the new Concepción Chile Temple with other Church leaders in the afternoon, President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, accompanied by Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson, will speak at a Saturday evening youth devotional. The temple will be dedicated on Sunday.

The first Mormon missionaries to Great Britain arrived during an election campaign and saw the slogan “Truth Will Prevail,” as portrayed in a scene from the 2017 British Pageant on Thursday, August 3, 2017. Photo by Simon D. Jones.