Tonight is the dress rehearsal for the 2013 Hill Cumorah Pageant. The performances run tomorrow and Saturday, and then they resume on Tuesday next week, and run through Saturday night.
I recommend getting there around dinner time, and purchasing dinner from one of the many community organizations that will be selling food. Enjoy your dinner while holding down your seat for the performance, and meet some of the cast members.
The Pageant performance is free and open to the public. There are no tickets or reservations. You just show up and find a seat. The food concessions are sold by local non-profit organizations to raise funds for their group.
Hill Cumorah Pageant
I started a topic yesterday, and would like to continue…
It is one thing, as naïve as it is, to say, “There is no God,” instead of saying, “I don’t believe there is a God.”
The chain of events as presented in scriptures is that a person first has hope, which leads to a belief. Belief, when acted upon develops faith. Faith, through endurance and continued action eventually results in knowledge.
Few people will walk up to you and say, “I know there’s is a God because I’ve seen him face-to-face.” We have recorded testimonies of those who have, and as many as try to dispute their testimonies, think for a second how absurd it must sound to the testator.
For instance, take the testimony of Joseph Smith, Junior, who wrote:
“So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my
heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”
Subjective? Perhaps to you, but not to Joseph Smith, who, by the way, held to this to his dying day, as did all the others who received heavenly messengers. This is not the same with Fox sisters who claimed to be able to speak to the spirits of the dead, and then near the ends of their lives, admitted it was a hoax. Further, there is no indication that Joseph Smith was afflicted with some sort of ailment or drug use that caused him to hallucinate. In fact, he executed a strict code of health on the church that is well known today for the abstention of drugs as mild as coffee and tea. There was nothing subjected about Joseph’s visitation.
Others have recorded testimonies that were withheld by divine request – only to be made known after their death. (The Book of Mormon is a great example. In fact, the Hill Cumorah Pageant summarizes many of the stories told in the Book of Mormon.) I’ve often wondered why that is. (Why would someone receive a divine visit, and then be told, “Share this with no one?”) I think the answer is simple: Unless the message is for the world, it is a personal witness.
Read this comment by President Boyd K. Packer, “I know the Lord lives, and I know the Lord.” (Special Broadcast given June, 2013 – click here to listen to the entire talk.) What a powerful statement. As to the best of my knowledge, he has never gone in to any details as to the last part of that sentence. It’s simple, and to the point, “I know the Lord.”
Too often people attribute their own understanding to God’s attributes. If you think doesn’t exist because of your self-attributed attributes, well then you’ve definitely misunderstood who he is, how he works, and what power he has. I don’t know how many times I have heard people say, “I can’t believe in a God who would let that happen.” (That might be war, the death of a child, inhumane treatment of people, etc.) Then, yeah. That god you’ve created in your mind probably doesn’t exist.
God’s plan is not very complex, and it requires effort on the believer’s part. Agreeably, some search so hard in vain that they, like Giovanni Schiaparelli believing he saw canals on Mars, begin to have subjective experiences. (In Schiaparelli’s case, the canals he wanted to see turned out to be the blood vessels in his retina.) But, sought correctly, patiently, humbly, one can come to know God.