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Manti Utah Temple
MANTI -- A summer tradition is underway again in Central Utah. It's the 44th season of the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti.
Since 1967, the pageant has told the story of the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and depicted scenes from The Book of Mormon.
It takes place each year on the hill of the Manti Utah Temple.
"You've got 900 actors and then 300 people working behind the scenes, and you are working to bring that all together and make it all work at once," said pageant director Laren Swensen. "It's part of the miracle of the pageant because we do this in 13 rehearsals."
Everyone involved in the production is a volunteer.Landon Palmer, age 13, describes his role portraying young Joseph Smith in the Mormon Miracle Pageant as an honor.
Kelly Hancock and his son Dakotah were cast in the roles of Mormon and Moroni, two prophets from The Book of Mormon.
"Every time you are on the hill, you feel the spirit of the people you are portraying, and you hope that you are able to portray that same feeling to the people who are watching the pageant," Kelly Hancock said.
Over the 43 years of the pageant, an estimated 4 million people have watched it -- all with the stage set in a very small town.
Douglas Barton, president of the Mormon Miracle Pageant, said, "Manti has about 3,000 people, and it's amazing when we have 10,000 -15,000 people a night who come to watch this pageant at Temple Hill from all over the state, across the nation and around the world."
The pageant is performed under the stars with the Manti temple as the backdrop -- a unique stage to tell a story of faith.
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