The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints utilizes missionary work as an essential tool to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). In addition to 18-month and 2-year proselyting missions, young Latter-day Saints ages 18–25 can apply to serve in young performing missions in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Latter-day Saints interested in serving as a young performing stage missionary, a brass band member or a member of the production crew are required to submit an online application. There is both a written and video portion where applicants can annotate their relevant experience and showcase applicable skillsets. Hundreds of missionaries apply each fall.
Lynn Hall, a recent return missionary from the Nauvoo performing mission, was chosen to be a lead trumpeter in the Nauvoo Brass Band for the 2020 summer pageant. However, due to COVID-19 he did not serve as a band member until the following year. Since his return, Hall has been working as a radio music programmer at BYU-Idaho Radio.
Usually, the Nauvoo Pageant coordinators select only one round of missionaries to perform during the pageant season. However, beginning in 2022, three rounds of young performing missionaries (YPM) will be selected to perform in cycles for an extended pageant season. In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Hall explained how talent and experience are not the only factors that play a part in being selected for a performing mission.
“Our leaders make it very clear, there’s plenty of people with great talent who they’re just constrained by the Spirit not to select them for Nauvoo, and many come back and tell them and email them later saying, ‘Thank you. I got married or I did all these other things that year in my life that I needed to.’ And so, It’s not necessarily those with the best dancing skills or technical abilities on their instrument, but it’s those that the Lord needs,” Hall said.
As a brass band member, Hall would often ride the band wagon around historic Nauvoo with his fellow band members and play rehearsed music for visitors. The band was also featured in different stage productions, backdropping stage missionary dances and singing numbers. Although this became very routine, Hall recalled a personal connection he felt to the music played during his time as a YPM.
“I’ve had some particular moments in Nauvoo where songs I had been hearing like every day struck me differently one day in particular. And I came to know for myself not just a testimony of the Saints who lived there, but a testimony of God’s love,” he said.
Hall was personally impacted by the spirit and history of Nauvoo. He encourages all who are interested to become involved with the pageant or to visit Nauvoo and experience the unique atmosphere there. For more information about Nauvoo performing missions and pageant dates, visit history.churchofjesuschrist.org/ypm.