Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Angel Moroni’s Secret

The Angel Moroni’s Secret

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 30, 2009

He has a secret, you know, a detail not mentioned in any of the many articles descriptive of the Los Angeles Temple, or in J. Michael Hunter’s excellent summary of Angel Moroni statues in the November 2000 Ensign article. It’s a detail revealed by sculptor Millard F. Malin to fellow artist Jack Sears in a 1956 interview regarding the modeling and casting of the angel that now stands atop the Los Angeles Temple.

Millard Fillmore Malin (1891-1974) was born in Salt Lake City. He served a mission to New Zealand commencing when he was only 17 years old. He attended the University of Utah upon his return, studying human anatomy at the medical school and drawing under the Utah artist Edwin Evans, but he dropped out before graduation in order to work and save money for his ambition to study art in New York City. He succeeded in that goal, studying in New York chiefly under the sculptor Herman A. MacNeil. While he was still a student there, he was hired by Gutzon Borglum – best known as sculptor of Mount Rushmore, and born in Idaho to Mormon parents who soon left Mormonism and moved to the Midwest – to assist him in creation of the monument at Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Malin returned to Salt Lake in the mid-1920s and opened his own art studio, teaming with close friend Edward O. Anderson. In the 1940s, Anderson became one of the Church’s chief architects, designing the temples in London, Switzerland, and Los Angeles, for all of which (as well as the temple in New Zealand) Malin contributed sculpture (in most cases the oxen supporting the baptismal font). Malin’s work appears in other places around Utah, in the form of various outdoor monuments, and in Indian busts decorating the interior of the Capitol building.

In 1951, Malin was commissioned by the Church to sculpt the statue of the Angel Moroni for the new Los Angeles Temple. The model he designed is a more masculine figure than the Dallin statue on the Salt Lake Temple, and was heavily influenced, Malin said, by the drawings of Arnold Friberg – certainly the angel’s broad chest, muscular arms, and vaguely Aztec clothing is reminiscent of the familiar Friberg style. Torlief S. Knaphus, who sculpted his own Angel Moroni for the Cumorah monument, and artists Maurice Brooks and Elbert Porter also assisted Malin in designing and constructing the clay model.

When it came time to prepare the full 15′ 5-1/2″ statue of gilded cast aluminum, Malin constructed a temporary studio on the grounds of a concrete plant in Salt Lake City. There he erected a 1,500-pound steel armature to support the pliable material out of which he would sculpt the full-size model. A full two tons of the modeling compound Plastilina was required for the heroic-sized figure.

One frequent visitor to Malin’s studio was an old friend, the legendary New Zealand missionary and now apostle Matthew Cowley. Of Elder Cowley’s visits Malin wrote, “He has shown a great interest in this statue and has been most appreciative toward all who have contributed to its successful completion.”

The cornerstone of the Los Angeles Temple was laid in December 1953, while Malin’s statue was still in its clay form, nearly ready for casting in aluminum. Elder Cowley visited Malin’s studio again on the day before he left to attend the cornerstone ceremony. Elder Cowley examined the completed model from all sides. When Malin asked him what he thought, he said, “It is superb! I like it – like everything about it.” Pleased, Malin handed Elder Cowley a modeling tool and invited him to “sign” the clay figure. Elder Cowley did so, carving “MC” into the lower edge of the angel’s robe, in back. He thanked Malin, wished him well, and left for his appointment in Los Angeles.

Elder Cowley died of a heart attack on December 13, 1953, while he was still in Los Angeles for the cornerstone-laying ceremony.

Early in 1954, Malin coated his clay figure with a thousand pounds of plaster of paris to make the molds to cast the completed statue. The molds were sent to a bronze foundry in New York, which cast the statue in five parts, then welded them together in one. They then coated the statue with 22-carat gold leaf, and the statue was shipped to Los Angeles, where it was hoisted atop the new temple.

At every step – in the making of the molds, in the casting and welding and buffing, in the final gold leafing – Malin was careful to preserve the carved “MC” at the bottom of Moroni’s robe. It is there today, a quiet and unremarked tribute to Matthew Cowley, a friend and supporter of the sculptor.



  1. Ardis:

    Elder Matthew Cowley is a favorite of mine, and the L.A. Temple was where my living-endowment was performed. Consequently, this little post means a lot to me. Thanks for a memorable story. It is the little stories that are really the BIG stories. You seem to understand that.

    Comment by S.Faux — April 30, 2009 @ 8:17 am

  2. A wonderful little secret, that is much better shared. Thanks for this little tidbit about the LA Temple. Although I am a part of the SD Temple district now, I will always have fond memories of LA.

    Comment by Inthedoghouse — April 30, 2009 @ 8:40 am

  3. Thank you, S. and Inthedoghouse. It’s the little stories that are sometimes the most human, I think.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2009 @ 9:05 am

  4. I don’t remember seeing this Angel Moroni in that Ensign article (I think I was too focused on the whole recumbent/non-recumbent thing at the time.) So, this was a great read – thanks.

    And those photos are wonderful, too. I had no idea the statue was so huge. 15.5′ tall – wow, it’s enormous! Placed atop the steeple, Moroni doesn’t seem so huge (here and even here), but in the studio and next to Malin, wowza.

    Comment by Hunter — April 30, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  5. Very enjoyable. The LA temple has significance for me as well. It was the temple where I got married. Very interesting tid-bit.

    Comment by Steve C. — April 30, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  6. Cool story. I like the almost Art Deco look of the statue, and the Friberg physique.

    I have heard that when the Salt Lake Temple was heavily refurbished back in the late 80s(?) that part of the job was putting new gold leaf on the Angel Moroni, that a small number of bullet holes were found. Is there any confirmation (provenance?) for that story?

    Comment by kevinf — April 30, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  7. Thanks for the links, Hunter — it’s a great illustration of perspective!

    Knowing how spread out Keepa readers are, Steve, I wouldn’t have guessed so many have ties to that temple. I’m glad you do.

    kevin, I once asked Richard Oman about this, and I trust his answer when he said it was an urban legend. The Salt Lake statue has been regilded a couple of times — that might make a good story here. hmm…

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2009 @ 11:06 am

  8. The ‘MC’ detail is fascinating.

    The London Temple recently received an Angel Moroni…

    video: here (ignore the snarky comments)

    story: here

    Comment by Anne (UK) — April 30, 2009 @ 11:23 am

  9. Hunter:

    Of course the statue is huge. How else could it serve as a beacon for pilots landing their jumbo jets at LAX?

    Comment by Mark B. — April 30, 2009 @ 11:39 am

  10. That’s some great footage, Anne … and some snarky comments, all right. Such experts.

    Mark, don’t forget all those ships at sea whose pilots can’t find the harbor sans Moroni!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2009 @ 11:55 am

  11. Awesome, Mark B. I had forgotten about that discussion. Ah, I love a good Mormon urban legend.

    Comment by Hunter — April 30, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

  12. Very cool!

    Comment by Ben Pratt — April 30, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  13. In those snarky comments on the London Temple video, did you see that someone suggested the reason there wasn’t a Moroni statue there originally:

    I understand the sun reflection could have distracted pilots flying over the temple (Gatwick flight path) so permission was not granted.

    At what point in the process of hearing and passing along such arrant nonsense do people completely disengage all rationality?

    Comment by Mark B. — April 30, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

  14. At a point so far back on the trail that you and I aren’t going to be able to pinpoint it, Mark, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  15. One more potentially suspect rumor concerning Angel Moroni statues. I had heard from the same source as the bullet ridden Moroni that the original dedication of the Mexico City Temple was delayed because a crane operator dropped the Angel Moroni Statue as they were lifting it into place, and it crashed through the roof into the Celestial room. What can I say? My source is an attorney in SLC. Urban legend or fact?

    Comment by kevinf — April 30, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

  16. LOL..a member once told me that the reason there was no Moroni was in case flights landing at Gatwick (which is close by) hit it during descent. Another member told me it would interfere with the computerised landing system. Early 1980’s for both :-)

    Comment by Anne (UK) — April 30, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

  17. Thx for this. I received my endowment in the LA temple. I remember when it was announced and our members in OC were thirlled that they wouldn’t have to go to Mesa or St. George anymore. Many of us went to San Diego after it opened because the 100 miles down I-15 were quicker than the 45 miles through LA traffic.
    My particular interest in this statue of Moroni springs from a suspicion that I’ve long held. We say that we can’t show the golden plates because Moroni took them back. One day at the LA temple, I realized where they now are: our Moroni literally has them! SLC’s Moroni isn’t holding plates.

    Comment by manaen — April 30, 2009 @ 2:24 pm

  18. That’s a new one on me, kevinf. Besides the fact that I think such an accident would be widely known (anyone else hear of it?), I think the Mexico City Temple is of the generation where the statues are made of gold-leafed fiberglas. If such a thing could crash through the roof, heaven protect the temples from tree branches! But I’ve never heard this one, so the most I can honestly say is that I doubt it.

    Let’s see, Anne … planes might hit the statue, but the spire of the temple that is what? 10 or 15 feet below the top of the statue, is safe? Let me think about that one for a while … :)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

  19. You’ve identified the REAL secret, manaen! Glad you liked the story of the lesser secret, too.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  20. Also, if I am not mistaken, this is the first temple with a Moroni on top (note the golden plates). Before this time, (slc, and nauvoo) it was the Angel of the Restoration. Hawaii apparently as both on its frieze.

    Comment by J. Stapley — April 30, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

  21. Wow, Anne, 8, that’s amazing footage. So terrifying and dangerous! I had no idea you could do a lift like that with a helicopter. I totally would have done it with a crane. No doubt there were compelling reasons not to use one in the circumstances. As an engineer who has overseen lifts on many a jobsite, I can say that one was a heart-pounder. =)

    Comment by Tatiana — April 30, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

  22. The Angel Moroni is really an interesting aspect about temple building. Before the LA temple, only the SLC temple had a Moroni statue (Angel of the Restoration?). Even after the LA temple, a Moroni wasn’t placed on temples until the Washington DC temple. By the 1980s, though, Moronis became a must on temples. New temples had them and older temples were retrofitted with them. Now, not only do temple have a Moroni when they’re built, but there is a celebration of sorts when the Moroni is set on top of the temple.

    I didn’t realize the the LA Moroni had the Golden Plates. I knew the Washington DC Moroni had the Plates, though.

    Comment by Steve C. — April 30, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

  23. A Catholic friend of mine asked if the figure on the DC temple was a specific saint. Can’t remember the name of the saint he thought it was. Something to do with the iconography of holding a book in Catholicism. I’ll have to ask him which saint he was thinking it was.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — April 30, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  24. Ardis, I’ll have to ask my FIL if they are related to Bro. Malin.

    Comment by Ray — April 30, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  25. Ardis, Re: Matthew Cowley

    He is also one of my favorites. He was born in a house in Preston, Idaho across from the Jr. High where I whiled away my time from 6th thru 9th grades. It is a rock house, built by the same man that built the Oneida Stake Academy, from which Ezra Taft Benson and Harold B. Lee graduated. Both buildings now gone – the academy moved to the city park (named after Benson) and the Jr. High demolished. Also born in the old house was Sam Cowley, J. Edgar Hoover’s “bravest” FBI agent. Matthias Cowley’s friend John Morgan died in that house in 1894 while visiting. Morgan was a Pres. of the Seventy and a Civil War Color Sergeant who was cited for bravery at the battle of Selma, AL in 1865. The only Gen. Authority I have been able to find that fought in a shooting battle of the CW. Finally, to add to the house’s fame, I collected fast offerings there as a deacon, getting a few pennies from an elderly lady who was living in an upstairs apartment. Among many of my generation, it may be best known for having an addition built onto it that housed one of Idaho’s first spudnut shops.

    Comment by Curt A. — April 30, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

  26. Curt, your comment could — and should — be expanded to four or five complete posts! What a lot of history connected to one house. I know your reference to Matthias Cowley (Matthew’s father) is going to be of particular interest to at least one other reader.

    Mmmmm … Spudnuts …

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 30, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  27. Thanks for the notes, Curt A. Could you share an address for that rock house so I can see it on Google Street View? Is that information from a biography of Cowley?

    As I understand it, John Morgan went to Preston, Idaho, to visit his third wife, Mary Morgan, who was in hiding there due to the polygamous persecutions of the time, and their three sons, Linton, Harold, and one-month-old Mathias Cowley Morgan. She must have been staying with the Cowleys. I am working on a biography of her, and this information will help fill out some of the gaps.

    While in Preston, Morgan suffered an attack of “Typho-Malarial fever”, probably a relapse of malaria due to infection during his service as President of the Southern States Mission. He died at the age of 52, leaving three families, one in Salt Lake City, where he had established his college; one in Manassa, Colorado, where he had settled so many converts from the Southern States Mission; and the family in Preston, who returned at that point to live with Mary’s parents in Nephi, Utah.

    Thanks again for making that note, Curt, and thanks also to another blog reader yesterday who made an extensive note about the Scotsman who baptized John Morgan in 1867. (These people want to be remembered!)

    Comment by Researcher — April 30, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

  28. I heard a story from a Gentile friend in Idaho that someone had shot at the statue on the Boise Temple in hopes of retrieving gold leaf from the bullet. It seems like retrieving the bullet would be the biggest problem, to say nothing of the minuscule amount of gold that one could hope to find on the bullet.

    I did notice several years ago that the the Albuquerque Temple had what looked like a bullet impact mark on the cover protecting the stained glass window in the celestial room. There was a large empty field across the street, so it’s plausible that someone could have shot from there. It’s hard to imagine someone firing a gun across a busy street into a (possibly occupied) building with the obvious intent to destroy a stained glass window, but I couldn’t see any other explanation for the mark in the window cover.

    I’ve never understood why people have to find some explanation for the absence of a statue on the London Temple other than the obvious fact that statues weren’t standard on temples until the 1980s.

    Comment by Left Field — April 30, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  29. Tatiana #21: apparently it worked out cheaper to use the helicopter, but that’s hearsay, not from the mouth of anyone in authority.Certainly the grounds at the London Temple (which is actually almost at the seaside!) are very boggy, so maybe that could have caused problems for a crane.

    Comment by Anne (UK) — May 1, 2009 @ 2:20 am

  30. Anne, you’re right about why a helicopter was used.

    Comment by Justin — May 1, 2009 @ 8:22 am

  31. True story: not long after the completion of the San Diego temple (and I honestly don’t remember if it was before or after the dedication, though it seems as though it was after), the statue of Moroni on top was hit by lightning. A close friend of mine — an Evangelical Christian I’ve known since junior high — sent me a tweaking e-mail after that happened (she’s always lived in San Diego, and I was living there at the time). ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — May 1, 2009 @ 8:41 am

  32. Wonderful post, Ardis.

    I just have one request for clarification: The Ensign article you link to has the statue being placed on the temple on October 10, 1953. (And I don’t mean to put you on the spot to call out a colleague.)

    Comment by Joe — May 1, 2009 @ 10:19 am

  33. Joe, his (or the Ensign‘s) error was a simple typo — the statue was placed in October of the following year, 1954. If I never make a worse mistake, I’ll be lucky. (Who am I kidding? I’ve already made worse …)

    Thanks, too. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 1, 2009 @ 10:40 am

  34. I don’t have a LA Temple story but I do have an Angel Moroni story concerning bullet holes. My wife & I are ordinance workers in the Spokane Temple. During the maintenance closure last month, our east facing Angel Moroni was replaced because the old one had six bullet holes in it. When the new one was set, it was faced west, which is the side the main entrance is on. There have been many who believe there is a “requirement” that the Angel Moroni face east. When the Seattle Temple was built, it’s Angel Moroni was placed facing west. There is a story (I can’t vouch for it’s authenticity) that after the statue was set in place and someone in authority noticed it was facing west (also the entrance side of that Temple) the matter was sent to the Temple Department and the response was to leave it that way. According to the president of the Spokane Temple, when the request to place the Spokane Statue facing west was made to the Temple Department, the first presidency approved it. Incidentally, there are at least 3 temples with west facing Moronis: Seattle, Nauvoo and Spokane. There may be more. The Manhattan Temple statue also does not face east, but I don’t know what direction it faces.

    Comment by Val O'Donnal — May 1, 2009 @ 2:47 pm

  35. Val, I don’t suppose you have a link to a local news story about the bullet holes, do you? That would be a very useful thing for me to hang onto, since rumors of such (attached to different temples) crop up from time to time, and I’ve never had any way to verify any of them. Thanks!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 1, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

  36. Bullet holes, Lightning, Golf balls

    “Bullet holes in the Angel Moroni” sounds like a headline you would never see in the Ensign magazine. It sounds plausible though.

    Lightning sounds more probable, especially on some of the bigger temples. For example. the Washington D. C. Temple has five spires, the tallest of which is 288 feet high. You can see that the spires change color going up from a nice gold to brown near the top. The tips of all the spires are even darker, presumably where lightning has scorched them. (Gold is an excellent conductor of electricity).

    On the Logan Temple you can see an inch-thick cable wire coming down from the top of the west tower straight into the ground. Its pretty obvious its a lightning rod.

    When I visited the Billings Montana Temple in 2003 the head groundskeeper showed me around and one of his stories was the origin of a dent in a metal utility door on the north side. It was a about an eighth of an inch deep and round with what looked like dimples. One day he had noticed a lot of golf balls around the temple grounds and figured someone had hit the balls from atop the ridge line directly north of the temple. I didn’t take a picture of the dent but you could call the current groundskeeper 406-655-0607 and ask for verification.

    The same groundskeeper also told me that once, after dusk, he heard some gunshots and saw a truck driving away from the field directly west of the temple. He thought they were taking potshots at the temple. He might have filed a police report so you could check that out.

    Comment by J. Paul — May 2, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

  37. Moroni Facing East

    The Taipei, Taiwan Temple Angel Moroni faces west symbolically sounding his trumpet to the vast Chinese mainland.

    The Chicago Temple Angel Moroni Faces north toward the great land of … Milwaukee?

    Manhattan New York Temple Angel Moroni Faces South West most likely towards Hoboken, NJ

    The São Paulo Brazil Temple Angel Moroni faces South towards Antarctica (all those penguins!! )

    The Stockholm Sweden Temple Angel Moroni also faces South while the Preston England Angel Moroni faces South East

    Comment by J. Paul — May 2, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

  38. L. A. Angel Moroni gets correction from the prophet

    Concerning the Statue in question
    During one of his frequent visits to the temple, President David O. McKay noticed that the angel faced southeast as did the temple. He informed architect Edward O. Anderson “that it was not correct in that position…that the angel must face east.” The angel had generated much conversation among the neighbors, and one indicated, perhaps tongue in cheek, that she “certainly never would be interested [in learning more about the Church] until the angel faced her home.” One morning she awoke to find the statue “was looking directly at her place.” Brother Anderson had followed President McKay’s instructions to turn the angel.
    I guess Pres. Mckay didn’t pass along that bit of wisdom to his successors, although most of the Angels Moroni face East or some derivative

    This is not an urban legend!!!! I found it in a Book!!! … And on the internet!!!! Ardis, if you’d like the source you might find it encoded in my grandfathers diary.

    Comment by J. Paul — May 2, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

  39. A couple of topics. You mention one sculptor being with Gutzon Borglum. His father moved to Ogden where he was the target of ridicule for his polygamous marriages and he abandoned Gutzon’s mother. Gutzon later pursued an art teacher in CA who was close to his mother’s age. He studied in Paris for a time under Rodin and became famous for his bust of Lincoln. Yes, he worked on Stone Mountain in the 30’s,a project funded by the Ku Klux Klan where his violent temper ended in a disagreement and him smashing the model. After more than a year of work, his rendering on the mountain was jack hammered off and another artist took over. That’s why he was available for Mt. Rushmore. He worked on two major commisions in Europe during that time leaving his son Lincoln in charge for a substantial period of time. He never admitted to either his age nor his Mormon roots.

    Regarding the Angel Moroni statues, I try to separate fact from folklore which is abundant. For example, I heard a constructon company employee explain to a cleaning crew prior to the Timpanogos temple open house about the sun lining up through the east window medallion with a medallion being painted at the time on the West precisely on April 6. She eagerly pointed out doctrinal symbolism in the architectural glass. I found that interesting as I made that purchase and the architect wasn’t LDS, but had received a letter AFTER his design asking about the symbolism, so in a attempt to comply, he consulted a copy of Mormon Doctrine and complied to the request. Similar stories exist such as the artist who painted a cloud mural in LV temple subconciously painting the face of a young girl, then stepping back to see for the first time–his daughter who had been killed in a car accident. FALSE The artist who related the story to me never had any daughters. There are many wonderful true stories that are not told, I assume, because details quickly become altered and people tend to focus on trivia instead of substance.

    So, I will try and stick to the facts. Angel Moroni statues today are made of fiberglass which is brushed with sizing (glue) and covered with high grade German gold leafing. Since gold does not rust, the foil lasts many years without any exterior coating. Some statues prior to being grounded have been struck by lightning and have turned black. One which had a lightning rod retrofitted was not properly sealed allowing water to seep inside the hollow cavity. When it was struck by lightning, the water turned to steam causing immense pressure which blew the face of the statue off. More attention was given to the sealant process in the future.

    My point is that while most people seem to think that every detail of temple construction is akin to the “two cubits of gopher wood” explicit revelation of the Old Testament, there is a lot of trial and error. For example, some drawings remain for the original Nauvoo temple, but some were lost crossing a stream enroute to Utah. No one knows now exactly what the furniture looked like so time-period pieces were procurred after much research. The mechanical complexities of modern architectural design obviously were not incorporated into the original temple such as HVAC and elevators. Keep your interests but don’t lose your focus. Knowing Orson Pratt recorded the phases of the moon from his observatory on temple square which now appear on the 50 buttresses aroung the Salt Lake temple is interesting, but becomes distracting in search of deeper meanings. In fact, while no common standards exist for the exquisite design and construction of our temples, a two-hour discussion one day resulted in “temple quality” being defined as “not distracting patrons from the sacred purposes of the temple.” Worthy pursuits of historical accuracy should aupport rather than distract our pursuit to embrace true principles. Early believers in Africa absent direction from the Church made their “angel” of concrete painted gold. Standing, flying, aluminum, fiberglass, east, west–does it really matter?

    Comment by Craig Passey — May 3, 2009 @ 1:44 am

  40. In the fall of 1953 I was an art student taking classes from Avard Fairbanks (son Justin), and Elbert Porter. The class was invited to go down to the studio where the statue was being built. I remember talking briefly with Torlief Knapus who was working on the base( feet area ) of the statue. It was most fascinating. I guess this is one of those”I, too” had a peek at this developing monument.

    Comment by c. r. sutton — May 5, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

  41. Wonderful, c.r.! Our history is never very far away, when there are people like you who were there for a meaningful event and who will share their memories. Thanks for commenting.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 5, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  42. I have been reviewing the Angel Moroni posts hoping to find something on the 1840’s Nauvoo temple angel. It is clear the Moroni was flying horizontally with a book in one hand and a trumpet in the other. The change to an erect Moroni for the new temple was determined by President Hinckley (Heidi Swinton, Sacred Stone: The Temple at Nauvoo, p. 20.)
    In 1960, I was serving on the Cincinnati Stake High Council with a young man named Bobby D. Craig. He was researching Nauvoo history for a thesis or dissertation. It was said that the original angel from the Nauvoo temple was in the possession of a protestant church in Cincinnati. There was much discussion about the angel (weather vane) and whether it had wings. Craig was still searching when my company trasferred me to California. Does anyone have anything on this issue? There are two artistic depictions of the temple in Swinton’s book, p. 83 and 119 which show an angel with apparent wings. Both are referenced to be in the Old Illinois Capitol Building in Springfield. Maybe someone going to MHA in Springfield this month could do some snooping?

    Comment by Curt A. — May 6, 2009 @ 11:39 am

  43. Thank you for this story. I am not a member of the church but I drive by the L.A. Temple frequently and the Angel Moroni statue has fascinated me. This prompted me to take to the web to find out more about it. I never anticipated there would be such an enjoyable story and history behind the creation of the statue. Now I’ll appreciate it all the more when I drive past.

    Also found it fascinating that the land for the L.A. Temple was acquired from Harold Loyd’s film company. I love old Hollywood lore as well so it’s all very interesting.

    Comment by Adam V. — May 18, 2009 @ 1:32 am

  44. Very glad you enjoyed it, Adam. Tell Moroni “hello” from me the next time you see him, please!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 18, 2009 @ 4:52 am

  45. […] Read a fascinating trivia article about this statue at Keepapitchin entitled “Angel Moroni’s Secret“. […]

    Pingback by Mormon Triva: The Angel Moroni Statue « MORMON SOPRANO — January 4, 2010 @ 4:27 pm