Tragedy occurred during a remodel of the Apia Samoa Temple. The temple was nearing completion of an overhaul that would add rooms to the temple and update the mechanical systems when a fire broke out. Workers had already gone home for the evening on 9 July 2003 and no one was injured. This was the first time in church history that an operational temple was completely destroyed by fire. Members were given hope through the night by the fact the Angel Moroni was still visible despite the intense heat of the fire. In the morning, the temple was completely destroyed, yet, the Angel Moroni statue was not harmed. After the temple was rebuilt, the original and refurbished Angel Moroni statue was placed on the rededicated temple.
Jason Swensen “Samoan temple destroyed by fire” Deseret News, 10 July 2003
Richard O. Cowan “A Trial by Fire: The 2003 Destruction of the Apia Samoa Temple” Regional Studies in Latter-Day Saint Church History: The Pacific Isles
Taralyn Trost “Fire Sestroys Samoa Temple” Ensign, September 2003
Sarah Jane Weaver “Church to rebuild Apia Samoa Temple” ldschurchnewsarchive.com 19 July 2003.
Sarah Jane Weaver “Remains of Samoa Temple Demolished” ldschurchnewsarchive.com 2 August 2003.
“Statue of Angel Moroni Placed on Temple” ldschurchnewsarchive.com, 5 February 2005.
Replaced: 25 January 2005
Faces: East by North