Utah’s largest church will be scaling back large productions such as pageants, it announced Saturday.

According to a statement on http://mormonnewsroom.org, the goal of every activity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should be to increase faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to share the gospel message throughout the world.

“Local celebrations of culture and history may be appropriate,” the statement says. “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.”

Pageants are large productions put on at locations across the country, including Palmyra, New York; Mesa, Arizona; and Manti, Utah.

The Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti is a historical drama that intertwines the stores of the gospel, the Book of Mormon and the journey of pioneers to Utah’s Sanpete Valley.

The pageant is free and draws thousands of spectators to the annual June production.

Church members are encouraged to focus on gospel learning in their homes, and to participate in Sabbath worship and supporting programs for children, youth, individuals and families, the official church statement said.

Katie England covers politics, the environment and courts for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

Katie England covers politics, county government and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

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