I'm sorry I couldn't post yesterday. The Internet connection in the motel went out. But we had an amazing day. Last night, with stars twinkling over head, we wrapped in blankets and watched as the Book of Mormon came to life. To begin the pageant, the entire cast of 700 people fill the stage in costumes and waving bright colored banners. Then the story unfolds. Sprays of water with bright lights shining into the mist make the Tree of Life vision come to life. Lehi and Nephi, along with their families, journey to the Promised Land in a life size ship, the huge billowing sail of the ship catching the wind until a terrible storm complete with rain rips it from it bearings. King Noah stabs a dissenter who falls ten feet to his death. Real fire consumes Abinadi, but the most spectacular part of the show is when Jesus Christ descends from high, amid the stars to gather the children in his arms and heal all who need healing.
I saw the pageant many years ago, but I had forgotten how spectacular it is. Before the show the cast members mingled with the crowd in full costume—spectacular costumes designed to be seen from hundreds of yards away. We took pictures and visited—found people who know people we know and had a great evening.
Earlier in the day we visited the Whitmer farm where Joseph did some of the translating and where the Church was organized. I study, even teach about these events every semester, but to actually be here and feel the sacredness of the places does something to one’s heart that I can’t put into words. All I can say is that Jesus Christ lives and is not only directing the Church, He is leading people to it.