News Release

Moroni Receives New Plating Atop the Johannesburg Temple

Moroni Receives "Facelift"

For over 30 years the Angel Moroni statue has stood 32 metres, 100 feet, above the ground at the highest point of the Johannesburg Temple.   The temple is the only operating one presently in South Africa, as the Durban Temple is under construction for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Although the statue has a lightening conductor through the center, it is estimated it has been struck by lightning 2-3 times leaving the statue blackened and damaged. 

During the past month the temple has been undergoing a major facelift and cleaning and so has Moroni.   A special team has been here in Johannesburg specifically to clean the hollow brass moulded statue and to replace the gold plating.  This is something that has not been done since it was placed above the temple during construction 30 years ago.

The group of technicians who were brought in from Arizona to clean and re-guild the statue were:

               Gunnar Norton

               Brittney Norton

               Chase Tueller

               Cameron Tidwell

Scaffolding was built to allow them access to Moroni.  And, although they felt safe, they said that it was very windy up there. They also said scaffolding moves in the breeze.  However, they did say that it was clearly a part of a sacred place.

When they first ascended they found the statue in poor condition. It had to be sanded, cleaned and then prepared to attach the very thin 23 carat gold leaf to the entire surface.  The gold leaf is attached in small squares and then carefully brushed into place. 

Sean Donnelly, the Africa southeast area public affairs director was invited up the scaffolding for an interview and photos with the team.

He stated, “ The view up there was breath-taking, standing next to one of my heroes was a special experience, it was a once in a life-time experience.  The gold reflects light like nothing else, it was as if he were on fire”.

As seen in the photos the statue  faces east, and is facing directly towards Johannesburg city centre.

Donnelly also remarked. “The difference between before and after was amazing”.




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