Scenes from the Hill Cumorah Pageant, July 22, 2007

I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Hill Cumorah Pageant on its closing night, July 22, 2007 – my first time ever. Awesome! Very impressed, in spite of an few minor quibbles. Tremendous production! And it’s free.

Update: Let me remind readers that my photographs as well as my text from my Website or blogs are copyrighted. (Original works in the US are inherently subject to copyright protection whether a copyright notice is displayed or not.) Photographs may not simply be lifted and reproduced elsewhere without permission, though limited portions of the text may be quoted with attribution. Fortunately, most of the pro-LDS sites that use my material with attribution have received my permission. I tend to grant most requests, if they are reasonable, though in cases where my work is a work in progress, I encourage people to simply provide a link instead of reproducing a lengthy section.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

15 thoughts on “Scenes from the Hill Cumorah Pageant, July 22, 2007

  1. So, is this the story of the Lamanites/Nephites etc.?

    Another question: is it true that there are two Hill Cumorahs? If so, is this the one in New York?

  2. > So, is this the story of the Lamanites / Nephites etc.?

    Part of it, yes.

    > is it true that there are two Hill Cumorahs?

    There could be. For a long time it was assumed that the Cumorah of the final big battle and where Mormon buried the Large Plates of Nephi (the extensive detailed records of 1,000 years that were handed down to him) was also the same Cumorah where Moroni buried the plates of the Book of Mormon (the abridgement).

    However, a broader interpretation could allow for there being two places named Cumorah.

    Mormon makes extensive mention in the Book of Mormon that his work is a summary, an abridgement, and that he is writing less than 1% of the contents of the more extensive history written on the “large plates” that were handed down to him. The explanation that there were two locations called “Cumorah” may have been left out.

    > … is this the one in New York?

    Yes. The pageant is on the hillside near Palmyra New York.

    “Hill Cumorah” is the name used by Joseph Smith to describe the “drumlin” where the resurrected Moroni revealed to him the stone box containing the gold plates upon which was engraved the Book of Mormon. This set of plates was the abridgement, or summary work, created by Mormon, and finished and buried by Moroni.

    The exact location of the detailed plates, or “source documents” covering the 1,000 years (600 BC to 400 AD) from which Mormon made his abridgement has yet to be revealed.

    There were some statements made by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery which lead some people to believe they are also buried in the hill referred to as “Cumorah” near Palmyra New York. However, those statements are not official doctrine.

    I would not expect that the original “Large plates of Nephi” or Mormon’s plates to be revealed until some time in the millennium. No more so than the bringing forth of the original writings of Moses or other old world prophets and apostles.

  3. Neat. You should have been there two years ago–we could have hung out together!

    The pageant is great. I’d love to go again, sometime.

  4. I went with my family on Thursday night. It rained the entire time, but we loved it. My daughter is currently petioning her mother and I to volunteer to be in it for next year. Two weeks camping with four kids 10 and under does not sound fun right now, but she’s pretty persuasive :). I applaud the families who do make the necessary sacrifices that such a show may be possible.

    Side note: When I was there the Anti’s were very well behaved. They wore shirts that made their cause clear and were not pushy or overzealous. If only the Living Scriptures folks would behave as well.

  5. Good to hear the anti-mormons were well behaved. When I went there, there was a guy dressed up as the devil screaming at us.

    …did he really think dressing up as THE DEVIL was going to convince anybody? I mean, that’s the last person I’d take religious advice from!

  6. Actually, they weren’t that well behaved, just small in numbers. There was a guy and a woman holding big signs and shouting into a megaphone to those in the parking lot. He was ranting about how Joseph Smith was leading us all to hell and destruction. He wasn’t dressed as the devil, but at first I thought the woman was dressed as a witch – but it was just some kind of hippies-era dress that evoked a pagan image during my brief look before driving on. The shouting was still going on a couple hours later when we went back to our cars. And then there was a bunch of protesters holding up signs telling people to go to some Website – was it ““? Not sure about that.

  7. Hello again peeps,

    I’ve been keeping a close eye on Mormonskeptic’s blog. I personally don’t know the guy, but he seems to share a somewhat real and honest critique (even if it is just mere subjectivity) that there are two Hill Cumorahs.

    Jeff (or anybody else), how would you respond to Mormon Skeptic’s assertions?

  8. The rain must have chased the more crazy protestors away on Thursday, good for me. The only folks there on my night were the yellow shirted folks from a particular web site which I won’t name. I don’t want them to see an increase in traffic after the pageant, it may encourage them. That said, they didn’t yell or attempt to deceive, which I appreciate.

  9. Jeff,

    I just followed your link. I first assumed it was an anit site and wondered what you were doing. Very funny.

  10. Not that compelling, NM–esp. given that MOrmonskeptic has not included key information (for reasons of which I am not sure; maybe simply unaware of it?). Watson would later clarify that this response was an off-the-cuff one, one he believed he was safe in making. In 1993, Watson would pen a letter stating:

    “The Church emphasizes the doctrinal and historical value of the Book of Mormon, not its geography. While some Latter-day Saints have looked for possible locations and explanations [for Book of Mormon geography] because the New York Hill Cumorah does not readily fit the Book of Mormon description of Cumorah, there are no conclusive connections between the Book of Mormon text and any specific site.”

    Granted, other prophets have indeed ascribed various geographical locations to BOM landmarks; however, given the limited circulation of these comments (institute conferences, women’s conferences), I refuse to accept them as doctrinal dictums, esp. when they haven’t even been translated into the languages of major church centers (like French, German–some of them not even into Spanish). If the Church really did claim that the NY Cumorah was THE cumorah–that would be big news for Latin American peoples. Yet the Church has CONSISTENTLY disputed that there is any official BOM geography. James E. Talmage, Joseph F. Smith, George Q. Cannon (if I remember correctly) and more have said so.

    I urge you that, even as a supposed “Mormon intellectual” that you be more concerned about gathering facts and less concerned about questioning merely for its own sake.

  11. Thanks for that Russell.

    A ‘Mormon Intellectual’?! Yipes. I’m just someone interested in how people interpret ‘grace’!

  12. Oops.

    Sorry Russell, I thought you were talking to me…

    Heck, I thought someone had given me a promotion…=/

  13. Who called it high drama? Any of my readers? Fess up, now!

    For high drama, head further east and catch Les Miserables or Phantom of the Opera. For a completely different (and free) experience watching a religious pageant giving an overview of the Book of Mormon, head to Palmyra next summer.

  14. Looks to me like some scenes from Mel Gibson’s movie – Apocalypto.

    At least Mel did his historical research and understood that these Mayan pyramids were used for sun worship and human sacrifice.

    When in procedings do the heads roll during your performances ?

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