OGDEN -- Mackenzie Boydston wiped tears from her cheeks as she watched her dad in a crane bucket help put an angel Moroni statue on top of the Ogden LDS Temple spire Tuesday morning.
Inch by inch the 10-year-old's dad, Shaun Boydston and his co-worker guided the statue, which was hoisted by another crane, onto the spire.
"It feels really good to see it there," Mackenzie said as she, her brothers, Adam, 5, and Mason, 9, and their mother, Trista Boydston, watched.
They were among the nearly two dozen people that lined the east side of Washington Boulevard at 9 a.m.
"It means we're one step closer to being able to go to our own temple," said Colette Williamson, who lives just a few blocks from the temple.
She and her friend, Alyssa Post, have been watching the progress of the temple's renovation since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closed the facility in April 2011. They had heard from a friend of one of the workers that the statue would probably be placed on the building Tuesday.
Church officials did not officially announce the placement until after it was completed.
The statue, made of fiberglass and coated with gold leaf, is 14 feet 2 inches tall and weighs almost 800 pounds, according to a church press release. It brings the height of the temple to just under 190 feet.
It is the original statue that was on the Ogden Temple when it was closed and has been refurbished.
Trista Boydston said watching her husband, who is a superintendent with Big-D Construction, put the statue up on top of the temple was scary but spiritual.
"Building a temple is so different than any other job," Trista Boydston said. "It's amazing what it does for the workers."
Kerry Nelson, of Syracuse, also came out to watch the placement of the statue. Her son, Chad Nelson, of Clinton, also works for Big-D.
As she watched and took photographs, her face filled with emotion.
DaLone Turner, of North Ogden, also got emotional as she watched the workers. Her son, Carl Turner, is the project superintendent.
"It's so amazing and spiritual," DaLone Turner said.
She said her son was "excited" about the large cranes that arrived on the site to place the spires and the statue.
"That's all he could talk about on Sunday."
Although the statue is now on top of the temple, there is still plenty of work to be completed. The estimated date for completion is later in 2014. The open house period has not been announced.
The entire exterior of the temple is being reshaped with new stone and art glass, according to the news release. The entrance to the temple is being moved from the west side to the east side. The old electrical, heating and plumbing systems are being replaced, and an underground parking structure is being built.
The Ogden Temple was originally dedicated in 1972 as the 14th operating temple for the church and the fifth in Utah.