SHIELDS header banner /w logo

LDS Leaders



Nauvoo Temple and the Angel Moroni

Posted:  19 Apr 2008

Individuals have been passing the following item around, believing that it tells a miraculous story about of the installation of the Angel Moroni statue on the top of the Nauvoo Temple.  As with all faith promoting stories, we encourage you to NOT pass them around.  The attached story is NOT true.  Please see the accompanying letter at the bottom, supplied by the person who took the photo.

We strongly refer you to the letter from the First Presidency regarding stories such as this.  The story follows:

Related by Laney Benedict [we (SHIELDS) do not know this individual]:

A good friend of mine, who is also our former stake president, as well as the chief temple architect for more than half of our current temples, told me an interesting story about the Nauvoo Temple.  His name is Keith Stepan.

He was the managing director for the Temple Construction Department for the church. When the Nauvoo Temple was being built, for various reasons, they had some challenges and delays in getting the statue of Moroni mounted on top of the temple.  It was September of 2001 and one such delay was due to the 9/11 attacks, but there were other problems as well.

They started having some concern over exactly when they could mount the statue.  As they looked over the construction plans, they decided that a particular day would be the last chance they would have to mount the statue without too much trouble.  Anything beyond that would present big challenges.

That day came and the weather was not cooperating.  It was stormy and very windy.  The crane operator felt that it was unsafe to attempt to mount the statue with the wind blowing as strong as it was.  Keith Stepan and some of the others on the project went off to a private spot and prayed for the Lord to temper the elements so that they could put Moroni in place that day.

Soon afterwards, the wind died down and the clouds opened up just above the temple.  They decided to go ahead.  Just as the crane began lifting up Moroni, a column of light shot straight down from the sky directly onto Moroni.  The statue was successfully installed.

The date was September 22nd, and turned out to be a significant anniversary.  It was September 22nd, 1827 that Joseph Smith received the golden plates from the Angel Moroni.

Here is a photograph of the statue of Moroni being mounted on the temple in Nauvoo.  Keith told me this story personally and gave me this picture.

Nauvoo Temple - Installing the Angle Moroni

Statement by the photo taker (email in possession of SHIELDS):

>>> Cory Karl 3/21/2008 9:23 AM >>>

Sorry this is late, my standard reply is as follows:

The story below [above] is untrue and should be classified as an urban legend.  We set the angel on the temple September 21st as originally planned, not September 22nd as stated.  We set that date earlier that year to coincide with the anniversary of the appearance of the Angel Moroni to Joseph Smith.  We did not have any weather issues to contend with, nor was a prayer said to temper the elements.  I personally took the photograph and didn't notice the beam of light until after I had taken the picture.