While we were in California, we decided to visit a couple of LDS Temples. We have made a goal as a family to take pictures in front of as many Temples as we can and to learn about their history.
Newport Beach Temple
Dedicated August 28, 2005 by President Gordon B. Hinckley
There was much opposition by neighbors to this Temple, but in a spirit of compromise, the LDS church agreed to turn off flood lighting at 11pm, reduce the height of the spire from 120 feet to 90 feet and to change the color of the Temple from off-white to an earth tone shade of seashell.
The statue Moroni (that sits upon the spire) was placed on January 13, 2005. During the placement, a remarkable solar halo was visible, which surrounded the sun. After placement, the halo disappeared.
Sidenote: A gold statue of Moroni sits on top of most LDS Temples. Who was he? He was the final writer of the Book of Mormon. He exists in Mormon writings and history in two forms - As a mortal man living in ancient times and as an angel after his death.
In his mortal life, he was the son of Mormon. When he was young, his people, the Nephites went to war against their enemies, the Lamanites. Everyone was killed except for Moroni. He went into hiding. All he had was the scriptures that had been handed down to them from generation to generation. He spent a long time abridging the records so that they were a manageable size. When they were complete, he hid them in the Hill Cumorah. Futhermore, In the 1800s, another teenager named Joseph Smith wondered which church he should join. He found a scripture in the Bible that told him if he wanted to know the truth, he should ask God. (James 1:5) He decided to put it to the test and went into the woods near his home to pray. While doing so, God and Jesus Christ appeared to him, to personally answer his question. He was told not to join any of the churches, because none was completely accurate at this time.
Moroni now sits atop Temples with a trumpet proclaiming to the world that the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the Earth.