News Release

Church Replaces Angel Moroni Statue on Tonga Temple

Leaders, members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints witnessed the replacement of the angel Moroni statue atop the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple earlier this week.

Workers gently hoisted by crane the gold-leafed statue onto the roof of the temple, replacing the former statue that was put in place 31 years ago when the temple was constructed.

Church leaders in attendance included: Pacific Area President for the Church, Elder Kevin W. Pearson; Area Seventy, Elder Aisake Tukuafu; and President of the Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple, Samisoni Uasila’a.

Replacements for statues are made as needed, as bad weather and other conditions gradually leave their mark.

Mormon Newsroom states: “Although not required, this iconic symbol of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands high atop most of the 134 temples worldwide.”

“The statue of Moroni is not a figure of worship, but rather one of respect for his role in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Moroni was a real person, an ancient prophet in the Book of Mormon who revealed the location of golden plates to the young Joseph Smith in 1823 from which the sacred book of scripture was translated.”

“With the horn pressed to his lips and his right hand holding the outstretched horn, the statue of Moroni symbolizes the restoration and the preaching of it to the world.”

“Most angel Moroni statues are patterned after the one on the Salt Lake Temple, which was completed in 1893.”

“The statue's sculptor, Cyrus E. Dallin, who was not a member of the Mormon faith, wrote that working on the project "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."

President Samisoni Uasila’a told those gathered to view the placement of the new statue, “This is an historic day for our Temple and for the people of Tonga.”

Watch a video about the process of building a Mormon temple.










Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.