A Mormon temple that has been under construction for two years along Farmington Avenue in Farmington hit a big milestone on Friday when construction crews erected a sculpture of a prophet named Angel Moroni.
There are fewer than 150 Mormon temples in the world and this temple will be the second in New England, available to Mormons and eliminating the need to drive to Boston or Manhattan.
The placing the statue, which is more than 13 feet tall, weighs 1,000 pounds and is wrapped in 22-karate gold leaf, demonstrates that crews are getting closer to the end of construction. It also shows the public that this is a temple with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
"A temple is the most sacred building we have in our faith. We believe it is the house of the Lord and, as a consequence, it carries with it a spirit and a feeling to our members that is heavenly," Neil McMurdie, director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said.
The outside of the temple is also covered in 13,000 pieces of hand-carved granite.
"We are just excited. There is a lot of excitement in the community about the temple. The neighbors close by have a real interest in what is taking place and they are excited for the beauty that will be here," Elder Kent Holbrook, of the temple construction missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, said.
Holbrook said drivers will continue to see more of the beauty as they near completion in 2016.