So, the Hill Cumorah Pageant has been canceled five times in 37 years? I'm
glad to know that, because I have heard members testify that it "always"
proceeded, thanks to the prayers of those present. Now, if we can just get them
to stop telling us the tale about frogs and boiling water . . .
For the last 30 odd years I have lived 15 mils from the Hill and have seen the
pageant 100's of times. I was there that night with hopes of seeing pageant
again. I saw this group of youth along with atleast 3 other groups of youth.
It made me sad to think that these youth who had worked very hard to get there
would miss pageant. I was reminded that night of a similar night 6 years ago
when I huddled under a blue tarp with my sister and her four children, the
youngest was 2 at the time. He, Patrick, asked me if we could say a prayer to
make the rain go away. So I said a long and very wordy prayer and just as I was
about to say amen Patrick pipes in "And Heavely Father, please make the rain
go away." Amen was said, the rain did "go away" was it just nature
taking it's course or the faith of a small child, you decide, I know that I
beleive. Did a bus break down or did it "break down" I know what I
beleive, I also know what those young men and women believe.
The following was posted and then removed. Apparently someone saw in the
original a personal attack. I have edited, removing all references to previous
posts of others, and apologize for any offense. None was intended."There are many scientists who are religious practitioners and believers.
If peer review has any validity, why are not all scientists atheistic? The
actual truth is, science does not hold the corner on all truth--just some of it.
To think otherwise goes against the processes of science itself."Scientific FACT comes from very limited, observable conclusions based on
empirical studies. If any condition exists that lies outside the strict controls
of any scientific study, it affects the results. We simply cannot confuse FACT
with Truth."I'm grateful that God created random weather
patterns that can pause a rainstorm for a picnic as well as "rain on our
parade" periodically. This life is intended to give us the experience of
mortality with all its vicissitudes. As to starving children, we don't have
all the reasons for life's extremities. We just go forward to take care of
one another. That's part of the experience as well."
Sorry for the error on my last post. I dictate these little gems to my iPad and
it obviously doesn't know 'their' from "there".Two true stories: When my wife and I were first married she lost her
engagement diamond. We were beyond devastated! We prayed hard and did everything
in our power to find it. We prayed harder. We looked harder. We prayed harder
still. We never found it and it was years before we could afford another like
it.Yesterday my wife lost her expensive prescription sunglasses. We did
not pray about it but we looked very hard for them. Last night I was outside,
happened to glance into a small crevice and there they were! We have no idea
how they got there and the chances of me glancing that particular direction
(into that crevice) at that time were minuscule.I have often
wondered about the person who found my wife's diamond and kept it. Perhaps
they had been praying about their financial problems and viewed the diamond as
an answer to their prayers. At any rate, I hope they paused to think about us
and the cost to us of their windfall.
I wonder if the bus company, who bore the brunt of this tender mercy, feels the
same way? Without substantial misfortune to them occurring (the breaking down
of their bus and needing to send a new one from far away, probably at great
expense) this mini-miracle could not have happened. This seems like a perfect
example of how we are so focused on ourselves (and so struggling to justify our
faith) that we do not consider or acknowledge the pain and misfortune of
others. Their were winners and losers in this little story. Do we believe that
God picks sides?
A scientist on a golf outing would want a control group and account for
variables - like that other group that WAS praying! ;-)
Jason,It's a little ironic, but a couple of years after moving
from Maryland, one of our daughters returned to Maryland to participate in a
Pioneer Trek held by your sister's stake on a ranch in Virginia. Remnants
of a hurricane moved into the area the first afternoon and the trek was
completely rained out.
Re:CarolG“So sorry for anyone that doesn't find the pageant to
be a moving experience. It all depends on the spirit you bring with you, I
guess.”Hmmm. Interesting response. I know someone who
found the movie “Jesus Christ Superstar” very inspiring and ended up
joining the LDS Church. It is possible people are "inspired" by
different things in life, and that we just aren't all going to react the
same way to the same things. I don't think it was because I didn't
"bring the (right) spirit" with me. re:ColtakashiThanks. I probably saw it about the same year you did. I think
probably it was just way over-hyped in my case.
Brahmabull, children do not starve because of God. They starve because of the
decisions man makes that God has allowed them the agency to make. Unfortunately
children are the victims of these decisions made by men and governments, not
God. When we made the choice to come to earth we knew that there would be
suffering. Just because people see God's hand in a rain storm that abated
or in youth being allowed to see a pageant doesn't mean he has forgotten
the suffering of his children. Sometimes a small "miracle" or event can
have great effect in the lives of someone and maybe no effect on the life of
another person who was present for the same thing. That's ok. But you
really can't compare God helping youth see a pageant to God seemingly not
helping starving children. God put us on this earth as masters of it and while
we can't control the weather men's decisions can be better in trying
to help our fellow human beings in their sufferings. I for one give to causes
that help protect children from hunger, malaria and disease. What do you do?
BrahmabullYes; understanding why that's not inconsistent
requires an eternal perspective of God's love for all of His children.
I've attended the pageant many times and every single time it's rained
just before it started. The benches and blankets on them would be wet! The last
time I was able to go,I looked up at the sky during the pageant (and yes, it had
been raining but did stop) and saw clear sky above, stars shining, and on either
side were big dark clouds. It reminded me of the parting of the Red Sea! When
the pageant ended and we were walking to our cars, the clouds moved together and
BlueCougjanineYou really think that god is stopping the rain
for a pageant to continue, at the same time as he is allowing children to starve
and die in other parts of the world. Kind of cruel if that is the case.
I believe in these "tender mercies"!For Father's Day
several years back, a group of my friends (almost all atheists) scheduled a
round of golf, a gift from my wife and family.As the date
approached, the forecast was for heavy but spotty rains. The morning of the
event, I awoke to thunderstorms, but prepared to go to the outing anyway. As we
approached the clubhouse, with strong desires that the rain subside (but
absolutely no uttered "prayers" to any fictional deity), suddenly and
without warning, the rain stopped, the sun burst through, and we were able to
enjoy a wonderful round of golf, with only a few soggy puddles here and
there.Almost as soon as the clubhouse was in our rear view mirror,
the rain broke loose and came down in torrents!Of course, we all
just attributed it to the vicissitudes of natural weather - but some people see
fictitious creatures on the clouds, others see some higher "plan" in the
lines on the palms of their hands, and still others consider the constellations
of stars to influence their personalities.But that isn't
science, and it isn't truth.
Another comment, if I may--we had a similar experience with bad weather and
buses on a trek to Martin's Cove. As a result, a few of the preliminary
activities we had planned were cancelled. But the delay of the buses and the bad
weather actually allowed us to reflect on the circumstances of the original
handcart companies--delayed by unready handcarts, the usually perils along the
trail, and then the storms came--a snowy blizzard rather than our insignificant
rainstorm.We also had necessity of moving our girls camp one year at
the last minute due to a forest fire in the camp's area--and the food
supply got left behind, requiring scanty rations for the week. These
conditions all added to the aura of the trek/camp experience--probably not at
the level of an honest-to-goodness miracle, but a learning experience just as
This has nothing to do with the pageant, but I have lost two family members this
week and I needed to be reminded of God's Tender Mercies. Thank you
Jason... your words always seem to fit how I'm feeling.
My daughter shared this story with me last week in her weekly letter as she is a
missionary in the New York Rochester Mission. They gave the kids a tour of the
historical sites the next day (morning after the pageant was cancelled) and when
she learned that they would not get to see it (as they assumed), proceeded to
act out scenes for them from the pageant. She is always the happy and creative
sister missionary. I think it cheered the kids up until they all learned they
would get to see the pageant after all. As a young person during the
60's of about 12 or 13 myself, we traveled back to Palmyra and saw the
pageant. I remember the rains dumping on us until the first note of the pageant
music. It stopped and not another drop until the final note and then it dropped
on us again. I really don't believe in coincidences. So sorry for
anyone that doesn't find the pageant to be a moving experience. It all
depends on the spirit you bring with you, I guess.
Unwieldy Toaster, your observations seems to hold true with the Hopi Indian
tribe. They seem to be very successful with their rain dances. And how about the
LDS Conference urban legend?The miracle may be in the rain itself. Without
it, upper New York State would not be a beautiful Eastern Woodlands forest, and
the entire Southwestern United States would be Death Valley expanded.I
learned a long time ago to let the Lord decide what miracles to provide and when
to provide them. Buses do break down, thunderstorms come, and life goes on. The
important thing is how we react to the experiences we are given--and when all
turns out well, strengthening our faith, that's a miracle in itself.
A broader perspective reveals that Providence smiles down upon any and all faith
traditions. The important thing is being able to recognize the patterns even if
they aren't causally related.
To Truthseeker: Back in 1996 I was in upstate New York on business. I had
tickets to fly home before the scheduled first night of the pageant, but I
discovered that there was a full dress rehearsal the night before. I was
virtually alone in the seats that evening. I was impressed, not just with the
music and the special effects, but also with the enchanting way the story was
told in the script by Orson Scott Card. I recommend you go back for another
viewing of the pageant.
My family was involved with the Nauvoo "City of Joseph" pageant for many
years. I personally have witnessed this miracle many times; torrential rains
stopped just before the show began, only to begin pouring after the crowds had
left, black storm clouds stayed on the Iowa side of the Mississippi until the
show ended, and even one night there was a clear, star-filled sky with a moon
over Nauvoo, while all around storm clouds billowed and poured rain. The Lord
will allow His work to be done! Prayers ARE heard and miracles DO happen.
We attended the pageant every year during the six years we lived in Maryland. On
at least two occassions, the "urban legend" occurred, with the rain
stopping just before the pageant was to begin, and starting again immediately
after the pageant.Tender mercies to some; random events to others.
higvAlthough it isn't urban legend, rain does typically start
and stop and then start again. There is nothing magical about it, and I doubt
god is the one making it happen. It just happens naturally. What about the times
where the rain comes and doesn't leave in time for the show to continue....
It is just the luck of the draw.
I was way disappointed when I saw the Pageant. Maybe it had been overhyped, I
don't know. Maybe we didn't have good seats? All the music and
narration was pre-recorded. People just up on "stage" waving their arms
around etc. I hope I'm the exception, not the rule.
did the right thing - lightning isn't anything to mess with for sure
I experienced one of those so-called "urban legend" events personally as
a pageant participant in 1969. As the first notes of pageant music began, the
rain stopped. As the final notes died away, the rain began again. The faith
and prayers of the participants and the pre-performance prayer of a visiting
General Authority were heard by a loving Father.
It gave people a chance to serve others in making adjustments. This weekend I
will be teaching Service in Gospel Essentials. If I have the time, I'll fit
I was there on that Friday evening with a friend of my daughters and his
parents. We were both so excited to introduce them to the Book of Mormon with
hopes they would take an interest. We sat in our seats huddled under
umbrella's and almost soaked to the skin when it was decided this weather
was looking too dangerous on the local radar, we left. Feeling sad we rode home
together. With promises of another try next year I was dropped off home,
grateful for the wisdom of parents, and the wisdom of church leaders. Next year
hopefully my daughter's friend and parents will be visitors again, this
time with a nice referral for the missionaries.
Many years ago, when my father was a member of the Salt Lake City Letter
Carriers band, they had chartered a bus to play at a Letter Carriers Union
convention back east. Their route home took them through the Rochester area, but
they had not paid the extra cost for staying long enough to see the pageant.
Their bus had a flat tire in Palmyra, and had to wait for a replacement to be
driven out, so they got to stay for the pageant.
higv: Funny you mention it, I left that part out because I was tight on space.
As we boarded up to come home late Saturday night, it began to rain :)
This may be urban legend but I heard stories of it raining stopping during the
pagent and raining again after. Many times, don't know how true those
stories are though.