20 little-known facts about Mormon temples' Angel Moroni statues (23 items)

By , Deseret News

Editor's note: With temples scheduled for open houses and dedications in Sapporo, Fort Collins, Freiberg and Philadelphia in the coming weeks and months, we take a look back at this list from our 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 169 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.


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

1 of 23. Why choose Moroni?

The idea to use the prophet from the Book of Mormon to top the temple came from sculptor Cyrus Dallin, who was not a member of the LDS faith.

LDS Church President Wilford Woodruff had asked Dallin to create something for the central spire of the Salt Lake Temple, so Dallin searched through LDS scripture for inspiration. It was Dallin who decided to sculpt Moroni because he believed Moroni was a good representation of the restoration of the gospel.

Source: New Era magazine

2 of 23. Which temple was the first to have an angel?

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple.

This was the first LDS temple to have an angel atop the holy building.

It was dedicated in 1846 and was said to have had a horizontal angel attached to the lightning rod in the form of a weathervane.

While this was the first angel to top an LDS temple, it was not specified as being the Angel Moroni.

Source: Liahona magazine

3 of 23. Which temple had the first official Angel Moroni statue?

The Salt Lake City Utah Temple.

This was the first temple to have an angel statue that was identified as Angel Moroni.

4 of 23. Which temples don't have a statue?

1. St. George Utah Temple
2. Logan Utah Temple
3. Manti Utah Temple
4. Laie Hawaii Temple
5. Cardston Alberta Temple
6. Mesa Arizona Temple
7. Hamilton New Zealand
8. Oakland California Temple

5 of 23. What scripture is often used in reference to the statue?

Revelation 14:6.

This scripture reads: "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth."

Many members of the LDS faith believe that the Angel Moroni statues represent the angel in John’s vision in the New Testament.

Source: Liahona magazine
1. RAB
Bountiful, UT,
Nov. 27, 2013

The Nauvoo Temple statue faces west.

2. Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00,
Nov. 27, 2013

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].

3. Poqui
Murray, UT,
Nov. 27, 2013

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

4. KellyWSmith
Sparks, NV,
Nov. 27, 2013

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.

5. Hometown Observer
Arlington, VA,
Nov. 27, 2013

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.