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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
Moroni Information: “Looking Up to Moroni” by Wendy Kenney