The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints placed an angel Moroni statue atop the highest spire of its temple in downtown Philadelphia on December 30, 2015. This is a major milestone in the construction of the first Mormon temple in Pennsylvania.
“Mormons in our area have been watching for this visible highlight of the construction period,” said Elder Milan Kunz, an area seventy and senior Church leader for the Philadelphia region. “It indicates the temple is nearing completion and it adds a new image to the skyline of the city.”
Moroni is a prophet from the Book of Mormon, which Latter-day Saints consider scripture and a companion to the Bible for study and teaching. The statue of Moroni is not a figure of worship but rather a symbol of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Construction plans for the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple were announced in 2008, and the groundbreaking was on September 17, 2011. It will serve around 45,000 Church members from four states. Completion is slated for the fall of 2016 and will include an adjacent church building for Sunday worship services and other congregational activities.
Currently, the closest temples for local Latter-day Saints are in New York and Washington, D.C. There are nearly 170 temples throughout the world in operation, under construction or announced.
“Once completed,” Kunz continued, “we look forward to welcoming our friends and neighbors to the public open house, which will be held over several weeks. While our meetinghouses are open to all, following the temple open house and formal dedication, the temple thereafter will be used only by members of the Church who are actively engaged in the faith, for sacred ordinances such as marriage.”
“Our temples point us to Jesus Christ,” noted Kunz. “These sacred edifices are houses of the Lord and play a key role in strengthening our faith and commitment to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings.”