Additional Resource

Angel Moroni Statues on Temples

The Salt Lake Temple, dedicated in 1893, was the first temple topped with an angel that was formally identified as Moroni. The original 40-inch plaster model was completed by October 4, 1891 and exhibited at the Salt Lake Fair. A full-size model was sent to Salem, Ohio, where the statue was hammered out of copper and covered with 22-karat gold leaf. The 12-foot-5-inch statue stands on a stone ball on the 210-foot central spire on the east side.

The Los Angeles Temple, dedicated in 1956, was the second temple to be dressed with an angel Moroni statue. Millard F. Malin made the plaster casts of his 15-foot-5-inch statue in Salt Lake City. These casts were sent in five pieces to New York City, where they were cast in aluminum and welded together. The statue was made of aluminum instead of bronze to meet the Los Angeles building code. Even so, the statue weighed 2,100 pounds.

The Washington D.C. Temple, dedicated in 1974, was the third temple to be topped with an angel Moroni statue. Nine sculptors submitted designs. Avard Fairbanks’s design of a graceful angel holding a trumpet to its lips and a replica of the gold plates in its left arm was selected.

In 1978 the Church commissioned Karl A. Quilter to fashion a new angel Moroni statue. Together Karl Quilter and LaVar Wallgren developed a process of casting fiberglass that made it possible to create lightweight statues less expensively. Quilter and Wallgren constructed two original molds, one for a 10-foot statue and the other for a 7-foot statue. The resulting statues weighed about 350 pounds.

Several temples have received angels after their dedications. The first was the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple, which had an angel Moroni statue added in 1983, almost 40 years after its dedication. As a part of renovation projects in the 2000s, the Church added angel Moroni statues to several of the originally statueless temples, including the Freiberg Germany (2001), Ogden Utah (2002), Provo Utah (2003), São Paulo Brazil (2003), Tokyo Japan (2004), Bern Switzerland (2005) and London England (2008) Temples.

While the Angel Moroni statue occupies a prominent place on many temples throughout the world—symbolizing the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ—it is not a requirement of temple design. Some temples may include the statue, while others may not.

A temple's design, both internal and external, is secondary to its primary purpose, which is for people to draw closer to God and His Son, Jesus Christ by participating in sacred ceremonies that teach of God's plan and unite families forever.

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