20 little-known facts about the Mormon Angel Moroni statue

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27 2013 9:24 a.m. MST

Deseret News Archives

Did you know that one of the heaviest Angel Moroni statues weighs 4,000 pounds, that one statue was colored white or that the statue usually faces east?

With temples all over the world, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has adorned the skyline with angel statues for 167 years, ever since the Nauvoo Temple was dedicated in 1846.

The Nauvoo Temple, however, did not feature the same type of statue LDS Church members are familiar with today.

According to articles in the New Era and Liahona magazines, the statue's design has gone through many iterations and has an intriguing history.

How much do you know about this Mormon icon?

Here are 20 little-known facts and stories about the Angel Moroni statue.

Sources:

Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple Facts, Stats, and Interesting Stories

A historical tour through LDS temple Angel Moroni statues

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RAB
Bountiful, UT

The Nauvoo Temple statue faces west.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

I fine with having the Angel Moroni atop our Temples ...

but,

I just wish they all had the "book" [plates, scrolls, stick, etc.] in the one hand,
and shown with the correct Mosaic SHOFAR - trumpet being a rams horn, [and not that modern brass trumpet].

Poqui
Murray, UT

Which temples had a statue added to them after dedication? You missed one: Idaho Falls!

KellyWSmith
Sparks, NV

I find it interesting that the whole design was inspired through a non-member and that a Trumpet was added to the design. In reality it is a perfect representation of "The Feast of Trumpets" that occurred on Sept 22, 1827, the EXACT day that Moroni gave the plates to Joseph Smith!

The meaning of this "feast" is to signal:
1-The beginning of Israel's final harvest,
2-The day God set to remember his ancient promises to gather Israel
3-A Time when a New Revelation would lead to a new covenant with Israel, and
4-A Time to prepare for the Millennium.

The symbol of Moroni holding a Trumpet is a final call to the to awaken, repent and prepare! I hope the world is watching and paying attention to this powerful message.

Hometown Observer
Arlington, VA

Thanks for the interesting article on the Angel Moroni statues. The list of temples that have had statues added since their dedication should include the Sydney Australia Temple and the Boston Massachusetts Temple. As already noted the Idaho Falls Temple should also be included. However, I believe the Fukuoka Japan Temple statue was added during the construction of the temple and before its dedication.

caththegr8
Layton, UT

London Temple doesn't have an Angel Moroni on it either.

caththegr8
Layton, UT

OK...The London Temple must have just had the Angel Moroni put up in the past 20 years since I was there 20 years ago next month. That's pretty cool!

PSamuelson
Holladay, UT

I remember the San Diego Moroni being struck by lightening before the dedication. People there gave us a hard time!

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

Thanks, KelleyWSmith for the information on the feast of trumpets.

Moroni himself stated in the last verse of the Book of Mormon that his spirit and body shall again reunite and 'I am brought forth triumphant through the AIR'.

Traveling through the air is the same as flying through the earths atmosphere.

Although, Joseph Smith describes Moroni's mode of travel as being by a conduit of light back and forth from earth to heaven on September 21, 1823.

AnArizonan
Phoenix, AZ

The Boston Temple did not have an Angel Moroni placed prior to it's dedication. It was placed later with the steeple.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

Though the Kirtland, Los Angeles and Salt Lake temples had the Angel Moroni statues on them, it was not a common thing for temples to have them. Mesa, Cardston, England, Switzerland, Hawaii, Idaho Falls and so forth were not intended to have one.

When Washington D.C. was built, according to an article in the Ensign at the time, church leaders felt that this temple was going to be representing the church in nation's capital - therefore it too was built with six spires; though modified, and an angel set to go on top. The chapel there already had one - which was then removed, as stated in the article.

Since the construction of the Washington D.C. temple, all temples built since were designed to include the Angel Moroni, with few if any exceptions. And many, if not all, previously built temples were retrofitted with one as this has come to symbolize the church and especially the temples.

janeann3797
MASTIC, NY

I love the statue but from the onset of my conversion, and my very powerful testimonies of the trueness of the church, the prophet, the healing powers of the priesthood, (said testimony of Jesus Christ having been known since nearly the beginning of time for me), AND from my reading the Book of Mormon in full from the very first time, I ask you ALL: How is it that this statue is claimed to be that of Moroni? Why not Alma? For it is Alma who desired with all his heart and proclaiming that desire several times to both his followers and to Almighty God to play with a loud trump a joyful noise about the word of God! And it is written of God that whosoever endures the hardships of this life will be granted whatsoever his heart desires! Perhaps it is Alma!

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

@ AnArizonan

True, the Boston Temple did not have one originally, but then again, at first, the Boston Temple did not have a spire. The designs included one, but the local authorities insisted that the spire put the building above the height limit for the codes and refused to allow it.

Thanks in part to Senator Ted Kennedy who pointed out that nearly ever other church in Boston had a spire, permission was granted for the church to complete that portion of the structure and then the Angel was of course placed on top.

donn
layton, UT

Moroni 10: A testimony of the Book of Mormon comes by the power of the Holy Ghost—The gifts of the Spirit are dispensed to the faithful—Spiritual gifts always accompany faith,

Moroni’s words speak from the ‘dust’. Compare poor KJV translation to(Latin vulgate, Is 29:4), and thy speech shall whisper out of the ‘dust’. and thy voice shall be from the earth like that of the “*pythonis=(familiar spirit)”, and out of the earth thy speech shall mutter.

Acts 16:16 And it came to pass , as we went to prayer a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination= (*python/Grk,=4436) met us which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying .
(Latin Vulgate 1 Sam 28:7) And Saul said to his servants: Seek me a woman that hath a divining spirit=( *pythonem/familiar spirit), and I will go to her, and enquire by her. And his servants said to him: There is a woman that hath a divining spirit=(*pythonem)[witch]at Endor
.
In Greek mythology, Pythian a serpent dwelt in the region of Pytho said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and been slain by Apollo. 2.a spirit of divination.

Saraid74
Wenatchee, WA

According to Cyrus Dallin's own journals (family genealogy) it was the Angel Moroni who appeared to him and asked him to do the sculpture after he refused the church leadership. So the Angel Moroni sculpture he did was perfectly accurate to the real person.

Hometown Observer
Arlington, VA

Further review shows that the list of statues added after dedication list should include the Tokyo Temple rather than the Fukuoka Japan Temple. The Manhattan Temple should also be included on this list.

Gordon Wilson
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I believe the Angel Moroni statue on the Spokane Temple originally faced east and was later rotated to its current direction: west.

Kazzamataz
Doonside, 00

To add another to the list. Sydney Temple had Moroni added about a year after the dedication after the local council finally approved it.

portlander
Arlington, WA

The Seattle Temple, which faces east, has the entrance from the rear (west end of the temple) and the Angel Moroni facing the same (west).

Also, I remember that there was so much resistance to the building in Boston that the council thought that they could prevent it's construction by disallowing the spire and the statue, as being too tall. However, the Lord's Church and His plan will not be thwarted...The spire and statue were removed and the plans resubmitted, which were eventually approved for construction.

Eventually, the Church repetitioned to add them to the existing structure and that was also approved.

Was Mitt governor then? Maybe. Also, Teddy and Orrin were very good friends.

grandmagreat
Lake Havasu City, AZ

The Pictures that I have of the Mesa Temple to sell in my bookstore does not have an Angel. the Last time I was in Mesa, which was a few years ago, there was no angel. At one time the Nauvoo temple had an Angel Flying rather than one standing. Some of us that are little older will remember many of the temples with a Statue. The Important part of temples are that the blessngs of Temple Worship, have not changed. Sealing families together for ever have not changed. The Sacredness of the Temple Ordinances have not changed. I can bear my testimny to this.

G L W8
SPRINGVILLE, UT

Manti Temple has only had a living Angel Moroni at night in the summertime during the Mormon Miracle pageant. Interesting that the west tower was constructed with a flat roof, allowing a living angel to stand on top during a scene of the pageant. (I don't think Manti has had a permanent one installed yet, but the Provo Temple has had one the past few years. The original design on the Provo Temple was a gold fountain-like steeple. It has now been painted white, to offset the gold Angel.

Lee Wright
Mount Pleasant, UT

On the lists of temples that had angle Moroni added after dedication, please add the Idaho Falls Temple to the list. I was there and saw it being added.It happened on Labor Day, 1983, at 6:00 AM. We lived across the street from the temple, and in the temple ward.

Cats
Somewhere in Time, UT

I posted this earlier, but it didn't go up so here goes again.

Dallin was born in Springville, UT and was from Mormon pioneer stock so he was a member of the Church. It is reported he later became a Unitarian, but unless he was excommunicated (which I don't believe ever happened) he should still be listed in the membership of the Church. He stated that his creation of the Angel Moroni statue was the greatest spiritual experience of his life.

cftopham
west jordan , UT

i just like to add that i have only seen couple things here about the manti temple
the temple has a angel moroni but just ones a year and yes he is real

cftopham
west jordan , UT

i been reading again i dont think people understand of why the angel moroni is turned west the reason that i have heard is from rumers from history est of why thy point west is because its for the march to the western world of the united states but i could be wrong on that other thing is we have a couple of temples that have the angel on them that point east maybe this just means the way back to the city on the river that we found so many years a go .

dorthso
Rexburg, ID

I thought I would inform you that the list of temples that had a statue placed on it after dedication is wrong. Two temples that I know of are 1 - the Idaho Falls temple had been built for a number of years and had no angel on top of it. Sometime in the early '80s the angel was placed on it. 2 - Boston temple. The church did not have city clearance to build something so tall. If you look at the temple there is a ledge just under the angel. That temple was finished to the ledge for almost a year. The neighbors (non mormons) went to the city and petitioned that the temple be finished because it looked incomplete without the angel.
Those are the two I know of. I bet if you do more research you would find more.

roquetman
provo, UT

The Boston Mass. Temple was dedicated without Moroni.

Uncle_Fester
Niskayuna, NY

East, West it's all relative and depends upon where you stand on the globe for your frame of reference. Since East seems to have some scriptural support one can only assume some sort of cosmic widdershins approach.

kathybeebee
Ephrata, WA

He's not atop a Temple, but the Moroni statue at the Hill Cumorah used to face East. But that meant he had his back to the main slope of The Hill, and drivers on NY Route 21, and (worse) turned his back on all those who came to watch the exquisite Hill Cumorah Pageant. Several years ago, at the request of (I believe) President Hinckley, the Moroni statue was turned to be more friendly.

He has a book in his left hand, and his right arm raised to the square.

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