This monument took Torleif S. Knaphus over 5 years to complete – more than any other project he had sculpted.  Besides the typical clay-to-bronze-to-gold leafing, this monument also incorporated a 30-foot granite stone obelisk, base and the design of a surrounding platform.


At the unveiling and dedication in July 1935, Torleif’s good friend David O. McKay (then the Second Counselor of the First Presidency) asked Torleif about the detail of the monument.  Being impressed with the symbolism, President McKay asked Torleif to write down the information about the monument. 


The description is now on a plaque located by the monument. 



The Hill Cumorah Monument

Another extended description, which Torleif wrote, is located here in the newsletter.


Click on the panels below to see the detail of Torleif’s sculpted bas-reliefs:

Before digital graphic art, Torleif took time to meticulously hand carve in clay the north panel containing the exhortation of Moroni’s challenge.  Torleif’s preteen daughter Marie was visiting Torleif at his studio when she asked the artist why the panel just had words on it and why he didn’t do another “pretty” panel instead. 


Realizing a spiritual teaching moment, the caring father put his art tools down, swiveled his stool, and looked directly into the eyes of his young daughter.  He said, “Dear, this IS the prettiest panel of all, and I hope that one day you’ll come to understand, like I have, the true meaning of these special words.”


For more information on the creation of the Hill Cumorah Monument by Torleif S. Knaphus check out the article at BYU FARMS

Page 5

Issue 10