News Release

Elder Christofferson Pays Tribute to the Hill Cumorah Pageant’s Long Run

The devotional and 2019 pageant broadcast is now available to watch in other languages for two weeks

With the Hill Cumorah Pageant having come to a close, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles participated in a virtual devotional on Friday, July 9, 2021, to pay tribute and to participate in a virtual broadcast of the 2019 pageant.

“I express profound thanks to each and all of the thousands who over the years, since 1937, have had any role in or made any contribution to the Hill Cumorah Pageant: America's Witness for Christ,” said Elder Christofferson.

The global faith leader spoke to participants, volunteers and audience members who attended the Hill Cumorah Pageant Commemorative Devotional live in Salt Lake City, Utah, and audience members who viewed it remotely.

In October 2018, the Church announced that the Hill Cumorah Pageant would not be held after 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final pageant was postponed from 2020 to 2021. With the ongoing impact of the pandemic, however, the pageant was canceled and will not be held in future years.

For the past 84 years, the outdoor theater production showcased reenactments and portrayals of scenes from the Book of Mormon that are central to Latter-day Saints’ beliefs.

“It is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine,” said Elder Christofferson.

Elder Christofferson also quoted former First Presidency member Marion G. Romney’s description of the pageant as a tool that helped awaken souls and minds to know “that the heavens have been open anew, that God has spoken again, that Christ still lives and has revealed himself in this dispensation as He did in dispensations past.”

Following the commemorative event to thank the thousands of volunteers and audience members who participated in the historic production, the broadcast included a recording of the final Hill Cumorah Pageant that took place in 2019.

Each year, participants performed in the free and family-friendly summer pageant on the hillside next to the Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center in Manchester, New York, about three miles south of the Sacred Grove.

The Hill Cumorah is a sacred site where Joseph Smith, the Church’s first president and prophet, met annually over a period of several years with the angel Moroni and recovered an ancient sacred record of civilizations in the Americas that he translated into English and which became the Book of Mormon.

“The plates from this place were preserved for our day, to bear testimony of the Only Begotten, His Atonement, His resurrection, and the resurrection of all men, and to convince all that Jesus is the Christ, the true Messiah,” said Elder Robert C. Gay of the Presidency of the Seventy during the devotional.

“This record was also preserved for our day, to be God's instrument to ... heal the spiritually dead and blind and cause them to see and to believe in the words of scripture, to heal wounded souls, and to lead the souls of men out of darkness. We rightly call the Book of Mormon another testament of Christ,” he shared.

Other speakers included former artistic directors Shawnda Moss and Brent Hanson and former cast and crew members.

“I'll never forget the love I felt as the rehearsals proceeded and I saw my husband and each of our children at different places on the stage with their eyes fixed on the actor playing the Savior,” said Jennifer Buckner, who previously worked as a pageant staff member. “Night after night, this image sunk deep into my heart, and has become a pattern for our family to follow.”

The devotional and pageant broadcast are now available to watch on broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org in English (English descriptive audio is available for the pageant), Spanish, Portuguese and ASL for two weeks.

After the two weeks, the Hill Cumorah Pageant will be available to watch in Gospel Media. However, the Hill Cumorah Devotional will no longer be available for viewing.

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