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SALT LAKE CITY — The Mormon Miracle Pageant, held annually in Manti for more than 50 years, will be largely scaled down following its 2019 performance.
The change comes after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement Saturday saying "larger productions, such as pageants, are discouraged."
The decision is part of the church’s recent push for members to focus more on gospel learning in their homes and “to participate in Sabbath worship and the Church’s supporting programs for children, youth, individuals and families,” the statement says.
"As it relates to existing pageants, conversations with local Church and community leaders are underway to appropriately end, modify or continue these productions," the statement continues.
KSL's Sam Penrod spoke with local leaders in Manti Saturday, following meetings they had with general authorities from Salt Lake City. He tweeted: "Local sources tell me the Manti pageant is expected to continue one more season in June of 2019. Any event after 2019 will no longer be a large scale pageant, but a 'locally sponsored celebration' as determined by area stake presidents."
The annual Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, New York, will end production after its 2020 season, officials confirmed.
In an emailed statement, Neil Pitts, president of the Hill Cumorah Pageant, said the pageant's staff is supportive of the decision.
“We had a wonderful run,” Pitts said. “Our church has asked us to focus more on the family, and this is certainly in line with that desire. We have had a wonderful 81 years and will focus on making the next two years an amazing experience for our cast, crew and audience.”
Decisions regarding the church’s other major productions — such as annual pageants in Nauvoo, Illinois; Mesa, Arizona, etc. — have not been announced.
UPDATE to previous tweet. Local sources tell me the Manti pageant is expected to continue one more season in June of 2019. Any event after 2019 will no longer be a large scale pageant, but a “locally sponsored celebration” as determined by area stake presidents. @KSL5TVpic.twitter.com/7mr3MJ6hw7— Sam Penrod (@KSLsampenrod) October 27, 2018
To read the church’s full statement on productions and pageants, visit MormonNewsroom.org.