View to a (spiritual) thrill: LDS Church tells stories of faith with annual pageant program

Brigham Young, the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and first territorial governor of Utah, once stated that if placed upon an island inhabited by cannibals and charged with civilizing the natives, he would construct a theater. One realm of LDS culture where Young’s endorsement of the virtues of a good show still thrives is the church’s pageant program.

The church produces six shows in four states, at least five of which are performed annually (two of the three pageants in Utah are part of an every-other-year rotation). The Mesa Easter Pageant is held annually in April at the Mesa Arizona Temple in Arizona, but the other five productions are all summer shows, and the first to be performed in 2011 is the Mormon Miracle Pageant, which begins next weekend in Manti.

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