By Church Employee, Mormon Newsroom
Preston, England, United Kingdom
The Pageant’s cast and audience were treated to a special visit by modern-day apostle Elder M. Russell Ballard during the 3 August performance. This visit was especially significant as the Pageant features the stories of earlier apostles who came to England as missionaries in the 1800s.
Elder Ballard has strong ties to the United Kingdom and surrounding countries. Elder Ballard’s family history roots come out of the British Isles, and he served as a young missionary in England from 1948 to 1950.
When I come here, I’m coming home. I love this island. I love these people,” says Elder Ballard.
Elder Ballard was accompanied by other Church leaders, many of whose families originate from the United Kingdom. Elder Patrick Kearon, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy who was born in Cumberland, feels the importance of honouring the history of the Mormon faith in the British Isles. The emigration of those early British Mormons resonates with their posterity today.
“They set off to build temples in Kirtland, Ohio and Nauvoo, Illinois and beyond. They understood that there was more to come under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the restoration and the foundation of the Church and they knew that they had to go there to be a part of it, to be a part of the temple-building people that we’ve become, and to now see their descendants see more than 150 temples over the whole globe and growing”, says Elder Kearon.
Church Employee, Mormon Newsroom
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