The Angel Moroni Returns to the Salt Lake Temple

The Angel Moroni Returns to the Salt Lake Temple

The Salt Lake Temple has been closed since early 2020, but today it got one step closer to resuming its sacred, central purpose in The Church. During a small gathering on a finished portion of Temple Square this morning, the angel Moroni statue was returned to the top of the central east spire of the temple. The statue was removed four years ago in May 2020.

The icon and world-renown temple has been undergoing a major seismic and foundational upgrade since 2020.“An important part of this project has been to strengthen the foundation of the temple,” said Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé. “President Russell M. Nelson spoke to the world about the need to fortify our spiritual foundations in 2021 when he reminded us of the sacred use of the house of the Lord and said, ‘The temple lies at the center of strengthening our faith and spiritual fortitude because the Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple. Everything taught in the temple, through instruction and through the Spirit, increases our understanding of Jesus Christ.’”

Mark Woodruff, a descendant of President Woodruff and Executive Secretary to President Nelson, said President Woodruff did all he could to continue the vision of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young: “While President Woodruff knew the work would continue to be perfected over time, he also knew that families are central to God’s plan for His children and needed to be connected for eternity through sealing ordinances that take place in the temple,” Mark Woodruff said.

He concluded with this teaching from his ancestor: “The glory of the whole matter is, that when we get through, we are going to have our families with us … in the morning of the Resurrection, in the family organization of the celestial world, to dwell forever and forever.”

Also present for the occasion was Emily Utt, a historic sites curator for the Church. She recalled the experience that Cyrus Dallin — accomplished sculptor who created the statue — had when sculpting the angel Moroni in the early 1890s. Dallin said the process “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.”

“Though not a member of the Church, Dallin recognized that God speaks to his children,” Utt said. “His angel atop the temple reminds us that the heavens are open, and we can return to Him.”

The renovations of the Salt Lake Temple were originally planned to be finished this year. But as things always go, they will last another couple of years. The existing annex and temple addition on the north side have long been demolished and the work continues on their replacement structures. The surrounding Temple Square and the plaza near the Church Office Building are also undergoing significant changes, and parts of those on the east end have already been finished.

Below are a few pictures from the event this morning, as well as a video shared by ABC News.