Thousands of excited onlookers watched on 12 July 2011 as workers gently hoisted the gold-leafed statue of the angel Moroni on top of the east spire of the Brigham City Utah Temple, currently under construction.
Placement of the angel Moroni is one of the early visible highlights of the construction period of a temple. There is no formal ceremony attached to the statue’s placement.
Although not required, this iconic symbol of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands high atop most of the 134 temples worldwide.
The statue of Moroni is not a figure of worship, but rather one of respect for his role in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Moroni was a real person, an ancient prophet in the Book of Mormon who revealed the location of golden plates to the young Joseph Smith in 1823 from which the sacred book of scripture was translated.
With the horn pressed to his lips and his right hand holding the outstretched horn, the statue of Moroni symbolizes the restoration and the preaching of it to the world.
Latter-day Saints believe Joseph Smith restored the original church established by Jesus Christ anciently.
In 1820, Joseph Smith said he had a vision where he saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It was this experience which led Joseph Smith to begin restoring Christ’s early church.
Most angel Moroni statues are patterned after the one on the Salt Lake Temple, which was completed in 1893.
The statue's sculptor, Cyrus E. Dallin, who was not a member of the Mormon faith, wrote that working on the project "brought me nearer to God than anything I ever did. It seemed to me that I came to know what it means to commune with angels from heaven."