Angel statue tops temple

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Construction crews at the Sacramento California Temple were ready for action the morning of March 15. Unseasonably heavy rains in northern California had stopped, the Angel Moroni statue was inspected and prepped — but alas, all the best laid plans were halted when the 30-foot-high temple spire did not arrive as scheduled.

The spire had been loaded on a truck and trailer in Utah and made its way to Reno, Nev., in plenty of time, but a severe late-winter storm dumped so much snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that the Donner Summit was impassable. Over a two-day period, Interstate-80 was reopened for short intervals, but oversized loads such as the temple spire were held at the California/Nevada border until all travel restrictions were lifted.

Finally arriving late on the day the statue was originally to be installed, the placing of the spire and the Angel Moroni figure were rescheduled for the next day, but not without some additional struggles with the crane and the weather. The spire was set early in the morning with precision and ease by Okland Construction, but wind conditions required two attempts by the crane crew to get the statue in its proper position, facing east and securely in place.

This milestone event was witnessed by several area stake presidents and their families as well as local temple committee members. A small crowd of onlookers gathered and a cheer went up after the statue was secure.

The temple was announced April 22, 2001, and construction began in August 2004. It will be the seventh temple in California, serving 82,000 members residing in the 21-stake temple district. The open house will begin July 29 and run through August 26, except Sundays. The dedication is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 3.

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