Photography by Scot Facer Proctor. Text by Maurine Proctor
The LDS Conference Center was alive with music, color, cheering and bursts of applause as the Hispanic community gathered for their cultural celebration Luz De Las Naciones last weekend. With 1500 people involved in the production, and a Conference Center brimming with audience, the center’s stage was made to look ancient American, with Mayan ruins and jungle plants.
Utah has 146 Spanish-speaking wards or branches, but people came also from Arizona, California and Idaho for the show. Participants were urged to bring friends who are not Church members, and one bishop from Idaho brought 27 of his friends to introduce them to the Church.
The production was under Hispanic leadership with producer Israel Gonzales, associate producer, Mary Muller and artistic director Malcolm Botto playing key roles. Headsets were given to English speakers in the audience so they could receive a translation of the evening.
Though many of the participants had never danced before, the production was professional and precise, and as Keith Atkinson, whose background is in entertainment production noted, “I’ve never seen anything more professional than this last weekend.”