Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hill Cumorah--Site and Pageant

I guess we came expecting something just a step above a local roadshow type play, but the Hill Cumorah Pageant left us absolutely dazzled and amazed. We talked afterward about how we cannot figure out how some of the special effects even came to pass. And yes, I shall speak unto ye in scriptural language from this time hence. Because that is how blessed this pageant was unto us.
The moon rose as we waited on the field for the pageant to thus begin (it must have full darkness to start).

The setting sun came and with its colors, the actors in their garb filled the field:

Their joy was contagious as they wandered among the audience. Lo ceased his crying to say hello to a few of the colorful cast. (he wailed for about an hour straight right before the pageant began, as his bedtime was long past and the rest of the journey had proven taxing for him).

A wise man from the East. The set in the background is of exceedingly fine workmanship which left us astonished beyond all measure. And maybe left this woman astonished also:

We did cause that our position be relocated to the top of the hill for a time, in order that we might view the secret parts of this creation. We saw behind the scenes, the trebuchet that lifted the cross and figure of Christ, the stone which held the gold plates on Cumorah (and an actor putting the stone in place), as well as Moroni's monument.

This monument also had positioned around the base the names and statements of witnesses who saw and felt the gold plates from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. There are 3 witnesses who were shown the plates by an angel, and 8 who saw the plates from Joseph's hand.

Here are the words of Moroni as he stood on Hill Cumorah thousands of years past:
And when ye shall receive these things [these plates, these scriptures], I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost, ye may know the truth of all things.
There are some in the world who fight against this truth. They and their children lined the road which borders our church's Hill Cumorah land, and all throughout the pageant, used bullhorns to blast slander and lies about Joseph Smith, the Angel Moroni, and current members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I normally do not like to waste any time even acknowledging these types of sad and pathetic fighters against Christ. But I want to mention them at this time because of a good memory I had that night as we left the pageant. Jerry and I felt so warmed and thrilled as we walked back to our parked car leaving the pageant. It had been a richly spiritual experience for us, as well as a joy to the physical senses. As we neared our car, the sounds of the protesters on the roadside became audible yet again (during our time in the pageant the church music had drowned out the protesters). At first, we felt a growing dullness in our hearts, as we were forced to listen to the protesters because it took about 30 minutes of sitting in traffic to drive beyond their range of noise.
But then it dawned on us that we did not have to listen to the din. We turned up the volume in our car of the latest EFY CD, and began sharing with each other our favorite parts of the pageant. "Mine was when the actor playing Christ descended to the crowd of people--how do you think they lowered him like that?? Wires?? I bet he will look just like that when he comes to earth in real life--so glowing, bright, and powerful." Jerry agreed, and shared that he was struck by how realistic it had seemed when the prophet Abinadi was burned to death. There will always be wicked people who fight against the prophets. As the sounds of the protesters faded from our consciousness, we felt again the warmth of the Holy Spirit fill our hearts.
The adversary is powerless when we make good choices. As Jerry and I chose to fill our car with uplifting conversation and spiritual music, then the bad feelings we had concerning the protesters simply left. I am grateful to have had this reminder. The entire evening was a testimony building experience.


Valerie said...

Beautiful write,
Courtney, you brought back memories for me of what a thrilling experience it is to watch a church pageant. You will have to talk with Aunt Gladys and your cousin, Sam, as well as Uncle Mark some time, to get their take on being an actor and musician in a church pageant --it is a great sacrifice for the participants, along with being a spiritually uplifting experience, as well.

Melody said...

Man, how do you get so many faithful protesters to go out every night of the pageant? Don't they have anything else better to do? Seriously. But I'm glad they didn't get to you. That's a good idea to turn up the music. I'll have to use that one next time!

TheTamFam said...

I was thinking the same thing, about how the protesters seriously did not have anything better to do?? In a way, their dedication impressed me. =)

Darlene said...

A lot of them get paid to do it by other organizations. I enjoyed your take on it though - it was uplifting :)