“Zion: Valuable Activation and Missionary Tool,” Ensign, Aug. 1982, 79
The dramatic musical production Zion is proving to be an exciting activation and missionary tool for church members wherever it is presented.
Zion tells the story of the search for Zion and the promises that will be fulfilled in the lives of members of the Church who “seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.” (D&C 6:6.)
The script, written by Kim Burningham, Marilyn Adams, Mollie Shaffer, and Jayne Malan, combines music, drama, dance, and multi-image photography (by Don O. Thorpe). The musical score, composed and orchestrated by Merrill Bradshaw, includes arrangements of familiar Mormon hymns as well as original music.
After seeing the production Zion presented on the grounds of the Los Angeles temple, a man—now a recent convert—immediately began investigating the Church—he wanted to find the source of the spirit that he had felt that night. For a young BYU student, seeing Zion was a turning point; it instilled in her a great desire to do genealogy work for her family.
The musical drama consists of numerous sequences depicting different themes in Church history—the Restoration, the martyrdom, temples, missionary work, and the international Church, among others. Because each sequence can effectively stand alone, families use them in family home evenings. Teachers and other leaders use them in classroom situations and for special programs in Seminaries and Institutes, Relief Society, and other ward and stake events.
Many areas of the Church have adapted the script to include scenes of events indicating the growth of the Church in local areas, and have also included pictures of local interest. Much of the music in the script is appropriate for use in sacrament meeting.
The following production materials are available at the Church Distribution Center (1999 West 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104) and at Promised Valley Playhouse (132 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84101):
Zion Production Book (PXAC0053; $1.50)—Includes complete information for presenting the production, including music, script, suggestions for simplifying and adapting the show to local situations, costume sketches, lighting and staging suggestions.
Zion Choral Book (PXAC0020; $.90)—Contains choral music and piano music for the production.
Zion Production Kit (VVOF3083; $11.00)—Includes a filmstrip of visuals needed for the production, plus two cassette tapes for use with the filmstrip. One cassette includes the complete Zion soundtrack; the other includes the orchestral music and sound effects.
Zion Complete Soundtrack (VVOT1055; $1.25)—Consists of a stereo cassette; suggested for listening pleasure.
The Zion Production Book and the Zion Production Kit together provide the necessary materials for family home evening, classroom, and simple programming needs.