The Mormon Miracle Pageant has been cancelled effective 2020. This article explains an evangelism opportunity that took place over 50 years in Central Utah.
Since 1987, members from the Mormonism Research Ministry team have been going to Manti, UT for two weeks each June to participate in outreach at the Mormon Miracle Pageant. Thousands of people from all over the United States come to watch the pageant, a play on the hillside of the temple depicting Joseph Smith and his translation of the Book of Mormon as well as the history of the early Mormons. It’s an exciting time as we have a chance to fellowship with other believers, sharing God’s truth in the hours before the pageant begins at 9:30 p.m. In 2014 MRM produced a thousand copies of a 22-minute DVD that were handed out to the residents of Manti and the nearby town of Ephraim. It was meant to help residents better understand who we are and why we come.
If you would like to be a part of this, there are several practical ways you can do so. First, you can come on one of the pageant days and participate. Even if you don’t know very much, you can come and observe as well as lending moral support. Who knows, God may very well have a “divine appointment” in store just for you! If you have a tent, feel free to spend the night at the Manti City park (West 200 North), as dozens of Christians camp together at the northeast corner. Coming into town (Hwy 89) you will turn west on West 200 North and drive about 3 blocks. The cost to pitch a tent is $10 per night. There is also room for RV parking around the perimeter of the park. Since the park has no shower facilities, many use the showers at Snow College located about ten minutes to the north in Ephraim. To verify shower/pool prices you can call the college at (435) 283-7000. Snow College is located just east of Highway 89 on Center Street. Showers and pool are located in the Activity Center near the corner of Center and 400 West. Manti also has a public swimming pool and showers. If you like, there is a campground ¼ mile north of Manti. This site offers a pool, showers, and laundry facilities. (For more information on lodging and food, see the bottom of this article.)
Many of you live too far away and would not be able to come. A second way you could participate is help us fund this important outreach. Besides the cost of the DVD production, our needs include transportation (vehicle and gas), fees for tents, and food. To help us with these expenses, go to the Donate button (orange) at the top right corner of this page. Designate “Manti Outreach” in the memo and we’ll be sure to use this money for the pageant expenses.
The third way you can participate is pray, pray, pray. Every year we see great things happen and this is our favorite time of evangelism. Our team (Bill and Tammy McKeever, Eric Johnson, Randy and Carol Sweet, Sharon Lindbloom and Aaron Shafovaloff) collectively have more than a century of Mormon Miracle Pageant experience under our belts, but no amount of experience equals the prayers of the saints lifted to the heavenlies.
Would you please join us in one (or more) of these ways of participation?
Here is a rough schedule for each day of the Pageant:
9:30 a.m. (to about noon) Fellowship/worship/prayer/special teaching message each day at Ephraim Church of the Bible (located at 400 S. 400 E in Ephraim (town next to Manti)
Noon to 6 p.m. Different activities, your choice, including evangelism activities, resting, or local service projects (on-going). (To find out more, attend the daily morning meeting and ask what is happening that day.)
5 p.m. Dinner at Manti Park: Cost per person is $5. Good food served up by Susie.
6 p.m. Meet on the street across the temple for corporate worship and prayer
6:30-9:30 p.m. Evangelism in the streets of Manti
9:30-11:30 p.m. Pageant. (If you have never seen the pageant, it might be a good idea to watch it to see what it’s all about. Many Christians watch this once each year just to see if there are any changes. Although we stay out of LDS Church grounds during the time before Pageant, you are free to enter the grounds and sit in their chairs provided you don’t attempt to do any evangelism/pass out tracts.)
9:30 p.m. Once the Pageant starts, many Christians congregate at Miller’s Bakery (227 N. Main) in Manti. Great fast food and shakes/malts are available, as we typically pack the place out.
What about other places to stay?
For the less adventurous there are motels in the area. You will want to book these many months in advance. These include:
- The Manti Motel (435) 835-8533
- Manti Country Village (435) 835-9300
- Brigham House Inn (435) 835-5050
- Temple View Lodge (435) 835-6663
The above are sometimes booked months in advance. You might also try some motels located either to the north or south of Manti. For instance:
In Gunnison (15 minutes south of Manti)-
- Country Paradise (435) 528-7521
- Gunnison Motel (435)-528-7840
In Ephraim (10 minutes north of Manti)-
- Willow Creek Inn (435) 283-4566 & (877) 283-4566
In Sterling (7 minutes south of Manti)-
- Cedar Crest Inn (435) 835-6352
- Palisade Lodge (435) 835-5413
- Palisade Lake State Park (http://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/palisade).
What about restaurants?
Manti is one of the few places in the United States that has not been overtaken with chain restaurants. Most restaurants and hotels are owned by locals. Many people like going to Miller’s Cafe (especially after the pageant begins), but if you’re a “Gentile” who needs coffee in the morning (or anytime), we suggest the local convenience store called the Top Stop. (Miller’s doesn’t sell coffee. Remember, you’re in Utah). The Top Stop also sells gas. Manti also has a grocery store, hardware store, and a Laundromat. If you find yourself having a Big Mac attack, you’ll have to go to Ephraim. Ephraim also has a Super Wal-Mart.
If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]. We hope to see you out there.
YouTube videos: Here are some videos you might like to watch. They involve folks sharing their faith before the pageant in the streets of Manti. Go here for additional videos.
- Why Would Anyone Go to Pageant? Interviews with some folks who come to Manti on a regular basis.
- Why We Come to Pageant: About 1,000 copies of this DVD were handed out to Manti/Ephraim homes in June 2014. The video shows a little bit of what the Christians are doing at Pageant.
- Book of Mormon Plates Being Translated: Chip Thompson uses the reenactment of the plates getting “translated” by Joseph Smith to engage passersby in conversation in June 2014. See how he did.
- Can you lift the plates? Bill McKeever challenges folks to lift his “gold” plates at the June 2014 Mormon Miracle Pageant.
- 5-minute version of the Gold Plates. Bill McKeever gives a quick run-down in June 2013 regarding his presentation of the gold plates.
- A Polite Discussion on the Streets of Manti: Bill McKeever speaks politely on the issue of Mormonism and faith.
- Keith Walker Manti 2014: Evidence Ministries’ Keith Walker challenges a Mormon on important topics at the Mormon Miracle Pageant.
- Chip Thompson Manti 2014: Solid Rock Cafe’s Chip Thompson shares his faith in June 2014 with a group of teens.
- Scoffers and Mockers (How Heavy Were the Gold Plates? Part 2) (11:23): Bill McKeever deals with several mockers and scoffers during the 2011 Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, UT.
- What about the Book of Mormon Witnesses and the Gold Plates (8:01): Bill McKeever answers questions about the gold plates in relationship with the witnesses. Filmed in 2011 at the Mormon Miracle Pageant.
- The Bad Shepherd (5:04): Aaron Shafovaloff deals with the topic of truth on the streets of Manti in 2012.
- Don’t Stereotype Mormons (1:16): Bill McKeever says that you should ask questions to Mormons and assume nothing.
- The Magician and the Rabbit (14:29): Aaron Shafovaloff deals with atheism on the streets of Manti before the Mormon Miracle Pageant in 2011.