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.”