By Church Employee, Mormon Newsroom
Preston, England, United Kingdom

On 3 August, Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), attended a Victorian celebration in Chorley, Lancashire, England.
​The British Pageant was first produced in 2013. This summer, this musical experience that tells the history of the Mormon faith in Great Britain and Ireland returns to the United Kingdom in Chorley after months of preparation and rehearsals by a cast and crew of thousands.

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.

He describes the 2017 British Pageant as a continuation of the Mormons’ rich spiritual legacy of music: “Even on the Plains, when they were moving across in those very difficult times with their wagons and their handcarts, they would find themselves singing, oftentimes dancing in order to try to keep their spirits up and to feel the joy and the power that comes from music and song and socialisation.”

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.

The British Pageant is currently being performed in Chorley until 12 August, 2017, and is free to the public. Visit for more details.

News Released by Mormon Newsroom

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