2008-06-17 Manti Pageant - Part 2 of 4

According to the free brochure handed out to all guests at the pageant, The Mormon Miracle Pageant is based on 3 intertwined stories: Joseph Smnith and the Restoration, the coming forth and message of the Book of Mormon, and the pioneer trek west to Utah.

I went out to see them setup before dark fell and the show began.  Each year, volunteers bring in 8 semi-trailer loads of gear for the presentation.

Props are set up on temple hill near the south side where there's an ample lawn to set up chairs.

People wait for the gates to open.  Gates are open a couple of hours before showtime.  People bring blankets or other personal items and place them on the chairs they want to sit in, then they walk away.  The thousands of other guests honor these "seats taken" and sit elsewhere when it comes time to take their seats prior to the show.

This year I was told there were fewer seats.  Last year they set up folding chairs for 17,000 people.

These two kindly ushers answered all my questions about the pageant and offered helpful hints.

If there were less than 17,000 this year, you couldn't prove it by me.  That's a LOT of folding chairs!

A good friend and fellow missionary, Elder Wolff, granted me permission to use his panoramic photo of the seating.
Now, THIS is impressive isn't it!  It gives a much better idea of just how huge this show is.
Wolff photo used by permission

These people are headed toward temple hill to "mark their seats."

As we arrived, we began to notice the many young actors and actresses mingling with the crowds.

Some represent early Americans, some represent Native Americans.

I got my photo take with this colonial character.

This young man played the part of a young Joseph Smith.

These played the parts of ancient American warriors.

These too.

And this young man played the angel Moroni.

Guess who?  More ancient Americans.

And these are a couple of early Americans who joined the church when it was first restored.

And these ...   Oooops!  How'd that get in there?

I was told the program had a cast of 600 members.

Make up and costumes were all highly detailed.  They had to be detailed for guests to tell what they were from such a distance.

I couldn't help but wonder if some of these young folks were sweethearts.  Yeah, I know.  Too mushy!

But it was getting darker and the props weren't completely set up yet.

We all waited patiently for the leaders to offer the opening prayer and begin the show.

And the expected moment arrived!!

The lights went up and the show began.

Sound and effects used some of the latest equipment.

The actors played their parts flawlessly as the spotlights moved from scene to scene.

The angel Moroni appeared to a young Joseph Smith.  I still haven't figured out how they got him standing in the air like that.  Maybe he's balanced on a board or something.  Cool!

Battles between ancient Americans were realistic.

And people gathering for the major events of the show emphasized the songs they sang.

Pyrotechnics were used to simulate war.

The most amazing performance was the appearance of our Savior to the ancient Americans.

At the end, the show concluded with concourses of angels singing from on high.  What a show!

Click HERE to go to Part 3 of 4

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