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The Mormon Miracle Pageant

Once a year the quiet community of Manti, Utah transforms into a hub of activity. Thousands of people from around the world flock there to experience The Mormon Miracle Pageant. It began as a one-time performance at the foot of the Manti Temple. Meanwhile, it has transpired into a half a century of tradition. Join KSL News Specialist Sam Penrod from KSL-TV as he explores “50 Years of Miracles,” the story of the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah.


General Conference Documentaries

You can watch more General Conference documentaries like this one with the KSL-TV app. The app is free, with no cable subscription required, and available for a variety of Connected TV and smartphone platforms including Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, Android and fourth-generation Apple TV boxes.

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Local Businesses In Manti Look To The Future After The Pageant Ends

MANTI, Utah – As residents in Manti prepare for what will be the final season of the Mormon Miracle Pageant next summer, local business owners are looking ahead to they will be impacted, when they can no longer count on tourism revenue they have relied on from the pageant.

For the past 52 years, the pageant has welcomed, on average, more than 75,000 people over the eight nights of performances. On Saturday, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced plans to no longer sponsor large pageants and local church leaders in Manti say that the pageant will end after the performances next June.

“For the month of June, it is the single biggest part of my month, we sell out every day of pageant,” said Dirk Correnti, who owns the Manti Country Village Motel.

Now Correnti, who also owns the only sit-down restaurant in town, is wondering what it could mean for his bottom line, after the pageant ends in 2019. He generally is booked for the pageant dates within a couple of days, when he begins accepting reservations on January 1.

“We have already had management meetings this morning, discussing what we can do,” he said, adding he hopes to attract ATV riders and others who enjoy the area for recreation.

One of the biggest attractions on a pageant night has been the community-organized BBQ turkey dinners, which on average attract one thousand hungry guests each night.

“No one got paid at all, all the hundreds and thousands of hours, were contributed for the community,” said Kent Barton, city manager for Manti, who oversees the dinners.

And over the years, the proceeds of those dinners have benefited many community improvement projects.

“We got a sound system for the literary club, new concessions stands for the high school,” he added.

Now Barton says the city will look forward to welcoming visitors to the pageant next June, for the last time.

“We want to invite everybody to come back and enjoy our community one more year,” he said.

The final dates for the Mormon Miracle Pageant will be June 13-15 and 18-22, 2019.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Announces Changes to Pageants

MANTI, Utah – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is calling an end to pageants including the popular Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti.

The final performance will run in June 2019 on the temple grounds.

“It’s really important to our community. It’s important to our youth, it’s important to our families,” said Doug Barton, the former pageant president.

The Mormon Miracle pageant started as a Pioneer Day Celebration that expanded into a major production drawing people from across the state and around the world.

“If no one came to see the pageant it would still be worth doing because of the impact on the lives of the people that participate in it,” said Barton.

The Church estimates nearly 5 million people have enjoyed the production in its five decades.

Each year the performance draws at least 80-thousand people in a two week span.
But in the last 15 years, total attendance has dropped by 40 percent.

“Our society is changing. Our attention spans are shorter,” said current Pageant President Milton Olsen. “And the pageant has existed for 53 years and has really not changed for 53 years, so it doesn’t connect with people the way it used to.”

Security, production expenses and the amount of time it takes for families to participate are all concerns, local church leaders say factored into the decision.

The team behind the pageant hopes it can be revived at a different venue, saying so much work has gone into the live theatrical performance.

The church released this statement:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is growing across the earth. As this occurs, local Church leaders and members are encouraged to focus on gospel learning in their homes and to participate in Sabbath worship and the Church’s supporting programs for children, youth, individuals and families. The goal of every activity in the Church should be to increase faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and to share His gospel message throughout the world. Local celebrations of culture and history may be appropriate. Larger productions, such as pageants, are discouraged. As it relates to existing pageants, conversations with local Church and community leaders are underway to appropriately end, modify or continue these productions.”

The pageant president expects 2019 to be a banner year for the production as it nears its final scene.

“This will be the last chance to see it. The way that it is,” Barton said.

Local church leaders say they’ve been asked to consider in the next few weeks if and how the pageant will move forward.

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50 Years of Miracles

MANTI — Once a year, the small town of Manti turns into a very busy place, as thousands of people from around the world flock to this Central Utah community to experience the Mormon Miracle Pageant.

What began as a one-time performance, has transpired into a half a century of tradition. “50 Years of Miracles” captures the history of how the pageant began, the willing volunteers who do much more than appear in the cast, and the message that leaves audiences inspired on the grounds of the Manti Temple.

Angel Moroni atop the Manti LDS Temple (Photo: Sam Penrod)

For more information about the pageant, including this year’s dates and a book commemorating the first 50 years, visit www.mantipageant.org.

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Vintage Cars, Pinstripes and An Ugly Rat Attract People to Small-town Celebration

MANTI, Utah — One of the more unique summer celebrations is underway this weekend in the small town of Manti — and while you may have never heard of it, it attracts some interesting people from all over the country and even the world.

“It’s old-school, it is all old-school around here, all hand painted,” said artist Jeff Dastrup, who is freehanding pinstripes on a truck.

It’s a simple form of art that you will see all over at the Rat Fink Reunion.

He’s one of 71 artists here this year, each with unique and some very interesting talents, who all come together because of a character born in the 1960’s—Rat Fink.

“You become a really tight knit family of artists, we have a blast seeing each other every year, and it is fun with social media because we can keep track of each other throughout the year” Dastrup said.

Rat Fink was created by Ed Big Daddy Roth, who moved to Manti in the late 1980’s. After his death in 2001, his widow invited longtime friends to gather for a reunion. In the  17 years since, the interest has exploded.

 

“We had our guest book signed and we had ten different countries represented, coming to little Manti, Utah, for the Rat Fink reunion,” said Ilene Roth, the widow of Ed Roth.

“It is mind-boggling. It is the best thing that could ever happen to keep his legacy alive, and I think what is neat about it is the art that he created and the cars that he created are timeless pieces, and so people are gravitating toward it all the time,” she added.

The Rat Fink reunion has become a big draw in recent years during the first weekend in June. City officials hope to grow the event in future years to help local businesses that will lose revenue with the end of the Mormon Miracle Pageant after its final season is over in three weeks.

“With the pageant going away, I think it gives us more time to prepare and showcase this event in our community,” said Kent Barton, Manti City Administrator.

A car show will be held in the city park on Saturday and Saturday evening, a dinner to benefit Ryan Dahlberg, a local resident who is fighting cancer.

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Special KSL general conference programming to feature patriotism, service and exclusive interview with new LDS prophet

SALT LAKE CITY — This weekend, KSL-TV will suspend its regular daytime programming and, along with airing LDS general conference, will air several inspiring, locally-produced documentaries addressing a wide range of topics.

All of the specials will be available on KSL-TV, KSL.com and on demand on the KSL TV app. Be sure to tune in to watch each of these specials.

Here is a schedule for these programs:

Saturday, March 31

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: History of the Saints

Holy Ground, Sites Sacred to the Restoration: Palmyra

Each year, thousands of Latter-day Saints journey to the sacred sites of the Restoration to experience more fully what happened and where. It was at these sites where the LDS faithful believe God restored necessary truths and ordinances. Many come away understanding that these places have a sacred spirit about them that strengthens spiritual knowledge and faith. This special presentation is the first in a series that will take viewers all over the world to stand virtually on holy ground. This first episode journeys to Palmyra and Manchester, the very cradle of the Latter-day Saint Restoration. The stories, the events and the scenery that make this ground holy will be presented in vivid detail.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: General Conference

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Aid Amidst the Storm

Florida, Texas, Mexico, Puerto Rico, California — the list of areas affected by disaster in the last few months is overwhelming. Each place was impacted in different ways, but one thing they all had in common were the Mormons there among those who were offering aid. Whether in a sea of yellow Helping Hands vests or just neighbor to neighbor, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were a force for good as they joined many others who were volunteering and providing support. See the heartwarming connections these volunteers made as they answered the call to serve amidst the storm.

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: In God We Trust

Kyle Fox is defined by his patriotism, service and love of God. He’s an everyday citizen who, during a time when divisions are strong and many have lost hope, felt compelled to create a project that unites people around a common symbol of freedom. He set to work creating the largest free-flying American flag in The United States and then flew it across a 1,100-foot canyon near his home. His desire was to inspire greater patriotism in others and to strengthen the love of country within his community. His “Follow the Flag” project has become more than he could have imagined, has impacted thousands and has helped military families heal. Fox believes we all have a responsibility to be courageous, to speak out and to have hope. We’ll share the faces, places and inspiring stories surrounding this project.

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: An Artistic Vision

Artists, scholars, musicians and interested observers will come together for the first-ever Mormon Arts Center festival in New York City in June. This gathering is dedicated to elevating the concept of why Mormon art matters. KSL arts and religion specialist Carole Mikita shares the humble beginning of this movement and how the festival came to be. Visit the studios and art spaces of both new and known Mormon artists, and hear the music created by some very talented Mormon composers.

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: General Conference

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: LDS News and World Report

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Sunday, April 1

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: 50 Years of Miracles

Once a year the quiet community of Manti, Utah, is transformed into a hub of activity as thousands of people from around the world flock there to experience the Mormon Miracle Pageant. What began as a one-time performance at the foot of the Manti Temple has transpired into a half century of tradition. Join KSL news specialist Sam Penrod as he explores “50 Years of Miracles,” the story of the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti.

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Music and the Spoken Word

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: General Conference

12:00-1:00 pm President Russell M. Nelson: Brilliant Mind, Gentle Heart

For decades, he served as an apostle and now, Russell M. Nelson has become the 17th prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He came to church leadership from a career as a world-renowned heart surgeon. In an exclusive interview with him, we discover the many gifts and talents of a man with a brilliant mind and gentle heart.

His colleagues, friends and family members also offer insights and share stories of his faith as he traveled the world, and of his devotion as a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Those who know him best say President Nelson’s intense belief in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ makes him a leader for this time.

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Voices of Strength

Whether it’s in business, education, community service or sports, you’ll find people who inspire others. In “Voices of Strength,” we profile these five women who have used their experiences and voices to help others. We share their stories and personal insights about faith, hard work and grief.

  • Gail Miller: For a long-time, Gail Miller was known only as the wife of businessman Larry H. Miller. Today, she is known for her philanthropic work and service in the community. Her life may seem charmed, but Gail Miller has experienced challenges in nearly every aspect of her life: financial struggles, family trials and personal loss. Through it all, she had the courage to move forward and remain grounded in her faith. Gail Miller has recently released a book called “Courage to be You.” In it, she provides inspiring lessons from her unexpected journey.
  • Sahar Qumsiyeh is a Palestinian convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She joined the LDS Church when she came to BYU to study math, and then returned to Palestine. She was a Relief Society president in Israel, who many times couldn’t get through the security checkpoints in Jerusalem to get to church. Her story is one of forgiveness and the healing power of the Savior. She has written a book called “Peace for a Palestinian,” where she shares her story of faith amid war in the Holy Land.
  • Carol Decker: While she was pregnant, Carol suffered an infection which nearly took her life. The infection caused her to go blind, and she had to have both her legs and parts of her arms amputated. Since then, Decker has become an advocate for adaptive living, and is a motivational speaker. She epitomizes strength, perseverance, optimism and faith.
  • Lisa Valentine Clark: You’ve probably seen her in any number of commercials or independent features. Clark is an actress, comedian, writer and producer. But she says her greatest roles are mother and wife. Clark and her husband are the parents of five children. During the last few years, as her career has taken off, struggles at home have become more challenging. Life and death have taken on new meaning for Clark who helps her husband progress through the life-altering stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease. She says, “When we don’t know where to begin, we begin with hope.”
  • Justice Christine M. Durham: Durham knows what it feels like to blaze trails for others. For years, she was told that her dream to practice law was implausible because she was a woman. When Durham graduated from Duke Law School, fewer than 2 percent of the people practicing law were female, but this didn’t discourage her. Durham worked hard and eventually served as Utah’s first female district court judge and Utah Supreme Court justice. She is the only woman in the state to have been elected Chief Justice by her fellow justices. Durham credits her colleagues, family and faith for her success. At one point in her career, Durham was the highest ranking LDS Church member serving in the United States judiciary system.

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Miracles from Elsie

Three-year-old Elsie Mahe’s life was cut short after a tragic accident in the family home, but her legacy lives on. The Mahe family says while they didn’t receive their miracle for Elsie, there were many miracles from Elsie. Elsie’s organs were donated to save many lives, but the miracles go far beyond this. See how the sparkle and spirit of a little girl have helped to spread faith, love and kindness across the globe.

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: General Conference

4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: The Rising Generation

Most performers are lucky to achieve fame after years spent in the trenches. But what do you say about a singing five-year-old who’s already been seen by millions on YouTube and network television? In “The Rising Generation,” you’ll meet a variety of young people who’ve already hit it big. From little Claire Crosby singing with her dad, Dave, to Lexi Walker, who’s recording and performing all around the globe, and Madilyn Paige, who made a splash on NBC’s “The Voice.” Then there are the family acts, like Jenny Oaks Baker & Family Four, who haul their instruments around the world to play. And sibling actors Mia, Anson and Ari Bagley thrill audiences onstage and on their hit family YouTube channel “Working With Lemons.”

You’ll find out how these local young LDS performers hold on to their values in a tough industry, stay driven yet well-rounded and how they’ve managed to see their hopes and dreams realized long before they thought possible.

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Family History 2.0

Think genealogy is digging through musty libraries and church basements? Think again. Family history research has come a long way in the past few years. Today you’re just as likely to uncover hidden mysteries on your smartphone or in your DNA results. Popular television programs like “Relative Race” have helped intensify interest in family history research. Program host Michelle King explores how modern technology is making your family research fun, engaging and memorable.

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General Conference

KSL has new and exciting ways to watch General Conference this year. In addition to KSL-TV 5’s broadcast coverage, General Conference will also be streamed live in the KSL-TV mobile and Connected TV apps (iOS, Android, Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV). No cable subscription required. And don’t worry if you miss anything or want to watch again later. All sessions and KSL Conference documentaries will also be available in the app on-demand.


Conference Sponsors

A lot of work and production goes into our Conference documentaries and coverage. Thank you to all of our sponsors: The Piano Guys, EDGEhomes, Deseret First Credit Union, Siegfried & Jensen and Living Scriptures.

Deseret First Credit UnionSiegfried & Jensen EDGEhomes


General Conference Documentary Schedule

Here is KSL-TV’s programming documentary schedule for General Conference October 2017:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

  • History of the Saints: 9:30-10:00 am
    Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration and as such occupies a unique and singular place in Latter-day Saint history. Because of who he is and what he represents he frequently comes under attack by critics. This History of the Saints special brings together respected scholars to answer questions and address concerns about Joseph Smith the Prophet.
  • 50 Years of Miracles: 12:00-12:30 pm
    Once a year the quiet community of Manti Utah is transformed into a hub of activity as thousands of people from around the world flock there to experience the Mormon Miracle Pageant. What began as a one-time performance, at the foot of the Manti Temple, has transpired into a half a century of tradition. Join KSL News Specialist Sam Penrod as he explores “50 Years of Miracles” the story of the Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti.
  • LDS News and World Report: 12:30-1:30 pm
    This one-hour semi-annual report explores some of the major news events around the world pertaining to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Choosing Happy: 1:30-2:00 pm
    Who doesn’t want to be happy? It’s one of the basic rights Americans were guaranteed when this country was founded — “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But how much of your happiness is due to your circumstances? What portion is genetically determined? Who are the happiest people in the world? And, if you’re not happy—why not? Host, Michelle King talks to three experts who lay out some key strategies for finding happiness. You’ll meet several strong everyday people who’ve used those techniques to get through severe setbacks and sorrow. From dealing with the typical adversities life throws at you, to combating unexpected tragedies, addiction, and depression, you’ll be better prepared, once you’re armed with new tools and actually make the choice to be happy.
  • To The Rescue: 4:00-5:00 pm
    Members of the LDS Church have been counseled to reach out and help refugees. KSL News Specialist Deanie Wimmer shows how this call to service has inspired many people to step outside their comfort zones to help those most in need. A young woman, drawn to help in whatever way she could set up a successful nonprofit organization that now provides thousands of pounds of needed items to those fleeing their dangerous homelands. Some members have traveled to refugee camps to show compassionate care, while others serve closer to home helping in their own communities. It’s a movement that is gaining momentum — it’s a desire to help those who cannot help themselves.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

  • Connecting Roots: Freedmen’s Records: 9:00-9:30 am
    The Freedmen’s Bureau Project has changed the very fabric of genealogy for African Americans. “Connecting Roots” explains the history behind this project and the personal stories about why this is so meaningful for so many families.
  • Family History 2.0: A New Generation of Genealogy: 12:00-12:30 pm
    Think genealogy is digging through musty libraries and church basements? Think again. Family History research has come a long way in the past few years. Today, you’re just as likely to uncover hidden mysteries on your smartphone, or in your DNA results. Popular television programs like Relative Race have helped intensify interest in family history research. Program host, Michelle King explores how modern technology is making your family research fun, engaging and memorable.
  • An Artistic Vision: 12:30-1:00 pm
    Artists, scholars, musicians and interested observers come together for the first-ever Mormon Arts Center festival in New York City. This gathering is dedicated to elevating the concept of why Mormon Art matters. KSL Arts and Religion Specialist Carole Mikita shares the humble beginning of this movement and how the festival came to be. Visit the studios and art spaces of both new and known Mormon Artists and hear the music created by some very talented Mormon Composers.
  • Members in Many Lands: 1:00-1:30 pm
    Travel to far off places with News Specialist Ashley Kewish to see what life is like for Mormons around the world in India, Mali, Mexico, Jamaica, Austria, Brazil, and Ghana. Many of these members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are recent converts who have adopted a new lifestyle as they embrace the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Civility: Changing the Conversations: 1:30-2:00 pm
    Civility has taken a hit lately. The art of disagreeing gracefully has been replaced with vitriol comments and caustic feelings. It seems no matter the topic, discussions in online comment boards, on social media sites, and in public gatherings have become increasingly more hostile. These disagreements affect our families, our schools, and our workplaces. Despite this trend towards negativity, there are voices working to change the communication—to make it more civil. We highlight these positive voices.
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