In a brief announcement at the LDS Newsroom, the Church has indicated a desire to move away from big pageants, the most famous of which is the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Here is the statement:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is growing across the earth. As this occurs, local Church leaders and members are encouraged to focus 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 goal of every activity in the Church should be to increase faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to share His gospel message throughout the world. Local celebrations of culture and history may be appropriate. Larger productions, such as pageants, are discouraged. As it relates to existing pageants, conversations with local Church and community leaders are underway to appropriately end, modify or continue these productions.
On the same day, a Deseret News story gave more specific information: “The Hill Cumorah Pageant of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will cease its 81-year run after its 2020 season.”
If you think the real reason for this change is that the real Hill Cumorah must be in Mesoamerica, you’ll be disappointed that there are no plans to move it to, say, the Hill Vigia in Veracruz State in Mexico, or the nearby Cerro San Martin, both possibly plausible candidates that could provide the military advantage and access to water required by the Book of Mormon.
Many of us will miss the Hill Cumorah Pageant, but in an increasingly complex and turbulent world, the Church’s emphasis on family and local learning and simplification is probably a very wise thing, in spite of the fabulous tradition that this and other pageants have been over the years.