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Shining Light In South Africa – Restoring The South African Temple’s Angel Moroni Statue

When Cameron Tidwell and Chase Tueller, co-owners of CT Decorative Finishes LLC, were commissioned to restore the Angel Moroni on top of the Johannesburg South Africa temple, they started looking to hire a couple extra hands to help on the project. Those two people happened to be Cameron’s sister, Brittney, and her husband, Gunnar Norton.

“It was intimidating,” they later recalled. “We didn’t know how to do it. Our first time doing anything like this was on a temple.”

Cameron Tidwell and Chase Tueller, leads on the project, with Cameron’s sister Brittney and her husband Gunnar to assist. Photo courtesy of Cameron Tidwell.

Cameron Tidwell and Chase Tueller, leads on the project, with Cameron’s sister Brittney and her husband Gunnar to assist. Photo courtesy of Cameron Tidwell.

Cameron and Chase provided all the training and direction necessary for Gunnar and Brittney to assist them in their project, and a month later the two found themselves on the African continent helping to restore the most iconic part of the Latter-day Saint temple.

This particular Angel Moroni, atop the church’s thirty-sixth operating temple and the first in Africa, hadn’t been touched since the temple’s dedication in August of 1985, in spite of having had several lightning strikes blacken its exterior throughout the years. As CT Decorative Finishes progressed on restoring Moroni’s golden hue, temple workers, security guards, and other church members commented on the notable difference it made, giving the company workers praise for the diligence given.

“It was really a light unto the world,” reflected Gunnar, “and that is what we’re supposed to be. Now the Angel Moroni is doing just that: shining for all the world to see.”

“It felt like I wasn’t even a part of the world,” said Brittney, reflecting on how she felt during the project.

It wasn’t easy, even with Cameron and Chase’s direction. The task in gold leafing required immense detail, concentration, and patience for even the smallest areas, amounting to almost a month’s work.

Not only did their work receive recognition by Mormon Newsroom, but for Gunnar, he had the added experience of seeing part of the land his own father had labored over as a missionary years before.

“It gave me and him a new aspect to talk about,” he stated, upon reflection. “It was inspired, and it definitely helped to boost our relationship.”

Brittney Norton, with Cameron to the left and Gunnar to the right. Photo by Brittney Norton.

Brittney Norton, with Cameron to the left and Gunnar to the right. Photo by Brittney Norton.

As the project went on, Gunnar and Brittney had to admit that playing with leopard cubs and seeing elephants in their spare time was a notable and fun aspect of the trip. Yet the experience in restoring the Angel Moroni in South Africa was a reminder for them, and also for those who made it possible, that the gospel is indeed being preached all over the world, and that temples are focal points in our own eternal progression.

CT Decorative Finishes, with Cameron Tidwell and Chase Tueller as owners, lead, performed, and carried out the project in South Africa. They can be contacted at (480)-646-7556 and are located in Mesa, AZ.

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