Brigham City Utah Temple Moroni

Clear skies on the day after the historic installation of the angel Moroni

Tuesday was the big day for the installation of the statue of the angel Moroni. Last week final preparations were being made by construction workers for this historic event. On Tuesday I drove to Brigham City to watch the proceedings. However, strong winds delayed placing the statue of Moroni atop the spire for two hours and I left before Moroni was hoisted high above the thousands in attendance.

On Wednesday my wife took photographs of the newly placed Moroni. He does look majestic atop the east spire. Click on the images to enlarge.

Brigham City Utah Temple Moroni atop east spire

The statue of the angel Moroni atop the east spire

About Moroni

The first angel Moroni appeared as the Nauvoo Temple’s weathervane, in a horizontal position as if in flight, holding an open book with one hand and a horn pressed to its lips with the other. Moroni symbolizes the restoration of the Gospel and many statues of the angel have gold plates placed in Moroni’s left arm.

Brigham City Utah Temple Moroni lightning arrestors

Brigham City temple angel Moroni with two lightning rods

All Moroni figures are gilded, or covered with gold. The process involves rubbing thin sheets of gold onto the figure’s surface.

All figures except one show Moroni wearing long, flowing robes, belted at the waist. The Moroni figure atop the Los Angeles California Temple, however, is dressed in a Mayan-style robe and headband, wearing sandals on his feet and bearing distinctive Native American facial features.

The statues are frequently hit by lightning. Today’s figures have a copper rod running through them vertically, which extends several inches above the figure’s head at the top, and attaches to a grounding cable at the bottom. This serves both as a lightning rod and as the mechanism for mounting the figure on the building’s tower.

In 2009 the Moroni atop the Oquirrh Mountain Temple was struck and blackened by lightning. The new one included an extra lightning rod, for additional protection. The Brigham City temple Moroni also has a second rod.

Brigham City Utah Temple Moroni high above

The 12 foot fiberglass angel Moroni weighs 267 pounds

Online Interest

Google Analytics pageviews

Pageviews rose as people searched online for news

There was a lot of online interest about the event. On Tuesday, even though I had no post about the installation of the angel Moroni, my blog received 926 pageviews, double the normal daily number.

My two prior week’s posts about the temple spires garnered 264 views, while six other posts about the Brigham City Utah Temple construction collected 137 hits. Other posts about the new temple also collected well above normal views.

Brigham City Utah Temple Moroni two spires

The angel Moroni stands on an 18-inch ball

Brigham City Utah Temple worker

When the temple opens in 2012 we will need a different kind of temple worker

Brigham City Utah Temple Bryson

Grandson Bryson

Brigham City Utah Temple Moroni installed

The same size angel on the Salt Lake City temple weighs 4,000 pounds

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
Moroni Information:Looking Up to Moroni” by Wendy Kenney
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Brigham City Utah Temple Spires

Brigham City Utah Temple work on spires

Work continues around the spires

Wednesday saw work continuing on the spires from last week, presumably in readiness for the statue of the angel Moroni to be installed. Remember that the statue is scheduled to be placed atop the east spire on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at noon. I am still deciding if I will go to view it. I would like to take photographs of this historic occasion.

Click on the images to enlarge. In the photograph above, click once to zoom closer, then again to zoom even closer.
Brigham City Utah Temple work around the spire

Brigham City History

Population Changes (continued)

Brigham City’s population of 6,790 in 1950 increased to 11,720 in 1960, to 14,000 in 1970 and to 15,596 in 1980 as Thiokol’s sold-fuel motor production and number of employees expanded. By 1984, Thiokol’s Wasatch Division was the largest private employer in Utah with 5,750 employees. In 1990 the population of Brigham City was 16,000.

Bushnell, Intermountain and Thiokol all brought new residents with a diversity of religious preferences so that 14 denominations now have worship services in Brigham City. The business community and public services continue to grow to meet the demands of the larger population. (From:

Brigham City Utah Temple from  Willard Bay

The temple from the waters of Willard Bay

Brigham City Utah Temple holiness to the lord

"And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD." Exodus 28:36

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
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Brigham City Temple Spires

Brigham City Temple Spires

The west spire is now in place

Today the photographs of the Brigham City temple construction reveal the west spire in place. Last week there was only the spire framework. The statue of the angel Moroni is scheduled to be placed atop the east spire on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at noon. Installation will take around thirty minutes. The streets surrounding the temple block will be closed to allow spectators to view the proceedings.

Brigham City Temple spires closeup

Brigham City History

Population Changes

Bushnell General Hospital, built in 1942 to treat soldiers wounded in WWII, brought some drastic changes to the quiet community. The 60-building facility constructed on 235 acres brought a major boost to the economy. From the beginning of its construction until its closure in 1946, Bushnell provided new jobs for many local people.

Local farmers sold produce to the hospital, and business on Main Street increased with the inundation of hospital staff, patients and their families. People from various backgrounds came to work or to be treated at Bushnell, then stayed in Brigham City and merged with the descendants of the Mormon settlers.

After Bushnell closed, the facility housed the Intermountain Indian School from 1950 until 1984, with its staff and students adding more cultural diversity to the citizenry
Brigham City’s growth rate increased rapidly with the construction in 1957 of Thiokol Chemical Corporation’s Wasatch Division, the largest manufacturing enterprise in Box Elder County’s history. With its initial workforce of 150 growing to 1,425 by 1959, housing construction in Brigham City boomed. A total of 187 homes were built in 1958, twice the number built the previous year. (From:

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby

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Brigham City Temple Roof

Brigham City Temple Roof

The red roof of the temple

Yesterday a visit to the Brigham City temple construction showed the red roof of the temple. Last week there was work on the west side of the temple and that appears to have continued. There is still the unfinished west spire but it cannot be too long before that is completed. I wonder when the angel Moroni statue will be placed on the east spire?

Brigham City Temple Roof closeup

Brigham City History

Commerce (continued)

By 1910 Brigham City’s population was 4,000, and its industries included the new cement plant north of town, Anderson Knitting factory and the Jensen Brothers Milling and Elevatory (changed to Big J Mill in 1946). Retail businesses sold such merchandise as ladies’ fashions, motor cars, furniture and medicine. Hotels, cafes, saloons, shoe repair shops, and a wagon and machine company were among the local businesses.

In 1911, Lorenzo Smith, grandson of Samuel Smith who helped colonize Brigham City and organize the Co-op, opened a family grocery store on Main Street. Typical of the time, the store was more than a source of groceries. To many it was a social center for gossiping and keeping up with events of the day. Lorenzo’s son, Dee Smith, later took over the business and eventually expanded it to a chain of 110 stores throughout the western states.

In the 20s and 30s, Brigham City remained a small agricultural town specializing in fruit production. At the time it was still predominantely Mormon. Although many local men had seen active duty in World War I, the impact of the war on townspeople was small compared to what they would experience during World War II. (From:

Brigham City Temple unfinished spire

The unfinished west spire of the temple

Brigham City Temple unfinished spire closeup

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
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Joint Family Home Evening: 72 Hour Kits

Water, water filter, and bleach
With three of my five children now married I asked them if once a month they would like to get together for a Joint Family Home Evening (JFHE). Everyone agreed so we all met for the first time this month for the purpose of putting together our 72 hour emergency kits. We decided to gradually build up the kits over a period of months.

Readers of my blog are welcome to add any words of advice as this is the first time most of us have tried to assemble a kit that one can actually carry any decent distance.

Three categories I have ranked in order of importance:

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Shelter


At our first JFHE the focus was on water. For the kits we assembled:

  • Nine 20 fluid ounce bottles of water
  • One 2/3 fluid ounce bottle of bleach
  • One water filtration bottle


The nine bottles in the photograph are used 20 fluid ounce Gatorade bottles, previously collected, filled with water. This amounts to a total of 1.41 U.S. gallons, or just shy of a half a gallon a day, or three bottles a day, for drinking.

One bottle of bleach is approximately 390 drops. One needs eight drops of regular Clorox bleach to purify a gallon of water, or double that for cloudy water. Even in a worst case the yield will be 24 gallons of water.

I added a label to the bleach that reads “Bleach. 8 drops / gallon. double for cloudy.” This guards against the priesthood from accidentally bleaching the hair of the sick.

To Disinfect Water: If you need to purify water during an emergency, (and don’t have the means to boil it for 3–5 minutes), you can disinfect your water using bleach:
For clear water—add 8 drops (1/8 tsp.) of bleach per gallon of water
For cloudy water—add 16 drops (1/4 tsp.) of bleach per gallon of water

Mix the solution thoroughly and let it stand for about 30 minutes before using it. Properly treated water should have a slight chlorine odor. If it doesn’t, repeat dosage and allow water to stand an additional 15 minutes. The treated water can be made drinkable by pouring it between clean containers several times. (Source: The Clorox Company)

Each family has a water filtration bottle. This can be used in conjunction with the bleach to improve the taste of the treated water. The other members of the family would have an additional bottle of bleach instead of the filtration bottle.


If supplies are already at hand, for example, tap water and household bleach, I count this as no cost.

The families will now have a month to assemble these items, or something similar. Next time we will address food, or at least the main meals.

Thoughts anyone?
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Brigham City Utah Temple

Brigham City Utah Temple

The east spire is in place and work continues on the west side of the temple

Yesterday a visit to the Brigham City temple construction site yielded a few photographs. Last week the focus was on the east spire installation. Now work is progressing on the west side of the temple. It will not be long before we see the west spire erected.

Brigham City Utah Temple work on the west side

Brigham City History


The fruit growing business in Box Elder County was thriving in the 1890s. It had been initiated in 1855 when Wiliam Wrighton went to Salt Lake City, bought 100 peach stones for $1.00 and planted them in Brigham City. Peach production was so successful that the annual harvest celebration, started in 1904, was named Peach Days.

Many men grew fruit on their own property and sold it to supplement other income. William Knudsen, however, raised and sold fruit as his major source of income. He discovered early on that the Brigham City area was particularly adapted for peaches, berries and small fruits. He established a successful fruit growing and shipping business which sustained his family members for generations to come.

The first sugar beets were planted in 1891, and dairy and creamery operations were successful. Prospecting began in the 1890s, and Brigham City’s first newspaper The Bugler started printing in 1890. In 1892 the city’s water and electricity systems were installed. (From:

Brigham City Utah Temple construction closeup

A crane moves into position a section of the west wall

Brigham City Utah Temple construction

Part of the wall ready to be attached. The tabernacle can be seen to the right

Brigham City Utah Temple east spire

The east spire, minus the angel Moroni

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
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Brigham City Utah Temple Spire

Brigham City temple on Memorial Day

Brigham City temple on Memorial Day

Two weeks ago the Brigham City temple walls were being installed. Yesterday the base of the temple spire was the focus. Today the spire itself will be attached. I took a photograph from the webcam at noon (see below) after the spire was erected. It is looking more like a temple every day.

Brigham City temple spire cleaning

One of the sides of the base of the spire is cleaned. The spire is laying horizontally behind it

Brigham City temple base of spire

Construction workers ready to install the base walls of the spire

Brigham City temple spire

A wall of the spire base is installed

Brigham City temple spire work

Another wall being maneuvered in place



Brigham City temple spire base finishing touches

Another part of the base is aloft

Brigham City History


From 1852 until 1890, leaders of the LDS Church encouraged male church members, especially those in leadership positions, to marry more than one wife. Following the Old Testament precedent of plural wives, church members had the option, but not the requirement, of plural marriages. They believed they were protected in this practice by the freedom of religion clause in the Bill of Rights. Because of widespread negative reaction, however, Congress enacted legislation in 1882 which made polygamy a felony punishable by five years in prison and a $500 fine.

Although many were imprisoned, Mormon men continued in polygamy until the practice was officially abolished in 1890 by Church President Wilford Woodruff. By 1904, any man marrying more than one wife was excommunicated from the Church. Since Mormon polygamy was practiced for a relatively short time and no known official records of plural marriages were kept, it is impossible to determine precisely what percentage of Mormon men were polygamous. Among the men living in Brigham City between 1850 and 1880, however, at least 17% were polygamists. The more prominent and prosperous men of the community tended to have larger numbers of wives. (From:

Brigham City temple view of the spire

Webcam photo of the temple spire

Webcam photograph of the temple spire installed. Taken at noon today

Photo and Video Credit: Susan Ward
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Brigham City Temple Walls

Brigham City Temple installing an upper panel on the south side

Installing an upper panel on the south side of the temple

On Wednesday we saw a continuation from a week ago of the installation of the exterior panels of the temple. As a tribute to Brigham City and the pioneers, living peach trees will be planted in the grounds. The precast concrete panels have a peach blossom motif that will also be continued for the interior design, etched into the windows, stained glass, and other artwork. You can see the peach blossom motif on the walls in the photographs (click to enlarge).

Brigham City Temple from front of tabernacle

View of the temple construction from the doors of the tabernacle

Brigham City Temple one upper panel from afar

The first upper panel to be installed

Brigham City Temple one upper panel

The installation of an upper panel on the south side of the temple

Brigham City Temple two upper panels

The second upper panel being installed

Brigham City Temple three upper panels

Three upper panels installed

Brigham City History

The Co-op (continued)

Not all Co-op enterprises were in Brigham City. For example, the dairy was established in Collinston, about 20 miles north of Brigham City. Christian Hansen managed the dairy. His wife Elizabeth, who had made cheese in her native Denmark, supervised the dairy’s cheese production. They asked farmers to give the dairy use of their cows in the summertime in return for cheese and butter. Between 300 and 700 cows were left there each summer.

Brigham City’s Pioneer Days celebration in 1875 featured displays from 29 cooperative departments. The Brigham City Co-op became a model for other Mormon settlements to follow.

The Co-op maintained a high level of success until the late 1870s when a series of disasters occurred. Some of the problems were crop failures due to drought and grasshoppers, destruction of the woolen mill by fire and loss of the saw mill to the federal government. In 1878 a federal tax was levied on local currency used for trade, and $10,200 had to be borrowed to pay the assessment.

The combined losses were so great that after 1878 only the mercantile business remained in operation. In 1884 the federal government returned some of the tax money, and the new Brigham City Merchantile and Manufacturing store was built and opened in 1891. It continued to operate until the Co-op closed down in 1895. (From:

Brigham City Temple north side

The north side of the temple

Brigham City Temple construction worker on the roof

I wouldn't want to be the construction worker on the roof of the temple

Brigham City Temple parking construction

The parking garage under construction

Brigham City Temple from side of tabernacle

View of the temple construction from the south side of the tabernacle

Brigham City Temple tabernacle

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
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Brigham City Utah Temple Walls

Brigham City Temple walls

It is exciting to see the walls go up. One can be forgiven for missing the shiny new roof

It has been almost two weeks since we last had photographs of the Brigham City Temple. The news last time was the beginnings of the west spire. But just today the walls of the temple were being attached to the frame. Jill tells me that yesterday they were not in place.

I didn’t know that the walls were prefabricated offsite. Anyway, enjoy the photographs. I expect that the next visit will show an even more startling transformation.

Brigham City Temple walls closeup

This closeup of the side of the temple shows a prefabricated wall in the foreground

Brigham City Temple rain

Heavy rain fell all day

Brigham City Temple spire

The west spire now has as much completed as the east spire

Brigham City History

The Co-op

In 1865, Lorenzo Snow asked all the Brigham City merchants to unite their businesses for the common interest of the community. The purpose was to provide jobs for everyone and to make the people self-sustaining. Most supported the request, and on December 7, 1865, the cooperative enterprise was formed.

Lorenzo Snow, Samuel Smith, William Thomas and Alvin Nichols were the first stockholders. Stock was sold at $5 a share, and produce and labor as well as cash, were accepted. The first business was a mercantile store. When the store had made enough money, the association established its first industry, a tannery.

To comply with the Territorial Incorporation Act of 1870, the cooperative was incorporated December 15, 1870 and became the Brigham City Merchantile and Manufacturing Association, commonly known as the Brigham City Co-op. Almost every resident of the community was involved in some way.

The cooperative grew quickly during the 1870s adding such departments as a woolen factory, planing mill, boot and shoe shop, farms, harness shop, carpentry department, butchery, saw mill, adobe and brick yards, and a dairy. (From:

Brigham City Temple walls attached

I am not sure what the construction in the foreground is all about

Box Elder Tabernacle

Grandson Bryson on the grounds of the Box Elder Tabernacle

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
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