In honor of Pioneer Day (July 24, 1847) when the first company of pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, I’d like to take you on a “walk” through the Nauvoo Pageant.
Experience the Magic
Before it even begins, you’re in love.
On your way to pageant, you pass the Mississippi River. Wait, look! The river is on fire—ablaze with the oranges and reds of the burning sunset.
Then you see waves of flowers blooming across the Mississippi. The purple and yellow blooms combine with the oranges and reds into an explosion of color skipping across the glassy-blue surface.
Then, you arrive at your destination. What us locals call, “the flats” – acres of grass and trees, dotted with picturesque pioneer-brick homes: Welcome to Nauvoo Historic Sites.
You start at the Pageant’s “Country Fair,” and you’re greeted by the mesmerizing sound of the Nauvoo Bagpipe Band. Walk farther into the fair and you’ll encounter more music: this time from a live band, accompanying a crowd of energetic and boisterous young dancers.
You wander around the park and happen upon discoveries with every step: games of all sorts and types set up everywhere, families laughing, children playing, costumed-pioneering smiling and waving.
Finally, you meander over to the concession stand, grab some popcorn, and walk up the bluff to take in the sweeping outdoor theater. Sitting upon the horizon, impossible to overlook, you see the Nauvoo Temple twinkling in the light of the sun’s final rays.
Dusk settles in, you take your seat, and you enjoy the breathtaking and enchanting experience that is the Nauvoo Pageant.
More than Just a Show
The Nauvoo & British Pageants are captivating not only because of the costumes, the songs, and the dancing, but because the shows are based on the stories of real people. Real pioneers who came before us. They accomplished incredible things at an incredible cost—many of them lost their lives in order to pave the pathway to our futures.
The British Pageant
I love learning about the history of the translation of the Bible in England in the British Pageant. It’s hard to imagine that before the 1530s, it was illegal to read from the Bible in English. It’s humbling to learn of the many souls who gave their lives to fight for the right to read and understand God’s word for themselves.
If it weren’t for those courageous heroes, Joseph Smith never would have been able to read the legendary scripture found in James 1: 5-6:
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
After LDS missionaries began visiting England in the late 1830s, thousands of new converts braved the dangers of the deep blue sea to answer a prophet’s call to gather in Nauvoo and then later to the Salt Lake Valley.
The Nauvoo Pageant
As much as I love the British Pageant, there’s really nothing like the Nauvoo Pageant.
I don’t really know why I love it so much.
It’s like the words in that show reverberate in my very heart and soul.
The only explanation I can give is that it’s true. The story is true.
Joseph Smith really was a prophet.
He was called to do an important work. He was called to restore Jesus Christ’s true and living Church to the Earth today, so that we can prepare to meet our Lord and Master Jesus Christ when He comes again.
The Spirit of God has testified to me of these truths time and time again.
Tell me, has God ever answered your prayers?
Come and See the Nauvoo Pageant
All the best for you!