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A small crowd gathered near Afton, Wyoming, on a chilly spring morning for the placement of the angel Moroni statue atop the Star Valley Wyoming Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is currently under construction. The informal construction milestone took place Monday, April 25, 2016.
Construction workers, Church members, community and government leaders and the media watched as the statue was lifted by a crane to the top of the temple.
Ground was broken for Wyoming’s first Mormon temple one year ago. The temple was announced by Church President Thomas S. Monson at the Church’s October 2011 general conference.
This statue of the angel Moroni was packed tightly in a crate for its journey to the construction site.
The gold-leafed statue is 13 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 350 pounds. Construction workers secure the statue of angel Moroni so that it will be ready for its trip skyward.
A construction worker in a basket guided the statue to its place.
The angel Moroni statue stands atop most Mormon temples. Moroni was an ancient prophet in the Book of Mormon. The resurrected angel Moroni centuries later revealed to the young Joseph Smith in 1823 the location of this ancient record engraved on golden plates that gave the history of a people who lived on the American continent.
A statue of the angel Moroni was first used on the Salt Lake Temple, which was dedicated in 1893. The statue is not a figure for worship but rather symbolizes Moroni’s important role in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A close-up of the angel Moroni features his face, wavy hair, horn and mouthpiece, all plated with 22-karat gold leaf.
The Star Valley Wyoming Temple will be dedicated in three sessions on Sunday, October 30, 2016, making it the 154th operating temple of the Church worldwide.
A free public open house for the Star Valley Wyoming Temple will begin Friday, September 23, and run every day through Saturday, October 8, 2016, except for the evening of September 24 and all day on September 25 and October 1 and 2, 2016. A cultural celebration will be performed by youth in the area on Saturday, October 29.
The temple is located east of U.S. Highway 89 on what was once the Haderlie Farm property south of Afton.
The Church has 150 temples operating throughout the world. Twenty-seven more have been announced or are under construction, and four are being renovated.