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Temple is centerpiece of new Nauvoo pageant

Abby Schiess, Idaho Falls, befriends fellow cast member Levi Hopkin, Iowa City, dressed in girl's clothes which, in old days, were simpler to maintain.
Abby Schiess, Idaho Falls, befriends fellow cast member Levi Hopkin, Iowa City, dressed in girl's clothes which, in old days, were simpler to maintain. Photo: Photos by R. J. Snow

NAUVOO, Ill. — The Nauvoo Illinois Temple was the centerpiece for the 28th annual production of the City of Joseph Pageant, presented July 26, 27, 30 and 31, and Aug. 1 through 3 on the grassy hillside near the banks of the Mississippi River. Between 40,000 and 50,000 people were expected to witness at least one of the eight performances staged and performed by a cast and crew of more than 670 people from 32 states and provinces in the United States and Canada.

"The temple was and is at the center of Church theology," said Joel Orgill of the pageant presidency, "and the new pageant explains the emphasis which existed in Nauvoo between 1841 and 1846 on getting the first temple completed. The recently dedicated Nauvoo Temple is a tangible link to the past."

The temple is shown as a beacon to the world, a wonderful and sacred memorial to the faith, devotion, dedication and commitment of the early Nauvoo pioneers.

Annually, pageant participants arrive in Nauvoo as individuals, couples, groups of friends and as entire families, all paying their own expenses, while living in tents, campers, RVs, cabins, or at the dormitory rooms of the Joseph Smith Academy.

"The new temple in Nauvoo is a special attraction to persons of all faiths and persuasions, in addition to their motivation to attend the pageant," said Wayne Boss, public affairs member of the pageant presidency.

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