Monday, 5 August 2013

Our journey to The British Pageant . . .

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Normally I would do my Small and Wonderful Things post today, but I will leave that for a bit later this week. I really wanted to do my Truth Will Prevail post about the British Pageant so that anyone who might want to go to it would still have a chance! It won't be running for much longer!   I believe the last night for it is the 10th August!

We were both really excited to be going to the Pageant.  It is the first of it's kind to be held over here in the UK.  There are several that run annually over in America.  The British Pageant, entitled Truth Will Prevail tells the story of the rise of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the green and pleasant lands of the United Kingdom.  It is being held on the grounds of our Preston Temple in Chorley, Lancashire, which is where the first missionaries to the British Isles had begun their work, the first nine Baptisms having taken place nearby  in the River Ribble.

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Our local Ward (church congregation) had hired a coach for two night running to take us en mass to the pageant, giving each member the opportunity to attend this wonderful event.   Chorley is quite a distance from us, being about two hours away, and a lot of our Ward don't drive or have cars.   A coach was the most efficient way to get us there.   The excitement of those on the coach was almost palpable on our way up.  We could hardly wait to get the show on the road.   Our RS President and her husband and daughter were actually performing in it and we had had some really good reviews on the experience already.

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I could not resist taking this photograph through the coach window of the clouds as we got nearer to our destination. It was as if they were pointing the way for us to go!   I was terribly fascinated with them!  I had never seen anything like it before.

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The Preston England Temple is very special to Todd and myself.  It is where we were sealed together, married for time and all eternity almost 13 years ago now.  That is one of the Doctrines of our church that I love the most . . . that families are eternal.  It's a beautiful Doctrine . . . I love knowing that Todd and I are together, not just until death do we part, but for . . . forever.

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Can you see that cloud trail still in the sky there!  It's pointing us in the right direction!

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The Pageant is being held in a massive marquee with seating which holds up to 1500 people.   The stage is also massive and very well done.   All in all this huge undertaking, which was all written, created by, performed by, etc. ordinary members of the church was most impressive.

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Prior to the beginning of the Pageant there were a lot of activities going on around the Temple Site.   We could reserve our seats for the performance and then we had about an hour or so to mill about and check out everything that was happening in the "Market Square 1837."  

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There were loads of displays and activities.   Children were able to make traditional spinners and wooden dolly pegs to take away as souvenirs of the event.   There was arm wrestling and walking on stilts, wheel barrow and sack races.  Free traditional sweets, craft demonstrations galore, stick pulls, arm wrestling, splat the rat, horseshoes, etc.

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There was literally something for everyone.   You could have a free period sepia photograph done of your family in costume, learn about doing your Family History, learn traditional Scottish Country Dancing, Irish Ceilidh, Children's dancing or English Square Dancing.  There was just tons to do.   These pre-show activities run from 7 pm each day until 8:15 pm when a children's parade leads everyone back to the marquee ready for the show to start at 8:30 pm.

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Cast members circulated amongst the regular population, ready to answer questions etc.  Look!   There's our Relief Society President Carolyn Worthington!  Hi Carolyn!   She played a good part!   We all enjoyed her performance very much!   She's looking very authentic don't you think?

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It was also an opportunity to catch up with some Missionaries we hadn't seen in a while, Sister Campbell from Alberta Canada and Sister Milben from Ontario!   It was so nice to see them, and they were really happy to see us too!

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There was a beautiful feeling of excitement in the air.    This was a pageant for us, the British people, chronicling the lives and beginnings of some of the earliest Saints. I had been expecting something quite well done, but had no idea of how very well done this pageant would truly be.   It far surpassed any of my expectations.   I was moved to tears often during the performance.   We were encouraged to participate as an audience and we did with gusto throughout, clapping, and marking out time to the music, gasping with amazement from time to time, singing along at others.

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The pageant gave a face to these early church members, who were the meek and lowly of the British Isles, and seeking truth . . . people from small towns and villages . . . of very humble circumstances. The Gospel gave them the hope of a brighter future, and helped them to feel of God's great love for all of His children, which is something which it still does to this day.

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We laughed with them . . .

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We cried with them . . .

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We pondered with them . . .

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We felt of their brave and honest spirits . . .

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We shared their fears and their hopes . . .

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Their joys . . .

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Their sorrows . . . and everything in between.

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Their triumph.   It was a wonderful journey.   A touching journey.  A moving journey.   The acting was superb, the feelings were tangible . . . the music was moving and inspiring.  These early members of the church had a wonderful faith in the Prophet and Apostles, a faith which required great sacrifice, culminating in their leaving all that was familiar and taking only what they could carry to travel to an unknown Zion in America.

They brought with them their rich traditions, their gifts and talents, but most importantly of all, their deep love of the truth and the church is what it is today because of all that they brought to the table.   It is a story that continues today.   There are still people in the world which sacrifice their all to be a part of this great work and this great journey.  People who seek and love the truth . . . here in the British Isles, and around the world.

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Truth Will Prevail
Go and see it while you still can.   It is the journey of a lifetime and worth every second of it.
And . . . it's free.  Totally and completely free.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

“What we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are — and who we will become.”
~Dieter F Uchtdorf

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . .  Pork Chops with a Gooseberry, Honey and Walnut Sauce.   Simple to prepare, beautiful to look at and so delicious.  You'll be amazed!

Have a wonderful week!


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