On Friday there were 34 women represented. On Saturday it looks like there were only 27 women represented. For more pictures from evangelism at the 2008 “Manti Miracle Pageant”, scheduled to continue from next Tuesday till Saturday, see here.
For those of you new to the issue, I welcome you to check out the list on WivesOfJosephSmith.org.
Update: This is understandably odd and crazy to some of you folks, especially those who didn’t attend the pageant and see it for yourself. I’d be really careful not to pass quick judgment on the sweet women who put this together, and really careful not to make unfair comparisons from your own experiences from other contexts and venues. These are sweet gals who had patient, loving, delicate conversations with those who came up to them. I remember walking up to one Christian (dressed up as a “wife”) yesterday who had tears in her eyes. I asked her what the matter was and she simply said she was overwhelmed with sorrow over all the Mormon people at the pageant who were deceived by the Mormon religion. All around us were very cordial, very outstanding interactions going on.
Remember, they’re dealing with normal, regular Mormons, many of whom don’t even know Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. Some of them are reaching their friends, neighbors, schoolmates, and coworkers. I didn’t personally hear of complaints of the display being called offensive (although I’m sure I’ll hear them soon enough; it’s not fun for Mormons to have to explain to their fellow members the history represented by this), but I heard stories of Mormons expressing disbelief. For them this was the first time learning that Smith not only married over 30 women, but married over 9 who were simultaneously married to living husbands.
If one wanted to judge the event based off how effectively it educated and started good conversations, it was an extraordinary success. I fully support the women who had the evangelistic fervor and creativity to put this together.