We are loving The Hill Cumorah Pageant even if I've been too busy to blog about it every day.
The hardest thing about being in Pageant is doing it with small children. Our days are hot and long. For children used to long naps and early bedtimes, staying awake to be in a show starting at 9pm is tough. We are definitely not doing this for our younger children. We're doing it for our older kids!
I would say that the best time to be in Pageant would be when your youngest child is age 8 or 9. Having younger kids is a real sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice I'm happy to make to give my older children this experience.
Pageant is like a fun summer camp. The kids are all divided into cast teams by age. The cast teams meet together daily to play games and hang out. It is SO fun for the older kids to make friends and perform on-stage with so many other great kids.
That has been the best part for Todd and I also. We have met some great families here and I'm certain that we'll be friends with them for a long time.
There is also something powerful about performing in a Pageant about the Book of Mormon on the very hill where we believe The Book of Mormon was buried and brought forth to the prophet Joseph Smith by an angel years ago. This is holy ground and you can feel it.
When I am here on Cumorah, I look around and feel the goodness of the 750 people performing with us. I feel that these are my people. I love Mormons. I love the devotionals, I love the lessons my children are learning, I love the standards of modesty, I love the large families and strong marriages. I love the sense of community I feel here.
Each year, Pageant workers participate in community service projects around town. We are taught to love and serve.
We are encouraged to be unified as a cast and to obey with exactness (this is especially important with a set that uses water and fire pyrotechnics).
Our church and this Pageant is led by volunteers. On set and in the cast, millionaires work alongside bus drivers. There are a few beloved members of our cast with special needs. They are our superstars. It is beautiful to watch the love and support they are given. Our cast really feels like a big, happy family.
As we perform the stories of The Book of Mormon, I feel in my soul that I believe this book. I believe that after Christ left the people in Jerusalem, he visited his "other sheep" in the Americas. I think he probably visited every civilization that he could have visited. The Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is named after Mormon, an American prophet who was named after the place Mormon. The waters of Mormon was a place where many were brought to the knowledge of their Savior, they were taught and baptized there. I believe that The Book of Mormon also brings men to Christ.
As a young girl, I was drawn to this church because I saw it was filled with strong, happy families. It wasn't the most fun church I attended, but it taught good, traditional values. Every day since then, I have continued to seek for truth. I feel a great responsibility to teach my children where to look for answers and stability. I want them to know the purpose of life and I want them to be surrounded by a loving, nurturing community. We have found this within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
One of my favorite scriptures says, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, there will I be in the midst of them, even as I am in the midst of you."
I feel God here in Cumorah.
I'm grateful for this opportunity.
Just three shows left! Come see us!