Jane Braithwaite, who has been an assistant director of the pageant each year since the beginning, describes her feelings about the Mormon Miracle: “The pageant is a modern day miracle. It is part of the glorious fulfillment of promises made to prophets of old who looked to this latter day. With every pageant performance, the Book of Mormon’s sacred and powerful message has shone forth ‘out of darkness unto light,’ touching the lives of vast audiences assembled to ‘learn of Him.’ (See Mormon 8:14-16) Breathtakingly for half of a century, the Mormon Miracle Pageant has flourished. In thrilling harmony, cast and audience, young and old, robust and infirm, have experienced President Ezra Taft Benson’s unforgettable testimony that The Book of Mormon has been miraculously prepared, preserved and brought forth to bring men of this day to Christ!
“Somehow, under the stars, stirred with a spirit of remembrance and gratitude, one can sense more deeply the solemnity and significance of the oolite temple -and the nearness of the Holy One of Israel.”
Jane is the granddaughter of Manti Temple President L.R. Anderson whose words, spoken in the 1950s, proved to be prophetic. Workmen were building the parking lot south of the temple on a hot summer afternoon, when President Anderson said to one of them: “You know, I will never live to see it, but someday this side will be the most beautiful side of the temple.” And, he added thoughtfully, “I don’t know why, but thousands of people will come here.” (New Era July, 1978, p. 18.)
R. Clair Anderson, was the first chairman of the Mormon Miracle Pageant Committee, and a member of the stake presidency, His wife,Sister Mabel Anderson, was for many years corresponding secretary. Her letter to Elder Mark E. Petersen summarizes the feelings of those who have been affiliated with the Pageant, “Something wonderful happened in our town,’The Mormon Miracle Pageant’. From a most humble beginning it has developed into such a splendid thing it has left a lovely afterglow that emanates from the hearts of those who participate in the production, those who witness it, those who are part of it in any way. And it is a glow that has not left! The pageant is something that came into our lives making us better people, more united, more dedicated, more spiritual. And well it should because it is a great spiritual production, and that lovely afterglow remains with us the year around. Wherever one goes, meeting in crowds of people or individually we feel the warmth that is the essence of the pageant. People who once lived in our valley but have moved away are so proud of what is being done in the place they still call ‘home’ and many have expressed that pride in words, in appreciation and in financial support.”