20 little-known facts about Mormon temples' Angel Moroni statues


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  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Feb. 20, 2016 6:37 p.m.

    Another good question you over-looked is what three Temples had the Statue placed on the same day, a first in the Church?

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    Feb. 19, 2016 4:27 p.m.

    Though the cross is not found on temples and steeples of LDS chapels and churches, its significance, eternal meaning and deeper symbolism is still taught - inside the TEMPLE! So it's not necessarily the outward appearance but the inner spiritual significance of the cross that's more important.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2016 1:46 p.m.

    Cyrus Dallin trivia: The mother of Elder Oaks was a Cyrus Dallin model. She is the likeness of the Pioneer Woman sculpture in Springville...and he was the inspiration for the name Dallin Oaks.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 19, 2016 1:36 p.m.

    What will be on Romes

  • S Pacific Boise, ID
    Aug. 10, 2015 1:31 p.m.

    To Lee Wright of Mount Pleasant, Utah. I know you, we were good neighbors in that ward. I know when that Angel was added, as well. What a day that was. We all grew up in the Light of the glory of the Temple! We knew your family well, there was much love in that neighborhood! Many strong testimonies! Would be a wonderful thing to reminisce.God bless you. (If you are the Wright I believe you are, your grandfather? performed the marriage for my parents.) Deseret can you connect us?

  • Red Corvette St. George, UT
    Aug. 9, 2015 5:08 p.m.

    Hard to say these are little know facts since this story has been repeated ad nauseam.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2015 3:44 p.m.

    The Kirtland Temple, currently owned by Community of Christ, does not have an Angel Moroni statue. (To correct a previous post)

  • Lillith70 SLC, UT
    Aug. 9, 2015 3:06 p.m.

    "A pedantic would know that Mormonism places the Garden of Gethsemane over the Cross for the actual transaction of Christ's Atonement. That forever separates you from the Biblical Body. So statues and non-Cross churches are perfect for a 19th-century organization that does believe in Christ, the Christ of Joseph's remake."

    On this we can agree and maybe mind our own businesses? A trait many could learn from the restoration Christian tradition? First we cannot use the cross and then we must/ I love the same gospel songs like "The Old Rugged Cross' since I an also an American and my ancestors came as non-conformist religious Puritans and Pilgrims, Quakers (and natives of southeast) Those who came here seeking and bringing freedom? Even the Jaredite/Hebrew Cherokees, you can read James Adair's American Indian history of 1775 online.

    The MMM was an aberration caused by war hysteria. The tenor in the USA was to wipe out Mormonism and some still generationally and institutionally taught that old meme?

    Search online for 1857 Iron county Militia for complete study of the MMM. Check out the part played by Highlanders Macfarlane and Stewart. The grit of the outlaws that America made heroes as in Quantrill, killer of 150 in Kansas?

  • Lillith70 SLC, UT
    Aug. 9, 2015 2:37 p.m.

    OnlytheCross states that LDS cannot use the cross--Constantine's cross. In the apostolic church the cross wasn't the symbol but a fish or lamb (?) I think.

    Other Traditional, or politically allied with the Roman Catholic Church, Christians and the Nicean Trinity and other creeds fault the non-use of the cross by the LDS Church who focus on the resurrected Messiah rather than the suffering Messiah.

    Restoration Christianity then would be appropriate term for the restored apostolic church of Christ/ no argument there.


  • Clint Gardner SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 9, 2015 1:04 p.m.

    To the person that said that the trumpet Moroni holds is "modern," I suggest you look up the trumpets found in Tutankhamun's tomb. They look much like Moroni's trumpet.

  • BigTooLittle French Polynesia, 00
    May 14, 2015 10:46 p.m.

    @azmom7 also to signify the blow of the first resurrection. When all, the quick and the dead, shall rise from the grave and of course to mark the Lord s return from the East for the Millenium.

  • AzMom7 Paulden, AZ
    April 22, 2015 10:54 p.m.

    Why is Moroni blowing a trumpet? You need to read about the Feast of "Trumpets" in ancient Israel - it was the call of 'gathering' & return to temple worship.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    April 22, 2015 10:23 a.m.


    Go deeper than biased Wiki. The truth is there; many accurate books written on the subject. But my direct answers won't pass the Zion Curtain here.

    Joseph Smith owns Moroni, Biblical Christianity owns the Cross of Christ. You can call yourself any religion you want. But when you tell the world in 1830 that all Christian churches, authority, priesthoods and the Holy Bible are corrupt and devoid of God's plenary truth and that you are re-establishing God's original Church and Truth, stick to your foundational claim.

    A pedantic would know that Mormonism places the Garden of Gethsemane over the Cross for the actual transaction of Christ's Atonement. That forever separates you from the Biblical Body. So statues and non-Cross churches are perfect for a 19th-century organization that does believe in Christ, the Christ of Joseph's remake.

  • niyachen usa, AK
    April 21, 2015 11:13 a.m.

    When President Hinckley (then apostle) was presiding over the Taiwan Taipei temple capping ceremony he directed the workers to turn the angle Moroni to the west to face China. When he dedicated the Hong Kong Temple he noted that it faced east towards Taiwan. Thus the hearts of the children are turned to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers are turned to the children.

  • Valerie415 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2015 2:17 p.m.


    After a brief search on an unbiased website (Wikipedia), I discovered that Brigham Young did have the cross and cairn torn down. (I don't know why, but I imagine that leaving a threatening statement in a tense, heated area isn't a spectacular idea.) The cairn and cross were reconstructed, but the Bible verse on the cross was repeatedly vandalized with things like, "Remember Hawn's Mill and Carthage Jail." Later, the land was donated to the Church, who have rebuilt the cairn, placed memorial plaques, reinforced the protecting wall, and spent plenty of time and money on something that is a black mark in the history of the Church and making it accessible to the public. Also, you forgot about 1990, 1999 and 2011.

    So I have to ask, which group are you? MMA or MMMF?

    Also, just because I'm pedantic. 1. Mormons believe in Christ and are therefore Christians. 2. Mormons believe in the Bible, making us a biblical church. 3. Nobody owns the cross. You can use the shape of a cross in a logo and have it represent a specific church (I'm thinking of Methodists), but no one can say who can or can't use a cross.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    April 20, 2015 1:06 p.m.


    Sorry for the confusion. Not all members know their Church history, especially if they have to dig deep for it.
    I was advocating for all churches/groups to have the freedom to post & decorate their buildings and cites with their own (accurate) representative memorials. The two points I was making was (a): for no group/church to erroneously use another's symbol which does not reflect their own teachings; and (b): for no group/church to refuse another entity to erect their group's memorial symbol on their gravesite, if that burial area happens to be under the other group's control.

    (In the case of the Fancher wagon train, Mountain Meadows was open range and not in ownership by the LDS Church. Pres. BYoung allowed the original 16' foot Cross to be torn down by his men on his first visit to the site, two years after the 1857 massacre of 120 Christian families, committed by John D. Lee and 50 members of the Iron County Militia. The Church has not allowed its restoration to this day, only having publicly apologized for the massacre in 2007.

    Any LDS Church policy can be reversed, so the 2,000+ yr old symbol is not protected from new prophets.

  • dung beetle Bountiful, UT
    April 20, 2015 10:36 a.m.

    Research for the film, Mountain of the Lord, elicited the information that the program for the Salt Lake Temple capstone ceremony, which took place one year to the day before the dedication, identified the statue as Gabriel.

    Later that year a story about the impending dedication of the temple in the Los Angeles Times identified the statue as Moroni. It's not known when, by whom or why the name was changed.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 20, 2015 9:46 a.m.

    Tidbit 1 - Moroni faces NORTH in Chicago.
    Tidbit 2 - It is apparently common for lightning to strike. The DC temple had several holes in it too small to see.

  • Valerie415 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2015 9:37 a.m.

    @OnlytheCross You're in luck! Church policy is to not use the cross as decoration in or on any Church building.

    But your comment confuses me. You don't want the LDS Church to have the freedom to use the cross, but you want the same freedom for another church to use the cross? What you are actually saying is that you want this group to not have the freedom to put up a cross memorial. Okay, cool

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    April 20, 2015 7:31 a.m.

    I will always support putting Moroni or any Book of Mormon, Mayan objects, Aztec sun dials, etc., that LDS want on their buildings in any community- except The Cross. If that effort is ever attempted, Biblical Christians will object dramatically.

    It would be "nice" if the same freedom of choice were offered to the Fancher-Baker families at their memorial cairn at MM site near Enterprize, UT. That cross was torn down several times, but we are still pursuing it in God's timing.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    April 19, 2015 9:29 p.m.

    Above comments are correct in that neither Idaho Falls nor Boston Temples had an Angel Moroni Statue in place until after they were dedicated.

    Here's a question: On the same day in September 2001 three temples had the statue placed atop them. Which Three? Nauvoo, Boston and one over-seas. I cannot remember which the third one was....can anyone help me out with that answer?

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    April 19, 2015 3:32 p.m.

    @janeann3797: "Perhaps it is Alma!"

    Can't be Alma. We have no evidence that he could fly like Moroni. How you gonna get on top of a steeple if you can't fly?

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 19, 2015 2:50 p.m.

    Nice, but it could be symbolic of Aaron's golden calf while Moses was away getting the Ten commandments.

  • Keeping it straight San Marcos, CA
    April 19, 2015 7:13 a.m.

    I was the Project Coordinator during the three years of construction at the San Diego Temple. Lightening struck the Angel Moroni on the Martin Luther King holiday. My daughter was with me that day - a very stormy day. I asked her to come to the window and watch the lightening. As we looked out, lightening struck the angel darkening his face and the arm holding the trumpet.
    I'm not sure on what the individual was basing his comment " people gave us a hard time". We received no negative phone calls that day or ever regarding that incident.

  • kathybeebee Ephrata, WA
    July 1, 2014 1:58 a.m.

    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.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    June 19, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    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.

  • roquetman provo, UT
    June 19, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    The Boston Mass. Temple was dedicated without Moroni.

  • dorthso Rexburg, ID
    May 12, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    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.

  • cftopham west jordan , UT
    Nov. 30, 2013 6:30 p.m.

    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 .

  • cftopham west jordan , UT
    Nov. 30, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    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

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Nov. 30, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    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.

  • Lee Wright Mount Pleasant, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 9:46 p.m.

    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.

    Nov. 28, 2013 8:46 p.m.

    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.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2013 7:17 p.m.

    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.

  • portlander Arlington, WA
    Nov. 28, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    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.

  • Kazzamataz Doonside, 00
    Nov. 28, 2013 12:28 p.m.

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

  • Gordon Wilson SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 12:27 p.m.

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

  • Hometown Observer Arlington, VA
    Nov. 28, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    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.

  • Saraid74 Wenatchee, WA
    Nov. 28, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    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.

  • donn layton, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    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.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Nov. 28, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • janeann3797 MASTIC, NY
    Nov. 28, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    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
    Nov. 28, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    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.

  • AnArizonan Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 28, 2013 7:20 a.m.

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

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    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.

  • PSamuelson Holladay, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:58 p.m.

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

  • caththegr8 Layton, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    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!

  • caththegr8 Layton, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:01 p.m.

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

  • Hometown Observer Arlington, VA
    Nov. 27, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    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.

  • KellyWSmith Sparks, NV
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    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.

  • Poqui Murray, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:53 a.m.

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

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:42 a.m.

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


    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].

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    The Nauvoo Temple statue faces west.