Category Archives: Pageant 2017

Recommend Desk

Recommend Desk

Working at the recommend desk in the temple is always a delight.  Meeting people as they come to the House of the Lord is an awesome responsibility when you think about it.  It is your job to assure people have the correct documents to enter the temple.

Being a “destination temple”, you meet people from all over the world too.  People come from around the world to visit the Palmyra Temple.  Many ask to look out the window to see the Sacred Grove from the temple — something no other temple has.

As one person put it, it is the only temple you can look out a window and see one of the Lord’s outdoor temples.

Sacred Grove

Becky took the car after dropping us at the temple so she can visit the Sacred Grove.  She returned later to go to the 7:30pm session.

In spite of Hill Cumorah Pageant being over, we had several guests.  They had enough for a sealing session that it wasn’t necessary to augment it with ordinance workers.  I wish every night was like that.


Rain is slowing the progress on the roof.  They are 90% complete.  They have a few pieces to attach and rain gutters and then they are done.

Another Angelic Performance

Another Angelic Performance

As I mentioned last Sunday, angels attend the Palmyra Ward.  Today was another angelic performance as the congregation and choir sang The Spirit of God.

Palmyra is a special place, but during Hill Cumorah Pageant, it becomes more special.  Every night at Hill Cumorah Pageant is an angelic performance too.  The rest of the year, we’re special too.

After church we were going to go for a walk in the Sacred Grove, but Becky was feeling tired and we’ll have other opportunities.  We came home and everyone rested.  (We had a very busy day yesterday too.)

Zucchini Lasagna

For dinner I made zucchini lasagna.  Basically, I slice the zucchini very thin and layer it like you would lasagna pasta.  It’s quite good and not as heavy feeling as pasta.

Elders Falter and Astle came to dinner.  They really liked the lasagna.  We also had mango pudding with fruit on top for dessert.  It was a pretty healthy dinner.  Oh, and we had a tossed salad too.


After the missionaries left we watched a movie about a boy who was born on Mars and when he was a teenager, came to earth.  It was cute, but like many movies like that, farfetched.


We have a couple staying who are from San Francisco, California.  They are riding their bikes from Buffalo to Albany.  I think they were surprised when I knew the area around Twin Peaks.  I asked, “Oh, do you live in Pacific Heights?”  Their eyes got big as if to say, “Oh, you do know the area.”

Sam Patch with Becky

Sam Patch with Becky

We went on the Sam Patch with Becky today.  We took the noon cruise.  When we got to Lock 32, we had to wait for a while.  We sat for a long time waiting for the lock doors to open, but once they did, we entered the lock, rose to the next section, exited it, turned around, and went back.

We stopped at Wegman’s on the way home and got some cheese and bread to snack on during pageant tonight.  We took Becky to the cheese counter so she could sample some of the cheeses.

Pageant – Last Night

It is the last night of Hill Cumorah Pageant 2017.  We got there early and bought dinner from the Lion’s and Rotary Clubs.

I wandered around and took photos of missionaries and cast members.  My goal was to photograph every full-time missionary there.  I think I got all of them, but it was like finding a needle in a haystack.

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Sister Missionaries with a Guest

I especially like this next picture.  I managed to catch Elder Bradford’s expression just right…

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Elder Bradford Meets Lehi

I also ran in to Sister Crofts.  She served in our ward last year around Christmas time.  She has been home for a while and returned to see pageant.  (She’s also playing her viola in Sacrament meeting tomorrow!)

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President and Sister Evans and return missionary Sister Crofts

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Sister Missionaries

Workshop’s Last Day

Workshop’s Last Day

Today is workshop’s last day. We watched a couple of slideshows of Jim LaSala’s work and some of the students’ work.

Workshop's Last Day

Jim LaSala’s Class

Luncheon for Tom

We got out a little early which meant I didn’t have to rush to attend a luncheon we held for Mary Chapman.  Several of us met at Burger King in Williamson and treated Mary Chapman to a lunch in honor of Tom.

Attending was Mary Chapman, the Collie’s, Harris’, Dick Holstead, Gary Morse and Elizabethe and me.  While Burger King doesn’t sound like a fancy lunch, it was a place Tom liked to go. The people at the Williamson Burger King always made Tom feel welcome.

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Friends of Tom Chapman

Sam Patch

Tomorrow we are planning on going on the Sam Patch Cruise.  After that, we’re planning on going to Hill Cumorah Pageant.  Sounds like tomorrow will be a busy day.

This means I need to head to the hill early tomorrow to save our seats.  I then need to check my e-mail and we’ll have to head to Pittsford to catch our cruise.  There isn’t much time left.  I think we will be very tired by the end of the day.

BBQ Invitation

BBQ Invitation

Right around dinner time we got a BBQ invitation from a neighbor.  His message was they have too much food and to come help eat it.  So, we did.

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Elizabethe, Becca and Matt

It’s one of those great things about living in Palmyra.  There we sat in front of their house on Main Street, eating.  A group of youth came by and he invited them to have some food too.

Earlier in the Day

Earlier in the day I was responding to a call that a tenant’s air conditioning was blowing hot air.  While walking there I saw our town supervisor, Ken Miller, talking to some guy in the park.  I didn’t pay too much attention.  I just waved to Ken and continued on my way.

On the way back, the same guy was in the park, but Ken was not.  As I got closer I thought, “Hmmm… that guy looks like Bob Lonsberry from WHAM.”

As I got closer I could see he had a WHAM shirt on.  Since I’ve worked with his wife on some Hill Cumorah stuff (providing photos), I thought I would go say, “Hello.”

I introduced myself as having worked with his wife in my church position, and as 1st VP of the local chamber of commerce.  Bob asked if he could ask me some questions.  (They were on station break at the time.)

Before long he was live on the radio and talking in to the mic.  He signaled me to come closer and started to ask questions about the Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce and businesses in Palmyra, Macedon and Walworth.  Like most radio personalities, Bob kept the conversation flowing and it seems like it only lasted a minute or two, but he managed to get a lot of information in there.  (He’s good!  I’ve been interviewed on the air before, but nobody has ever fired the questions and comments as quickly as he did.)


I haven’t seen the interview online yet, but when they post it I’ll share the link.

Wet Security

Wet Security

Wet security is what I got today.  In the telephony world when we said “wet”, it meant voltage was present.  Well, thank goodness there was none of that, just rain (no lightning).

My shift started at 1pm, and it was raining.  The first hour seemed like a long time.  Then, it started to come down horizontal.  I aimed my umbrella in to the wind and rain and leaned in to it.

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A Wet Parking Area

As I stood in the pouring rain, one couple driving out stopped and the wife said, “Brother Walton, your place is the Celestial Kingdom is sure.”

Soon a family in an SUV driving out stopped and asked, “We’re going to McDonald’s.  Can we bring you back a Big Mac or something?”

Another guy came up and said they had ordered pizza from Mark’s and asked me to direct them to his motorhome.  He then added, “And you’re welcome to join us.”

Then a guy whom I met a couple of days ago drove up and said, “I’m going to Walmart.  Can I get you anything?”


While I was in discomfort physically, I felt comfort in knowing so many brothers and sisters were thinking about me and the others pulling security duty.  On hot days, they often bring cold drinks.  However, on rainy days, most people are staying put.  So, I appreciate those who said kind things and offered to bring food.  (I politely declined because Elizabethe and I had made plans to go out for dinner once my shift was over.)\


I took Elizabethe to KFC.  Talk about slow.  It took about 40 minutes for us to get our food.  I overheard someone say, “Well, this isn’t fast food.”

I was so hungry that I ate three pieces of chicken and did not feel stuffed.  Normally I eat two pieces and I’m content and three would be too much.  I guess standing in the cold rain made me hungry.  And, of course, having people offer to feed me put food on my mind all afternoon.

Rain Coming

Rain Coming

The say rain is coming.  I want to get a ride in, so I’m off to ride.  My ride took me east on the canal trail.  I passed a LOT of other cyclists.

I tried something new.  Using my phone in video mode, I videotaped portions of the ride.  Wordpress won’t let me upload it (perhaps it is too large).  Oh, well.  My phone does a great job capturing video from the handlebars.


The rain hit, and it came down hard.  Our poor roof is taking so long because the workers can only get a couple hours in each day.  It is supposed to rain Thursday and Friday too.

The Hill

I managed to get a few pictures from Hill Cumorah.  There was a break in the weather and I headed out to the hill to take some pictures.  I also want to test my roller board bag on the hill.

The good news is the bag rolls smoothly.  The bad news is it rolls so smoothly if you park it on a slope you better be careful it doesn’t roll away.

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View of the Bowl

I climbed to the top pulling my new bag.  (30 pounds of dead weight is a good workout.)  Here’s how the bowl looks with the stage and chairs in place on this wet afternoon.

Sisters for Facebook

I saw a couple of the sisters in the Visitor’s Center and asked if I could take their picture to post on the facebook group for the parents.  They were more than happy to do so.

My X-T2 did a great job with no flash indoors.  Plus, these sisters are just radiant.  Look at those smiles and the gleam in their eyes.  You can tell they love the Lord and his work.

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Sisters Ingersoll and Edmonds


Leave it Clean

Leave it Clean

In Scouting we used to say, “The world is our campground.  Leave it better than you found it.”  When you borrow something, you do the same.  Likewise, when you use something, do the same.  Leave it CLEAN!

This came up in a conversation about people using the chapel.  As a result, I’m going to rant a little here, but it is worth reading.

My Rant

Palmyra is a destination for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Some are large groups and they desire to use our chapel for activities during their visit.  We happily oblige them if there is room.  (Note:  We WANT you to come visit and spend time here.  We love that you do, so keep reading.)

When some (not all) of these groups finish with their use of the building, it is a mess.  They don’t leave it clean.

Who has to clean it?

The members of the Palmyra Ward.  We’re not a large ward, and most of us are over 60.  When you leave the chapel in a mess, cleaning falls upon us.

You are using a House of the Lord.  Treat it as such.  Respect policies such as no food except in areas where allowed.  Respect the fact we are in the country.  Propping doors open invites critters to enter the building and throws the heating/air-conditioning off.

Please do your share to leave it a better place than you found it.


When scheduling a visit with use of our building, please schedule time to clean!

Don’t be in such a hurry to make your appointment at the temple that you can’t clean.  Plan ahead.  If your temple appointment is at 2 p.m., plan your chapel use to be done at 1 p.m. so you have an hour to clean up after yourselves.

Go through and check all of the rooms.  Empty ALL of the trashes even if you didn’t fill them.  (Remember my comment about leaving the place better than you found it?)


Respect your reservation.  If you reserved the kitchen and cultural hall, please don’t drag your social into the chapel, Relief Society, Primary or other rooms you haven’t reserved.


My Wife

My wife has the responsibility for scheduling the building.  When talking to her I asked about messes left behind.  She said if she knows of a mess, she will contact the bishop or stake president and they will in turn contact the leaders of the visiting group.  (Hurray!)

My Experience

I recall a few years ago my wife and I were assigned to clean the building the week of Pageant.  I have never in my life seen one of our church buildings this dirty inside.  The people who had the building early in the day tracked grass everywhere.  It was even on pews and seats as if someone stood on them.

This scene made me sad and also a bit angry.  It made me sad someone would treat the Lord’s House this way.  It made me angry they left such a mess for us to clean.  I remember thinking, “I hope we never have to clean during pageant week again.”


In conclusion, simple clean up after yourselves.  Yeah, this goes for locals too.  However, most locals know they will have to cleanup their mess or deal with the consequences.

We want you to come visit.  We want you to use our building if it will help provide your group with a better experience.  Our love for you runs deep.  We staff our temple with many local volunteers, and we clean our chapel every week.  Please come, visit, use our building, but be aware we need your help keeping it clean.

Dance Practice

Dance Practice

Watching the Hill Cumorah Pageant cast practice for a battle scene is like watching a dance practice.  The well choreographed moves are synchronized like a ballet.  With a cast of hundreds, I guess they would have to be.

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Dance Practice

See Pageant

If you have never seen the Hill Cumoraph Pageant, and you live in Western New York, you owe it to yourself.  It is FREE, and it is held on Friday, June 14th and Saturday the 15th.  It resumes Tuesday the 18th through Saturday the 22nd.

Arrive around dinner time and buy dinner from the Rotary or Lion’s Clubs (look for the big tent south of the seating area).  The pageant (play) starts around 9pm.  There is plenty of seating.

What to expect

Expect to be greeted by cast members while you are waiting for the pageant to start.  Ask them who they portray.  They will also have printed programs for you.

Expect a musical theatrical soundtrack that accompanies the actors on stage.  You will see pyrotechnics and bursts of water that add to the realism.

You can expect to get an overview of a 1,000 year history (600 B.C. to A.D. 400) of what lead up to Hill Cumorah being a pivotal  landmark.  There will also be a tie in to local history in the early 1800s.  As a result, you get a basic understanding of what is covered in the Book of Mormon.

Expect a clean, family environment.  You’ll want to dress modestly (i.e. shorts are okay, but not short-shorts, t-shirts are okay, but I’d avoid crop-tops and tank-tops.)

What not to expect

Don’t expect to be proselytize.  You might be asked if you’ve seen Pageant before, or if you’ve read the Book of Mormon.  As a result, you might be asked if you want a free copy of the Book of Mormon.   You won’t be pressured in to anything.

Don’t expect to be asked for a donation.  The ONLY place you’ll be asked for money is when you buy food.  Nobody will come and ask you to donate money.  (And, if they do, you might let security know.)


Gray Peas

Gray Peas

How do they get frozen peas to look so green?

The peas from my garden are not overcooked, but they are gray peas.  Fresh out of our garden, they look gray.

I made pot roast for the elders tonight.  The peas are a side dish, and in spite of them being fresh and barely cooked, they are gray peas.  Everything else, including my rice pudding, turned out great.

Choir Practice

We stayed after for choir practice.  Pageant is next weekend.  Everyone expects the Palmyra Ward Choir to sing.  We will not disappoint.

The Palmyra Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints receives many visitors on the two Sundays surrounding Hill Cumorah Pageant.  It’s usually around 1,500 people.  As a result, the building is packed and seating limited.

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding deserves lots of raisins.  My recipe is simple… 1 cup sugar, 1 can condensed milk, 1 can evaporated milk and 6 eggs.  Beat well.  Add to rice and raisins.  The more raisins, the better.  Then bake in a shallow dish for 60 minutes at 325.

Regarding the amount of rice… I just throw leftover rice in.  3 cups, 4 cups… who knows.

Ride Tomorrow

My goal is to go riding first thing tomorrow morning.  I’m praying my body doesn’t hurt so much it discourages me away from riding.  This is my plan, and I am sticking to it!

I will take the Erie Canal Trail.  My route is undecided, but we’ll shall see how things go.