Facebook informed me that the Church is stepping away from some of the pageants that Church members and their friends have attended over the past decades.
According to the Deseret News, 2020 will be the last year the Hill Cumorah Pageant will be held with direct support from the Church. The Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti will no longer benefit from direct Church support after 2019.
On the other hand, the two pageants that are held in Nauvoo will continue.
I haven’t attended the Hill Cumorah pageant in decades. I hear in the past few years attendance has dwindled. Apparently the local mission decided this summer it was no longer appropriate for full-time missionaries to attend the pageant, attendance which involved long miles of travel and very late nights (even when missionaries ostensibly were accompanying those seeking to learn more about the Church).
I haven’t attended the Manti pageant. I’m not sure what I’ve heard about that pageant is accurate, or if what I remember of comments is actually what people told me.
I am happy to hear the Nauvoo pageants will continue. These pageants were written recently, reflecting history that is relatively accurate.
This news is interesting in light of what I did yesterday. I and several family members traveled 7-8 hours each way and spent $45 apiece to spend the day at Hart Square Village, a privately assembled collection of over 100 pioneer structures. Hundreds of docents and artisans assemble on the fourth Saturday of October each year to explain and recreate quotidian activities of 1800s life. We shucked corn, sampled sweet sorghum, sang hymns in the log chapel next to the lake, and watched as re-enactors fought a Civil War-era skirmish (in this North Carolina setting, the Confederate soldiers won the day). It is not that crowds won’t assemble for such gatherings, but the zeitgeist of our age is not the same as the 1937 sensibility that gave birth to the original Hill Cumorah pageant.
An era is coming to a close. But for me and my household, we look forward to the future and the new opportunities that wait in store.