Angel Moroni is a prominent church symbol

Published: Saturday, June 11 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

(He was at one time considered the dean of American sculptors. He also created the Brigham Young statue on Salt Lake's Main Street; "The Scout" for Kansas City, Mo.; "Massasoit," overlooking Plymouth Rock, Mass.; and others — including some in the Congressional Library.)

The Salt Lake Temple Angel Moroni is 12 feet 5½ inches tall and weighs 1,500 pounds. Originally, an ingenious way to anchor and counterbalance the heavy statue was developed using two steel rods and five weights of iron, weighing more than 400 pounds each.

It is also interesting to note that at Cove Fort, Utah, an early sketch by Truman O. Angell, who designed the Salt Lake Temple, shows two Angel Moroni statues — one atop the center spires of the east side and a twin version atop the west side of the temple, too. Somehow, the western statue never became a reality.

Sources: Improvement Era, April 1968; Deseret News Archives and Mormon Encyclopedia


Other facts about Angel Moroni statues:

According to a Deseret News story in 2002, Angel Moroni statues were to be placed on temples according to a "case-by case condition."

Moroni statues generally come in a 7-foot- and a 13-foot-high variety. Most are covered with gold leaf; however, some are only painted gold.

The metal statues do more than draw visitor attention. They also attract lightning.

David J. May, director of temple facilities in 2002 said no one's faith should be shaken by lightning strikes at temples, since lightning is simply a part of nature.

May also said at the time he didn't know of any specific lightning strikes at the Salt Lake Temple, but suspected it was more common when the downtown skyline was lower. Lightning tends to strike the tallest objects, and the more rural temples may be struck more often than downtown ones.

Sources: Improvement Era, April 1968; Deseret News Archives and Mormon Encyclopedia

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