Church members in Houston, Texas, and Albuquerque, N.M., watched recently as construction crews moved one step closer to completing temples being built in their communities.
On June 16, during a brief ceremony attended by about 400 people, crews placed the Angel Moroni statue atop the Houston Texas Temple. Two days later, on June 18, a similar statue was placed on the temple spire of the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple.
"It is a momentous occasion," said Pres. Albert E. Haines of the Cypress Texas Stake during the Houston event, attended by media representatives and a small gathering of members. "We are standing here on hallowed ground."
During his brief remarks, Pres. Haines noted that there are two important meanings attached to the statue of Angel Moroni. "First, [Moroni] is a key figure in the restoration of the Church." He then explained Moroni's role in heralding in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. Second, Pres. Haines explained, "as a prophet of the Book of Mormon, Moroni represents a message of joy, happiness, peace, refuge and comfort."
In New Mexico, prominent Church and civic leaders including former New Mexico Supreme Court justice, Vern Payne, a member of the Velen Ward, Albuquerque New Mexico Stake were at the temple site to watch the placement of the statue. Brother Payne noted that the temple will be a beautiful addition to the community.