Thursday, June 28, 2012

into the fire...

Taking wrong turns. Drawsome. Scones. Protestors. Nephites. Lamanites. Prophets. Ancient records. Pioneers. Founding fathers. Volcanoes. Temple. Impromptu photoshoot. Cartwheels. Round-offs. Smart Phone constellation app. Ghost hunting app. Gullible not written on my shoe. Incredibly genial McDonald's man. Wrong turn. Wildfire. Smoky moon. More wildfire.

You know you have great friends when they make the (almost) two hour drive down to a little tiny town in southern Utah to watch the Manti Mormon Miracle Pageant. While some people call this pageant cheesy and silly (after all, isn't the word 'cheesy' included in the definition of 'pageant'), this event has been one of my all-time favorite summer adventures. I used to go every year with my family, and I always looked forward to it. My family couldn't go this year, and so I am extremely grateful to Ann, Brianna, and Matt for making the trip with me.

I love going to this pageant because despite the script and voice recordings that are older than I am (I remember hearing the same words and voices when I was five), it's something from my childhood that hasn't changed. I love the familiarity of the words, and the dramatic music, and the motions of the actors. But most of all, I love the feeling that I get. When I listen to the story of Joseph Smith; when I see the stories of the Book of Mormon played out on the side of the temple hill; when I watch as the man portraying Christ calls the people to him, and then as all of the little children run to his outstretched arms.

For me, it isn't just a pageant. It's more than that. Yes, it's cheesy, and I'll admit it, I had to keep from laughing a couple of times (the script really does need a little help). However, the peace that I feel and the utter longing that enters my heart when I see the Savior wrap his arms around the children...that isn't something I can laugh at. Sitting at the base of the Manti Temple and feeling tears on my cheeks because of the witness I receive from the Lord is real, not humorous. It's one of the few times during the year that I can recognize the Holy Spirit working on me without any doubt -- it's one of the times where I can receive promptings and reassurance without wondering if I'm confusing my own thoughts and desires with the Lord's whisperings. And for that, I am so grateful.

Another successful adventure, I believe. The fire of the wild before us, and the fire of the Spirit within us.

I take pictures of random things. It was the light and the colors that caught my eye.

Beautiful Manti Temple

Shortly before the pageant began

Ann is adorable.

This photo should be a Christmas card.
"He sees you when you're sleeping...and so do we. Merry Christmas from the Calls! Love, Brianna and Matt."

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