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The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

The Hill Cumorah Pageant of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will cease its 81-year run after its 2020 season.

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That announcement was issued Saturday, hours after the church issued a statement saying such pageants are now “discouraged.”

The church said there will be changes to local celebrations, including pageants, explaining that “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,” reads the official statement from the church.“Larger productions, such as pageants, are discouraged.”

Pageant officials with the annual Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti said Saturday they anticipate the shows will likely go on but with some changes. A church leader in Illinois said the Nauvoo-British Pageant will continue to be held as it has been. What will happen to the church’s other four pageants — including two others in Utah — is not yet clear but will be decided after additional discussions.

According to one longtime pageant organizer, the events have attracted millions of attendees over the years.

Hill Cumorah Pageant President Neil Pitts said the staff of the Palmyra, New York, pageant is supportive of the decision to stop production after 2020.

“We had a wonderful run,” Pitts said in a statement. “Our church has asked us to focus more on the family, and this is certainly in line with that desire. We have had a wonderful 81 years and will focus on making the next two years an amazing experience for our cast, crew and audience.”

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.