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LDS apostles attend British pageant paying tribute to UK Mormons

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After nine performances to audiences of more than 1,500 people, the first-ever British Pageant finished on Aug. 10. Three apostles, Elders M. Russell Ballard, Jeffrey R. Holland and Russell M. Nelson, and their wives saw the pageant while visiting Britain to meet with new mission presidents, missionaries and church leaders.

“[The British Pageant was] a reflection of the mood all over this church right now — one of a wave of excitement and enthusiasm,” Elder Nelson said in an interview with the Mormon Newsroom. “I see a great resurgence of activity and continuing growth of the church, not only in the U.K., but in all of Europe.”

The apostles expressed their appreciation to the British Saints who made the pageant possible, as well as those who supported the church in the early days of the Restoration.

“The British Isles and Scandinavia had a tremendous impact in the early days of the church,” Elder Ballard said. “Without their faith and devotion, we wouldn't be what we are today.”

More than 300 volunteers brought the production on the Preston Temple grounds to life, comprising a core cast, family casts, a choir and stage crew. The pageant highlighted key religious figures in the U.K., as well as early LDS missionaries and converts in the nation. Prior to each performance, cast members conducted activities staged in 1837 Britain for visitors to enjoy, including country dancing accompanied by a folk band.

The British Pageant received praise from both members and nonmembers.

“As a non-Mormon it was a great pleasure to have been at the last night of the pageant,” said Les Watson on the pageant’s Facebook page. “I for one could feel the love and joy coming from those taking part on the stage and choir. … It has given me much to think and pray about.”

A free download of the British Pageant soundtrack is available on Mormon.org.uk.

Apostles visit the UK and British LDS Pageant

The British Pageant was an overwhelming success and the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson asked Apostles, Russell M. Nelson, M. Russell Ballard and Jeffrey R. Holland to come to Preston to watch the show and meet the cast and crew.

Abby Stevens is a writer for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact her at astevens@deseretdigital.com.