You are welcome to jump right to the play, but here’s some background on it. Five years ago I was asked to write a Book of Mormon/Luke 2 Nativity play for our Ward Christmas party. Since that first play we’ve had several different Wards use our script. Each Ward has made requests and changes to their liking, but the number one request back to me was to do a better job on having the complete Nativity play.
This request becomes difficult when you add in the parameters of making the play easy for the primary to do and also not turning into a five hour production (I’m that father who starts to get antsy when the Primary program is more than 30 minutes).
The original play, which you can find here, omitted the wise men and shepherds and focused a lot more on Book of Mormon. Obviously, it’s hard to think of the Nativity play without these key Bible events and therefore I provide the below rewrite of the script.
As always, I’m open to your feedback and suggestions on improving the play. Also, if you use the play we’d love to post any pictures you take of your Ward’s production.
Good luck and may you feel the pure love of Christ this Christmas season!
The Bible & Book of Mormon Christmas Nativity Script
You’ll want to split the stage into two areas (some Wards put a sheet to divide the scenes): on the left side have the Bible scenes and on the right the Book of Mormon scenes. A narrator sits in front of the curtains for the entire program. Most Wards had the narrator sit in a comfortable chair taken from the foyer, some even added a lamp to give a cozy home feeling. The narrator has a book in his lap, as if he is reading a story to the audience, which can hide the play manuscript. When the narrator reads have different primary children come onto the stage and silently act out each of their parts. Other than the narrator and scripture readers the program is created to be entirely done by the primary without speaking parts. Doing it this way considerably simplifies the moving parts of the play and most Wards only did one or two practices before putting on the play.
Scene 1 – Mary & the Angel
[Before the curtains open, the narrator will begin speaking to the audience. Behind the curtains have on the Bible side of the stage Mary and the angel Gabriel. The Book of Mormon side is dark. You can have the children already on the Book of Mormon side, but realize they might get anxious while scene 1 is happening. Also, the voice for the scriptures and Lord is off stage and different from the narrator.]
NARRATOR: During the Christmas season we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but often we only hear the story found in the Bible. Unknown to most of the modern world, the Book of Mormon also prophesies of the Savior’s birth. As we take the stories from both these sacred texts we begin to weave a beautiful picture of one of the most important events in human history — the birth of Jesus Christ.
[The curtains open]
NARRATOR: This great story begins in the New Testament when God sends the angel Gabriel to speak to Mary.
[Have a boy wearing his Sunday best (white shirt and dark pants) or a white robe with colored white hair (or wig). Mary is in a simple robe, sitting or kneeling on the ground. They boy can be lifting his hand up to the heavens pretending to talk, while Mary listens intensely.]
SCRIPTURE VOICE (LUKE 1:28-33): “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”
Scene 2 – Wicked Nephites
[On the Book of Mormon side of the stage have four or five evil Nephites mocking Nephi when their side of the stage lights up and the Bible side darkens.]
NARRATOR: However, before Jesus was born to Mary, many prophecies in the Book of Mormon had foreshadowed his actual birth and provided amazing signs that would signify the coming of the Savior into the world. Unfortunately, when the time came for the prophesies to be fulfilled there were many among the Nephites who did not believe.
SCRIPTURE VOICE (3 NEPHI 1:9-13): “Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass. Now when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful. And he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers. And he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
[Have a spotlight focus on Nephi when the Lord starts to speak (speaker is off stage). Have Nephi look up into the light. All wicked Nephites leave stage.]
THE LORD: “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.”
[Stage goes dark and Nephi leaves.]
Scene 3 – Christ’s Birth
[The Bible side lights up and a pregnant Mary is on a donkey (a child), while Joseph leads her to the stable with a manger. Have on stage a manger with the baby Jesus already in it and several children acting as animals around it. Direct Mary and Joseph to slowly go towards the manger.]
NARRATOR: As the Lord promised Nephi of his coming, we learn in the New Testament that Joseph and Mary, the Savior’s soon to be earthly parents, traveled to Bethlehem to be taxed. Upon their arrival they were unable to find room in an inn and therefore took refuge in a humble stable for the Savior to come into the world.
SCRIPTURE VOICE (LUKE 2:6-7): And so it was, that, while they were there she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
[Stage goes dark on Bible side]
Scene 4 – Signs in the New World
[Have the wicked Nephites back on stage (do not bring on Nephi). Have all the lights focused on them and have the children acting scared and bewildered.]
NARRATOR: In Jerusalem we see our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ born into humble circumstances, but in the promised land of the Nephites his birth is marked with a glorious sign of radiant light that astonished all those who did not believe.
SCRIPTURE VOICE (3 NEPHI 1:15-21): “And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came. And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead”
[have all the wicked Nephites fall to the ground]
for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand. And there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
And a new star did appear, according to the word.
[Have a new star appear over the stable scene with Mary and Joseph and darken the Book of Mormon side.]
Scene 5 – Shepherds
[Bible side lights up with the shepherds tending their flock, with Joseph and Mary cradling Jesus in the background. Have the angel come in once the scripture voice begins and leave when the shepherds go to Mary and Joseph.]
NARRATOR: With Jesus Christ now born into the world to save mankind the heavenly host of angels rejoiced and lead, not kings, but simple shepherds from the hills of Bethlehem to the feet of Mary’s new born baby.
SCRIPTURE VOICE (LUKE 2:8:16): “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them and said,
ANGEL’S VOICE: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
[Shepherds go to Mary and Joseph and worship Jesus. The Bible side of the stage DOESN’T darken, but the children focus on the baby.]
Scene 6 – Finale
[Book of Mormon side lights up and stays on. Have all the Nephites pointing to the star and acting like they are talking about it. On the Bible side still have the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus on stage, but bring in the wise men with their gifts.]
NARRATOR: From Jesus’s miraculous birth a bright star appeared in the sky. This new star fulfilled prophecies of the Book of Mormon and also guided the Wise men from the East to Bethlehem to offer their treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus the King of Kings.
[All the lights now focus on Mary and Joseph and the Book of Mormon side of the stage kneels as to honor the Savior.]
With so many amazing and astonishing signs there was much talk and wonder among both the people of the Bible and the people of the Book of Mormon. Yet, for Mary, now the mortal mother of the Son of God all these experiences she cherished for she knew her time with her newborn son would be short.
SCRIPTURE VOICE (LUKE 2:19): Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
[Different ways Wards have concluded the Program]
Original Ending: A sister wearing all white comes onto stage and stands over Mary and Joseph singing Mary’s Lullaby (Tonight You Are Mine). The Primary is then invited to sing “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night.”
Different Ending 1: Ended with Luke 2:19 and asked the Bishop to give his testimony and conclude the program.
Different Ending 2: Invited everyone to sing “Away in a Manger” and conclude with a prayer.