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The Angel Moroni Statue, was created using watercolor by the artist Chad S. Hawkins. In 1989, at the age of seventeen, Chad started a unique temple series, becoming the original LDS artist to involve hidden spiritual images in his artwork.
Statues of the angel Moroni atop temples herald the gospel going forth “to every nation, kindred, and tongue, and people” in this latter-day regathering of Israel. The Church’s angel Moroni statues have come to symbolize for Latter-day Saints the restoration of the gospel. This painting is a depiction of the Salt Lake Temple Angel, by prominent American artist Cyrus E. Dallin. The Salt Lake temple, dedicated in 1893, was the first temple topped with an angel that was formally identified as Moroni. Dallin’s statue depicts a dignified, neoclassical angel in robe and cap, standing upright with a trumpet in hand. The statue was hammered out of copper and covered with 22-karat gold leaf. The 12-foot-5-inch statue stands on a stone ball on the 210-foot central spire on the temple’s east side. These three spires constitute the hidden image within this painting. They are subtly placed within the shadows on the stone ball.
Cyrus Dallin recorded the following; “I consider that my ‘angel Moroni’ 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.” (Ensign, January 2000, p.31)
The Angel Moroni Statue has since been redesigned at least four times. The size of statue largely depends on the size of temple and height of its spire. The statues are designed to withstand lightning strikes, high wind velocities, and pollution. Modern statues are formed out of fiberglass and covered with nearly 2,000, 23-karat gold leaf squares. The gold leaf is so thin that less than two ounces of gold is required to cover a seven-foot statue. The gold on most statues requires maintenance every ten to fifteen years.