Photo: Workmen securing the angel Moroni at the Boston Mass. Temple in Belmont.
Something was amiss on a recent Tuesday morning in Belmont. For commuters along Route 2 and residents on Belmont Hill, a familiar local landmark was not waiting for them. The golden angel Moroni that stood atop the Boston Massachusetts Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was missing.
While many mistakes the statue’s identity for Gabriel, another heavenly trumpeter, Moroni is the guardian of the golden plates which is the source of the Book of Mormon. And it wasn’t there.
Had it fallen off? Was it stolen? Did it take off and leave?
Turns out, it was being replaced by its doppelgänger.
Lloyd Baird, president of the Boston Massachusetts Temple, said Moroni which was was atop the steeple for nearly 18 years was showing its age.
“The gold coating was wearing off and there was some wind damage to the steeple. So we took it down and replaced it with a new exact replica of the Moroni statue that was there,” he said in an email. The job was done using two cranes with workmen bolting the statue in place and securing it with caulk.
Some trivia about the statue: The angel Moroni is a casting of the statue created by Torlief Knaphus for the Washington D.C. Ward chapel, which he made as a replica of Cyrus E. Dallin’s statue atop the Salt Lake Temple.
“It looks the same but the way it was originally before the New England weather took its toll.”
And in the process, the temple underwent repairs, replacing a couple of tiles in the steeple that were beginning to cause some damage.
The Boston Temple’s broke ground on June 1997 and was dedicated on Oct. 1, 2000, by Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th President of The Church. The steeple and the original angel was dedicated on Sept. 21, 2001.