PALMYRA, N.Y. — I arrived last night at Hill Cumorah, a tiny hamlet outside of Rochester that is recognised as the birthplace of the Mormon religion.Every year, thousands of Mormons make the pilgrimage to Hill Cumorah for a huge pageant that celebrates their religion and its founder, Joseph Smith, who is said to have had his encounter with the Golden Plates on this very hill. For one week in July, a 700-person spectacle recreates the discovery of the plates — which Smith translated into the Book of Mormon — and the events that the Book describes every night, with a show that The New York Times described as “the G-rated version of Bonnaroo.”
This year is particularly significant for the Hill Cumorah pageant, the flagship pageant for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints which takes place every year in July.
First, it is the 75th anniversary of the pageant, and anniversary events commemorating past Hill Cumorah pageants are scheduled throughout the week.
Second, this year’s pageant takes place at a particularly huge moment for Mormons and the LDS Church. The presidential candidacy of Mitt Romney has brought curiosity about the Mormon religion to an all-time high, and the relatively insular Mormon community now finds itself under the intense scrutiny of the national media spotlight.
Naturally, it seems like the perfect opportunity to attend the Hill Cumorah pageant, and find out a little bit more about Romney’s religion and learn more about how his fellow adherents view the first major-party Mormon presidential candidate in history.
I’ll be posting updates from the pageant on the Business Insider politics page and via Twitter (@grace_lightning). If you have anything you’d like to know about the pageant or about how people here feel about Romney, let me know in the comments section or email me at [email protected], and I’ll try my best to answer!
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