The White to Gold Angel

If you have ever read an article about Angel Statues or visited a site covering temple trivia, you are bound to have read something like this in regards to the Monticello Temple and it’s Moroni Statue:

‘The White Angel was found to be to hard to see, so it was removed from Monticello and was later gold leafed and placed on Columbus Ohio.’

This statement is EVERYWHERE on the Internet. But it’s not even be true.

Gold7To start with, lets do some math. The statue was placed on the Columbus Ohio Temple 5 June of 1999. The Monticello Moroni was switched out on 25 May 1999, just 11 days earlier. So while it is possible that the Statue was removed, shipped to Salt Lake, gilded, then shipped to  Ohio and placed in 11 days, further research hows that there was no reason to be so hasty.

White7An article written in the Utah newspaper The Deseret News, when these smaller statues were first getting started, sheds more light on the story. In the Article “A Life Size Moroni,” written by Carla Byram and published 23 May 1998, the author states that the first of the statue had just been placed on the Monticello Utah Temple the previous week. She then later states that “five more statues have been started at Wallgren’s Kearns studio.”

This shows that at least 6 statues of this model were created for temples, the one already at Monticello, and 5 more at the studio. But only 5 temples currently have this statue:

So this begs the question, where is the sixth Angel?
In a interview with someone from the Church History Museum, the original researcher for all this information, Marvin Quist, learned that the original Monticello Utah Angel Moroni is still white and is currently in storage at the Church History Museum’s storage facility.

Monticello White Angel Moroni February 2017
This photo, taken late February 2017 shows the statue lying on a shipping blanket on a pallet in the storage facility. A tag attached to the statue identified the statue as the one from the Monticello Temple.


All information is sourced as described in this section

Monticello Moroni

Placed: 14 May 1998
Replaced: 25 May 1999
Faces: East

Columbus Moroni

Placed: ~1999
Faces: North East