Manti, Utah, is home to the Sanpete County seat and welcomes travelers seeking quiet relaxation and historical reflection. Visitors can spend a night or two at the quaint bed and breakfasts, or tour the grounds of the historic Manti Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, built in 1888. Others come for the thrills offered on nearby ATV trails.
Each June, for the past 52 years, Manti has come to life and presented a grand production full of wonder and excitement. In October 2018, a Church official statement said that while local celebrations of culture and history may be appropriate, the Church now discourages larger productions such as pageants.
Existing Church pageants around the world were reviewed and it was announced in December 2018 that the Manti Pageant, also known as the Mormon Miracle Pageant (MMP) would have its last performances in 2019.
Here it is, the 53rd and final presentations of the MMP. The Manti Temple grounds have been transformed for the last time into a giant outdoor stage, larger than a football field, for the presentation.
The city will truly come alive as a cast of over 900 combine dance, music, and drama in a unique production for a large audience seated under the canopy of stars. Dress rehearsals will be held June 11 and 12 followed by the official pageant presentations for eight nights, June 13-15 and 18-22.
The MMP retells the account of the resurrected Jesus Christ visiting the people on the American continents. The dramatization includes Christ healing and teaching the people, as well as blessing the children, just as he did in Jerusalem.
Time then fast-forwards to the 1800s, when farm boy Joseph Smith receives and later translates the record of the ancient American people. The record is known today as the Book of Mormon.
Finally, the presentation concludes with the story of a fictional couple searching for religious truth and enlightenment and the joy the couple find upon discovering that family relationships can be eternal.
First time pageant-goers will find the following tips useful: Arrive early for optimum seating. First-come seating is provided for 14,000 and there is room on the grass in the blanket area for additional spectators. June evenings can be cool so bring a sweater or blanket. Blankets may be used on chairs but are not allowed in the aisles. Coolers are not allowed on temple grounds.
Many pageant attendees arrive hungry and either bring their own food or purchase food in the area. Attendees are encouraged to eat in the large grassy area across the road west of the seating area because food and drinks are not encouraged on temple grounds.
Attendees can purchase a barbeque turkey or roast beef dinner near the pageant grounds. The tasty meals are reasonably priced and will be served each evening during the pageant at the National Guard Armory, 100 West Union, in Manti.
In addition, a variety of food and craft booths will also be available in the Food Court located at 200 North Main. Visitors are asked to clean up after themselves and carry out any garbage brought into the area.
On Friday and Saturday mornings, during the pageant, a pancake breakfast will be available from 7-10 a.m., at 100 North 300 West, hosted by the Manti LDS Stake young men and young women.
Plan in advance
Travelers are advised to plan in advance to stay overnight in Manti the night of the pageant. Traffic is always exceptionally congested at the conclusion of the production.
Many visitors find that staying at a bed and breakfast adds to the experience, providing a unique local perspective, plus great service. Whether choosing a bed and breakfast, hotel, or campground, be sure to make reservations well in advance.
Take some time before or after the pageant to explore the region. Take scenic drives, rent ATVs, or visit the unique boutiques and craftsman shops.
For those not familiar with the story of The Book of Mormon, it may help to learn a bit about its history before attending the pageant. Background information can be obtained from locals or members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or check out a copy of The Book of Mormon from the library in Ephraim, Mt. Pleasant, Manti or Gunnison.
For more information about the pageant call (435) 835-3000 or visit http://mantipageant.org.