Two step up to play angel atop Manti Temple in Mormon pageant

Oh, that he were an angel.

Ever since he was 8 years old — when he saw a white-robed actor ascend to the top of the Manti LDS Temple in the Mormon Miracle Pageant’s jaw-dropping scene — an awestruck John Pipes knew what he wanted:

To be Angel Moroni.

And this week, the 24-year-old Manti native earned his wings, so to speak.

With his blond hair sprayed white and wearing a white-and-gold robe, Pipes climbed the temple’s steep west tower stairs during a dress rehearsal. Then, at the appointed time, with a full moon and spotlights shining on him, he faced east, 169 feet above the ground and almost 210 feet above the valley floor.

There, tethered to a pole on a 10-foot-wide platform and surrounded by a 2-foot-high railing, he hoisted a long trumpet to his lips and struck the pose so familiar to Mormons throughout the world.

It’s “wonderful,” Pipes said, like “floating in the sky.”

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