(Look how clear the sky the day they added the statue to the top of the Gilbert Temple.)
I just learned tonight that our Gilbert Temple has the most common version of the statue. In fact, the statue stands atop 74 of our temples. This version of the statue was created for President Hinckley's revolutionary small temples. There are ten temples that have holding Moroni something in his left hand. One design shows Moroni holding golden plates. This Statue sits atop the Los Angeles California, Washington DC, Seattle Washington, Jordan River Utah, and the Mexico City Mexico Temples. The other version has a scroll in Moroni's left hand. This version of the statue sits atop the Anchorage Alaska, Bismarck North Dakota, Columbus Ohio, Kono Hawaii, and Caracas Venezuela Temples.
So which Temple can you find this version of the statue Moroni???
This was the first version of the statues. In fact, it was actually a weather vane and stood atop the Nauvoo Temple. In fact, the Nauvoo Temple was the first to have a statue. The statue was a non-specific angel of the restoration.
The angel Moroni that stands atop the Salt Lake City Temple was designed by a man who was not a member of our faith. The man's name was Cyrus E. Dallin. He took the job because his mother encouraged him to even though he did not believe in angels. Dallin's design of an upright angel was based on his study of Revelation 14 and other LDS literature.
Statues were not commonly added to temples until the 1970's because they were too heavy for the temple spires. The first status weighed a ton. Moroni statues today weigh 350 pounds. Most of the statues are made of lightweight material like fiberglass and have gold leaf over this. Some early Moroni statues were made of bronze, copper, aluminum but still with gold leaf added over the top.
One temple even had a white angel statue standing atop of it's spires of the Monticello Utah Temple. The white statue was hard to see and later was taken down and gold leaf was added. That refinished statue now sits atop the Columbus Ohio Temple. Many of our temples today had their Moroni statues added during a renovation. Statues were added to the Freibert Germany, Ogden Utah, Provo Utah, Sao Paulo Brazil, Tokyo Japan, Bern Switzerland, and London England Temples during renovations. A statue can also be requested by the temple district. This is how the statue was added to the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple.
Not all of the statues face east. Because of spire placement, the Seattle Washington, Manila Philippines, Taipei Taiwan, Spokane Washington, and the Nauvoo Illinois Temples have Moroni statues facing west.
I learned a lot about the angel Moroni statues. I remember when we were able to do baptisms at the Los Angeles California Temple as a youth. The first thing I remember seeing was the angel atop of the spires. This was the temple my family was sealed together in, so that temple has a special place in my heart forever.