“Celebrating Church History, British Style,” Friend, Jul. 2014, 44–45
In the 1800s the Church was growing in places like Kirtland and Nauvoo. But it was growing across the ocean too! The Prophet Joseph Smith had sent some of the Apostles to England as missionaries. And thousands of people were hearing their message and joining the Church!
Last July, some British children performed in a new pageant to celebrate the history of the Church in their very own country. This month the pageant is being put on in Nauvoo!
“It felt really special to have the pageant on the grounds of the temple because we could see it all the time. It was like being on a mission, feeling the Spirit in everything we did. I experienced many miracles, and my testimony has grown.”
Caitlin M., age 11, England, who played Emily Partington
“Back then, Church members were encouraged to build the Church in Nauvoo and Utah. Today we build Zion wherever we live.”
Matthew P., age 11, England, who played Peter Ashton
“When I acted in the pageant, I felt like it was also my first time to hear about the First Vision, and it made me feel happy and warm inside.”
Leah G., age 10, England, who played Ellie Ashton
Preston, England—When the Apostles first came in 1837, they taught and baptized people in Preston. Today there’s a temple in Preston, and the British Pageant took place right on the temple grounds!
Liverpool, England—Many missionaries arrived at the busy ocean port of Liverpool. Saints heading to Zion usually left from there too.
Bishopton, Scotland—Elders Samuel Mulliner and Alexander Wright baptized the first converts in Scotland in 1839.
Herefordshire, England—While Elder Wilford Woodruff was preaching at the Benbow family farm, a constable (like a police officer) came to arrest him. Elder Woodruff invited the constable to stay and listen. After the meeting, the constable asked to be baptized!
Manchester, England—In 1840 mission leaders in Manchester started printing The Millennial Star. It was a forerunner of the Church magazines we have today, like the Friend!
Banbridge, Ireland—In 1840 Thomas Tate, the first convert in Ireland, was baptized in Lochbrickland Lake.
London, England—Elder Lorenzo Snow presented a special copy of the Book of Mormon to Queen Victoria in 1842.
Llanelli, Wales—One of the first LDS chapels in the United Kingdom was built here in 1849.