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Statue placed atop temple in Billings

Photo by Larry Mayer, Billings Gazette

Spectators watch as workmen prepare to raise statue of Angel Moroni to top of spire of Billings Montana Temple, now under construction.

BILLINGS, MONT. — One of the significant milestones in the construction of a temple — the erection of the statue of Angel Moroni — occurred here Nov. 12 at the site of the new Billings Montana Temple.

Before an estimated 300 onlookers, including Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy, the gold-leafed, fiberglass statue was removed from its crating and raised with a crane to the temple's spire. There, facing east, it was affixed to a gold ball.

David Hein, regional director public affairs for the Church in Billings, said exterior work on the temple is finished, with completion of the entire structure expected by next fall.

Elder Pinnock, president of the North America Central Area presidency, had never witnessed this event in a temple's construction. He was in Montana for a week-long mission tour and happened to be in Billings to witness with the others the 8 1/2-foot statue being raised.

He remarked that it is one of four significant events that occur in a temple's construction, the others being the groundbreaking, public open house and dedication.

Others witnessing the event were Pres. and Sister H. Kay Chandler, of the Montana Billings Mission, Pres. Edward E. Jordan of the Billings Montana Stake and Pres. Michael G. Bowman of the Billings Montana East Stake.

Having eagerly anticipated the event, construction workers enthusiastically watched the statue being raised.

A large picture of and article about the statue raising on the front page of the Nov. 13 Billings Gazette was indicative of community interest in the temple.

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