LANCASHIRE, England — Latter-day Saints in the British Isles are excited and busily preparing for a summer of celebration in 2013. The United Kingdom is to play host to a new pageant of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titled “The British Pageant: Truth Will Prevail.” The British pageant will follow a similar format to the Nauvoo, Ill., Pageant and the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, but will focus on the history of the LDS Church in the British Isles, written and performed by members from around the United Kingdom.
Preparations are already well underway for the pageant, to be in late July and early August at at the Preston England Temple site in Chorley, Lancashire, England. The script has been written by British LDS Church member Alex Mackenzie-Johns; the committee is organized under the guidance of Elder Stephen C. Kerr of the Seventy; the core cast has been called after a month of auditions, original music is being written; choirs are being organized; and sets are being built.
This will be a huge undertaking in the British Isles, and it is hoped that LDS Church members and non-members will benefit from experiencing the pageant.
There will be three main themes running through the pageant as it draws on the history of the British Isles and the Restoration. Throughout their history, the British people have demonstrated this desire to do God’s will, requiring personal sacrifice and tremendous courage. Drawing on historical figures such as William Tyndale, the pageant will open by celebrating their important contributions in laying the basis for religious freedom and the Restoration.
Secondly and against the background of the Restoration and the arrival of the first Mormon missionaries in 1837, the pageant will tell the story of Latter-day Saints who have sacrificed much to build their faith and to strengthen their communities. Historical figures who will be central to the story include George Q. Cannon and the Benbows, among others.
Through their abiding faith and deep love for one another and the Savior, the Saints discovered their lives were full of the joy of the gospel. They taught their children, and these youths carried on a legacy of devotion to the principles of the restored gospel, which is manifest throughout the worldwide church. The third theme will realize the implications of this heritage today, as families and youths in the British Isles know this joy and continue to take it to all the world.
The performance will be on July 31 and Aug. 1-3 and 6-10. In addition to the evening performance involving a cast of more than 200, each day will feature pre-show performers and other activities for the audience.
Already members around the British Isles are beginning to catch the vision; as people have become involved in the preparations they are feeling the spirit of the event.
Elder Kerr, president of the pageant, has issued a last request for people to become involved in any way with the various activities: “It’s a call to action and one last invitation to be a part of modern-day church history. Now is the moment to ask everyone who might have any interest in being a part of the Pageant to make that interest known.”
For more information about the pageant or to volunteer, please visit www.britishpageant.org.
James Holt is communications director for the British Pageant and his email is [email protected]