Comments about ‘Wright Words: Virginia stake experiences tender mercy after rare Hill Cumorah Pageant cancellation’

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Published: Tuesday, July 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Dietrich, ID

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.

Jason Wright
Oakton, VA

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 :)

Richland, WA

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.

ny's amy jo
Rochester, NY

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.

Virginia Beach, VA

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 the article.

Enumclaw, WA

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.

Cedar Hills, UT

did the right thing - lightning isn't anything to mess with for sure


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.

sandy, ut


Although 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.

Orem, UT

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.

Ames, IA

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.

Richland, WA

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.

Unwieldy Toaster
Bluffdale, UT

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.

G L W8

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.

Carol G

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.

Susan in VA
Alexandria, VA

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.

G L W8

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 well!

A Scientist
Provo, UT

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.

sandy, ut


You 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.

Warwick, RI

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 it poured!

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