Monday, July 13, 2009

Joseph Smith's Boyhood Homes

It is amazing what a good night’s sleep will do for a person. As you might remember, I don’t sleep sitting up and all night on an airplane didn’t allow for much rest. But last night I slept like an angel. I’m ready to go. Our daughter and her husband from Washington, D.C. drove up to join us with their three children so we are in for a fun day.

Part of the excitement here is the back stage adventure we are having. There were a couple thousand families who tried out for the pageant. (They accept all participants as families.) And many of them who come stay behind the Hill Cumorah in Zion’s Camp, a camp ground with pavilion and bathrooms, and refrigeration facilities. They come in motor homes, trailers, pop-up tents, or tents. Some fly in and then rent a motor home here to stay in for the duration of the pageant. Some have been in the pageant before and have perfected camping. They set up their camp and then cover their entire camp with a huge blue plastic tarp to protect against the frequent rains.

The security is amazing. Everyone has to wear a badge. We visited and ate dinner with Laresa’s family and were given visitors’ badges. The organization and unity is astonishing, but again the thing that is most overwhelming is the feeling. The camaraderie and the love that fills the camp is beyond words. People come from all over the United States to be part of the 700 member cast and they are one big family! They take care of each other’s children. They share an evening, “Munch and Meet.” Yesterday everyone had been to Church before we got there and teenagers mingled in the pavilion still in their Church clothes while adults played games with little ones at picnic tables. What a sight! A camp ground with everyone in dresses and white shirts and ties.

Today we are taking in all the Church history sights with Patrea and her family. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow. I’m so glad we have an Internet connection at the hotel!

1 comment:

Dave's Mom said...

I'm glad you got to see the Pageant and I'm doubly glad that your daughter and family had the opportunity to be cast members.

My family first started attending the Pageant as cast members when I was 13. I was a cast member 4 years in a row with them before I left for college. It was a wonderful experience - much like you describe here and then some. It was the closest thing to a Zion society I have ever experienced on this earth.

The hardest part about being a cast member is not the camping or the rain or the bugs. It is the re-entry into society after you come off the spiritual high. I highly recommend that everyone have the opportunity to be a cast member at the Hill Cumorah Pageant at least once in their lifetime.